dual monitor, new midrange vid card?

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dual monitor, new midrange vid card?

Postby anomaly65 » Fri May 18, 2012 19:39

Hi all,

not to start a flame war (really!), but I've got a fanless nvidia 9600ish card dual dvi out driving two large LCDs. However, a particular known bug in that series card is that it doesn't/won't power down the monitors, even if you power off the machine. My older 6800GT did so just fine. It's a slightly mentioned issues in numerous linux forums. Main PLUS is that nvidia's twinview has served me well for 7 years or so, no major stumbles. That has been the key to my sticking with nvidia for a long time.

I'm thinking of updating the card, $100-150USD range. I'm not stuck with nvidia, except until the just announced "high priced" cards, current mid class nvidia cards consume MUCH more power than comparable ATI cards (and require fans, and produce more noise).

Anyone HAPPY using a dual monitor setup with something like the AMD's Radeon HD 6770/6850/7750 or similar? Something perhaps via the guide at tomshardware in the price range mentioned. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107-3.html

My 99% use of the desktop is web browsing, email, doc editing and the like. No serious 3D games (a few currently well handled by the 9600GT, one via wine, but nothing my old 6800GT could not handle easily as well).

Primary requirements, "excellent" dual monitor use (dual dvi or hdmi outputs), LOW power, and happy linux drivers from the vendor.

Current desktop is a 2.8Ghz (OC'd to 3.5Ghz; very stable, zero issues with performance or heat) phenom X4 8Gigs ram, 4 quiet/low power HD's (and an SSD for boot drive). a 350W 85% efficient power supply, and it's all very very quiet. Machine usually runs (or sleeps) weeks at a time until new kernel needs a reboot or an old case fan needs replacing:-)

Reason for a new video card? Summer has arrived, and I'd rather the monitors go into powersave properly, while increasing video performance just a bit (i.e. more hardware GPU video decode options, etc).

Any suggestions welcome!
thanks kindly,
andy
Last edited by anomaly65 on Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:14, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: dual monitor, new midrange vid card wanted? suggestions?

Postby Stupot » Fri May 18, 2012 21:58

My work desktop has the AMD Radeon HD 6700 Series with dual monitors. I'm using CentOS with KDE 4.3 and the monitors do correctly go into power saving mode. I am using the fancy compositing graphics and it all works very smoothly.
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Re: dual monitor, new midrange vid card wanted? suggestions?

Postby anomaly65 » Sat May 19, 2012 1:48

Thanks. Makes for an easy decision!
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Re: dual monitor, new midrange vid card wanted? suggestions?

Postby anomaly65 » Sun May 20, 2012 21:26

ok, ordered a radeon 7750 or somethin' like that. fanless, giant heatsink, no external power required;-) thanks for the info "Stupot!" much appreciated.

[ I will post a big "SOLVED" after I install and give the new card a chance. Definitely looking forward to it!]
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Re: dual monitor, new midrange vid card wanted? [Solved]

Postby anomaly65 » Wed May 23, 2012 22:31

I give the ATI/AMD hardware an A. Even without a fan, the heatsink is cool to the touch.

Function of ATI and dual screens plus working with KDE seems to be flawless thus far. wine seems to play a couple 3d eye-candy-heavy board games without issue.

I give nvidia a B+ driverwise, AMD a C maybe. AMD still has some catching up to do, but more features work in the catalyst control center than did much of anything in nvidia-settings, but there are far fewer helpful guides in tuning xorg.conf than for nvidia. some "blips" of random (looks like console text maybe) 2-3 frame flashes on occasion. Videos play remarkably well - near zero CPU utilization, and the 2D video quality is still sharp. (12+ years ago, ATI always had crisp 2d displays due to better ramdac circuitry; nvidia was blurry if you had a 24" CRT in those days).

I suppose my thought is that it now comes down to price, power and form factor. Brand is less relevant ;-) good for all us consumers!
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Re: dual monitor, new midrange vid card wanted? [Solved]

Postby Fitzcarraldo » Thu May 24, 2012 18:34

Don't forget xrandr, which has worked with the closed-source ati-drivers since AMD Catalyst 8.9 came out in September 2008:

AMD Catalyst 8.9 Gets WINE Fix, RandR 1.2 Support

unlike the closed-source nvidia-drivers, which has only just got xrandr support this month:

NVIDIA's 302 Linux Driver Finally Has RandR 1.2/1.3

I actually have a couple of icons on my Desktop to run simple Bash scripts with xrandr commands to do all my monitor switching and toggling. I find it easier and quicker than launching the AMD Catalyst Control Center. xrandr is a piece of cake to use.

As a frequent visitor to these forums, there seem to have been more NVIDIA problems than AMD problems in the last year. Perhaps NVIDIA has taken their eye off the ball a bit. Personally, I've had as much, if not more, problems with NVIDIA GPU drivers in Linux than with AMD GPU drivers. The performance of the FGLRX driver with the ATI Mobilty Radeon 5650 on my main laptop (1920x1080) is excellent, both using the built-in LCD screen and external monitors.
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Re: dual monitor, new midrange vid card wanted? [Solved]

Postby Stupot » Thu May 24, 2012 19:07

I plan on getting an AMD GPU for my next purchase. I agree that AMD has made up quite a bit of ground these past few years. From what I've seen of benchmarks, nVidia can still churn out more FPS than AMD on linux, but not by a difference that will mean anything unless you are doing gaming (which I will do in Windows).

Not to mention, I want to support AMD because I appreciate their business model and pricing.
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Re: dual monitor, new midrange vid card wanted? [Solved]

Postby anomaly65 » Fri May 25, 2012 4:25

if not for AMD and ATI, we'd be buying pentium 4's at 2Ghz right about now, running graphics on nvidia 5700's ;-)
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Re: dual monitor, new midrange vid card? [near-Solved]

Postby anomaly65 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:19

the dual monitor video tearing is really tough to deal with. But, new chipset, will try a few more digs in the configs to see if I can correct, and will post results. have dvi, hdmi, and displayport. have tried all various combos, not a lot of luck.

added/subtracted in xorg.conf in the Device Section:

Code: Select all
 
Section "Device"
        Identifier  "aticonfig-Device[0]-0"
        Driver      "fglrx"
        Option      "XaaNoOffscreenPixmaps" "true"
        Option      "UseFastTLS" "2"
        #Option     "UseInternalAGPGART" "no"
        Option      "TexturedVideo" "on"
        Option      "TexturedVideoSync" "on"
        Option      "TripleBuffer" "True"
        Option      "Monitor-DFP5" "0-DFP5"
        Option      "Monitor-DFP1" "0-DFP1"
        BusID       "PCI:4:0:0"
EndSection


will track down others. (wish the triple buffer option were "real" as that should fix the problem...). thanks for the suggestions.
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Re: dual monitor, new midrange vid card?

Postby anomaly65 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 13:45

video tearing gone as of v 12.6 of the drivers. zero issues of note, other than a still ultra cool, no external power cord video card handling two 28" LCD's. Nice:-)
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