So I was sick of the crashes in the NVidia driver. Nouveau wasn’t that good. Maybe someday it will be, but its really not that useful to me.
So I opted for an ATI W5000 card.
Initial install was rocky. The card used VESA drivers, and that was fine for initial boot. Accelerated drivers … didn’t. They were slower than the VESA drivers. Window movements were jerky. It felt … wrong … somehow.
Google my problems, and I find this obscure reference to a problem I should not be having.
The fixes are below for /etc/X11/xorg.conf, and they go in the device section.
### tuning c.f. http://www.linuxinsight.com/your-ati-radeon-very-slow-on-xorg-x-server-1.3.html
Option "AccelMethod" "EXA"
Option "MigrationHeuristic" "greedy"
Option "AccelDFS" "true"
Option "EnablePageFlip" "true"
Option "EnableDepthMoves" "true"
Option "GLXVBlank" "True"
After this, everything worked nicely. Once the two HP displays was underscanned, so I fixed it with the GUI tool.
Now I’ve got a dual monitor accelerated Linux rig for day to day use. VirtualBox and other tools are nice and fast on it (some SSD goodness within it). A little storage … like 6TB of RAID10 … as well.
So all in all, I’d rate the ATI as being an OK experience so far. A little rocky to get started, but once it was up, it was stable, especially in comparison with the NVidia stuff.
Now of course, I still have the Mac Mini on the desk, and that is sharing the monitor and keyboard/mouse/audio/USB via a StarTech 2 port dual DVI USB KVM switch. So I can switch back and forth with ease.