Linux GPU swap

I want to downgrade my GPU. Currently I'm running a HD6870 but not gaming very much. I have a perfectly good R5 230 flex collecting dust that I would like to swap in. Reason being that it is passively cooled and consumes a lot less power (idles around 5 Watt or what have you). Mainly it's the silence I want. I run the proprietary drivers on Mint 17.2.

My question is: Is Linux tolerant of GPU swaps or would I have to reinstall my system?

I would think you could get away with it but don't quote me on that.

No need to reinstall.

You should be completely fine as both cards use the same driver and opengl packages.

it'll run just fine, but may i ask you, can you like... mail me that HD6870. gives puppy eyes

(im pretty sure even windows is tolerant of GPU swaps. i cant think of an OS that isnt really. not one you could call good for a home user atleast. )

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Sounds good. I was afraid I would have to reinstall my primary machine in the middle of the semester. Thank you guys. I will report back once I've tried it. Probably on the weekend.

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If you were changing brands it would require some work. Since you are installing a newer verion of the same brand that uses the existing driver Mint will find it and should be good to go after you boot to the desktop.

Eh, no. As long as you didn't ruin your system with proprietary drivers you can swap out any piece of hardware without having to reinstall anything.

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Yeah.. reinstall.. I've never had to reinstall due to a hardware change. Except storage but thats because I always do a fresh install if im changing my OS disk. You could put an nvidia card in there and the only thing you'll need to do is make sure the nvidia drivers work. and if your not using propitiatory drivers, you literally have to do nothing but swap the hardware.


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manually uninstall the driver first and do a manual install of the opensource driver before installing the graphics card. upon shutdown after this install the card then bootup and it should be fine. LOl linux plays nice

Quick question to all of the people running the open-source driver: Isn't the open source driver installed in Ubuntu as standard?

It is pre installed. If you didn't switch to the proprietary one, you're using the OSS drivers.

I probably did switch. Okay. seems reversible to me.

Worked. Performed the switch. Closed up. Started the computer: "Write error could not write to HD0" - Well that was unexpected? It took two reboots but now it is running fine and the driver has even acknowledged the correct GPU.

Fun fact: The R5 230 flex is not available in the US. Which is a shame because it is a 50 buck low-profile card with triple digital outputs (two DVI, one HDMI) that can drive 3 displays at the same time.

Noise level of the computer is currently a deeply unsatisfying: "meh". But I run four different types of fans, so I will be moving them around a bit.

Game performance in Tropico is okay once I turned the settings down. Insurgency probably as well (Source Engine and all). So let's call that a success.

@terrahbite: Can't do. I need the GPU for my gaming PC I'm going to hack together. I got an FX-4170 somewhere, the GPU, an SSD I can move around, a 2TB harddrive (with luck a second one if I can salvage it), a Soundblaster Xi-Fi soundcard. I can get my hands on an ATX case from a friend, I got fans to spare so I only have to buy a new PSU (or replace the PSU in my workstation since it needs less power now) and an AM3+ motherboard and I'm good to go on a new PC.

Are you using the open source drivers? I find they work pretty well on a lot of games. Make sure your running mesa 11.0.3 or higher as it impliments opengl 4.1 fully on AMD.

Its not perfect but it works really well.

Not yet. I'll set up the machine with some other Ubuntu during the Christmas break. Then I'll just not install the proprietary ones.

I'll probably take on reading until I have my new gaming rig. Or just play the not very demanding games. FTL and the like

Update on the Power consumption: Dropped in idle with dual screen to 85-95 Watt, which is okay, considering I'm running an AMD FX-8320E.

I was only joking. x3 i have an HD 7870 Ghz edition. :P
the card i really want is a HD 4890... i need one for my 2008-2009 rig.