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Switching from Nvidia to ATI 
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Post # 289603
Post Switching from Nvidia to ATI
I am currently using Nvidia with Mepis 11, works perfectly.

However, I want to try out an ATI video card and I'm not sure what I need to do first.

I remember vaguely when using another Linux distro I had to configure the Xorg to keep from booting to a black screen.
It was a few years ago and I don't remember the exact procedure.

Will I be able to simply switch the video cards and then boot normally to the GUI? Or do I need to reconfigure something first?
Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. I don't know as much as I should about Linux, but with clear instructions from helpful
people, I have been able to solve issues in PCLinux OS and Mint in the past.


Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:40 am
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Post # 289606
Post Re: Switching from Nvidia to ATI
I am using a radeon card.

Stick it in there (after backing up everything), boot the livecd.

If it doesn't boot correctly to the login, then at the screen where you can pick which option, press tab and add radeon.modeset=0 (that is a zero) to the boot line.

Once you can get that to boot.. umm.. *points at those more experienced*

back when you could put xorg back, I think now you need to install keeping /home, however.. I don't think that is all of it.

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Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:46 am
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Post # 289609
Post Re: Switching from Nvidia to ATI
I'd try sgfxi: http://www.mepis.org/docs/en/index.php?title=Smxi
Follow the directions carefully. If you lose your Internet connection outside of the GUI there are directions on how to work around that problem.

Image your installation first.

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Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:02 am

lucky9 thanked by: iridesce
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Post # 289610
Post Re: Switching from Nvidia to ATI
Also note that sgfxi may not work, it ruined my tvtime watching ability. I had choppy images, nothing in the settings that could sort it, except an install without running sgfxi.

So.. it is not a begin all end all, and you need to test if things YOU want to use will still work.

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Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:12 am
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Post # 289612
Post Re: Switching from Nvidia to ATI
I think I should go to bed. I missed a simple solution to get Mepis booted from the GRUB boot screen. See here: http://www.mepis.org/docs/en/index.php?title=Cheatcodes
Use the xdrvr=radeon confx in the boot parameters on the GRUB boot screen. You can edit the /boot/grub/menu.lst file to add it using the LiveDVD if you wish so it will be permanent. The open source radeon driver will give about 70-80 percent of the ATI proprietary driver without much hassle.

For the proprietary driver you'll need to use the ATI method or sgfxi. And/or (maybe) the radeon.modeset=0 cheat that Eadwine Rose gave you.

Now I am off to bed.

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Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:44 am

lucky9 thanked by: Eadwine Rose
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Post # 289629
Post Re: Switching from Nvidia to ATI
gitsum wrote:
I am currently using Nvidia with Mepis 11, works perfectly.

However, I want to try out an ATI video card and I'm not sure what I need to do first.


Why in the world would you want to do that? The consensus is that while it's much better than in the past, nVidia support in Linux is superior to ATI.

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Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:27 am
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Post # 289631
Post Re: Switching from Nvidia to ATI
No xorg.conf should be needed to use the radeon driver, and creating an xorg.conf with the xdrvr=radeon confx cheats sometimes creates other problems for some people. Some of the problems you might get would include not being able to get the display resolution you want.

If you have problems delete or rename the existing /etc/X11/xorg.conf and try without it.
{ I wish Warren had a noxorg cheat that would delete or rename xorg.conf, I think antiX does }


Last edited by kmathern on Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:01 pm
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Post # 289634
Post Re: Switching from Nvidia to ATI
uncle mark wrote:
The consensus is that while it's much better than in the past, nVidia support in Linux is superior to ATI.


Really?

Just wondering if this is truly the case.

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Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:10 pm
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Post # 289648
Post Re: Switching from Nvidia to ATI
Yes, and no...

Linux support using the proprietary Nvidia driver is overall better than using the proprietary ATI driver. In particular, Nvidia supports drivers for older cards much longer than ATI does, although both companies do end support at some point.

Far more ATI cards get usable Direct Rendering using the free radeon driver than Nvidia cards that get usable Direct Rendering under nouveau.

Those ATI cards that work properly with radeon tend to do so with no setup of any kind - they Just Work.

MEPIS's OOTB support for the proprietary Nvidia driver tends to mask the issue for most users.

I used to avoid ATI cards because of poor Linux support. I don't anymore. It really depends on the particular card these days.

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Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:36 pm Profile
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Post # 289655
Post Re: Switching from Nvidia to ATI
gitsum wrote:
I am currently using Nvidia with Mepis 11, works perfectly.

However, I want to try out an ATI video card and I'm not sure what I need to do first.


Why (since you say that Nvidia "works perfectly")? :-)

I don't know about any of the higher end cards. But with the latest proprietary drivers (using sgfxi to install them), I'd get crummy flash playback with stuttering, etc. with one PC I have using integrated ATI graphics. The open source drivers actually worked better (and I switched back to them after too much frustration with the proprietary drivers, which were installed via sgfxi).

Eventually, I just bought an Nvidia GT 440 based card to use in it instead, and it works fine with Nvidia's proprietary drivers in Mepis 11.

Now, this might change as time passes and more apps code using OpenCL. But, a lot of applications are making use of CUDA (proprietary to Nvidia chipsets). So, nothing against ATI, but even if you're using Windows versus Linux, Nvidia is probably a better way to go right now with apps making use of GPU acceleration. For example, Adobe's latest Photoshop Premiere versions support what they call the Mercury Playback Engine using CUDA (but, those features are not available for users of non Nvidia chipsets), and some of the projects using the BOINC (Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing) client can make use of Nvidia cards via CUDA under either Linux or Windows, but can't yet use GPU acceleration with ATI cards.


Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:20 pm
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