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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Hardware
Which graphics card for retired gentleman?
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Eathray


Joined: 06 Sep 2009
Posts: 724

PostPosted: Wed 18 Jan 2017, 17:19    Post subject:  Which graphics card for retired gentleman?
Subject description: A card with Linux support for his machine.
 

A while back when an older gentleman friend of mine had his computer die on him, primarily hard drive and power supply, I fixed up his computer and got him going again, using Puppy Linux of course. Gave him some upgrades too, ram etc.

He went and bought himself a large screen recently and asked me to hook it up for him, so I got into it and... His nice new screen has an hdmi port. Yup. his computer doesn't LOL.

So I went to a parts site with something like 30k inventory of graphics cards and asked to be directed to an appropriate card with Linux support for this machine and gave the specs. Got a reply back saying they didn't carry any cards with Linux support. Okay... You have to be beeping kidding me. You have thirty thousand graphics cards and not one of them has a Linux driver? Clearly I was talking to the village idiot at this company.

So... Obviously I can go to a site and buy a graphics card... I'm just a little uncertain what I want for this machine. Can y'all help me find an appropriate card for this particular machine in the US?

Here are the specs:

HP Pavilion Desktop
7750n
AMD 64 Live
Media Center TV PC

Running TahrPup64-605 frugal
4gig ram
3gig swap
300+gig HD

PCI Express 16x card slot

This card is going to push a pretty good sized screen like about 30 inches or so, but the actual usage is not going to be heavy. About the heaviest thing he does is go to YouTube or the like and watch vids forwarded to him by his veteran buddies. He's a senior, doesn't do things like gaming or graphics rendering, etc. Doesn't have to be the most amazing card ever. Just an appropriate card for this gentleman's light usage with an hdmi port.

Thanks in advance

Eathray
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LazY Puppy


Joined: 21 Nov 2014
Posts: 1937
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Wed 18 Jan 2017, 17:40    Post subject:  

What about just to buy an adapter-connector for the graphics card?
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Die etablierten Parteien in Deutschland setzen mathematische Regeln außer Kraft. Zuviele Nullen vor dem Komma - das ist gefährlich.
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p310don

Joined: 19 May 2009
Posts: 1073
Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Wed 18 Jan 2017, 17:44    Post subject:  

Pretty much all cards support linux. Or to put it more correctly, Linux supports most cards.

Personally I have had the most success / experience with Nvidia cards.

I'd suggest that you look more for hardware compatibility with your other hardware, more than worrying about the software. IE, make sure you have the PCIE slot free (you said you did) and make sure the card has an HDMI out (I think they all do).

FWIW, my main machine runs an Nvidia G210 card, the bottom of the line. It plays full HD video no problems (although struggles with 4K), it makes my old games work nicely. My media player machine has on board Nvidia graphics. I think it is lower specced than the G210 and it does all of the above nicely too.
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Eathray


Joined: 06 Sep 2009
Posts: 724

PostPosted: Wed 18 Jan 2017, 17:49    Post subject:  

LazY Puppy wrote:
What about just to buy an adapter-connector for the graphics card?


I hadn't thought of that... How does it plug in? USB? Would it need USB2?

I don't have any reason not to use an adapter. I just thought of the card. When I fixed his machine the first time I didn't upgrade the graphics card, so it seemed like the right move. His card has the cable adapter and so forth which almost nobody uses anymore.

If an adapter would work fine that's great... wouldn't it be preferable to use his pci slot? Or am I mistaken?

Thanks
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Eathray


Joined: 06 Sep 2009
Posts: 724

PostPosted: Wed 18 Jan 2017, 17:55    Post subject:  

Thanks p310don

Yeah, it was a ridiculous reply. I just shook my head... and I gave them the full specs of the machine. The Linux part was just part of the info for the machine. I didn't emphasize Linux in any way.

You mentioned your g210... appropriate for this machine?
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LazY Puppy


Joined: 21 Nov 2014
Posts: 1937
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Wed 18 Jan 2017, 17:57    Post subject:  

That's what I meant by adapter-connector.

There's HDMI to DVI, HDMI to VGA, DVI to VGA etc.pp.

It just connects the new monitor to the graphics card existing in the computer.

I'm using a DVI to VGA graphics adapter to connect my 2nd monitor, so I can use dual monitor setup as one wide screen.

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Die etablierten Parteien in Deutschland setzen mathematische Regeln außer Kraft. Zuviele Nullen vor dem Komma - das ist gefährlich.
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Eathray


Joined: 06 Sep 2009
Posts: 724

PostPosted: Wed 18 Jan 2017, 18:17    Post subject:  

LazY Puppy wrote:
That's what I meant by adapter-connector.

There's HDMI to DVI, HDMI to VGA, DVI to VGA etc.pp.

It just connects the new monitor to the graphics card existing in the computer.

I'm using a DVI to VGA graphics adapter to connect my 2nd monitor, so I can use dual monitor setup as one wide screen.


Oh... gotcha... that would be a ridiculously simple solution, wouldn't it? I guess I didn't think of that because I haven't used an adapter of any kind in a very long time. I will look into that. Thanks
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LazY Puppy


Joined: 21 Nov 2014
Posts: 1937
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Wed 18 Jan 2017, 18:29    Post subject:  

Quote:
Oh... gotcha... that would be a ridiculously simple solution, wouldn't it?

At least it's a low-cost solution.

