[RndTbl] recommendations for 4k video card under Linux

Gilles Detillieux grdetil at scrc.umanitoba.ca
Mon Apr 23 11:32:36 CDT 2018

Forgot to mention, this is the card we ended up ordering: MSI GeForce 
GTX 1050, 2 GB GDDR5

On 2018-04-23 11:28, Gilles Detillieux wrote:
> Just a quick follow-up on how things went: really quite smoothly! I 
> never had to change any configuration or install any drivers. It 
> autodetected the new card with no problems. The logs didn't clearly 
> show what was going on behind the scenes, just that it was now using a 
> "glamoregl" module and glamor OpenGL accelerated driver that it wasn't 
> using before. No feedback on detected chipset or anything of the sort. 
> But it worked well. Then I hooked up the new 4k monitor, and initially 
> only the top left quarter of the display showed a clear 1080p image of 
> the login screen, with noise on the other 3 quarters, but when I 
> logged in it displayed a vivid 4k desktop with very tiny fonts. I 
> spent a bit of time playing around in the Gnome Tweak Tool and 
> dconf-editor to get things showing up to my satisfaction. Looks & 
> works great now! The login screen displays properly now too, albeit 
> with small text, but not worth fussing with to get that larger.
> On 2018-04-09 14:31, Gilles Detillieux wrote:
>> Thanks, everyone, for all the advice. It does put my mind at ease 
>> that nVidia seems to be a safer bet than I had thought. I think we'll 
>> give a GTX 1050 card a try. We'll likely stick to DisplayPort 1.4, 
>> which should do 4k without a snag, and avoid the potential headaches 
>> of HDMI. Don't need 5k, don't need more than 1 monitor so we won't be 
>> messing with passthrough/daisychain, and won't wait for TB3. ;-)
>> Gilles (unrepentant top-poster)
>> On 2018-04-07 11:08, Adam Thompson wrote:
>>> (Top-posting to save time, sorry)
>>> You need HDMI 2.1 for guaranteed 5k support.  IIRC, HDMI 2.0 
>>> guaranteed 4k support.
>>> When I say "guaranteed", I don't mean "HDMI Assoc. says it'll work", 
>>> I mean "yes, it's going to work in the real world".
>>> Hanging a non-passthrough DP monitor off of a passthrough-capable 
>>> monitor is exactly the use case that feature is designed for.
>>> I sincerely hope that TB3 takes over as a video cabling standard and 
>>> finally replaces both DP and HDMI, but I don't really think it'll 
>>> happen...  in any case a single 40GBps TB3 connection still only 
>>> supports 1 x 5k or 2 x 4k displays.
>>> -Adam
>>> On 2018-04-07 01:19, Trevor Cordes wrote:
>>>> On 2018-04-06 Gilles Detillieux wrote:
>>>>> Hi. Does anyone on the list have experience and recommendations on
>>>>> how to support a 4k monitor under Linux? We want to use a single Dell
>>>> Hi, I mentioned at a MUUG meeting roundtable last year that I had
>>>> picked up a "2k" (2560x1440) monitor and card and got it working.  All
>>>> my research and picks apply to 4k also, so my results might be 
>>>> useful to
>>>> you.
>>>> First off, you want DP.  2k is hard with HDMI, and 4k is doubly so.
>>>> Many cards (especially cheaper/older ones) may claim to do high rez's
>>>> but their HDMI out port won't, as it's not a new enough spec. From
>>>> memory, you need something like 1.6 instead of 1.4 or whatever (can 
>>>> find
>>>> online) but good luck finding out precisely what the HDMI port on your
>>>> card actually is from the Taiwan Inc websites.
>>>> Same thing applies to cables, for 4k you'll probably need a newest-gen
>>>> cable, and they are equally as hard to deduce precisely what version
>>>> they are!  DP doesn't suffer from this problem on either front. If you
>>>> get a DP card that says it does 4k, it does 4k, guaranteed, and the
>>>> cables are basically all 4k supporting unless you find something 
>>>> really
>>>> old.
>>>> I tried about 4 different combos of card and 2k monitor before finally
>>>> getting something to work, so I'm pretty sure I've figured out the
>>>> cheapest (nvidia) way.  And when things aren't going to work, they 
>>>> just
>>>> don't work.  You're just stuck at the lower rez with no option to go
>>>> higher and no hint as to why.  I suppose you could probably get things
>>>> working at lower clocks using xorg.conf modelines like the bad 'ol
>>>> days, but I didn't want to delve there.  When you get the right parts
