Gordon Dexter on 29 Apr 2009 23:34:04 -0700

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[PLUG] The state of ATI vs. nVidia on Linux

I'm preparing a parts list for a new computer.  Among the many decisions 
I have to make (Core 2 vs Core i7, Gigabyte vs. Asus vs... you know, all 
that), one stands out as being particularly suited for this list.  I 
plan on primarily using Linux on the new computer, (probably Ubuntu) and 
was trying to decide on a graphics card.

As far as I know:
*ATI has a really terrible binary blob driver, which is hard to get 
working and even harder to get working with dual-monitor setups.
*nVidia has a better binary blob, which I've used in dual-screen setups 
and it works pretty well
*nVidia open source drivers are generally lacking.  No 3D support, etc
*ATI open source drivers are lacking as well, but are being rapidly 
improved upon with ATI's release of the specs

In general, what are you choosing these days?  The more principled ATI, 
since they released their specs?  Or the generally more practical 
nVidia?  How good are ATI's open source drivers, and how much are they 
expected to be improved upon in the short- and long-term?

What would you advise in my case?  I have nothing in particular against 
binary blob drivers as long as they're easy to get working and they work 
well.  I consider dual-screen support a must-have.  3D acceleration 
isn't as important, but still desired.  As much as I love tinkering, I 
don't have a particular desire to spend hours getting my video to work.  
What's your advice?


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