Ubuntu or any Linux based distribution has very bad history regarding the graphics card compatibility and performance (The reason is obvious, driver manufacturers do not provide driver softwares for their graphics card..), but in past few years I’ve noticed some nice changes and improvements which is worth acceptable. Since Ubuntu is the most popular desktop distribution, so now a days, it’s not a difficult task to find a good video card well compatible with Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) or 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) or 10.04 LTS (alias : Lucid Lynx). Most of the graphics cards will be auto detected by Ubuntu (Just after the installation of Ubuntu 11.04/..).
In this post, you will learn how to select a graphics card for you Ubuntu computer, depending on your need and budget. If you are a normal users and think that I do not need any graphics card, then also you would probably have to purchase a graphics card because of the 3D effects of unity desktop (Although you can use classic desktop instead and turn off the compiz effects to go smoothly). By the way there are other advantages of using Graphics Card – such as better video quality (which in turn means that watching movies will be more Fun!), a lot of funky 3D effects, better system performance (due to dedicated video memory or GPU (Graphics Processing Unit)), and of course – good for video game players because you can play more games in better ways depending on the power of graphics card.
If you’re building a Gaming rig, then you should also checkout these : Entry level gaming PC under 40k and this one : Mid range gaming PC under 70k (INR)
Best Graphics Card for absolute beginners
Nvidia 8400GS – 256MB is one of the Cheapest graphics card and well suitable for the users who want to purchase just a graphics card for enjoying some 3D effects with Ubuntu desktop. it will be automatically detected by the Ubuntu and all you need to do is to Enable the restricted driver, and reboot the computer!
Price : $34.63
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Best Graphics Card for Entry Level Gamers
ZOTAC Nvidia Gefore 9800 is a good graphics card for novice gamers and users who wants little more than 3D effects on Ubuntu 11.04. it is also detected automatically, for 3D you need nvidia-glx; works with version 180.44. (More Help in installing Binary Driver on Ubuntu).
Price : $89.99
Buy ZOTAC Nvidia Geforce 9800 GT from Amazon
Best Graphics Card for Moderately Advanced Level Gamers
ZOTAC Nvidia Geforce GT 250 is good for moderately advanced level gamers (little better than entry level graphics cards), comes between the entry level and high end graphics cards. GT 250 is automatically detected by Ubuntu and 3D requires nvidia-glx (More Help).
Price : $138.99