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Alt-tabbing & maximize/unmaximize became slow in Ubuntu 9.04/fglrx 9-4

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  • Alt-tabbing & maximize/unmaximize became slow in Ubuntu 9.04/fglrx 9-4

    Upgraded from Ubuntu 8.10 today, and using the same fglrx version, many common operations in compiz are VERY slow. Switching Maximize state (maximize/unmaximize) has a two second delay, and alt-tabing equally so.


    $ glxinfo |grep direc
    direct rendering: Yes

    petter@gunilla:~$ fglrxinfo
    display: :0.0 screen: 0
    OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.
    OpenGL renderer string: ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3400 Series
    OpenGL version string: 1.4 (2.1.8591)

    xorg.conf: http://rafb.net/p/xqZIid35.html
    Xorg.0.log: http://rafb.net/p/YpF4Ge57.html
    Last edited by peppo; 04-24-2009, 05:29 PM.

  • #2
    Is xorg 1.6 the culprit? Can one downgrade somehow safely?

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    • #3
      How slow are we talking ? "Acceleration is broken" kind of slow (eg distro upgrade without reinstalling driver) or "everything else is fast except for these specific ops under Compiz" ?

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      • #4
        I reinstalled 9-4 from amd.com after the upgrade (the Ubuntu supplied didn't detect any supported devices). Everything else but those operations is fairly snappy, but it's hard to get a proper feel for it since one's workflow is so interrupted.

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        • #5
          2D-Acceleration looks generally quite slow with any ati-driver no matter open source or not. Scrolling behaves choppy and - my favourite test - moving audacious-windows is horribly slow. I don't know where the great problem lies in that the linux desktop experience is that bad. Right now I'm using fglrx 8.602 which is the binary driver module found in catalyst 9.4 on a Sapphire Radeon HD 3870 in 1920x1200 without compiz on jaunty. It's really sad - NVIDIA's binary driver modules are so much better...

          update: Ah, moving a bigger firefox window is also pretty choppy...

          update #2: well, video playback seems to have serious buffering problems - even no-hd videos start lagging after something like 10 seconds of playtime.

          Please, don't get me wrong - this is not a stupid rant, I'm just telling you guys my experiences and a little bit about how unhappy fglrx and the OSS-driver me make. I wish I could tell better results than that. Maybe cat 9.5 does everything better .
          Last edited by gladiac; 04-26-2009, 07:49 AM.

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          • #6
            I think I have the same issue in ubuntu 9.04 on a mobility radeon 3650 w/ default fglrx from ubuntu repositories (2.1.8575).

            The effects themselves are smooth, glxinfo and fglrxinfo look good, glxgears is fast without vsync (2500fps), 3D acceleration works fine.
            However actions involving resizing a window are preceded by a 1-2 second pause/lag during which xorg has a 100% cpu utilization of 1 core.

            Restoring a minimized window, maximizing/unmaximizing, resizing, all display the same behavior.
            It gets worse with window size, restoring a maximized window being the worst case restoring the calculator is much faster.
            Effects like ring switcher, scale, and expose work beautifully.
            It's just the mundane stuff that are butchered.

            Disabling compiz and enabling the metacity compositor does not fix it, the same problem exists.
            Disabling compositing altogether does fix it.

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            • #7
              apocalypse, I'm glad you can verify this issue. Hopefully someone might point to a possible cause of this. xserver 1.6? Anyone know if this is a version used in any other distribution? What other components that may affected this saw a major upgrade from Ubuntu 8.10 to 9.04?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by gladiac View Post
                Please, don't get me wrong - this is not a stupid rant, I'm just telling you guys my experiences and a little bit about how unhappy fglrx and the OSS-driver me make. I wish I could tell better results than that. Maybe cat 9.5 does everything better .
                What's wrong with the OSS-driver(s)? One doesn't have to shove it into every anti-fglrx rant...

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                • #9
                  Recently I upgraded to Jaunty and started noticing the 2sec. delay when maximize/minimize windows, which was not present in Intrepid. Same driver is being used. Resizing has always been slow. ALT+TAB is fine, however.

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                  • #10
                    This problem is common in all distros (including those with xorg 1.5), not only Ubuntu. It's a known problem and pretty much talked to death about in this forum.

                    I don't know why older Ubuntus don't have this problem. Probably Ubuntu X.Org patches that either weren't accepted upstream or didn't get submitted upstream at all that were dropped in 1.6. In any case, this bug (maximizing and restoring) has been there for a long time.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RealNC View Post
                      In any case, this bug (maximizing and restoring) has been there for a long time.
                      I have to disagree here. The two second delay is new and it came with Jaunty. You may think two seconds isn't much to complain about, but it's a showstopper preventing any fruitful use of the desktop. I did not experience it with 8.10 or 8.04.

                      Using an ATI HD3870, fglrx driver and Metacity, I experience the delay with:
                      - Window minimizing
                      - Window maximizing
                      - Window restore
                      - Workspace switch

                      This issue does not affect moving windows around as that does not suffer from any delays. Window resize has always been slow but that's a different issue I believe.

                      Edit: I would also like to point out that during the two second delay, the system is unresponsive and CPU load peaks at 100%.
                      Last edited by vleino; 04-28-2009, 04:50 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by vleino View Post
                        I have to disagree here. The two second delay is new and it came with Jaunty. You may think two seconds isn't much to complain about, but it's a showstopper preventing any fruitful use of the desktop. I did not experience it with 8.10 or 8.04.
                        You misunderstood RealNC: he stated that the issue also occured with Xorg 1.5 (which is true) and that Ubuntu probably patched Xorg 1.5 to avoid this issue (which is also true). Distributions with unpatched Xorg 1.5 also displayed the delay issue you are seeing now (e.g. ArchLinux).

                        The fact is that Ubuntu dropped these patches on Jaunty, because they caused problems with KDE. They also flashed harmless noise on Gnome whenever you restored a window, but few people cared about that.

                        This is a driver issue, fair and square. It should be fixed in fglrx, not worked-around with hacks that display garbage on window resize / restore.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
                          You misunderstood RealNC: he stated that the issue also occured with Xorg 1.5 (which is true) and that Ubuntu probably patched Xorg 1.5 to avoid this issue (which is also true). Distributions with unpatched Xorg 1.5 also displayed the delay issue you are seeing now (e.g. ArchLinux).
                          I see, fair enough. Thank you for the insight.

                          Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
                          The fact is that Ubuntu dropped these patches on Jaunty, because they caused problems with KDE. They also flashed harmless noise on Gnome whenever you restored a window, but few people cared about that.
                          I noticed the memory garbage with GNOME and thought it was annoying. It gave the impression of a low quality product (Ubuntu as a whole) even if it is purely a display driver issue.

                          Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
                          This is a driver issue, fair and square. It should be fixed in fglrx, not worked-around with hacks that display garbage on window resize / restore.
                          I wholeheartedly agree and I cannot comprehend how a major display adapter vendor can allow such a low quality of user experience with their products.

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                          • #14
                            Mind you that these issues are only present under composition. The driver is currently undergoing some changes in this area and is somewhat expected that things will break along the way. I guess ATI can remove composite support altogether and bring it out again until all the issues are resolved, but then people would complain over the lack of features.

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                            • #15
                              I have the same issue with the nouveau driver on nv50 hardware.

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