>>>> it all "just works".
>>>> The cheapest card that I could find that would support 4k and DP and
>>>> vdpau (important for me) was the GTX 1050.  Any 1050 with DP out 
>>>> should
>>>> be A-OK.  I sell them for just over $200, but I'm sure there are deals
>>>> elsewhere out there.
>>>> I'm not 100% positive but I think when I first booted up with my
>>>> nouveau drivers they didn't work and it fell back to fb or vesa or
>>>> something.  That was 1 year ago.  Eventually nouveau will support the
>>>> 1050, maybe already does.  The chipset codename according to lspci is
>>>> GP107 if that helps.
>>>> No whoop, I switch between nouveau and nvidia binaries frequently when
>>>> FLOSS support catches up with the technology.  "Updating kernel ate my
>>>> nv binary" hasn't been a concern for me for at least 5 years now.  If
>>>> you're using Fedora, just use the rpmfusion nvidia and (a|)kmod-nvidia
>>>> rpms and every time you dnf update the kernel the binaries 
>>>> auto-compile
>>>> and you have to do zero additional steps when you reboot. It just
>>>> keeps working.  (And it bypasses having to wait for the repo guys to
>>>> update the non-akmod rpm version which always takes 1-2 weeks!)
>>>> One caveat: after the dnf update finishes, wait about 2 minutes for 
>>>> the
>>>> gcc processes to finish compiling or you'll be foobar until you run
>>>> akmod --somethingorrather from a single boot. (Nothing at all 
>>>> indicates
>>>> you need to wait after an update before rebooting.)
>>>> I'm probably stuck with binaries for a long time as I really like 
>>>> vdpau
>>>> now and I'm pretty sure that won't be in the FLOSS drivers for many
>>>> more years, if ever.  The binaries are pretty good.  No stability
>>>> issues, though sometimes there's little cosmetic glitch bugs that they
>>>> eventually hammer out in updates (I currently have zero of these
>>>> occurring).  The only sucky part is if you want to bisect/debug for 
>>>> the
>>>> LKML guys (which I seem to do way too often lately) you'll need to
>>>> reproduce your bug in non-tainted before posting your results.
>>>> My monitor is also a Dell (2k) and it's great.  Their quality/price
>>>> ratio can't be beat on mid/high-end monitors.  I sell quite a few and
>>>> can often get amazing prices on Dell LCDs through my suppliers, so if
>>>> you're in Wpg give me a shout.
>>>> My next project is to try the DP daisychain feature as I want 2 x 2k
>>>> LCD instead of my current 2k + 1600x1200.  And I'm not convinced the
>>>> 1050's HDMI will do 2k or 4k so daisychain might be the only option.
>>>> (My big q is can a non-daisy LCD daisy off a has-daisy LCD or do both
>>>> need to be daisy-capable, i.e. with passthru.)  If a 2nd 2k/4k monitor
>>>> is in your future give the daisy port yes/no feature serious
>>>> consideration before you buy your first one.  No "affordable" card I
>>>> looked at had dual DP out.
>>>> I'll end with a quick note about 2k vs 4k.  I thought long and hard
>>>> about which to buy, as the price diff was sub-$200.  I went with 2k as
>>>> I do almost zero graphics/images and I realized that for my workload,
>>>> normal daily desktop use + 90% cmd line and programming work, 4k would
>>>> buy me nothing.  In fact, besides graphics work I can't see any use 
>>>> for
>>>> 4k.  My goal is always the most usable real estate, and with 2k on a
>>>> 24" I was able to vastly increase my pixel count yet keep all my
>>>> working terminal font sizes constant at 9 pixel mono terminal font.
>>>> I guess what I'm saying (and I'm sure you've already thought about it)
>>>> is don't just say "ooooh 4k" and get that, think about what you are
>>>> really trying to achieve.  The other upshot of picking 2k, besides
>>>> price, is that you can go 2 x 2k fairly easily on most cards, but 2 x
>>>> 4k might go beyond the $200 cards' max overall screen dimensions.
>>>> Good luck!  And if you ever daisychain, let me know.

Gilles R. Detillieux              E-mail: <grdetil at scrc.umanitoba.ca>
Spinal Cord Research Centre       WWW:    http://www.scrc.umanitoba.ca/
Dept. of Physiology and Pathophysiology, Faculty of Health Sciences,
Univ. of Manitoba  Winnipeg, MB  R3E 0J9  (Canada)

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