So I was sick of the crashes in the NVidia driver. Nouveau wasn’t that good. Maybe someday it will be, but its really not that useful to me.
So I opted for an ATI W5000 card.
Initial install was rocky. The card used VESA drivers, and that was fine for initial boot. Accelerated drivers … didn’t. They were slower than the VESA drivers. Window movements were jerky. It felt … wrong … somehow.
Google my problems, and I find this obscure reference to a problem I should not be having.
The fixes are below for /etc/X11/xorg.conf, and they go in the device section.
### tuning c.f. http://www.linuxinsight.com/your-ati-radeon-very-slow-on-xorg-x-server-1.3.html ### tuning Identifier "amdcccle-Device-0" Driver "fglrx" Option "AccelMethod" "EXA" Option "MigrationHeuristic" "greedy" Option "AccelDFS" "true" Option "EnablePageFlip" "true" Option "EnableDepthMoves" "true" ### Option "GLXVBlank" "True" ###
After this, everything worked nicely. Once the two HP displays was underscanned, so I fixed it with the GUI tool.
Now I’ve got a dual monitor accelerated Linux rig for day to day use. VirtualBox and other tools are nice and fast on it (some SSD goodness within it). A little storage … like 6TB of RAID10 … as well.
So all in all, I’d rate the ATI as being an OK experience so far. A little rocky to get started, but once it was up, it was stable, especially in comparison with the NVidia stuff.
Now of course, I still have the Mac Mini on the desk, and that is sharing the monitor and keyboard/mouse/audio/USB via a StarTech 2 port dual DVI USB KVM switch. So I can switch back and forth with ease.