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Cheapest 4K option for Non Gaming?


I don’t do any gaming at all and I don’t do anything heavy like video editing, all I need is screen real estate for multiple browsers, text editors, maybe abit of Gimp.

Current system is an Acer desktop running Linux Mint 19.1 Cinnamon, i7-3770, 8 GB, Nvidia GF119 [GeForce GT620 OEM]

I’m currently using 2 x 24" displays and really want to upgrade to a 4K display.

Found this 42.5" LG 4K IPS Monitor (L1-43UD79-B) for a decent price but have no idea what graphics card I should get to drive it, whether a graphics card will even fit into my desktop, whether I should be switching from Nvidia to AMD (and how easy that is)… so many questions :slight_smile:

It would be a major bonus if the new graphics card could drive the 4K display and one or both of my existing displays.

Any and all advice greatly appreciated.




gt 710 is like 35 bucks, old quadros are around 50 if you want multiple dp/hdmi outputs



You poor soul.

Any would do. Honestly, if you do no gaming at all, any graphic card can push 4K desktop. You most likely would be fine with whatever you have at the moment, as long as it’s not something from 10 years ago…



RX 550 gets my vote. You’re likely running an OEM system so you need a GPU with no PCI-E additional power. Also, AMD cards mean you don’t have to install Nvidia proprietary drivers at all.

DisplayPort support is better, so a GPU with DisplayPort helps.

Just be careful that the specific monitor you’re looking at has issues with the edge pixels not being backlit correctly.



Haha, what I have right now is from 10 years ago.

I’m in Thailand so prices are different and so is availability.

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I did see a youtube review that mentioned the edge pixels, but it didn’t sound like much of an issue.

Price here in Thailand is US$ 792 which is a bit more than the price in the US.

I do basic web stuff, server admin, etc.

Thanks for the suggestion of the RX 550. I can get a 2GB one here for $75 or a 4GB version for $126



What is your system specs?



I’ve got an Acer Aspire Desktop which is about 7 years old (maybe more)
Core i7-3770 @ 3.40 Ghz
8GB Ram
Linux Mint 19.1 Cinnamon

Motherboard is I think ATX Mini but as there is no model number on the computer I can’t actually check.



You don’t have a graphics card at all?



In my first post I said the whole spec

Nvidia GF119 [GeForce GT620 OEM]



You really did… It’s my fault… I missed it somehow…

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AMD Polaris has great support without installing any additional drivers these days. I second the RX550.



So you want 2x 4k and 1x 1080p in a “desktop only” pixel pusher scenario?

I would suggest an RX 550 or RX 560, but while looking arround I found an RX 570 for $130 new.

If you like shiny blue things, there is also the RadeonPro WX4100 wich will set you back $230 and be potentially louder than gaming equivalents.



Integrated graphics will drive 4k… just.

That said… RX550 works, but bang for buck the RX560 is just leaps and bounds ahead of it, has far better Linux support, and not a big stretch. The RX550 will work without a PCIe power connector though and that’s a big reason I’ve got one in my work PC (prebuilt HP desktop filled with RAM).

I’m not sure how up to date your install of mint is (i don’t run mint) but i did have all sorts of lock up problems with the RX550 in CentOS 7. YMMV with Mint. It is fine in Fedora 28/29 onwards (maybe previous, but that’s all i’ve tested it with).

The RX560 is a different die (Polaris 20 instead of Polaris 12) and the driver support is a bit more mature for it (it’s just a die shrink of polaris 10 - Polaris 12 is a bit different).

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If you don’t do gaming, there is no bang that you need. This leaves you with bucks. The RX560 will have no benefit at all over the RX550. Yes, the 560 performs better, but both are probably 300% or more of what you need to run a 4k Desktop.
So yes, RX550 gets my vote. Most cheaper options will lack flexibility in outputs.



Re-read and see the compatibility issues above. You are talking literally 30 dollars to avoid said problems ENTIRELY.

Mine, with earlier linux kernels was causing several kernel panics per day. Including the current, up to date release of CentOS for example.

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I would assume a more desktop oriented OS like mint should be fine these days? I am genuinely asking because I didn’t know about those problems and I am thinking about getting a 550 myself. (need a low profile card for my testsystem)

@SeancBKK, what kernel version are you running?



Depends how old the distro is.

I can’t for the life of me remember if it had issues with Ubuntu 1804 or not. But it definitely did with CentOS, and i would have personally “preferred” (shudder) to run CentOS on my “work” machine in order to maintain commonality with other CentOS server boxes i have at work.

I compromised, installed Fedora and all the issues went away. But it was seriously 2-3 kernel panics per day depending on what i was doing - with the official AMD drivers for CentOS 7.

Point being… Polaris 10/20 do not have those issues as far as I’m aware; i’ve got a variety of AMD cards here…

And yes, no such thing as bang for buck etc… but the 560 is really not a heap more expensive than a 550 (especially if you find a cheap one), more readily available and has a lot more mature driver support, will actually do 3d stuff if you decide you want to later, etc.

Having owned a 550, the only reason I’d suggest buying one (over a very slightly more expensive 560) is if you have no PCIe power available (due to being a brand name pre built box), and you either aren’t allowed or can’t be arsed using SATA or molex power adapters for it.

Essentially if you do go for a 550 you’ve ruled out running CentOS (and maybe other distros depending on age) on bare metal for the foreseeable future; at least until 8 comes out.



What about framebuffer size?
Memory type?- ddr vs. gddr. Bandwidth may not be an issue but low latency makes modest hardware nicer to use.



I have many people reporting hardlocks on 550’s on linux but if you’re on windows that shouldn’t be an issue.

if you just need display outs i’d look at older firepro and quadro cards, because they use less energy and have higher resolution/display options (and 10 bit color)

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