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  • #46
    I think things like flicker, tearing, and the like are extremely subjective. Depending on how old you are, the condition of your eyes, the refresh rate and quality of your monitor, your lighting conditions, the quality of the video you're watching, etc. On one side, consider if we had "the perfect environmental conditions": a state of the art, very high-res display playing full HD video, with ideal lighting, and a 21 year old who has 20/20 vision and no eye conditions, sitting an ideal distance from the display, directly in front of it. Under these conditions, probably almost every video driver in existence would have some degree of noticeable flicker, tear, or other motion artifacts when playing video.

    Back in the real world, it is entirely possible that someone with degraded environmental conditions might not detect flicker or tearing when it is in fact happening to a degree that the perfect observer would detect it.

    An interesting anecdote...

    One time I had a very late night at work, and decided to sack out on the couch in an unoccupied corner of the office, rather than bike home at 1 AM. As soon as I woke up, it was the early morning and everyone was starting to come into work. I was sleeping near the GUI applications division of the company, and we were working on a smartphone operating system project. As I came through the hall, my coworkers corraled me in for a quick subjective test they were playing with on the devices. They had two versions of an application on the screens of two smartphones: on one smartphone, GTK2 did not have double buffering on. On the other smartphone, it did. These were engineers who, at the youngest, were about 38 -- ranging into their late 50s. I was 22. They asked me, "Hey, you're a young guy -- can you see a difference between these two?"

    They proceeded to tap on a drop-down box and select an item, in exactly the same way on both devices, and repeated the process two or three times. I hesitated -- I told them I could see a slight difference, and that the double buffered version seemed to hide a frame or two where the dropdown menu was blank, immediately after it was tapped. None of the other engineers could tell the difference. When I later pointed out that the entire screen itself was flickering according to my eyes, they laughed -- I hadn't had enough sleep, so my eyes weren't operating at their native refresh rate

    Anyway, I often notice tearing, flickering, and lag in the display these days, sometimes even on visually optimized devices like iPad and Mac Mini running OS X. My eyes are still pretty good, when I'm not exhausted. Display tech isn't to the point where the graphics can proceed completely smoothly in every case, regardless of system load and environmental conditions.

    It's getting better, though.

    Comment


    • #47
      Originally posted by Panix View Post
      Are you sure you just don't notice the tearing?

      I've been to the Ubuntu forums and I'd say 90% of the people posting with ATI cards are saying they see tearing even if they try OpenGL output.

      This is what I've said here but the ATI fanatics just criticize it but I guess they don't realize the point. There's NO consistency. There's even been some people state that maybe they are not seeing the tearing. I don't understand how the same card would have tearing yet other cards of the same model won't. If you use the same video output, same driver ver. and same or similar x-server???

      What the other guy saying that this 'amateurish' and the Nvidia driver doesn't do this is making the point that driver STAYS CONSISTENT. You can get the same result. How come no one can understand this?!?

      Yeah, I keep asking because there's no answer that comes up the same each time. You have to have settings A, B, NOT C and then D for crying out loud!!! Some other ATI owners of HD 4xxx cards are asserting there's tearing and yet there's some people that say, there's none. Indeed, the only thing would be to BUY a card myself but if I get tearing, that's at least $100 investment. I'm trying to be a Linux user, here. If I used Windows exclusively, I'd have already bought a card by now. If I didn't care about open source, I would have bought Nvidia long ago.
      Well its typically not that hard differentiate between people writing:
      "OMG there is soooooo much tearing with my ATI card?!?! ATI sucks big time! I don't care people tell me about opengl output and mplayer, because I just know it won't work!".

      people writing:
      "Yeah, if you use fglrx you get tearing. Buy nvidia, thats the only driver which works. Do I own an ATI card myself? NO."

      and people writing:
      "Fglrx + compiz + mplayer works quite well without tearing. I have tried it with my own card and know what I'm talking about."

      Some of us are just trying to help you, without filling you with rumors or fanboi'ism.

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by allquixotic View Post
        I think things like flicker, tearing, and the like are extremely subjective. Depending on how old you are, the condition of your eyes, the refresh rate and quality of your monitor, your lighting conditions, the quality of the video you're watching, etc. On one side, consider if we had "the perfect environmental conditions": a state of the art, very high-res display playing full HD video, with ideal lighting, and a 21 year old who has 20/20 vision and no eye conditions, sitting an ideal distance from the display, directly in front of it. Under these conditions, probably almost every video driver in existence would have some degree of noticeable flicker, tear, or other motion artifacts when playing video.
        That's just not true, if its being vsynced properly NO one will see tearing no matter how amazing their eye sight is.

