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Graphics card advice????

Hi All,

 

Seeking a little advice from those with some linux knowledge about sourcing a 2nd hand graphic card to enable higher than 640x480 resolution on my ex-XP desk top I resurrected in the last couple of weeks.  The end aim is to have a usable desktop for browsing, emails and maybe even some low res games from yesteryear.

 

My beast of a rig currently features:

 

Athlon X2 4200+ Dual core CPU

2gb DDR2 667 (I couldn't remember clock speeds that low)

240gb SSD

NVidia PNY G210 512kb graphic card (this is where I'd like the advice please of a suitable 2nd hand card please)
 

It is running PoP OS ok so far and later I might see if there is some ancient 2nd hand Ram on ebay I can put in but the problem I have now is graphics card to deal with.  Any advice on which 2nd hand graphics cards are new enough to pull in the correct drivers would be gratefully received.  Not looking for GTX3090 here but more the putrid and sketchy end of the market.

 

This is connected up to my work 24" screen, keyboard and mouse in the weekend so definitely trying to minimise e-waste on this project!  Currently working well enough with 3 browser tabs open and typing this in, I might try a 4th this weekend to stress test the beast!

 

Cheers

 

Fergus

 

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1 hour ago, feralferg said:

Hi All,

 

Seeking a little advice from those with some linux knowledge about sourcing a 2nd hand graphic card to enable higher than 640x480 resolution on my ex-XP desk top I resurrected in the last couple of weeks.  The end aim is to have a usable desktop for browsing, emails and maybe even some low res games from yesteryear.

 

My beast of a rig currently features:

 

Athlon X2 4200+ Dual core CPU

2gb DDR2 667 (I couldn't remember clock speeds that low)

240gb SSD

NVidia PNY G210 512kb graphic card (this is where I'd like the advice please of a suitable 2nd hand card please)
 

It is running PoP OS ok so far and later I might see if there is some ancient 2nd hand Ram on ebay I can put in but the problem I have now is graphics card to deal with.  Any advice on which 2nd hand graphics cards are new enough to pull in the correct drivers would be gratefully received.  Not looking for GTX3090 here but more the putrid and sketchy end of the market.

 

This is connected up to my work 24" screen, keyboard and mouse in the weekend so definitely trying to minimise e-waste on this project!  Currently working well enough with 3 browser tabs open and typing this in, I might try a 4th this weekend to stress test the beast!

 

Cheers

 

Fergus

 

Don't use Nvidia. That's number one. As a former Nvidia user on Linux, I can vouch for this. I've had nothing but issues with any system that had a Nvidia GPU. With Nvidia, you are a second class citizen if you use Linux. So you'll just have issues; with the open or closed source drivers. Go AMD for the GPU. You'll spare yourself a great deal of grief. Even Intel onboard GPUs are better supported than Nvidia.

 

You can get a used AMD card from Kijiji for example for cheap. My mom had a GTX 650 in her TV PC which runs Linux. But it kept locking up the system. Once I got an older AMD HD 1 GB card (for like 30 bucks), it was just plug and play. Then forget it. No screwing with drivers or doing fixes.

 

My mom also had an old Thinkpad that had Nvidia on it. But because the GPU was so old, I couldn't use the legacy driver anymore from Nvidia with any newer kernel. And the open source driver would just cause the system to lock up. So I had to retire that for a used AMD laptop. No more issues and much more responsive. The takeaway from this is, the older the Nvidia GPU, the harder it will be to use on Linux; if not impossible.

 

So for this reason, all of my computers that run Linux all have AMD GPUs (Including my daily driver); or Intel at the very least. But no Nvidia. I avoid Nvidia at all costs.

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Radeon HD 4000 series maybe? Ive used to have an HD4850 and it was a beast for older games, and nowadays are dirt cheap... 

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13 minutes ago, Eferor said:

Radeon HD 4000 series maybe? Ive used to have an HD4850 and it was a beast for older games, and nowadays are dirt cheap... 

This I agree with. I got an HD 6770 for like 30 bucks from Kijiji.

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I think you mean that the card has 512 mb 🙂 It should handle higher resolutions just fine. If it is limited now to vga (640 x 480) it probably is just a driver issue. 

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11 minutes ago, OldTweaker said:

I think you mean that the card has 512 mb 🙂 It should handle higher resolutions just fine. If it is limited now to vga (640 x 480) it probably is just a driver issue. 

I'd still avoid Nvidia altogether. Nvidia can be a huge hassle on Linux.

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9 minutes ago, D-reaper said:

I'd still avoid Nvidia altogether. Nvidia can be a huge hassle on Linux.

I agree. Currently if I buy a graphics card I choose choose AMD as it works out of the box. But to be fair, on distro’s like Ubuntu and its derivatives if you use Nvidia’s proprietary drivers they do work. I have had no issue with my old gtx970 on Ubuntu or Linux Mint. 

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1 hour ago, OldTweaker said:

I agree. Currently if I buy a graphics card I choose choose AMD as it works out of the box. But to be fair, on distro’s like Ubuntu and its derivatives if you use Nvidia’s proprietary drivers they do work. I have had no issue with my old gtx970 on Ubuntu or Linux Mint. 

Funny. Maybe you where just lucky. But I had issues with older GTX cards. Like the 650 (mom's TV PC which I swapped for an AMD HD6770) and 750 ti (My old card; used exclusively for GPU pass through now). Let me give a little on my experiences: tearing, microscopic text issues etc. That, and if I upgraded to a kernel, sometimes, I would have to reinstall the driver because the kernel update would knock out the driver. Also, I had an issue with various games where I couldn't change gamma. This was over the course of 5 years of me using Nvidia with Linux on my personal rig.

