video card for new computer

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video card for new computer

Stuart McGraw
Hello all,



I am looking at buying a replacement for my 10-year old desktop

computer.  In the past I have had machines with integrated Intel

graphics and never had any problems.  The new machine I am thinking

of (HP Z440 workstation) seems to offer only a separate video

card, either Nvidia or AMD Firepro as options.  I read there is
a choice (at least for some, all?) of the nvidia cards between
proprietary and OSS drivers but I'm not sure about the tradeoffs.
However, I have frequently seen posts with subjects like "after
the last kernel upgrade I have a black screen".  I am looking
for advice as to what to choose that will provide the greatest
likelihood of drama-free operation and upgrades.  Here are
the options (some are probably out of my price range):



  FirePro W2100, W4300, W5100, W7100

  Nvidia Quadro K420, K620, K1200, K2200, K4200, K4200SD1,

    M2000, M4000, M4000SD1, P1000

  Nvidia NVS 310, 315, 510



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?



My primary desire is no hassles, performance is second but not
irrelevant.
  (Xubuntu-17.10 if it matters)


Thanks for any advice!



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Re: video card for new computer

Ralf Mardorf-2
On Thu, 14 Dec 2017 01:05:13 -0700, Stuart McGraw wrote:
>Are Nvidia cards easier to deal with in general than
>AMD, or visa versa?

Consider to stay with Intel.

However, there's an ATI issue
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/AMD_Catalyst#Xorg_repositories and
if there should be an upgrade available, working with xorg of your
choice, than your ATI card might not be supported anymore. In my
experiences NVIDIA doesn't drop older cards. Using the FLOSS driver for
ATI and NVIDIA - I often had no other choice than using the FLOSS
driver - 3D desktop environments might not work. Rt-patched kernels at
least caused issues in the past, when using NVIDIA graphics, let alone
that AMD CPUs also could cause issues with patched kernels.

I migrated from AMD CPUs with ATI and NVIDI cards to an Intel CPU with
an Intel graphics.


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Re: video card for new computer

Xen
In reply to this post by Stuart McGraw
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.

However,

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
greater.


[1]
https://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-hardware-18/amd-firepro-w2100-on-dell-poweredge-t430-with-ubuntu-14-04-card-not-talking-to-monitor-4175573118/

[2] https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=228808
-----------------------------------------
[3]

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.
------------------------------------------


[4]

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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Re: video card for new computer

Xen
In reply to this post by Ralf Mardorf-2
Ralf Mardorf schreef op 14-12-2017 9:43:

> On Thu, 14 Dec 2017 01:05:13 -0700, Stuart McGraw wrote:
>> Are Nvidia cards easier to deal with in general than
>> AMD, or visa versa?
>
> Consider to stay with Intel.
>
> However, there's an ATI issue
> https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/AMD_Catalyst#Xorg_repositories and
> if there should be an upgrade available, working with xorg of your
> choice, than your ATI card might not be supported anymore.

The cards he mentions are 'supported' by the newer AMDGPU-Pro and Radeon
drivers but there is still a huge amount of issues, particularly with
newer kernels.

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Re: video card for new computer

Stuart McGraw
In reply to this post by Ralf Mardorf-2
On 12/14/2017 01:43 AM, Ralf Mardorf wrote:

> On Thu, 14 Dec 2017 01:05:13 -0700, Stuart McGraw wrote:
>> Are Nvidia cards easier to deal with in general than
>> AMD, or visa versa?
>
> Consider to stay with Intel.
>
> However, there's an ATI issue
> https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/AMD_Catalyst#Xorg_repositories and
> if there should be an upgrade available, working with xorg of your
> choice, than your ATI card might not be supported anymore. In my
> experiences NVIDIA doesn't drop older cards. Using the FLOSS driver for
> ATI and NVIDIA - I often had no other choice than using the FLOSS
> driver - 3D desktop environments might not work. Rt-patched kernels at
> least caused issues in the past, when using NVIDIA graphics, let alone
> that AMD CPUs also could cause issues with patched kernels.
>
> I migrated from AMD CPUs with ATI and NVIDI cards to an Intel CPU with
> an Intel graphics.

