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nvidia or amd for mini-itx system?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'm just curious what Linux users run in their rigs. I am going with a mini-itx system eventually so I am not looking at a card that is really large.

Also, my budget is limited, unfortunately. I am looking at used and new but since this will be bought in Canada, the choices are rather limited and very slim. That is, finding it used, is difficult and on some sites, gamers are asking for used cards that are almost the same price as new (at least, here). The other problem is when trying to find a card on a site like ebay. I looked but the shipping is almost always cancelling out any good 'set' price (e.g. buy-it-now). I don't think I'll get involved in bidding.

So, the only option is a new card or to stumble upon a good deal but that chance is slim.

I thought, maybe a GTX 750ti. So, can any linux users compare these?:

GTX 750ti, Radeon 7770, R7 265 / 260X - and give your opinions?

It's okay to be a fan of either or to be neutral. I am just wondering what experience you had/have.

I might play some games but I especially need it for video playback.

I am interested in free drivers but I know, for nvidia, they're still very much in progress. They don't compare to the binary yet.

There's pros/cons with each.

As for distro/DE, I am open. I usually use some flavour of Debian and Ubuntu. I tend to boot up Windows once in a while or if a friend/relative asks me something that I need to look up or try on Windows. I was planning on having a dedicated SSD for Windows and one for Linux. Not sure. That's another topic/section though (which SSD-setup and which SSD). smile.gif

My current card is Nvidia (really old Geforce 79xx series card) and I get temps of 47C - 52C. I think the 750ti is usually 27C idle? That's pretty good and the Radeon cards are only a little higher?

I think those, when gaming (on load) don't get too high. Maybe a bit close to my current card at idle?

I like the idea of the AMD Foss drivers but since I like video playback, I'm not sure about the support for hardware acceleration on those cards. I check Debian/Ubuntu/Mint and Phoronix forums but so far, there's a lot of various opinoins. I'll probably lean towards the Nvidia card since the binary driver is up to par and has VDPAU (decent hardware acceleration and options).

However, I hope someone who has a recent Radeon card replies. smile.gif

Thanks for any advice/suggestions.

One last thing, I plan on using the Intel 4600 graphics if I can't decide yet. But, if I get a card now, I can put it in my current system and test it out. The current card is not supported well anymore. It's either open sources or an older binary driver that rarely updates.
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post #2 of 16
I would go with the 750TI. The AMD cards are really overpriced atm, and the 750TI runs much cooler.
post #3 of 16
Being a Linux user since 98' and going through the hell that ATI was, I've always been biased to Nvidia for Linux based systems. The Nvidia Linux drivers are also something like 98% the same as their Windows drivers, so they're relatively complete and full featured drivers. Can't overclock on Fermi based cards though, so if you were looking at overclocking then you'd be out of luck. Or simply just flash the bios with an overclocked one if the card allows.

I have a Mini-ITX system and run a Intel i7-2600k on an Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe with a MSI GTX N760/OC and don't have any complaints. Upgraded from an older EVGA GTX460 SE, plugged it in and with the nvidia drivers already installed from before, it was all ready to go. No extra steps needed to set it up.

The GTX760 will play pretty much any game at high / ultra settings at 1080p and the 750ti shouldn't be too far behind in performance. Definitely still a huge step up from where you're at now either way.



Or, if you haven't gotten the mITX parts yet and want to go even smaller you could look at the Gigabyte Brix series; http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100008345%2050001314&IsNodeId=1&name=GIGABYTE

Currently you can get them with Intel Iris Pro which is pretty amazing for being integrated.

There's also an AMD one with a decent GPU; AMD Radeon R9 M275X
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856164013

And if you want to wait, then theres one coming out with either a 760m or a full desktop 760 ( some people think they forgot to mention "m" but there's now two videos that do it so it's beginning to look like a full desktop 760.. )
http://www.overclock.net/t/1483013/youtube-neweggtv-gigabyte-shows-off-brix-ultra-usff-computer-w-a-gtx-760/0_30

I've personally been looking at grabbing one of the Iris Pro brix but may hold off and grab the 760 one.
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by EpIcSnIpErZ23 View Post

I would go with the 750TI. The AMD cards are really overpriced atm, and the 750TI runs much cooler.

well, that is changing a bit. The pricing was all due to bitcoin yahoos (an actually correct use of the term if you look up the etymology) and now that cryptocoins ar in trouble, they're all dumping em used. I picked up a gigabyte wf7950 on ebay the other day for $160usd because I wanted it to match my other card, but I could have had a sapphire for $135.