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Die etablierten Parteien in Deutschland setzen mathematische Regeln außer Kraft. Zuviele Nullen vor dem Komma - das ist gefährlich.
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Eathray


Joined: 06 Sep 2009
Posts: 724

PostPosted: Wed 18 Jan 2017, 19:00    Post subject:  

LazY Puppy wrote:
Quote:
Oh... gotcha... that would be a ridiculously simple solution, wouldn't it?

At least it's a low-cost solution.


Okay, I took a look at my friend's machine and what he's using right now is the vga port built into the mother board. The graphics slot has the audio video cable card in it which is unused. There is a vga to hdmi adapter available in the town close to me... but I'm just a little concerned that it's a vga port for a standard monitor. Do you think stepping up to a giant 30 inch monitor is going to be a heavy load on this machine? I'm just trying to decide if the adapter will do him fine, or should he really have an hdmi graphics card to help push this new load?

What do you think?
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LazY Puppy


Joined: 21 Nov 2014
Posts: 1937
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Wed 18 Jan 2017, 19:13    Post subject:  

I think it doesn't matter if the new screen is 21 inches or 30 inches.

The only issue I can think of:

- probably not all resolutions provided by the monitor will be provided by the older vga graphics card.

That's similar to my monitors and graphics cards.

Since the cheapest hdmi to vga in Germany is at around 3€ (Euro), it should be somehow equal at the your location. Just get the cheapest one for testings. If it won't work just keep it for a probably later use or try to return it to the store (that's usually easy and trouble-free in Germany).

However: if it wouldn't work in general, there wouldn't be any of such adapters.

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RSH

Die etablierten Parteien in Deutschland setzen mathematische Regeln außer Kraft. Zuviele Nullen vor dem Komma - das ist gefährlich.
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Eathray


Joined: 06 Sep 2009
Posts: 724

PostPosted: Wed 18 Jan 2017, 20:01    Post subject:  

LazY Puppy

Okay, I'm going to give it a try before I do the pci card. I'll pick it up tomorrow ($16.00 usd) and give it a try, then report back.

Until tomorrow, thanks all.

Eathray
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bigpup


Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 8957
Location: Charleston S.C. USA

PostPosted: Wed 18 Jan 2017, 20:57    Post subject:  

I am running a 32 inch TV with a very very old Nvidia graphics card.
It works OK.

My only problem is the newest Puppies, using the newest versions of core software.
This old Nvidia driver, that is the last one to support my card, will not work in them or compile.
The last version of Puppy, that I can use this Nvidia driver with, is Tahrpup 6.0.5.

If you decide to go with a new graphics card.
Any of the Nvidia cards is the way to go with Linux.
Good driver support.

If you buy the lowest priced Nvidia card that has HDMI and uses a PCI X16 slot, it will run circles around what is now being used.

You said you put in a new power supply, but not what size. If it is 300W.
Power usage for a Graphics card is something to keep in mind.
The power requirements are all over the place for graphics cards. They may need a lot or very little.
Depends on the card.
Also, the power supply needs to have the needed power connections the graphics card uses.
If it is a new power supply, it probably has what is normal required connectors.

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prehistoric


Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 1659

PostPosted: Wed 18 Jan 2017, 22:25    Post subject:  

By the way there are several versions of this media center PC. I have one handed to me free by the previous owner which has only a VGA output on the back, but others have DVI connectors, and you can do a DVI to HDMI conversion with a dumb adapter, so long as you don't expect it to carry audio signals. I just set up a machine like that for a friend.

There is also a really dumb possibility that the monitor actually can take VGA input through a DB9 connector you've overlooked, which the computer already puts out. The difference in quality may not be important in his case. I've run up to 1920x1080 from VGA, and had some people unable to tell the difference, even if I notice.

Of course, if you know a computer gamer, it is quite likely he has a collection of high-performance graphics cards of yesterday. I got an ATI card that was said to be intermittently defective for free, took it apart, replaced the thermal tape/paste on heatsinks, and have not had a problem with it since. The main reason I'm not using it right now is that the fan is noisy and the card draws more power than I like.

Now that I have the right Nvidia driver for my Geforce 6150 embedded graphics I have no trouble driving a 25 inch display. This is likely to be the same chip set used for that HP Pavilion Desktop 7750n. The n stands for nvidia.

If your retired friend decides to buy a new card he will not need a great deal of performance. Expect to pay about $30 for a reasonable PCI-E card with a gigabyte or two of on-board video memory and an HDMI output. Do not pay extra for later versions of the PCI express standard, this machine will not use them, and will default to lower performance.
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scsijon

Joined: 23 May 2007
Posts: 1219
Location: the australian mallee

PostPosted: Fri 20 Jan 2017, 18:04    Post subject:  

Well, i've an old acer with vga only from the motherboard intel video and it's running a samsung widescreen via vga to hdmi adapter on racy551 and it works ok at full 1920 x1080 at 60hz without any problems. Your using tahr which is later so it should be ok.

I can remember that the only thing I had to do was rerun the video wizard so the video card could download from the monitor the available matrixes and after changing them reboot, don't just test and run as I remember on one box it took a couple of goes to get it right.

OH yes and check your grub (or whatever boot loader) and remove the vga=0x... from the boot line if it's there as it seems to confuse the xorgwizard and then reboot the computer before you start.

And, for referance, i've always had swap as double my ram and double or quad use to be the standard, I find double is usually about right with most systems nowadays even for intensive work (like building a puppy or T2 system) although with 4 gig and not a lot of use you might not even need a swap partition.

regards
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