I'm building or buying a new Linux system, and I'm trying to select the best graphics card for my needs. How do I go about making this decision?
There's dozens of computer-gear review sites which drool over every detail of new graphics hardware and perform detailed benchmarks and pros and cons — for Microsoft Windows. Are these ever useful sources of information for Linux too? Does any site at least give Linux a cursory look?
I'm primarily interested in good 2D performance, but with fancy new desktop environments now requiring hardware-accelerated 3D, I need to consider that too. Where can I find pre-purchase information on that?
I strongly prefer having an open source driver. How do I judge which open source drivers are the best in terms of features support and performance, without joining a dozen different mailing lists? Are specific companies almost always the best bet, or does it change?
What are the advantages and drawbacks of a closed-source driver? Is this mostly about 3D performance, or are there other features enabled by proprietary drivers that I might miss out on? Since a closed-source driver will mark the Linux kernel as tainted, are the closed-source companies good at providing direct end-user support for related problems? Is the state-of-the-art finally such that I can choose between open or closed for any given graphics card, or do some models require one or the other?
It'd be great if the card just worked hassle-free with whatever modern Linux distribution I choose, with no need to go through a long how-to process. Is this a reasonable hope, and how can I best find a card that'll work that way?
How do I find if a specific graphics driver fits a given model on the market? Is it best to buy older cards in order to insure that support is available?