Basic GPU for Linux development workstations

I plan to build some Threadripper Linux workstations for software development. We just need some basic GPUs (no GPU programming, just for basic display purposes). We need to support two monitors, probably 1440p. I’ve love something which doesn’t require proprietary drivers for simplicity.

What’s a reasonable cheap GPU these days?

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I’d suggest some Radeon RX550 variant that has proper display outputs. Cheapest one here in Finland is ASRock Phantom Gaming Radeon RX550 (125,00€) and it has DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.0. Those two connections actually supports even 4K resolution.


I purchased one for my church’s live stream build. Works very well for light weight purposes, and the OS drivers work well with my 480 so I assume they would work well here too.

Thanks, looks like a great recommendation to me and looks to work with the open source drivers. I’ll give this a try.

I would suggest getting a rx 550 2G, you will probably find older gen cards for cheaper, but for the longest/best driver support, the rx 550 is better because it’s still pretty new.

Kernel driver support for newer amd cards is excellent, so whatever you do, don’t go with nvidia.

Also, make sure you get a card with a zero rpm mode, if the card has it, the OEM will usually advertize it. Some cheap coolers without a zero rpm mode can be annoyingly loud even when idle.

this rx 550 from sapphire or or this one from gigabyte both have a zero rpm mode. I personally own the gigabyte card and am quite happy with it.

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Yeah, low end polaris. RX550, RX460 … something like that.

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Not that I know anything about GPU but from what I’ve read so far it depends on how much you can get the RX550 for.

For example, this XFX Radeon RX 580 GTS XXX Edition 1386MHz OC+, 8GB GDDR5, VR Ready, Dual BIOS, 3xDP HDMI DVI, AMD Graphics Card (RX-580P8DFD6) is $190 on

Maybe it makes sense to step up a bit? The main question I think is how much of a difference will it make for Linux desktop (Gnome 3 I’d assume). Does the RX580 have better mainline Linux kernel support? Do any of these cards face the same problems that I face with the integrated “vega” graphics?

I figured I’d ask these questions so someone with these cards will see it and answer it for us.


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I don’t have a 550 but I have a 460 in use and it is supported perfectly, same as 470/480/570/580, polaris based Radeon Pro and all standalone Vega cards.

No. I have a bunch of polaris cards running and Vega64 in my gaming rig. None of those machines show any sign of that behavior.

Also this might be interesting for you:

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After my last adventure with Asus, I don’t trust them to not screw up a BIOS update on notebooks. I am sure Asus desktop motherboards are fine because BIOS flashback (A/B thing) but not so sure about notebooks.

I am still hoping for a fix without updating the BIOS…