Looking for compatible video card - 11.2

I have an HP Compaq D530 sff p4 3ghz with 1 gig of ram. Getting ready to install 11.2 and don’t really want to use the on board video. I don’t want to spend much (not a big gamer) looking for something on the low to middle end that would perform reasonably well and that would play nice with 11.2. Can anyone recommend a card (VGA slot) or point me to a compatibility site.

your computer is 2004 right? And i think the motherboard is Intel 478 P4 motherboard?

to be honest, i would just upgrade to a newer system as whole, for one i don’t think there is too many modern GPUs that are compatible with ur motherboard,it couldn’t cost really to much.

If your tight on money, your system will be good for another year or so. I say the max life a relevant computer can get is 7 years. I personally just don’t think its worth upgrading ur GPU for a system that is due for higher ram (1gb is barely atm, and multi core cpus are now basically standard)

i hope you understand what i am saying

Upgrade the whole machine, not just the onboard controller. Thanks for the suggestion.

I think the D530SFF has an onboard AGP slot if I remember right, AGP cards are pretty hard to come by now.

You could try Geforce 6 AGP

But I should warn you that you will have to check they support “Half sized” Small Form Factor cases (not sure if that one does but that one should work ok with the open source NV drivers) if it’s not “Half Sized” take a look around for something on the 6x NV chipset from XFX (most their card’s if I remember used to be Half Sized).

Are you sure this is not a agp slot?

I’m almost 100% sure it has an AGP slot

They have a link on the HP site D530 SFF say’s it has a half height 8x AGP and 2 full size PCI slot’s.

Aslong as its not a D530US :stuck_out_tongue:

If this is correct, the gforce6 is a good choice
ebay would be the most likely place to find one

still, its not even dirt cheap (there are geforce 9x and 200s or ATI 4000s that are under 50 USD on newegg) and geforce 6 series is a phasing out technology itself, no way upgrade to something that gives little benefit for not even a great price.

I don’t want to spend much (not a big gamer) looking for something on the low to middle end that would perform reasonably well and that would play nice with 11.2

Thats what he wanted, that’s what we are recommending, not everyone want’s to replace a PC just because it’s old, I still have a Dell 1600SC running Suse 11.2. The card i pointed at is £21 (I think) that’s a lot less than the £300 or so the new computer would cost. He doesn’t want it for game’s, so a new system tbh is a waste, part of the reason to use Linux is not just because it’s great (:P) but also because it can and does extend the life of a PC.

ok ok :wink: sorry i was just giving my honest opinion that just let the computer live out then upgrade it all together when its due. Sorry difficilus, i shouldn’t have said anything.

Nothing wrong with being honest :slight_smile:

Your opinion isn’t wrong, you also should say what you think. But giving “options” is always a good thing aswell :slight_smile:

Hopefully difficilus now has the choice’s he needs and the info required to make a decision. That’s what we are all here for is to help eachother, not stating your opinion is far worse than discussing it and getting options.

With respect to graphic cards, I have some things you could consider that “may” influence your purchase decision.

What bus ? A key factor, which was mentioned above, is you really need to determine what “bus” is available in side your PC. Typically you will have 3 possibilities:

  • PCI bus - all old PCs have this
  • AGP bus
  • PCI-e bus - latest bus - it would be REAL nice if it had this
    … and to further complicate this, there are sub-categories to each of those 3 possibilities.

Most likely your old PC has both PCI and AGP, but likely not PCI-e. If it has PCI-e the “world is your oyster” in terms of picking cheap graphic card. If only PCI or AGP then you need to give this some thought.

Gamer considerations. If you are any sort of gamer, then it is highly unlikely that any PCI graphic card will be good enough, as the bandwidth limitation of the PCI bus will be crippling for games. You may be forced then to look only at AGP. BUT if you are NOT a gamer, then it is possible you can consider both PCI and AGP cards.

