I've always had Nvidia GPU card in my PCs. The only reason for that is great Linux support. Recently I've bought laptop with ATI HD4200 integrated GPU so I had to learn "how to walk on Linux" all over again. First thing there are two opensource drivers and fglrx proprietary ATI driver. Quantity is not quality so any of those drivers is not up to pair with current Nvidia drivers.
Open source driver lacks good 3D acceleration and quality power save functionality (it is laptop we're talking about) and fglrx driver has poor 2D acceleration. Basically it is up to you to decide which driver to use based on the way you use your PC. I've picked open source driver in spite the fact that it has no power save capabilities. Actually it has some basic power save capabilities, but they are turned off by default. In this article I will show you how to keep you ATI graphics card power usage under control on the Ubuntu Maverick based Linux operating systems with open source ATI radeon driver (could work for Debian and derivatives with kernel >=2.6.35).Continue reading