        Comment


        • #49
          Sure, but then you end up with a different set of problems unless (a) the player slows down the frame rate to match the display refresh, (b) the player/driver stack adjusts the display refresh to match the media frame rate, (c) something in the stack resamples to match up the frame rates (which introduces its own artifacts), or (d) something in the stack drops or doubles-up frames periodically.

          Different people are sensitive to each of these approachs - personally I don't see tearing but I tend to notice dropped and/or doubled frames.

          If you are playing 50hz content on a 60 hz display, or 60 hz content on a 70 hz display, or even 59.97 hz on a 60, there are still errors.

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by Hans View Post
            Well its typically not that hard differentiate between people writing:
            "OMG there is soooooo much tearing with my ATI card?!?! ATI sucks big time! I don't care people tell me about opengl output and mplayer, because I just know it won't work!".

            people writing:
            "Yeah, if you use fglrx you get tearing. Buy nvidia, thats the only driver which works. Do I own an ATI card myself? NO."

            and people writing:
            "Fglrx + compiz + mplayer works quite well without tearing. I have tried it with my own card and know what I'm talking about."

            Some of us are just trying to help you, without filling you with rumors or fanboi'ism.
            I know and I can't say enough that I APPRECIATE THAT. This is definitely my fav. site to obtain info. I appreciate all the help, suggestions and advice.

            I think my best option is to just flip a coin and decide on one or the other. Or be willing to buy two cards and keep one for another system or sell it. I really don't want to commit more than $120 for a card, though, until I have experience with it. Even my recent Nvidia card is a bit old for saying pro things about Nvidia. Although, I suppose cards in the G92/b GT2xx generation are fine now in Linux.

            Comment


            • #51
              Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
              compositing has always increased CPU load for me with any window manager and driver combination for me.
              Not to any noticeable level for me. If you're reading the output of top you might see it there but overall I find it improves things.

              Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
              If you use open drivers, then video playback is not a problem and never has been.
              If you're using open drivers then they're other negative performance issues introduced.

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
                Competition (nVidia) does not work well with KDE4, and since the drivers for older cards are considered legacy, they likely never will.
                KDE4 has worked really well on nVidia hardware for me. This is with an 8600GT, 7600GS, 8400GS and my current 9800GT. On the systems I've setup for others I've also not had problems.

                As to nVidia legacy support, I was able to setup a Celeron III 1.2GHz system with an nVidia TNT2 and an MX400 with their legacy drivers on Ubuntu 10.04 and Kubuntu 10.04 with compositing enabled and they were also fine.

                Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
                I had problems for years, until my laptop died. Don't know how it is today, but Konsole was broken when using compositing, and there were artifacts at different places.
                You're having issues I've not had but I realise that doesn't mean they're not real. I wonder if they were somewhat due to some hardware failure in some way.

                Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
                nVidia's binary drivers are better than fglrx, but they are not perfect, regardless of what the fanboys spout.
                I would hope there aren't any nVidia fanbois spouting that nVidia on Linux is perfect. If they spout that it's better than fglrx and your likely to have a much nicer experience with nVidia then I'd agree with them.

                Graphics on Linux isn't perfect. Doesn't mean there's anything wrong with recommending the most optimal solution though whether that be nVidia or AMD.

                Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
                Binary drivers are not a solution for Linux, they are a pain in the ass and a crutch until native drivers are written.
                The milisecond there's viable open drivers for graphics hardware I'll be using them. Not until. Where they're suitable then fine. The open drivers can't compete with the blobs in some areas though. Also, fglrx isn't open last time I checked.

                Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
                It's a lot like running Office through WINE.
                I completely disagree.

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by Hans View Post
                  Well given the test made by Michael the other day, it seems nvidia has some performance decrease with compositing, while the competition (fglrx) doesn't. Sometimes he even tested an increase in performance with fglrx.
                  Firstly, your software has to run in an acceptable way before you can then come to the issue of performance.

                  Secondly, as to the performance degradation, there was some discussion as to why this was the case, with one person digging up this article.

                  http://smspillaz.wordpress.com/2010/...he-benchmarks/

                  Did Michael re-run the tests with unredirect full screen windows enabled?

