From: Peter Freddolino (
Date: Thu Jul 05 2007 - 12:41:59 CDT

As a side note to Axel's (excellent) advice, if you have a little more
budget there is something to be said for the G80 generation cards since
they can make use of CUDA (see, which we expect to become
increasingly prominent both in VMD and elsewhere. You lose the price
benefit for going with an older generation chipset though.

Axel Kohlmeyer wrote:
> On Thu, 5 Jul 2007, Ignacio Fernández Galván wrote:
> IFG> Hi all,
> hi ignacio,
> IFG> I'm considering upgrading my workstation, and I'd like to choose a
> IFG> video card that would work nicely with VMD under Linux. Particularly,
> IFG> I'd be interested in volume colouring of isosurfaces, GLSL rendering
> IFG> and, of course, overall performance. Considering the different card
> IFG> features and driver availability, does anyone have any advice on which
> IFG> cards to go for or to run away from? If possible, I'd like more or less
> you are asking for a lot and with linux right now, the only
> sensible option is to get an nVidia card. full GLSL support
> requires a fairly recent card (i've had good experiences with
> G70 generation cards, GeForce7800 GS and Quadro FX4500), and
> in my experience the (much more expensive) quadro cards tend
> to be a bit more reliable. however, bugs in the drivers/cards
> exposed by VMD tend to be showing up and vanish depending on
> the specific driver release, so a consumer model (=GeForce)
> can work just as well, if you put in a little extra for trying
> multiple driver versions. in terms of reliability and budget
> you should stay away from the 'extreme' models. generally a
> second tier chipset of the previous generation seems to provide
> a better price/performance ratio than a budget model of the
> latest generation and will not bother you with excessive heat
> or noise. ...and for linux you don't have to pay attention
> to support for directx v(n+1). ;-)
> as for other options:
> - ATI/AMD cards seem to work occasionally, but VMD triggers a lot
> of bugs in the drivers and ATI/AMDs support for linux is not
> very good.
> - Intel graphics are very basic and do not provide high performance
> for OpenGL (some call them 'graphics decelerators') and not GLSL
> (at least for the ones that i checked). intel has recently started
> to put more effort into supporting their graphics with linux, but
> i suspect it will take a while until it shows, and a budget nvidia
> card will beat those intel chips on any occasion anyways.
> - the rest is not worth thinking about at all.
> cheers,
> axel.
> IFG> normal cards and not professional/expensive/hard-to-find ones.
> IFG>
> IFG> Thanks in advance
> IFG> Ignacio
> IFG>
> IFG>
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