 

Once I changed to an AMD RX 570 last year, all those issues on my personal rig just disappeared.

 

In my eyes, Nvidia is useless when running Linux. Not unless you use it for GPU pass through with a Windows VM on top of Linux.

 

On every single system that had Nvidia, and that I used Linux with, I had nothing but issues. My mom's old laptop most recently had a Nvidia GPU. It was so old that even the proprietary driver would no longer work with the current kernels. And the open source driver was not an option. The system would just lock up; just like on my mom's TV PC where I swapped for a used AMD card. So again, I got a system with AMD. A laptop from the recycling place in my city and the issue was fixed. In fact, since I use KDE Plasma on all of my computers, the experience has been much smoother too.

 

Like I said to a lot of people who use Linux and experience issues with Nvidia GPUs; Nvidia treats Linux users as a second class citizen. In fact, it's come to point where they don't care all that much about gamers. If anything, they are on the market to sell primarily to crypto miners.

 

And this is why I'll never support Nvidia ever again. So that F bomb that Linux Torvalds gave to Nvidia is quite relevant to this day. 😂

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14 hours ago, D-reaper said:

t was so old that even the proprietary driver would no longer work with the current kernels.

This is exactly why AMDs drivers being open source and included in the kernel is such a plus! They'll keep working out of the box. Hardware being deprecated by the kernel is very rare, especially for common hardware such as GPUs. 

 

The thing is however, I see people advising to replace their Nvidia cards, when often that is not really needed. If you've already got one I would first see if you can't get to operate properly with the proprietary drivers. In fact when I needed a very simple GPU for a system with a standard Ryzen (with no igpu) I did get a very cheap Nvidia (I think a 710). That machine sees no gaming and the most affordable AMD was at least 3 times as expensive.  

Maybe I should have voted with my wallet and get the AMD, but on Mint with the proprietary drivers it is now doing fine. 

 

As to the question of the OP, I personally would not invest anymore in a machine with just 2GB of memory. Even for web browsing 4Gb is already getting sluggish with all the javascript, where even a light weight distro can't do much. According to Nvidias site, the card (NVidia PNY G210 ) is supported by this driver: https://www.nvidia.com/Download/driverResults.aspx/81761/en-us But the release date is so old you might be right that it will not work with the latest kernels. Maybe it still works with Centos 7, RH is notorious for their ancient kernels 😉 

 

 

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2 hours ago, OldTweaker said:

This is exactly why AMDs drivers being open source and included in the kernel is such a plus! They'll keep working out of the box. Hardware being deprecated by the kernel is very rare, especially for common hardware such as GPUs. 

 

The thing is however, I see people advising to replace their Nvidia cards, when often that is not really needed. If you've already got one I would first see if you can't get to operate properly with the proprietary drivers. In fact when I needed a very simple GPU for a system with a standard Ryzen (with no igpu) I did get a very cheap Nvidia (I think a 710). That machine sees no gaming and the most affordable AMD was at least 3 times as expensive.  

Maybe I should have voted with my wallet and get the AMD, but on Mint with the proprietary drivers it is now doing fine. 

 

As to the question of the OP, I personally would not invest anymore in a machine with just 2GB of memory. Even for web browsing 4Gb is already getting sluggish with all the javascript, where even a light weight distro can't do much. According to Nvidias site, the card (NVidia PNY G210 ) is supported by this driver: https://www.nvidia.com/Download/driverResults.aspx/81761/en-us But the release date is so old you might be right that it will not work with the latest kernels. Maybe it still works with Centos 7, RH is notorious for their ancient kernels 😉 

 

 

Sure. But I've found even for the most basic of things, Nvidia can be a hassle.

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Cheers all I just scored an old MSI R7 240 2Gb card for £24 and swapped it in.  Not a problem since and now able to beam it onto my old TV screen at 1920x1080 which is fine and can now continue the Linux experiment.  My plan is to see if I can stay away from the Window drive sitting in the case and just rely on Linux for the next few months.  If it is a success I can then start looking at building something more punchy (and current) than the old XP based hardware I'm playing with.  Already think of something with 6-8 cores but have no problem eying up the 2nd hand market for both value and to stop e-waste.  Thanks to all for the advice, especially going to something AMD to sort out the immediate resolution issues.

 

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On 12/11/2021 at 1:34 PM, feralferg said:

Cheers all I just scored an old MSI R7 240 2Gb card for £24 and swapped it in.  Not a problem since and now able to beam it onto my old TV screen at 1920x1080 which is fine and can now continue the Linux experiment.  My plan is to see if I can stay away from the Window drive sitting in the case and just rely on Linux for the next few months.  If it is a success I can then start looking at building something more punchy (and current) than the old XP based hardware I'm playing with.  Already think of something with 6-8 cores but have no problem eying up the 2nd hand market for both value and to stop e-waste.  Thanks to all for the advice, especially going to something AMD to sort out the immediate resolution issues.

 

very good choice. Allows to use more or less modern drivers, unlike the HD4000 suggestion.

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I think I may have a problem, I need to stay away from auction sites..... I went browsing on Ebay and found a Phenom X4 9850 + 8Gb (4 x 2gb sticks) DDR2 ram for £22. Arrived today in the mail CPU had a couple of bent pins, carefully straightened them and swapped it in and could only fit 2 of the ram sticks as my ancient motherboard only has 2 slots.  New thermal paste and now rocking an ancient quad core & 4gb ram instead of the Athlon dual core and 2gb ram...I need to stay off Ebay...either that or lock away my wallet.

PoP OS appears a little snappier and downloading the latest OS updates was much faster.  The experiment continues...

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