                  Originally posted by Hans View Post
                  Also xrandr works like sh*t with nvidia (I also own a nvidia card), but works quite perfect with fglrx with compositing. I'm able to use the buildin screen utility in gnome, where I'm able to expand my desktop to a tv and have tear free video through mplayer. Thats quite enough for me.
                  And I'm able to do that with the nVidia utility. I'm hardly going to use a lesser card just so I can use the Gnome utility to do this.

                  Also, you say that fglrx works perfectly with compositing. Why are others saying this isn't the case. What are they doing wrong? Perhaps you could write a howto for them.

                  Originally posted by Hans View Post
                  I'm not trying to start a flamewar, I am just saying that nvidia isn't perfect either. They both have some issues.
                  Again. The Linux graphics subsystems aren't perfect. Neither are nVidia's and AMD's blobs. Most often the nVidia blob seems to provide the best experience though.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by mugginz View Post
                    As to nVidia legacy support, I was able to setup a Celeron III 1.2GHz system with an nVidia TNT2 and an MX400 with their legacy drivers on Ubuntu 10.04 and Kubuntu 10.04 with compositing enabled and they were also fine.
                    That can't be correct, nv 71.xx series driver for a tnt2 does not support xserver 1.5+, so most likely you used nouveau for it - that would not be a legacy nv driver. The 96.xx series driver can work for MX400 but sometimes it dislikes new kernels on certain systems, 2.6.28 kernel works best for it in case of problems.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Kano View Post
                      That can't be correct, nv 71.xx series driver for a tnt2 does not support xserver 1.5+, so most likely you used nouveau for it - that would not be a legacy nv driver. The 96.xx series driver can work for MX400 but sometimes it dislikes new kernels on certain systems, 2.6.28 kernel works best for it in case of problems.
                      My mistake. The two cards were a Geforce2 MX400 (circa early 2000) and a Gefore4 MX440 (circa early 2002)

                      Still demonstrates that the use of anchient nVidia cards can be used on a modern composited Linux desktop though.

                      Some seem to be suggesting that in order to use old cards you have to use open drivers and this just isn't the case.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        I should add that the last Ubuntu release with out of the box support for the TNT2 was Jaunty (released April 2009).

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by mugginz View Post
                          Firstly, your software has to run in an acceptable way before you can then come to the issue of performance.

                          Secondly, as to the performance degradation, there was some discussion as to why this was the case, with one person digging up this article.

                          http://smspillaz.wordpress.com/2010/...he-benchmarks/

                          Did Michael re-run the tests with unredirect full screen windows enabled?
                          What do you mean by your application has to run in a acceptable way? Are you saying they don't with fglrx? Every single application installed on my computer works just fine.

                          Well why would you have to use unredirect full screen windows. Is that a workaround? I though you mentioned that you don't like work arounds. <- Sorry couldn't resist :P

                          Originally posted by mugginz View Post
                          And I'm able to do that with the nVidia utility. I'm hardly going to use a lesser card just so I can use the Gnome utility to do this.
                          Fair enough.

                          Originally posted by mugginz View Post
                          Also, you say that fglrx works perfectly with compositing. Why are others saying this isn't the case. What are they doing wrong? Perhaps you could write a howto for them.
                          Show me a thread where it doesn't work. If you find one, I'll show you a thread where it doesn't work with nvidia.

                          Originally posted by mugginz View Post
                          Again. The Linux graphics subsystems aren't perfect. Neither are nVidia's and AMD's blobs. Most often the nVidia blob seems to provide the best experience though.
                          That might be true. But I just don't have that experience with my cards (ATI and Nvidia). Do you even own an Ati card and can comment from your own experience?

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Hans View Post
                            Originally posted by mugginz
                            Firstly, your software has to run in an acceptable way before you can then come to the issue of performance.

                            Secondly, as to the performance degradation, there was some discussion as to why this was the case, with one person digging up this article.

                            http://smspillaz.wordpress.com/2010/...he-benchmarks/

                            Did Michael re-run the tests with unredirect full screen windows enabled?
                            What do you mean by your application has to run in a acceptable way? Are you saying they don't with fglrx? Every single application installed on my computer works just fine.
                            Many are reporting issues with vsync and wine to mention two. The fact that you aren't provides hope.


