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  • #16
    Originally posted by kxmas View Post
    I have a 965 chip in my thinkpad along with t9300 core2. It's great that an old Pentium 3 can play 720p, but under Kubuntu 8.10, I couldn't. The out of the box experience under Kubuntu 9.04 hasn't been great when compared to what Nvidia offers, or compared to what Intel's chips do in Windows and OS X.

    Right now, if you want decent performance with Intel, you have to do some work to get it, and then you'll likely run into some bugs.

    It's improving, but I think we're six months away or so from a good, hassle free experience with Intel graphics.
    Well, after extensive shopping around I've come to the conclusion that the EU laptop market seems to prefer ATi over nvidia ^u^ Low-end ATi cards are far more common place in "budget" range laptops, at least I'm yet to find a decent 15.4" laptop with nvidia GFX for 400-450.

    As it turns out, the motherboard in one of my machines here is G45 based and has the X4500HD. I'd forgotten about it because at some point in the past, for a reason I can't remember, I put an nvidia card in it. I'm thinking about grabbing the latest Ubuntu live-CD and giving it a go to see what the experience is like (it's shamefully running Windows at the moment >.<).

    Truth be told, as I said above, my budget is more likely to make the decision for me. The idea was to have a mobile PC as a nice addition without breaking the bank, not to spend way over the odds on something just to get an nvidia GFX card.

    It really is a shame that Dell don't seem to want to release the Studio 14z over here in Europe. I'd order one tomorrow if they did, despite the RAM thing.

    Anyway, thanks again to everyone who took the time to reply. I'll report back when I've had a chance to play with Ubuntu and the X4500HD.

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    • #17
      Btw. there is one thing that you might want to consider. If you want to try HyperSpace Hybrid, then Intel onboard + VT enabled CPU would be needed. I would like to test that too, but the stupid installer checks for laptop (most likely it tests for a battery) - and i do not have got a laptop.

      http://www.hyperspace.com/Product-Specifications.aspx

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      • #18
        With my Core2duo@2.8 and G33 (and kernel 2.6.29), I can play The Matrix@1080p perfectly smoothly with VLC, without using complex instructions in a console (which were mandatory up to now, and I could only use mplayer that way...so I could not pause a video, only abort it).
        I can also now play Torcs smoothly at 1280*1024 on some circuits that were unplayable until now. A year ago no circuit was playable even at 800*600.
        Intel and Xorg programmers (and the VLC ones too) are really doing a fine job!

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        • #19
          Originally posted by DebianAroundParis View Post
          ...I could not pause a video, only abort it).

          Begging pardon for the OT, but what does this comment actually mean? Does your distro disable all the mplayer hotkeys? (space = (un)pause; f = (un)fullscreen; etc...)

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Wyatt View Post

            Begging pardon for the OT, but what does this comment actually mean? Does your distro disable all the mplayer hotkeys? (space = (un)pause; f = (un)fullscreen; etc...)
            I chose a long time ago not to learn the hotkeys of any software. So I had no idea I could use some with mplayer launched from the console.

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            • #21
              Well I gave it a go.

              This morning I downloaded the nightly LiveCD build of Ubuntu 9.10. I figured if I grabbed the nightly build I'd get a really up-to-date Intel driver and the associated bits. The driver was reported as 2.7.99, so I'm fairly sure it was good enough for my testing.

              I booted it up and got the nice LiveCD desktop, no corruption or missing UI components, I checked and was indeed running with UXA, not EXA. So that seems much improved. The desktop was being nicely composited, fading windows in and out without issue, again this is much improved since I last tried.

              I set gnome's visual effects to full and got wobbily windows and the couple of other effects to go with it. This was where I started to notice a little slowdown, but I figured I likely wouldn't be using that on a daily basis, so I ignored it.

              Next up I installed mplayer and tested a couple of HD videos I have kicking around.

              The Deus Ex 3 trailer was encoded with H264 at 720p. It ran almost as well as windows with the exception of the fast motion right at the end where it seemed to struggle, which I thought was a little odd.

              "Meet the Spy", a WMV encoded at 720p was slightly jumpy throughout, again this video plays fine under Windows. It stuttered more on fast motion that slow.

              I tried getting mplayer to output using gl or gl2 and even XvMC, but both gl options reduced the framerate to 2 or 3 fps and the XvMC option displayed nothing at all.

              Being a LiveCD I was unable to test my Sam & Max games via WINE as there was insufficient space to install them.

