I will build an ubuntu system and I want to have as many visual effects as possible, which graphics card should I prefer and why?

I do not intend to play games, I'll just work very long hours there and the eye candy helps a lot.

3 Answers 3


Honestly, any graphics card from the past two years or so will be more than enough for desktop eye candy. My notebook doesn't have trouble with them, and it's been two years or so since that was anywhere close to being 'new'.

  • I totally agree that the cards on-sale are "capable" I am worried about if those capabilites can be used due to driver issues. My question has to do with out-of-the-box usage. Commented Jul 15, 2009 at 19:46
  • 1
    NVIDIA driver support is excellent - buying something not top-of-the-line means that they'll probably have their drivers updated to include it already as well. Commented Jul 15, 2009 at 20:04
  • For desktop eye candy Intel 950 is more than enough, and it doesn't need a custom X and blob drivers like NVIDIA does.
    – voyager
    Commented Jul 16, 2009 at 4:05
  • True...Ubuntu handles the NVIDIA drivers so well that I don't even notice, though. Commented Jul 16, 2009 at 4:33

In my experiences the best cards are either Intel or Nvidia. Unfortunately the Intel cards usually have poor Direct Rendering support so I've found myself going for Nvidia with the proprietary drivers more often than not. A GeForce 7600 GT is a great card for a Linux box.

Nvidia's driver support is what attracts me the most. ATI and Intel have very little support for the Linux community.


I prefer Intel GMA graphics cards. The driver is open so they get good community support. You don't have to worry about any 'freedom' related issues with closed drivers. Right now my Dell Ubuntu laptop with an Intel GMA is running the "Extra" visual effects.

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