Thank you Ralf and Xen, that was really useful info.

I think I will take your advice and stick with Intel graphics for now
and look for a machine that supports it.  Actually I spent all day doing
just that and have a couple options that I like as well or better than
my original choice :-)

In the unlikely event I become a hard core gamer in the future I'll
worry about getting some high performance graphics then...





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Re: video card for new computer

Xen
Stuart McGraw schreef op 15-12-2017 8:18:

> In the unlikely event I become a hard core gamer in the future I'll
> worry about getting some high performance graphics then...

Sounds like a shame...

You won't become a hardcore gamer if you can't run any games ;-).

I was not meaning to say that nVidia is a bad choice. In fact, it is a
good choice.

But it's true I think that what Ralf says that for a minimum of hassles
it is always safer to be Intel now.

At the same time maybe having to depend on external graphics is a
liability...

I just think you are taking a safe road you are less enthusiast about!

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Re: video card for new computer

Ralf Mardorf-2
Btw. there is a similar thread at
https://lists.linuxaudio.org/pipermail/linux-audio-user/2017-December/thread.html#start ,
see the thread "[LAU] Christmas present for self", for at least one
very good argument contra Intel, pro AMD: "Intel may be market leader,
but without AMD it would be an ugly market."


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Re: video card for new computer

Xen
Ralf Mardorf schreef op 15-12-2017 14:16:
> Btw. there is a similar thread at
> https://lists.linuxaudio.org/pipermail/linux-audio-user/2017-December/thread.html#start
> ,
> see the thread "[LAU] Christmas present for self", for at least one
> very good argument contra Intel, pro AMD: "Intel may be market leader,
> but without AMD it would be an ugly market."

Hey I'm a AMD fanboy.

But he already was looking at an Intel CPU workstation.

My AMD GPU (onboard) 780G or 785G has always worked fine in Linux with
never an issue.

I am not sure I ever installed graphics drivers for that...

I'm also not sure what will happen today with such a motherboard.

But, they merged CPU and GPU which I think is a very bad idea because it
is only useful for video acceleration and not for gaming, because any
APU is not good enough and it takes out the fun of buying a graphics
card, and you now cannot upgrade your CPU without your GPU and vice
versa.

I thought motherboard GPU was a much better solution.

I avoid APUs.

Also I didn't like the merger of AMD and ATI and they also still operate
as separate teams with separate cultures.

So, for me that day meant that I grew less fond of ATI graphics
cards.... (AMD now).

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Re: video card for new computer

Ralf Mardorf-2
On Fri, 15 Dec 2017 18:14:35 +0100, Xen wrote:
>they merged CPU and GPU which I think is a very bad idea

As Intel does as well.

[root@archlinux ~]# hwinfo --cpu | grep -m1 Model
  Model: 6.60.3 "Intel(R) Celeron(R) CPU G1840 @ 2.80GHz"

"Processor Graphics indicates graphics processing circuitry integrated
into the processor"
https://ark.intel.com/products/80800/Intel-Celeron-Processor-G1840-2M-Cache-2_80-GHz#tab-blade-1-0-4
https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000005718/processors.html



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Re: video card for new computer

Xen
Ralf Mardorf schreef op 15-12-2017 18:49:

> On Fri, 15 Dec 2017 18:14:35 +0100, Xen wrote:
>> they merged CPU and GPU which I think is a very bad idea
>
> As Intel does as well.
>
> [root@archlinux ~]# hwinfo --cpu | grep -m1 Model
>   Model: 6.60.3 "Intel(R) Celeron(R) CPU G1840 @ 2.80GHz"
>
> "Processor Graphics indicates graphics processing circuitry integrated
> into the processor"

Yes I know, or I remember, but the Intel ones are not considered very
capable, so at least the aspect of "quite capable, but never good
enough" is left out.

I don't want to sit in the position where my APU gets me 80% of the way
there, but not quite.

And then I still have to buy a graphics card, but now I actually have
two.