              I figured as I had a GeForce card on had I'd give that a try. Again I booted the LiveCD, but this time I dropped to the terminal, stopped GDM and installed the binary nvidia driver.

              Upon restarting GDM I was taken to the same desktop as before (go figure!). I set about testing the same things as I'd run on the X4500HD.

              The desktop effects were smooth even on full, which wasn't surprising considering the power difference between the 2 GPUs. What did surprise me was the difference in playing HD video's.

              Both videos were smooth from start to finish, just as it is in Windows. I could even drag the window about and have it "wobble" without noticing a single jump.

              Now this GeForce is a GF 7600GS, so it doesn't have access to VDPAU. There wasn't any hardware offloading happening, so I'm a little stumped as to why the Intel card struggled so much.

              So far it's looking like I may have to try and put a little extra money aside and get a laptop with an nvidia GPU in it. I know I'd be happier that way.

              Thanks again to everyone for your input, and for putting up with me asking all these questions ^.~ If anyone else has anything they'd like to add, please do so ^^

              All the best.

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              • #22
                What is your screen res ? Even upscaling motion video (Xv-type work) requires a fair amount of shader power, and I'm pretty sure the 7600GS has a lot more than the Intel IGP.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                  What is your screen res ? Even upscaling motion video (Xv-type work) requires a fair amount of shader power, and I'm pretty sure the 7600GS has a lot more than the Intel IGP.
                  My screen is 2048x1152, but I was playing the video in a window at it's native resolution, so it wasn't being upscaled at all.

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                  • #24
                    And just to make sure, this is bare, no-frills mplayer (and especially not gmplayer, which is terrible), right?

                    EDIT: Also, how does it do if you disable the more demanding compositing effects, or turn compositing off completely?
                    Last edited by Wyatt; 06-07-2009, 05:43 PM.

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                    • #25
                      @bridgman

                      I did not know that you work for Intel now

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Wyatt View Post
                        And just to make sure, this is bare, no-frills mplayer (and especially not gmplayer, which is terrible), right?

                        EDIT: Also, how does it do if you disable the more demanding compositing effects, or turn compositing off completely?
                        Yup, mplayer from the command line, launched by "mplayer filename", or for the output plugins "mplayer -vo plugin filename".

                        I didn't try using metacity --replace and then testing the videos, but performance was the same no matter what setting visual effects was set to.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Wyatt View Post
                          And just to make sure, this is bare, no-frills mplayer (and especially not gmplayer, which is terrible), right?

                          EDIT: Also, how does it do if you disable the more demanding compositing effects, or turn compositing off completely?
                          Come on, a Pentium Dual Core 1.73GHz can decode 720p "without a hassle", why should anyone with a new processor have to disable compositing?

                          Why is the performance of the Intel chip so superior on Windows and OS X? I badly want Intel to do better on Linux. They're doing the right thing. They're completely open and I own their product. However, the performance in Linux leaves me puzzled.

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                          • #28
                            I guess that the quality of the support of each Intel graphics chip varies a lot. It seems that the support for playing Full HD videos on G31/G33 is now perfect (on my PC) but the support for the more powerful G45 is behind. I say: just be patient. The support for my G33 was minimal when I bought this mobo, but it has improved tremendously, so much that I stopped exploring which graphics card I should buy to be able to watch Full HD videos. I am now perfectly happy with what I have got (I used to be very disappointed by the G33 and Intel programmers before).
                            My constant use of the latest versions of Mplayer and VLC and the related codecs in Debian Experimental may also take a significant part in the improvements I saw.
                            The fact is that any Canon 5D MkII video plays perfectly fine here, whatever the format or resolution.
                            Looking at the utilization of the two cores of my Core2duo@2.8gHz, I see that when playing a 1080p video from the Canon 5D MkII with xine, xine uses between 60% and 94% (with one spike to 99.99%), and xorg moves between 30% and 60%.
                            Last edited by DebianAroundParis; 06-09-2009, 05:29 AM.

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                            • #29
                              Well beginning with 3 ghz it seems to be smooth even in software single threaded for 1080p. When you look at the mplayer hp there are instructions how to compile it for multithreading, that might help you.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by kxmas View Post
                                Come on, a Pentium Dual Core 1.73GHz can decode 720p "without a hassle", why should anyone with a new processor have to disable compositing?
                                Is not disabling extraneous stuff the first step in troubleshooting a problem? Graphical user interfaces and compositing window managers fall into this category.

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