The card is being shipped from canada, ironically
Edited by bombastinator - 4/24/14 at 7:40pm
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post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by EpIcSnIpErZ23 View Post

I would go with the 750TI. The AMD cards are really overpriced atm, and the 750TI runs much cooler.

Cooler yes, but AMD card prices have actually crashed back down to normal levels now that the mining craze is over. And the R7 265 spanks the 750ti in performance for the same price.
post #6 of 16
I would totally go Nvidia, despite being an AMD user myself.

my 550 Ti in another machine works like a dream under Slackware.
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post #7 of 16
I'd vote neither and recommend Intel graphics instead.
post #8 of 16
I've got a friend who runs a combination of Linux and various bsds, and according to him the nvidia drivers are so evil to try to make work he has totally given up on them, and will only use radeon. He likes to run weird old hardware and personally compile everything though, so I'm not sure how well this applies to others.
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post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrak View Post

Being a Linux user since 98' and going through the hell that ATI was, I've always been biased to Nvidia for Linux based systems. The Nvidia Linux drivers are also something like 98% the same as their Windows drivers, so they're relatively complete and full featured drivers. Can't overclock on Fermi based cards though, so if you were looking at overclocking then you'd be out of luck. Or simply just flash the bios with an overclocked one if the card allows.

I have a Mini-ITX system and run a Intel i7-2600k on an Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe with a MSI GTX N760/OC and don't have any complaints. Upgraded from an older EVGA GTX460 SE, plugged it in and with the nvidia drivers already installed from before, it was all ready to go. No extra steps needed to set it up.

The GTX760 will play pretty much any game at high / ultra settings at 1080p and the 750ti shouldn't be too far behind in performance. Definitely still a huge step up from where you're at now either way.

Or, if you haven't gotten the mITX parts yet and want to go even smaller you could look at the Gigabyte Brix series; http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100008345%2050001314&IsNodeId=1&name=GIGABYTE

Currently you can get them with Intel Iris Pro which is pretty amazing for being integrated.

There's also an AMD one with a decent GPU; AMD Radeon R9 M275X
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856164013

And if you want to wait, then theres one coming out with either a 760m or a full desktop 760 ( some people think they forgot to mention "m" but there's now two videos that do it so it's beginning to look like a full desktop 760.. )
http://www.overclock.net/t/1483013/youtube-neweggtv-gigabyte-shows-off-brix-ultra-usff-computer-w-a-gtx-760/0_30

I've personally been looking at grabbing one of the Iris Pro brix but may hold off and grab the 760 one.
Those are really cool! I never thought of getting something like that. But, Canada's prices are significantly higher so it's a bit more on the same hardware. Still, the Brix machines are really interesting! I found some other ones. There's one by Zotac that looks pretty good. Anyway, the reviews seem to indicate that it is a bit challenging to cool and reduce noise.

Examples:
http://www.legitreviews.com/gigabyte-brix-pro-review_136711
http://hexus.net/tech/reviews/systems/67173-zotac-zbox-ei750-plus/

I can't help but think that you either A) need to go to a cooler-running cpu or B) need *good* aftermarket cooling for the cpu. This applies to some of the 'steam' boxes and/or other mini-itx cases that are small and similar to these steam box types. What do you think?

I guess if you are not doing heavy gaming or taxing the cpu very often (that is, don't do things that have it constantly at full load), you'd be okay. But, I guess the limited options (replacing fans or coolers?) and limited room can present some obstacles. This is another option, though!

It might be easier for me to build my own, though. The other thing is that these machines use notebook parts. So, you can't easily swap out parts and the memory is laptop memory. So, if upgrading, you might want to consider saving up for a laptop? smile.gif

That Brix Pro is $700 for me (cheaper for those using newegg.com or American online vendors). My current pcpartslist is just under $900.
https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/user/pcrussi/saved/4nLj

I can probably trim that a bit. I also think I realize why the Silverstone RVZ01 (and ML07) is so popular, particularly here. I think I should include that case in my option list if I decide to use individual components and not the bare bones box. Perhaps, I could opt for an 'S' or 'T' cpu to reduce the heat/noise output? I think overclocking in such tight cases increases temps/noise and then you need extra cooling. If going for closed loop cooling, then there is the additional issue or potential problem of having the rad/cooler fit in some of these cases. But, then the cpu is more expensive.

