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ATI vs. nVidia graphics

On 12/2/2010 5:44 PM, Tom Metro wrote:
> Robert Krawitz wrote:
>> get a laptop with the specs I want (17" WUXGA with AMD graphics
>> -- not 1920x1080, and not nVidia at least until nouveau is reasonably
>> solid...
> Hasn't it been conventional wisdom to go with nVidia graphics over ATI
> for better Linux compatibility? What has changed?
> Or is this purely about limiting yourself to 100% pure open source drivers?

I think it's about open source. NVidia has better proprietary drivers 
(especially high quality 3D support, so gamers and 3D designers are well 
advised to buy NVidia), but ATI has made more information available to 
the open source community and has better open source drivers at this time.

The other caveat about ATI proprietary drivers is that the company has 
been relatively quick to drop driver support of older hardware; NVidia 
is much better about continued support of legacy hardware. (Current 
NVidia drivers support hardware all the way back to the GTX 6000 series; 
ATI drivers don't support anything older than the HD 2000 series.) If 
you're using applications that are likely to require the use of the 
non-open drivers, a laptop with NVidia graphics is likely to have a 
longer useful lifetime if the track records of the companies are any 

I think the question of why 1920x1080 has been answered before... but to 
reiterate, it's all because the TV business is driving the demand for 
displays. Mainstream notebooks have to use the panels that the TV people 
want; any panel that does not have a 16x9 aspect ratio will be a lot 
more expensive because of limited volume. There are still a few business 
laptops with panels in other aspect ratios, and they cost more because 
of it.

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