Kicking NVidia to the curb

I have a workstation-grade PC that I got off-lease a long-time back. It's a Dell T-7500 that had some grade of NVidia Quadro card in it. Not exactly the most performant card on the block by today's standards but it served my needs for the machine (namely, displaying graphics on a screen). I've been using NVidia's proprietary drivers with the card in order to get any kind of performance out of it (I love Noveau, the Open Source drivers for NVidia cards, but unfortunately the performance really suffers). Over time NVidia's drivers have become less and less reliable, to where I've had my machine be out of commission because the latest driver wouldn't let me finish the boot cycle. Worse, with the Quadro cards they started making newer drivers unavailable so the best I could hope for was the barest-bone driver from NVidia. It also is a dust magnet and I realized (after the fact) that the card was overheating and doing all sorts of thermal measures to cool down. I'd start a video conference and the card would just be screaming away with its fans trying to cool itself.

I was ready to try something new.

I picked up an ASUS Phoenix AMD Radeon RX 550 card for the machine and swapped out the NVidia card. I didn't get the latest whiz-bang card because this machine only has PCI 2.0 slots so anything more than that would be wasted, and I didn't want to get anything used because I'd rather not support a bunch of cryptocurrency dipshits that are trying to make some money from their overbaked sudoku-solvers.

What I experienced with this new card was pretty revelatory.

Stuff worked.

Programs could create full-screen windows without having to do a bunch of strange mode changes. Things felt more stable than they did before. And I didn't have to download a bunch of drivers or do any strange commands to make things work. Plus the computer didn't sound like an airport for a bunch of tiny propeller planes.

I was astonished at how smooth the whole processes was. I wanted more.

I tried to order a second card. And I couldn't.

Because of the chip shortage and cryptocurency assholes buying up all of the video cards to solve their shitty-sudoku many places limit purchases of video cards to one-per-person/household. I looked elsewhere to see if I could find this card but to no avail (either it was through third-party sellers, which, no thanks, or they wouldn't deliver).

I had tasted the forbidden fruit of "it just works" on one machine and now I was being denied more.

I looked for alternatives, but they either were too expensive still or were sold by third-party sellers. But I did manage to find a work-around which I won't mention here. Suffice to say I'm getting another one relatively soon.

But the broader complaint is that NVidia has really lost the plot when it comes to their drivers. AMD / ATI have worked within the community and now I have something that is plug-and-play and just works without issue. NVidia has consistently resisted this and now their cards (however performant) are a crapshoot of how much support you'll get and how much you're willing to suffer to keep it running.

I'm done playing this game. I've tasted freedom and I'm not going back. Unless AMD does something fantastically silly they have earned my loyalty for the foreseeable future. Even Intel has it. NVidia? No thank you.

It's also telling that EVGA basically cut ties with NVidia. EVGA was synonymous with NVidia and now they're willing to walk away from the video card field altogether because of how poorly NVidia is behaving.

Sorry, NVidia, but you'll have to do much better to regain me as a customer. And given your track record I'm not waiting for that to happen. I hope more folks kick you to the curb. Perhaps that's the only way you'll change.