Also I don't know about... I think that those APU motherboards also
support non-APU, which means that if you plug something like that in,
you won't have a GPU.

I want stuff to be independent so I have the highest amount of choice.



If you want any analogy from Japan...

There is a temple, I don't know where, that is like a tower and this
tower is made of wood.

It was said... the temple was made of wood because the builders wanted
it to be transient, perishable.

The tower has an architectural design that protects against strong winds
that no one understands, it was said. Modern architects cannot reproduce
it or why it works.

There is a people somewhere in south-east Asia that build their houses
on poles entirely from wood without using any screws. They can take
their homes apart in to pieces, transport it, and rebuild it again.

Through clever woodworking they don't need any metal or glue-like
bindings.

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Re: video card for new computer

Liam Proven
In reply to this post by Xen
On 15 December 2017 at 18:14, Xen <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> But, they merged CPU and GPU which I think is a very bad idea because it is
> only useful for video acceleration and not for gaming, because any APU is
> not good enough

Speak for yourself. For the very occasional level of gaming I do,
onboard GPUs are more than enough. I have several games on this Mac
and I play them using my on-CPU graphics, because I have no GPU and no
way of adding one... which is fine, because I don't want or need one.

It plays Portal & Portal 2, the only games I've played in years.


> and it takes out the fun of buying a graphics card,

Fun? O_o

> and you
> now cannot upgrade your CPU without your GPU and vice versa.

That's not true.

You can add a graphics card, or even multiple ones, and the on-board
GPU just gets disabled.

So such machines are every bit as upgradable as those with no GPU.

> I thought motherboard GPU was a much better solution.

Then you can't upgrade it at all, ever. You can _replace_ it with a
separate card, but not take it out and put a better one.

> I avoid APUs.

Honestly, after the Intel management code debacle, I am considering an
AMD for next time.

> Also I didn't like the merger of AMD and ATI and they also still operate as
> separate teams with separate cultures.

Mostly, agreed.

> So, for me that day meant that I grew less fond of ATI graphics cards....
> (AMD now).

Don't care about that.

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Re: video card for new computer

Ralf Mardorf-2
In reply to this post by Xen
On Fri, 15 Dec 2017 19:53:56 +0100, Xen wrote:
>Through clever woodworking they don't need any metal or glue-like
>bindings.

That applies on Western/European woodwork, too. Blockhouses are known
since the Bronze Age around 2000/3000 years before Christ and are still
popular nowadays for several good reasons. The knowledge isn't lost.


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Re: video card for new computer

Compdoc@hotrodpc.com
In reply to this post by Xen
On 12/15/2017 10:14 AM, Xen wrote:

> because any APU is not good enough and it takes out the fun of buying
> a graphics card

In a laptop, an APU might be fast enough and cheap enough to make
someone a decent computer. The cpu part wont be as fast as intel, but
they say the gpu part is capable. Without an onboard gpu, you're forced
to buy a vid card in either Intel or AMD systems.

I use a couple of apu systems as front-ends for a mythtv server. The
APUs playback HD recordings on my 50" TVs with no problems. The picture
is beautiful.

By the way, you can always add a pci-e video card to an APU desktop, if
thats what you mean. I'd love the chance to use a Ryzen in a KVM vm
server because all those cores, Multi-Threading, and low tdp. But the
lack of a gpu means I have to waste a pci-e slot, and that keeps me from
buying.

anyway, it seems to me that whether an APU is good enough or not, all
depends on use case. Their upcoming APUs based on Ryzen sound very
interesting to me.

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Re: video card for new computer

Stuart McGraw
In reply to this post by Xen
On 12/15/2017 02:15 AM, Xen wrote:
> Stuart McGraw schreef op 15-12-2017 8:18:
>
>> In the unlikely event I become a hard core gamer in the future I'll
>> worry about getting some high performance graphics then...
>
> Sounds like a shame...
>
> You won't become a hardcore gamer if you can't run any games ;-).