High Definition Video Considerations. It is almost certain that the CPU on your old PC is not fast enough to play High Definition Video. More and more web sites and indeed more videos, are now being made available as high definition video. More and more digital cameras record High Definition Videos. These will not play with your old CPU. Now it is possible to purchase a graphic card, where with the proprietary graphic card company driver, your PC’s multimedia application will offload the decoding of the video from your computer’s slow CPU to the graphic card’s “Graphic Processor Unit” (GPU), and then you will be able to play some (not all) high definition video on this old PC.

But if you just go purchase any card, there is a strong possibility this (offload of decode from CPU to GPU) will not work. You need to pick a card that supports this.

If you are not interested in playing any High Definition Video, then stop reading my post now. If you are interested, then keep reading.

ATI High Definition Video Decoding. ATI provide the capability for their graphic cards to “offload” the capability for decoding videos from the CPU to the GPU using their AVIVO technology. But that technology is ONLY supported with MS-Windows drivers, and is NOT supported in Linux. But if you boot to windows 1/2 the time, then you will find inexpensive ATI AGP graphic cards that support AVIVO and you will be able to play some high definition videos with those cards (typically H.264 and MS-Windows propietary VC1 codec videos, but NOT mpeg2 video codecs) under MS-Windows (but NOT in Linux).

In summary for ATI, with Linux, you are out of luck with an ATI card to offload the video decoding from the CPU to the GPU.

But there is another disadvantage with ATI. ATI while making more efforts than nVidia to go openSource, do not provide graphic drivers for Linux, that are as good as what nVidia provide for Linux. There are many more cases of ATI graphic card users being upset with Linux drivers than there are of nVidia graphic card users being upset with Linux drivers.

However ATI do have powerful graphic cards for the AGP bus, while nVidia do not.

nVidia High Definition Video Decoding. In the case of nVidia, they have made it possible to offload the decoding of High Definition Video from the CPU to the GPU using a proprietary nVidia standard they call “Pure Video”. Their MS-Windows graphic drivers will support this, and dependant on the nVidia graphic card, there will be different levels of support for “Pure Video”. Take a look at the table in this URL: Nvidia PureVideo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia . The MS-Windows media players “vlc” and “Windows Media player Home Cinema” will use this technology to play back High Definition Videos.

Now in the case of Linux, the “Pure Video” standard is refered to as “VDPAU”, and currently ffmpeg and mplayer can use “VDPAU” to play high definition videos that would not otherwise play. There are on going efforts to update “xine” and “vlc” (in Linux) and also MLT (so that the video editor KDEnlive will be able to use it).

The selection of AGP cards for nvidia with VDPAU capabilities is limited. In fact I have only seen GeForce 6xxxx series for the AGP slot, where the 6xxx series are limited to VP1 (1st generation) capabilities . That means MPEG-1/MPEG-2 decoding, and some added hardware acceleration for VC-1 and H.264 video, though the level of acceleration is limited when benchmarked side by side with MPEG-2 video. The newer generation of nVidia VDPAU capable GPU’s are much faster. So some of these high definition videos will play, but many may not.

For example, I note our local PC store has an GeForce 6200 512MB AGP card for 50 euros. This card should have VP1 (VDPAU) capabilities, and will enable the older PC to play back “some” High Definition Videos on a Linux PC, if the videos are using MPEG1, MPEG2, H264, or VC-1 codec. But if the bit rate is very high, then even that card’s GPU may not be enough. (for example it may play back a 1280x720 @ 25 Mb/sec video, but not play back a 1920x1080 @ 25 Mb/sec video). Without the GeForce 6200, neither of those will play back on an old CPU.

Another possibility, is to purchase a PCI card (and not an AGP). Here you sacrifice the bandwidth of the AGP bus, but with PCI one can find a more capable nVidia card. For example one can purchase a nvidia 8400GS PCI card for around 100 euros (possibly less) that has VP3 support. With VP3 (3rd generation) your PC can off load the deconding of MPEG1, MPEG2, H.264, and VC-1 with much superior decoding over the older VP1.