What do you think? smile.gif
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post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by noobee View Post

Those are really cool! I never thought of getting something like that. But, Canada's prices are significantly higher so it's a bit more on the same hardware. Still, the Brix machines are really interesting! I found some other ones. There's one by Zotac that looks pretty good. Anyway, the reviews seem to indicate that it is a bit challenging to cool and reduce noise.

Examples:
http://www.legitreviews.com/gigabyte-brix-pro-review_136711
http://hexus.net/tech/reviews/systems/67173-zotac-zbox-ei750-plus/

I can't help but think that you either A) need to go to a cooler-running cpu or B) need *good* aftermarket cooling for the cpu. This applies to some of the 'steam' boxes and/or other mini-itx cases that are small and similar to these steam box types. What do you think?

I guess if you are not doing heavy gaming or taxing the cpu very often (that is, don't do things that have it constantly at full load), you'd be okay. But, I guess the limited options (replacing fans or coolers?) and limited room can present some obstacles. This is another option, though!

This is the one major trade-off vs a regular desktop class machine. With that amount of power inside of an extremely small box, cooling is going to be an issue but they are still running within their safe alloted tempurate range. The Brix i7 seems to to be the exception to that in that it actually goes beyond it's rated TDP which is an issue since the cooler was only rated for what it was supposed to be.

Same for noise with a machine this small, it really limits the cooling options to the general "blower" style fans found in laptops, video cards, servers, etc. Which... aren't really known for their quietness.

Still though, they are quite nice machine. I have a few similar Mac Mini's along with a couple Intel NUCs that I really do enjoy despite the heat / noise issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noobee View Post

It might be easier for me to build my own, though. The other thing is that these machines use notebook parts. So, you can't easily swap out parts and the memory is laptop memory. So, if upgrading, you might want to consider saving up for a laptop? smile.gif

They use completely custom parts, not notebook parts. The ram is really a non-issue imo. You can find plenty fast SO-DIMM ram with no problem these days. But yes, swapping out the main board, cpu, and graphics cards (where used) will be next to impossible, but that's the trade-off with going so small.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noobee View Post

That Brix Pro is $700 for me (cheaper for those using newegg.com or American online vendors). My current pcpartslist is just under $900.
https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/user/pcrussi/saved/4nLj

I can probably trim that a bit. I also think I realize why the Silverstone RVZ01 (and ML07) is so popular, particularly here. I think I should include that case in my option list if I decide to use individual components and not the bare bones box. Perhaps, I could opt for an 'S' or 'T' cpu to reduce the heat/noise output? I think overclocking in such tight cases increases temps/noise and then you need extra cooling. If going for closed loop cooling, then there is the additional issue or potential problem of having the rad/cooler fit in some of these cases. But, then the cpu is more expensive.

What do you think? smile.gif

Honestly if you go with that motherboard ( same as mine just the next gen ), you might as well spend the little extra for the K series CPU to take advantage. Or vice versa if you go with that CPU you might as well go with a different motherboard. Simply because you have a locked CPU and a board made for overclocking which requires an unlocked CPU. You could use them together, but it would seem like a waste in one direction or the other.

More so if you want to go with a low noise / heat CPU, then that motherboard would be way overkill and a complete waste. And if you go with either an S or T model then I would forgo the H60 as it wouldn't be needed since the SG05 really has no issues with heat at all. You could go with a low profile air cooler and make use of the 2.5/3.5 trays and disc drive ( if you even bother with discs these days, I don't but have found it useful to have one around ).

The SG05 and PSU are good choices, those are what my setup is in and cooling is fantastic. And the H60 will fit just fine ( I use a thicker H80 in mine ). The only downside is that you won't be able to use the DVD/HDD cage.

I can post pictures of my SG05 once I get to my desktop later if you want.
Edited by Shrak - 4/25/14 at 9:57am
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