I heard that games these days are like heroin, once you start pretty soon you are hooked and then you end up buying $3000 video cards and can't live without the latest maximally over-clocked cpus, weirdly angled computer cases with big windows and internal blue and purple LEDS, water cooled heatsinks, etc.  Addicts even get so degraded they resort to using Windows! :-)

> I was not meaning to say that nVidia is a bad choice. In fact, it is a good choice.
>
> But it's true I think that what Ralf says that for a minimum of hassles it is always safer to be Intel now.
>
> At the same time maybe having to depend on external graphics is a liability...

That's why I want something with plain old boring under-performant intel graphics.  I can always add a fancy amd or nvidia card later but I'll have a fallback in case there are problems.

> I just think you are taking a safe road you are less enthusiast about!

Getting a new, reasonably high-performing computer makes me enthusiastic enough! :-)


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Re: video card for new computer

Ralf Mardorf-2
In reply to this post by Compdoc@hotrodpc.com
Xen's point is, that if you already own an integrated graphics that is
quite good and expensive, you less likely will pay for an additional
super graphics that require 72 fans, even if it would be better
regarding your needs. Loss of the x16 PCIe slot usually isn't an issue.


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Re: video card for new computer

Liam Proven
On 15 December 2017 at 20:58, Ralf Mardorf <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Xen's point is, that if you already own an integrated graphics that is
> quite good and expensive, you less likely will pay for an additional
> super graphics that require 72 fans, even if it would be better
> regarding your needs. Loss of the x16 PCIe slot usually isn't an issue.

But integrated graphics _aren't_ very expensive. They're always
relatively low-end offerings. High-end CPUs have no GPU, and high-end
(& even medium-spec) GPUs don't get integrated into CPUs. Mainly
because of heat output.

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Re: video card for new computer

Ralf Mardorf-2
In reply to this post by Ralf Mardorf-2
On Fri, 15 Dec 2017 20:58:46 +0100, Ralf Mardorf wrote:
>Xen's point is, that if you already own an integrated graphics that is
>quite good and expensive, you less likely will pay for an additional
>super graphics that require 72 fans

or alternatively

On Fri, 15 Dec 2017 12:53:16 -0700, Stuart McGraw wrote:
>blue and purple LEDS

with

>water cooled heatsinks

for the graphics.




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Re: video card for new computer

Ralf Mardorf-2
In reply to this post by Stuart McGraw
On Fri, 15 Dec 2017 12:53:16 -0700, Stuart McGraw wrote:
>That's why I want something with plain old boring under-performant
>intel graphics.  I can always add a fancy amd or nvidia card later but
>I'll have a fallback in case there are problems.

Good point!

When I owned just a CRT monitor my fallback was "vesa" what ever
graphics I used, for my LED monitor falling back to "vesa" might be
much too unpleasant.


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Re: video card for new computer

Xen
In reply to this post by Compdoc@hotrodpc.com
compdoc schreef op 15-12-2017 20:36:

> But the
> lack of a gpu means I have to waste a pci-e slot, and that keeps me
> from buying.

That's because they've dropped onboard GPU as a result of this, and this
now bites you.

That's what I was talking about. Had they not had those APUs, there
would be many more motherboards with onboard graphics.

Maybe there aren't even any anymore.

Before, it was dead easy to have a multi-GPU system at no extra cost.

Now, you need an APU for that, so your choices are vastly reduced.

It's now the choice between Ryzen + discrete GPU, or APU.

This means you cannot easily move from one solution to another.

Not unless you buy both (APU and discrete GPU) but that doesn't make
much sense either, because if you are going to go discrete anyway, you
might as well go CPU, thereby losing the flexibility.

80% of motherboards used to have onboard GPU.

Now none have it, and you see what results from that.

You just got bitten by that thing you think is good.

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Re: video card for new computer

Ralf Mardorf-2
On Fri, 15 Dec 2017 21:35:22 +0100, Xen wrote:
>> But the lack of a gpu means I have to waste a pci-e slot, and that
>> keeps me from buying.  
>
>That's because they've dropped onboard GPU as a result of this, and
>this now bites you.

An onboard GPU also needs to use a bus, it just doesn't require a
socket.


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