Which video card should I buy?

Dear Lazyweb: I’ve got a desktop machine, which I use sometimes at home. It’s plugged into a flatscreen monitor. The machine has an old Trident CyberBlade video card in it, which won’t drive the flatscreen at anything higher than 1024x768, which is pretty annoying. So, I’d like to buy a new video card for it. However, I’m horribly confused by video card stuff. Which card should I buy? It needs to be supported by free software drivers (i.e., not require the nvidia or fglrx binary drivers), but it does not need to do anything very exciting; I don’t play games on the machine, for example. It’d be nice to have the 3D compiz stuff, too. As far as I know, Intel don’t sell separate cards, which leaves me with ATI or nVidia; I keep hearing that “older” ATI Radeon cards are well supported by free software drivers, but I don’t know whether that includes enough 3D support for compiz, and I don’t know precisely what “older” means: ATI’s product range confuses the hell out of me. I’ve got no problem buying something from eBay, so it doesn’t have to be a card that is currently on sale in shops. Any advice gratefully accepted.

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