Want to move over to linux, have some ideas but unsure of a few things
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deama 31 Oct, 2021
So I've been doing some thinking and research and wanted to move over to linux when I build a new computer from scratch, however I am having trouble on deciding if I should go for an Nvidia GPU or AMD GPU.

Here is the linux distro I'm planning on going for, and what I'll be doing with it, hopefully it will give more information on what is right for me:

--I'll be going for crunchbang++, a close debian fork with just some changes to the front-end. It uses just a window manager (openbox) with a few tweaks.

--I'll be installing a low latency kernel, most probably liquorix, so in this case I'll probably be at the latest kernel version, even if I'll be on debian.

--I'll be generally using the computer for multimedia purposes, so I'll be web browsing, watching movies, playing games (both old, sometimes very old, and sometimes new, though generally not very new, sometimes), recording videos, may or may not do streaming, and may or may not do machine learning stuff (have done it before).

--Might host servers for games, e.g. minecraft server, terraria server, etc...

--I won't be using gsync or freesync, I also won't be using a multi monitor setup.

--I'm not going to use DLSS, though I will probably use FSR.

--I'll be on a 4k 120hz display that supports 10-bit colour.

--Not going to be using ray tracing.

--I will be doing some overclocking/tuning, so I'm not sure how good the tools are for nvidia or AMD, but I would like to basically pick a set voltage, and freeze the core clock (and memory clock) at a specific mhz, even on idle.

So which one? Nvidia or AMD?

I'm also curious about whether intel or AMD? I currently have a ryzen 3600 and have had intel 4th gen before that, stick with AMD cpu or try out intel for linux?

Last edited by deama on 1 November 2021 at 7:36 am UTC
damarrin 31 Oct, 2021
Nvidia.

Or Amd.

Or Intel.

It's all good, really.

You can always run into problems, the probability is roughly equal for each of them.
Xpander 1 Nov, 2021
doesnn't really matter much which one to get these days. which you you get for a non absurd price is the bigger question i guess. Video recording can be a bit pain on AMD though, depending. Nvenc is just so much better when it comes to recording videos. Same with cuda stuff.
Shmerl 1 Nov, 2021
For GPUs, If you can get anything at least, get an AMD. They have upstream kernel support and open source bug reporting culture, that you can participate in both for kernel driver (amdgpu) and OpenGL / Vulkan ones (in Mesa).

Some don't realize this right away, but it's a stark contrast with blob support culture where bug reports aren't public. You won't feel any motivation contributing to the latter.

And bugs can happen anywhere, no matter what GPU you get.

For CPUs, I think AMD are just better today. Intel are trying to catch up so far.

Have fun using Linux!

Last edited by Shmerl on 1 November 2021 at 3:32 am UTC
Alm888 1 Nov, 2021
Quoting: deamaSo which one? Nvidia or AMD?
Whichever you do have right now, or whichever is available at a reasonable price.
deama 1 Nov, 2021
Ok, what if price/availability wasn't a factor, which one then?
tuubi 1 Nov, 2021
As you probably noticed, you won't get a consensus on the GPU. For what it's worth, I'd recommend AMD based on my own experiences.
minfaer 1 Nov, 2021
There can indeed be endless discussions about the GPU vendor, but I would definitely recommend AMD especially if you want to install a custom kernel that closely follows mainline. The closed source driver of Nvidia by nature needs to be developed seperately from the kernel and thus can sometimes break on kernel updates until it has been adjusted for the new kernel.

Intel and AMD otoh have their drivers in-tree, so that cant happen.

Seeing your plans in general, do you have experience with linux? If not, it is quite ambitious to go for a niche distro and install a custom kernel - especially since you didn't mention any work that profits from low-latency like audio recording, and the use for gaming is questionable.
Shmerl 1 Nov, 2021
Quoting: deamaOk, what if price/availability wasn't a factor, which one then?

Judging by your display, you need most high end GPUs if you want to benefit from that refresh rate and 4K. So for AMD you can get RX 6800 XT or 6900 XT.

Personally I like Sapphire, they have very good and quiet cooling design in their models.

Does your monitor support adaptive sync?

Last edited by Shmerl on 1 November 2021 at 6:22 pm UTC
denyasis 1 Nov, 2021
Both Nvidia and AMD work just fine for the end user when installed properly.


If you're intent on a more niche distro and custom kernel, I'm inclined to go with AMD. Chances are it'll be more robust should something odd happen.

For the record I have Nvidia. It works just fine too, but my configuration is very "standard"
GustyGhost 2 Nov, 2021
Hosting server instances on the same machine that you'll be using for multimedia, web browsing, watching movies or playing games is really going to lead you to some interesting places. Please share whatever you end up doing, I'd be interested to see how it gets configured.
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