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Please write about NVidia's 2D performance problems

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  • #31
    I'm a semi-happy user of NVIDIA 8800GT GPU. While in Windows everything works like a breeze, in Linux everythings crawls to the complete freeze.

    KDE 4.x window resizing and other operations look like a slide show for me. My CPU usage jumps to 100% on many web pages in Firefox 3, smooth scrolling is sometimes unbearable (Just open any slashdot.org big enough discussion thread).

    A simple rotating Firefox 3 throbber consumes around 40% of 2600MHz Athlon 64 CPU.

    There's really nothing to be said. Proprietary NVIDIA drivers do NOT support XRender acceleration on 8XXX and later GPUs - so there's really nothing to talk about. For the first time in my life I'm now thinking of dumping my NVIDIA GPU in favour of ATI solution - since I'm eager to upgrade to KDE 4.1 and I ... can not.

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    • #32
      I dont think you loose anything with the stable KDE 3.5. You still can run KDE 4 apps - you don't have to use it as desktop.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Kano View Post
        I dont think you loose anything with the stable KDE 3.5. You still can run KDE 4 apps - you don't have to use it as desktop.
        I'm not interested in running a couple of KDE4 applications in KDE3.5.x - it sounds a bit ridiculous, I want to migrate to KDE4 altogether. Besides there's a burden of running simultaneously a set of qt3/kde3 and qt4/kde4 libraries.

        I do want to hope that NVIDIA will do something about that in the nearest future, although the prospects of this are quite unfortunate taking into consideration their kinda mishap with GTX2XX GPUs and $200 million loss related to faulty notebook parts.

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        • #34
          I have two current nVidia machines (bought specifically after the horrible experience from Ati):

          1. Core2Duo laptop w/ 8600M GT
          - Debian Sid, with all the updates, including nvidia-drivers 173.14.09.
          - KDE 3.5.9, Firefox 3.0
          - compiz
          => things run ok, although some actions like maximizing a window are painfully slow, scrolling on the other hand could be better but is quite decent. The latest drivers seem slower than the 171 version, which had other problems. All-in-all, the desktop is usable but feels slower than it should be.

          2. Core2Quad desktop with a GTX 260
          - Ubuntu 8.10 II, with all the updates, including nvidia-driver 177.something
          - KDE 4.1beta, Firefox 3.0
          - compiz
          => everything is silky smooth, much better than on the laptop, including compiz effects, maximizing, scrolling, etc. I have them side-by-side so I can compare. Maybe the latest drivers are better is it because of the faster chip? Anyway, it seems not *all* KDE4/FF3 & nVidia combos are bad, in my case it's the older version having problems

          This being said, I would very much like to see proper FOSS support from nvidia, at least on their older cards, instead of those "legagy" drivers which are starting to become quite numerous these days (do we really need dozens of "legacy" driver versions?)

          Oh, and for a little offtopic -- I also have another computer with Intel G35 on-board. It's been the most unstable one of the bunch when it comes to playing videos, and I'm not even running compiz or anything 3D on it... so much for having alternatives :-/

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          • #35
            I've been following this thread and it seems to offer some interesting things to try, notably the new GTX200 series beta drivers and the PixmapCacheSize switch.

            http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=115916

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            • #36
              this was with a 8600GT on gentoo. CPU AMD X2 6000+, 4gb ram. nf520 board.

              with kde 4.1 beta/rc/final:
              Resizing windows: very slow
              scrolling: jerky and slow.
              after a right click on the desktop it could take up seconds until the menu appeared - and then it wasn't even usable - that was a second later.
              kmenu appearing slowly
              when closing a window a grey, half transparent shadow of it remained on the desktop (only after some hours of usage).
              when scrolling through pictures in gwenview and one was manually set to 100% there was a big chance the next picture would show garbage at first.

              with AMD HD3870:
              resizing windows still slow
              scrolling, faster but a lot of times not perfect.
              desktop menu pops up instantly - and is usable from the first moment
              kmenu pops up instantly and is usable from the first moment
              no shadows when a window is closed
              picture viewing in gwenview without any problems.
              watching videos not as good as with nvidia.