                            Originally posted by Hans View Post
                            Well why would you have to use unredirect full screen windows. Is that a workaround? I though you mentioned that you don't like work arounds. <- Sorry couldn't resist :P
                            If fglrx doesn't provide proper redirected direct rendering and therefore provides a boost due to that then that's nothing to be proud of. I'll also take clicking a check box saying "unredirect full screen windows" over dealing with fglrx's current issues anyday.


                            Originally posted by Hans View Post
                            Originally posted by mugginz
                            Also, you say that fglrx works perfectly with compositing. Why are others saying this isn't the case. What are they doing wrong? Perhaps you could write a howto for them.
                            Show me a thread where it doesn't work. If you find one, I'll show you a thread where it doesn't work with nvidia.
                            It's not that nVidia is perfect. It's that it's less troublesome than fglrx. Are you saying that's not the case?


                            Originally posted by Hans View Post
                            Originally posted by mugginz
                            Again. The Linux graphics subsystems aren't perfect. Neither are nVidia's and AMD's blobs. Most often the nVidia blob seems to provide the best experience though.
                            That might be true. But I just don't have that experience with my cards (ATI and Nvidia). Do you even own an Ati card and can comment from your own experience?
                            I want to own an ATI card. I was about to buy one on the promises made by others prior to the release of fglrx 10.5 but then these forums had posters saying they were still having problems with it and it wasn't fixing issues they were hoping it would.

                            Some on these boards are saying just buy one and if it doesn't perform, just take it back and get an nVidia one. I'm afraid that's not the was things work here in Geelong. If I buy it, it's mine. If it's faulty, they'll R.M.A. it and I'll get another example of the same model.

                            Basically, I can't say "I bought this card cause someone on a forum said fglrx now works but it doesn't really, can I have my money back."

                            If someone can lend me a 5870 for two weeks then I'm happy to give it a go. I've not been able to get a lend card so far though.



                            See the monitor on the right. It's currently not lit. The nVidia card driving it went back to were it came from. I'm left with the other two via a 9800GT. I'm waiting for fglrx to get into a fit state before I can use it.

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by mugginz View Post
                              It's not that nVidia is perfect. It's that it's less troublesome than fglrx. Are you saying that's not the case?

                              I want to own an ATI card.

                              Some on these boards are saying just buy one and if it doesn't perform, just take it back and get an nVidia one. I'm afraid that's not the was things work here in Geelong. If I buy it, it's mine. If it's faulty, they'll R.M.A. it and I'll get another example of the same model.

                              Basically, I can't say "I bought this card cause someone on a forum said fglrx now works but it doesn't really, can I have my money back."
                              Same here. I'd like to get an ATI card but there's no taking it back because you're unsatisfied how it runs in Linux.

                              Another reason ATI is suspect for support is that there is no support for X-Server 1.8. Therefore, you can't even use a HD 4xxx card in Fedora 13 except for OSS drivers. But, then what are your options for 3D?

                              So, ATI won't even cover the latest Fedora and this distro is in the top 3 of popularity. Nvidia's 9xxx and GT200 at least work in it so you can compare to at least HD 4xxx's situation. I am not sure about Fermi cards but Evergreen doesn't work in Fedora at all either.

                              ATI/AMD have slow support but in this particular case, NO support.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Panix View Post
                                Same here. I'd like to get an ATI card but there's no taking it back because you're unsatisfied how it runs in Linux.

                                Another reason ATI is suspect for support is that there is no support for X-Server 1.8. Therefore, you can't even use a HD 4xxx card in Fedora 13 except for OSS drivers. But, then what are your options for 3D?

                                So, ATI won't even cover the latest Fedora and this distro is in the top 3 of popularity. Nvidia's 9xxx and GT200 at least work in it so you can compare to at least HD 4xxx's situation. I am not sure about Fermi cards but Evergreen doesn't work in Fedora at all either.

                                ATI/AMD have slow support but in this particular case, NO support.
                                There's no *official* 1.8 support but it seems to work okay for me on Arch Linux with 1.8. I say okay, I mean okay as far as the ATI drivers go; which means broken FBO in wine/other apps with <10.5, or working FBO but other apps segfaulting on launch in 10.5 along with mediocre 2D performance in general.

                                As it is, unless 10.6 is a VAST improvement, I'm going to sell my 5850 and buy a GTX 465 and take the minor heat/power increase for usable Linux performance.

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