ati or nvidia ?

my near new nvidia card now fried, i am in the market for a new one, at reasonable cost, but which one

From my experiences with ati and getting them to run (or not), I would go for nvidia.

Defiantly go for nvidia all the new cards work well


One more vote for Nvidia, I’ve heard nothing but trouble about ATI drivers on Linux.

Having both, I would say NVidia is far easier to manage. And while in Windows the gap between NVidia and ATI is fairly small, and both perform well, that gap is slightly wider in Linux. Yes the gap is getting smaller with the radeonhd drivers (although they don’t fully support the latest ATI card yet), but for now, I would choose NVidia.

Nvidia used to have good, but closed, Linux drivers. Lately, from what I hear, they’ve scaled back their Linux support a great deal.

Meanwhile, ever since AMD bought ATI their support has been getting better and better (up from abysmal, so it’s still not great). Also, and this is the big deal, ATI started releasing their hardware documentation so we now have fully open drivers for the newer ATI cards.

The new drivers aren’t fully ready yet, but in the long run it looks to me as though ATI is the path to take, moving forward.

I have the Ati 4850 and it works great in Linux.

It was a little bit trickier to install in Opensuse 11.1 x64 (two command lines). But soon the repos will be updated and you will have a one click install.

I tend to agree with that. As of now, they’re roughly equal, IMHO. And ATI has made huge strides in the past couple of years, compared to where they were.

While ATI does not have Linux support for a lot of older products, this is perhaps understandable since they seem to release more different chips than Nvidia.

The current ATI cards are nicer hardware, more power efficient, and also good value.

The problem is the drivers, still aren’t as polished as Nvidia’s 3D. But the Catalyst Windows control, makes it easier to adjust card settings. All Windows graphics programs that I had worked very well with the ATI driver. One OpenGL program does show some oddity if I use low quality settings, but as the card is so fast that the program runs just as fast with grafix set to “Ultra-Brutal” max quality, that’s not really been an issue.

Under Linux

Whilst there is the unpopular FOSS ‘nv’ driver, and the Nouveau project, Nvidia just don’t have an open attitude and are believers in Closed methods and Intellectual property.

One irritation has been the dropping of a supported driver for older cards, making them effectively 2D machines, because they wouldn’t cooperate with open source 3D development.

AMD/ATI have however made real efforts to improve Linux support and also have a program of documentation release. AMD have a reasonable track record, so …

I went with ATI, earlier this month and I don’t regret it.

The outlook with FOSS drivers is improving, and ATI’s Catalyst drivers are improving to. They’ve also released their drivers for new cards, and the stream architecture (which is open) simultaneously on Win & Linux.

Please reward the companies who try to support Linux right, rather than back those pushing closed proprietary solutions.

Have a supported non-tainted kernel, using more power efficient hardware, that will be documented, so the cards can avoid having an artificially shortened useful lifespan.

Are FOSS principals not worth supporting even if there’s some short term inconvenience, for the longer run benefits?

then which ati card do you recommend with my system, amd 64 cpu and 4gb ram, i dabble in autocad, more than i should, i had a nvidia 8500gt 512mb, which stopped working after the first boot of opensuse 11.1 and a samsung 997mb screen, thanks all

Depends on what you want to use it for, but at a minimum, make sure it’s supported by the latest ATI proprietary driver:

What I did was check up the power requirements, and no wish to waste watts, or have to upgrade a small (but quiet) p/s. As I had a low end Nvidia 8300 GS I was upgrading, a deliberate choice with plan to upgrade later. It suffices for SuSE 3D stuff like Neverball, and the flight games. It was mostly OK for Vista Aero, and value M$ games, but definitely the weakest part of the system. I don’t regret not getting the Nvidia 8800 on system purchase.

ATI are supporting Direct X 10.1, whether that’ll matter for M$ world gaming a few years down the line, who knows? DX10.0 wasn’t very successful. I ended up choosing between a HD 4550 (25W v. low, good bit faster) or spending a little more and going with HD 4650 which also doesn’t require additional power connect. Went with the HD 4650 with 512MiB of 1000Mhz DDR2 rather than 800. As it covers mid-range, rather than budget end, it ‘whispers’ rather than be dead silent, though a heat pipe model was an option with slower memory. 1 GiB RAM doesnt’ cost much more, but watts, watts, and if you have 32 bit OS around still, the card is hogging memory space (I’m not sure whether SuSE have used 3/1 memory address split, or 2/2 like M$ in recent years).

Anandtech GPU Guide

Best Video Cards For The Money: Dec '08 :

As a matter of interest, what stuff are ppl running under Linux, that really requires top notch 3D performance?

Nvidia :wink:
Is best!
For install: Nvidia Installer HOWTO for SUSE LINUX users
Really 3D.
More info: Re: [opensuse] Best (supported) graphics card

i have ATI and old NVIDIA cards. I just put old Nvidia card back because it works better. In ATI, movies twitched and jammed, 3d was slow etc. I tryed radeonhd and offical ati drivers, same thing. Now back to old nvidia and everything is working smooth. So NIVIDIA.

Have you tried adding the nvidia repository and downloading the drivers?
You can still get to yast in a terminal screen by typing yast.
After installation, exit yast and type sax2 and configure the card. I have the same problem with an ati card.
Before lashing out money, try and get your card working - from what I read, most of the 11.1 repos aren’t set up yet so you may have to wait a few days.

Nvidia repos are up and running, ATIs aint.


Manfredfischer wrote:
> then which ati card do you recommend

I would not recommend even a Christmas card :-/

I had a very bad experience with ATI: slow drivers, corrupted screens, not being able to restart X, garbled mouse pointer, programs not running, the drivers would not installed through yast, so each time there was a kernel update I had to recompile the driver.
I kept trying newer and newer drivers and there was always some new issue. Sometimes I had to go back to older ones because they were “less worse”.
So be warned.

Maybe things are better now, but I had enough.

I never had a problem with Nvidia cards. (I have various installs in 3 desktops and a laptop all working fine).


I’ve just installed 11.1 64 on a machine with radeon hd 4650 512mb ddr3 bit and everything works out of the box…well not quite :slight_smile: Compiz won’t work, when i try to enable effects the screen goes white (it worked perfectly on 11.0 64 bit out of the box so it may need tweeking). I’ve had similar problems with other ATI cards, never had nvidia, EVER :smiley: