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Which gfx card with 3D acceleration to buy?

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  • #16
    OK, I think I see what's happening here. The drm initialization is failing, so most of the acceleration code is not running.

    You're using the drivers from Debian/Ubuntu packages, right ? Right now the distro packages are all too old to properly support a 5xx card, with the sole (AFAIK) exception of updates-testing for Fedora 9. That should change over the next couple of months; it's just that significant 5xx support only really finished a few weeks ago.

    You're either going to need to build the drivers from source, or the "edgers" packages might work for you. User "tormod" had been helping folks get those running, apparently with pretty good success.

    You'll need the radeon (aka -ati) driver, drm, mesa from master plus a very recent x server. If it's only the other recent mesa changes which require a new x server then I'm thinking we should try to back port the 5xx support into an older version of mesa which would work with older xservers, making life a lot easier for the distros to provide upgrade packages.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by bridgman View Post
      OK, I think I see what's happening here. The drm initialization is failing, so most of the acceleration code is not running.

      You're using the drivers from Debian/Ubuntu packages, right ? Right now the distro packages are all too old to properly support a 5xx card, with the sole (AFAIK) exception of updates-testing for Fedora 9. That should change over the next couple of months; it's just that significant 5xx support only really finished a few weeks ago.

      You're either going to need to build the drivers from source, or the "edgers" packages might work for you. User "tormod" had been helping folks get those running, apparently with pretty good success.

      You'll need the radeon (aka -ati) driver, drm, mesa from master plus a very recent x server. If it's only the other recent mesa changes which require a new x server then I'm thinking we should try to back port the 5xx support into an older version of mesa which would work with older xservers, making life a lot easier for the distros to provide upgrade packages.
      I also tried now the fglrx from ATI according to the wiki recipe, but no luck.

      I see. So when the drm is working it will solve the problem and I don't get the 50-60% CPU load of xorg while watching a DVD? Edgers is like Debian unstable for Ubuntu?

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      • #18
        When drm is working it will definitely change performance and CPU load. I don't know much about edgers (I had to search on Google to find out what it was ) but it appears to be a build & packaging service that runs directly off the git masters rather than specific releases.

        Here is tormod's guide :

        http://www.phoronix.com/forums/showp...2&postcount=23

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        • #19
          Originally posted by bridgman View Post
          When drm is working it will definitely change performance and CPU load. I don't know much about edgers (I had to search on Google to find out what it was ) but it appears to be a build & packaging service that runs directly off the git masters rather than specific releases.

          Here is tormod's guide :

          http://www.phoronix.com/forums/showp...2&postcount=23
          I tried the live CD trick. compiz seem to work. However I cannot check any DVDs because totem and ogle crashes with a BadAlloc. looking at a video at youtube with adobe flash again makes Xorg use 50% CPU. So it seems the new ati driver is improving the situation, but is still to unstable... I think I'll have to wait for it to become more stable...

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          • #20
            Originally posted by oblidor View Post
            I tried the live CD trick. compiz seem to work. However I cannot check any DVDs because totem and ogle crashes with a BadAlloc. looking at a video at youtube with adobe flash again makes Xorg use 50% CPU. So it seems the new ati driver is improving the situation, but is still to unstable... I think I'll have to wait for it to become more stable...
            Got it to work!!!! Adding the Option "EXA" to xorg.conf solved it. I hadn't seen that note...

            Now I have to test it in the real system...

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            • #21
              Hmmm. Maybe I'll try the live CD myself. Thanks !!

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              • #22
                Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                Hmmm. Maybe I'll try the live CD myself. Thanks !!
                I upgraded ubuntu (after the dvd install 8.04) and then ran the hacked script again. I know I shouldn't but didn't bother to do all the steps in the wiki. Everything works like a charm!

                I noticed that compiz wasn't activated in xfce4 so I ran it from a terminal and now I get all kinds of effects lightening fast. I also get real video playback and little Xorg CPU consumption.

                Thanks a great deal to all that helped me here !!!

                This brings back some faith in ATI cards. I just hope that they keep on supporting open source driver development for their high end cards (and improve the performance of the hardware of course ;-) )

                I'll be building another machine for somebody else with a 8500 GT card. From this I'll get some more experience with the NVIDIA so I can judge better if ATI or NVIDIA is the way to go. I'll report back!

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