video card for new computer

Xen list at
Thu Dec 14 09:11:09 UTC 2017

Stuart McGraw schreef op 14-12-2017 9:05:

> Are there any of these cards I should stay away from?  Any that
> are particularly known to be trouble free (ie works well with no
> extra software installs or software easily available and easily
> installed)?  Are Nvidia cards easier to deal with in general than
> AMD, or visa versa?

The quick rundown is that nVidia is normally much more stable than AMD, 
the cards you list (from AMD) are an absolute no-go, the nVidia driver 
works well and Nouveau causes severe crashes in recent kernels on newer 
graphics cards while doing video-playback.

You don't have any option but to use an nVidia card with the nVidia 
driver, if Nouveau works well for you you can use that but you can 
always fall back to the nVidia driver.

However the nVidia driver for me is also not hassle-free (in KDE) [4].

>   FirePro W2100, W4300, W5100, W7100
>   Nvidia Quadro K420, K620, K1200, K2200, K4200, K4200SD1,
>     M2000, M4000, M4000SD1, P1000
>   Nvidia NVS 310, 315, 510

The AMD cards you mention are supported by the AMDGPU-Pro driver and the 
open source Radeon driver on recent versions of Ubuntu.


This [1] explains that in order to use a FirePro card you might need to 
disable the onboard card first, on a Dell.

This [2] clearly indicates that there are huge kernel issues with 
FirePro W2100 and newer kernels (4.10+) and the AMDGPU-Pro driver, but 
that the Radeon driver can also have issues with the same card.

So the people in that topic are fiddling with kernel versions; one works 
fine, the other does not, new bugs are introduced etc.

That person is stuck on kernel 4.9 and the AMDGPU-Pro driver, but Ubuntu 
is already on 4.10 for 16.04, so I think it is clear that the FirePro 
W2100 should be no option and this probably extends to the other cards, 
unless you are willing to forever stay on 4.9 (or 4.8, which is 
available for Ubuntu).

nVidia has the reputation of being much more stable.

However this is the picture for nVidia:

- the nVidia driver sometimes gives those boot problems you have 
mentioned on upgrades
- there are severe issues with Nouveau and video playback [3]

- with nVidia you have a higher chance that standby works
- with nVidia your power consumption will be less
- with nVidia your 3D and video acceleration performance will be 



The Nouveau driver can currently cause crashes in several major video 
applications that lead to entire system freezes because of lacking VDPAU 
support which is used for video acceleration in decoding formats.

On my system with a newer card (> GTX 750ti) video playback simply does 
not work until I switch to OpenGL and only VLC supports that.

As far as I'm concerned this is a newer problem in recent kernels.

Xine and Kaffeine crash. I have not tried Gnome players and I don't 
remember MPV.


I have DPI problems with nVidia in KDE (SDDM desktop manager/login 
screen) if I only connect HDMI. If both HDMI and DVI are connected I 
have no issues.

After login, I really have no issues, although KDE still manages to mess 
things up now and then.

You should be expected to have less issues in Xubuntu I think.

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