Graphics support for older system

Hello, this is my first post on this forum. I recently purchased Zorin OS 16 Pro so that I could install it on my laptop. I am very pleased with the performance improvements with office work over Windows. I have an old system that I no longer use because MS has stopped support for Windows 7. The system is an AMD FX-8320E, ASUS 970 mobo, AMD R9 270X, and 16GB of DDR3 1600MHz RAM. I was wondering if I installed Zorin 16 Pro on that system, would it work? I've read online that AMD hardware before RX 400 series and Ryzen series is spotty at support because they are simply too old. Some posts at other forums say that I can make it work with some extra steps. I will not use the system for anything other than school assignments (documents, presentations, spreadsheets) and web-browsing (mainly online school). Can anybody be kind enough to provide me with some assistance? This is my first Linux installation, and it has only been 4 months at that.

You can use the Try Zorin LiveUSB to test before installing.
If it was me, I would go for it. Admittedly, I'd opt for Zorin OS Lite (maybe Pro Lite since you have it...)

It seems likely you will need to use the grub parameter "iommu=soft", but I am not aware of any other additional steps that may be needed. I guess we might find out if you throw caution to the wind and dive in. :wink:

As you have lots of RAM you could put MX Linux KDE on it. My good lady's machine is an old MSI Athlon 64 single processor machine with a 256 Mb AGP graphics and 2 Gb RAM so is restricted to xfce, like Zorin Lite. Occasional tearing on launch of SoftMaker Office but stable. If you are a student or Teacher SoftMaker Office 2018 is free. Much more compatible with MS Office than LibreOffice. For accessing web education portals Firefox should be adequate. For accessing school shared drives then Remmina is your friend. If you need access to secure server login you usually get a small .exe downloaded. You need to point to this when using Remmina then you can login to your desktop you would normally access in school.

You should be good, my only concern would be with OpenCL, if you even need it.

OpenGL?

No. OpenCL. It something that darktable uses for acceleration, and I had not been able to activate it on Zorin with an AMD card. Ended up swapping out to an Nvidia card, which works fine. I have the AMD card running in Majaro for a couple years, it's an easy one package install from AUR.

Link to the issue here: AMD Radeon OpenCL - #33 by Aravisian

1 Like