(However there are some resolution restrictions … ie all current third generation PureVideo hardware (G98, MCP77, MCP78, MCP79, MCP7A) cannot decode H.264 for the following horizontal resolutions: 769-784, 849-864, 929-944, 1009-1024, 1793-1808, 1873-1888, 1953-1968 and 2033-2048 pixels) . Still, those are not common resolutions and they can be avoided.

Plus even that VP3 card, will struggle with the highest 1920x1080 @ 30MB/sec AVCHD videos (which for example the latest Canon SLRs output) and will not play those smoothly.

But the disavantage here, is a PCI card will be slower than the AGP card for games. In fact, you can mostly forget playing games with the PCI card. Also, with a PCI card, while “special desktop effects” will work, it will not be quite as “snappy” as an AGP card (for example I have a nVidia GeForce 8400GS **PCI **card working in 11.2 with "special destkop effects on an athlon-2800 with 2GB RAM and I’m happy with it, but I note it is slightly slower in the desktop than an athlon-1100 with 1GB RAM and a nVidia FX5200 AGP card).

PCI-e bus. As noted, with a PCI-e bus, the world is your “oyster” for graphic card selection, especially if you have the budget. For less than 50 euros you can purchase a PC with a GeForce G210 (for example) that has VP4 support that provides MPEG1, MPEG2, H.264, VC-1 and also has MPEG-4.

But this all boils down to, what are your requirments, and is the play back of AVCHD videos important to you? And what is your budget for this old PC ?

No apology necessary panther86. While not necessarily what I was looking for, your assessment is not far from my own thinking, new is just not an option right now. But, I do have a wish list …heh! I have 11.1 installed and with XP pro in virtual machine. With the addition of another 1G stick of mem and the 3GHz processor this old box muddles along at a surprisingly brisk pace. The 2 PCI slots are full (USB 2.0 6 port and 4 port Firewire cards) so I want to upgrade with the single AGP slot because the on board capabilities are limited and I can hopefully lighten processor load a bit. Read some posts from users that have had video problems and want avoid their pain if I can. I want to do a clean install of 11.2 and needed some help with the features and compatibility issues of a new video card.
Once again I see that oldcpu has answers to questions I wouldn’t think of or know how to ask! Thanks to all of you here I now have more than enough to proceed with some confidence. This is still the best distro and community in the Linux world!

My apologies and a correction to my above post and a word of caution about the GeForce 6xxx cards. While I had read they “may” have Pure Video capabilities, I have also just read that was not extended in the nVidia driver to give VDPAU to Linux. Hence no video processing offload from CPU to GPU possible with nVidia with AGP under Linux.

Plus I am not certain all GeForce 6xxx cards have Pure Video.

For example this following site suggests they are NOT supported by VDPAU: VDPAU - MythTV which states:

 (The 180 series drivers do appear to be usable with non-vdpau capable nvidia GPUs (6200 etc.)) 

I also read posts on the doom9 and nvida forums that state the GeForce 6200 do NOT support VDPAU. Hence one of the big advantages that I had thought existed for using this card is IMHO not there.

Thus the ATI Radeon HD3650 or HD3850 that one can get for the AGP slot from a pure processing point of view (with their excellent AVIVO support under MS-Windows) may be the way to go, if your PC still will boot to MS-Windows. Note there is NO AVIVO support for Linux, nor is any planned.

Of course if one goes ATI, one has to expect more heart burn with Linux in setting up the driver. This unfortunately goes with the ATI and Linux territory.

Also, unfortunately, it appears to me now that there is no GPU offloading possible under an AGP slot for Linux - its only possible for MS-Windows.

Oldcpu - Thanks for the research on my behalf it is appreciated. I’ll do some searching and learn a bit more about things before I begin to upgrade. Having everything on hand makes the process smoother. One more question. Will XP running in a VM be a problem or should I revert to a dual boot config for the Radeon(s) you recommended? Then of course I get to dink around with the ATI drivers for Linux as the case may be?

Update info to others FYI. Make sure you consider cooling and demands on your power supply before you think about an upgrade of or installing a video card. Particularly on work station and smaller form factor boxes. (HP 530sff = 180w … new card = 250w duh!)