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Intel SNA vs. UXA On Ivy Bridge (July 2012)

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  • #11
    Originally posted by whaevr View Post
    How do I figure out how what acceleration method is currently being used? Is there some kind of command I can issue? I just want to be able to make sure I have my xorg options set correctly
    If you didn't explicitly enable SNA (see one of the previous posts), you are using UXA.

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    • #12
      Looking at /var/log/Xorg.0.log might give some clues about that, too.

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      • #13
        Latest intel driver in arch linux has sna support (if you do the xorg.conf change), so I enabled it on my ironlake machine to test. Can't say I've noticed much difference in real world usage yet, but it didn't break anything either so I guess there's that

        Does anyone know what kind of "real world" usage would show sna's improvements?
        Last edited by bwat47; 07-31-2012, 05:31 PM.

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        • #14
          Originally posted by GreatEmerald View Post
          Looking at /var/log/Xorg.0.log might give some clues about that, too.
          Correct, I just checked mine and it does seem to tell you if its initialized:

          [ 12.881] (II) intel(0): SNA initialized with Ironlake backend

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          • #15
            Originally posted by bwat47 View Post
            Latest intel driver in arch linux has sna support (if you do the xorg.conf change), so I enabled it on my ironlake machine to test. Can't say I've noticed much difference in real world usage yet, but it didn't break anything either so I guess there's that

            Does anyone know what kind of "real world" usage would show sna's improvements?
            Well, I've obviously completedly failed if you haven't noticed any of your common tasks improved by SNA. So what is your common workload?

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            • #16
              Well SNA enabled triggers more often the xserver crash with debian wheezy when kde 4 effects are turned off/on. As i still need that to get teerfree video i would like to know what patches are needed for the xserver - best force em to be added to the debian wheezy xserver...

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              • #17
                Originally posted by ickle View Post
                Well, I've obviously completedly failed if you haven't noticed any of your common tasks improved by SNA. So what is your common workload?
                Maybe I'm just bad at noticing these things

                Generally on this laptop I don't do anything too heavy, web browsing, videos, music, text editing.

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                • #18
                  Ok, I definitely notice firefox seems a lot snappier with sna enabled

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                  • #19
                    So for the first time after a long while, I used my Ironlake machine full-time today. And I had this weird feeling all the time as if the display is out of focus. In trying to figure it out, I switched from SNA back to UXA. And what do you know, the feeling was gone immediately. So I took some screenshots.

                    Here a toolbar button with UXA:

                    The same toolbar button with SNA:


                    Note in particular the right edge. You might think that the difference is very small, but it's enough to give me the weird feeling.

                    Versions of relevant packages are xf86-video-intel-2.20.3, cairo-1.12.2, gtk2-2.24.11, the theme being rendered is Clearlooks. Such a tiny thing, but you know what, I'll stick with UXA for the time being. I'm very sensitive to such things. For example, I use the lcdlegacy freetype filter for fonts, because what the lcddefault filter renders is way too blurry for my eyes.

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                    • #20
                      Originally posted by Gusar View Post
                      So for the first time after a long while, I used my Ironlake machine full-time today. And I had this weird feeling all the time as if the display is out of focus. In trying to figure it out, I switched from SNA back to UXA. And what do you know, the feeling was gone immediately. So I took some screenshots.

                      Here a toolbar button with UXA:

                      The same toolbar button with SNA:


                      Note in particular the right edge. You might think that the difference is very small, but it's enough to give me the weird feeling.

                      Versions of relevant packages are xf86-video-intel-2.20.3, cairo-1.12.2, gtk2-2.24.11, the theme being rendered is Clearlooks. Such a tiny thing, but you know what, I'll stick with UXA for the time being. I'm very sensitive to such things. For example, I use the lcdlegacy freetype filter for fonts, because what the lcddefault filter renders is way too blurry for my eyes.
                      That turns out to be a bug in cairo...

                      commit e41dffb329e4a6fcb4e75fb501843838a499c4c8
                      Author: Chris Wilson <chris@chris-wilson.co.uk>
                      Date: Mon May 14 17:46:32 2012 +0100

                      stroke: Don't drop clockwise==0 lines

                      If the join indicates the pair of edges are parallel, we may be
                      considering the final segment of the spline with a different tangent
                      vector than the slope of the final edge and so lead to false dropping of
                      an edge. This has the effect that the line segments between 'arc arc arc
                      arc' (a rounded rectangle) are no longer horizontal or vertical. As path
                      construction tries to eliminate joins between colinear segments, this
                      optimisation should not be required anyway.

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