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I'm attempting to switch from a Win7 system to Ubuntu 11.10 running Unity. My current two gfx cards + two monitors setup is not going to work as I want (multiple x servers), so I want to buy a new single gfx card with two DVI outputs that I hope will simplify things.

I'm a bit overwhelmed by choice though! It seems nVidia is a good option - but which one? I want to spend the least that I need to. I use the machine for development not gaming. And there's plenty of space - I have a tower case.

many thanks

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If you could include the make and model of your two cards into the question, we may be able to produce evidence to persuade you otherwise and reuse your current setup, saving you the money. – aquaherd Dec 4 '11 at 14:50
Hi aquaherd. I have nVidia 9600 and 6200. I've been told that I can get the 6200 to function (it currently doesn't) but it would be under a different X server and therefore have limitations on interaction between the two screens – Darren Dec 7 '11 at 6:44

Here is a list of supported video cards by Ubuntu. I'd definitelly recomand nVidia due to ATI cards having sometimes driver issues in Linux environments. Happy shopping.

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i have two ATI from a long time to now and i have not experienced any trouble with those video cards. Your statement is simply not true, also ATI has a dedicated technology named "Eyefinity" which performs really well and Nvidia does not offers anything similar to that. – Micro Dec 2 '11 at 14:12
Just check out how many questions are on this site related to ATI graphics card not performing well on gnome shell or even unity. I have ATI HD4870 and the gnolm shell dow – bioShark Dec 2 '11 at 14:56
I can say the same for the Nvidia card, also ATI has never released driver that had caused severe damages to the cards like Nvidia did at least twice in the recent past. Most people skip the part about settings and this is why you can read so much about "troubles" with ATI cards, most effects and improvements are disabled by defaults and most of the people think that the drivers are buggy or they under performs when is simply not true and their machines needs only some tuning. – Micro Dec 2 '11 at 15:01
Well, I am happy with my ATI, it performs well in Unity, but buggy in Gnome Shell. The screen flickers. I already asked a question about that and there was no valid answer. Also the card is tuned up in Windows for gaming performances. But since I prefer Unity, it's ok with me. – bioShark Dec 2 '11 at 16:26

I can suggest ATI for 2 main reasons that are related with your case:

  • large, detailed and easy to read documents for the setup under a GNU/linux distribution
  • dedicated Eyefinity technology for multi-monitor support

Also the latest driver have a really good behaviour under Ubuntu and are really well integrated with the package manager thanks to some script already included in the original driver to automatically generate the appropriate .deb packages for your distribution.

I have two ATI card, one for the desktop and one for a mobile solution and both works like a charm under Oneiric and Natty ( and previous releases of Ubuntu ).

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ATI might work but there are much more issues from ATI cards for numerous reasons... One of which being that they do not collaborate with open sourcers. And require to install the proprietary drivers. – RockScience May 26 '14 at 1:42

Quick update on this - I realised I was (as usual) over-complicating things. The 9600 has a DVi and HDMI output on it. Although neither of my monitors has a HDMI port, a cheap HDMI - DVI cable has meant I didn't need a new card after all.

Installing the current version of the NVIDIA drivers gives access to all the settings I need to enable both monitors from the one card, so I'm happily typing this looking at a lovely wide display spread over two screens.

Now there's just the small matter of migrating everything I do from Windows over to Linux! puts beer on ice

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