              I tried: xrender, opengl+texture from pixmap, sharedmen, KWIN_NVIDIA_HACK=1, nvidia-settings -a InitialPixmapPlacement=2 -a GlyphCache=1, different xorg.conf settings.

              And nothing really helped. If there were improvements somewhere - like scrolling, resizing or menus became worse.

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              • #37
                I think I may have found the magical solution to the 2D performance problems. Look what I got with gtkperf with 1000 iterations on my 8600gts:

                gtkperf -c 1000
                GtkPerf 0.40 - Starting testing: Sat Aug 9 20:30:55 2008

                GtkEntry - time: 0.11
                GtkComboBox - time: 8.94
                GtkComboBoxEntry - time: 7.30
                GtkSpinButton - time: 1.08
                GtkProgressBar - time: 0.81
                GtkToggleButton - time: 5.00
                GtkCheckButton - time: 3.70
                GtkRadioButton - time: 3.99
                GtkTextView - Add text - time: 23.73
                GtkTextView - Scroll - time: 3.37
                GtkDrawingArea - Lines - time: 1.96
                GtkDrawingArea - Circles - time: 2.20
                GtkDrawingArea - Text - time: 2.12
                GtkDrawingArea - Pixbufs - time: 4.03
                ---
                Total time: 68.34
                These options are taken from loads of different places (mainly different posts on NVnews), and suddenly I struck gold with a special combination. This may look a little overkill, but I'm not sure which options are useless, and I don't think I will try to find out; if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Here they are:

                Enter this into the terminal:
                nvidia-settings -a InitialPixmapPlacement=2 -a GlyphCache=1 -a SyncToVBlank=0
                And I KNOW some of you will complain about bad performance with that, I got some problems too until I added this to my xorg.conf:

                Option "PixmapCacheSize" "2500000"
                Option "UseEvents" "on"
                Option "OnDemandVBlankInterrupts" "on"
                Option "backingstore" "true"
                I hope it works for you! Everything happens instantly, all problems have gone, I didn't realise how fast my computer could be!
                Last edited by Xanikseo; 08-09-2008, 04:10 PM.

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                • #38
                  been there, done that, no real improvement.

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                  • #39
                    Really? Have you tried those exact options? If so, that's annoying, perfect here. Then again, I didn't have windows taking seconds to maximise before.. oh well.


                    What are your specs?

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                    • #40
                      were - amd x2 6000+ 4gb ram, 8600gt.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Xanikseo View Post
                        nvidia-settings -a InitialPixmapPlacement=2 -a GlyphCache=1 -a SyncToVBlank=0
                        Just that by itself helps me a lot, haven't restarted X to try the other settings yet. Is there an easy way to get the settings applied every time I start X?

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                        • #42
                          The easiest way is to add a session to the sessions applet in the preferences sub-menu, and use that line as a command. It would run that command as soon as you log in.

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                          • #43
                            As user:

                            mkdir -p ~/.kde/Autostart
                            echo nvidia-settings -a InitialPixmapPlacement=2 -a GlyphCache=1 > ~/.kde/Autostart/nvidia.sh
                            chmod +x ~/.kde/Autostart/nvidia.sh

                            You could discuss if you really want SyncToVBlank=0, because scaled youtube videos look much better with vsync on with latest flash. That only works with 177.x . Also the vsync option is stored in .nvidia-settings-rc, so you could start

                            nvidia-settings -l

                            too in order to load all settings from the configfile (the first two options are not stored there as they are not accessable via the gui).

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                            • #44
                              I've got an 8600GT (purchased just recently), and even with all tweaks (initial pixmap placement, glyphcache and 177.X beta drivers), I'm definitely not happy with 2D. So I really hope nvidia means business when they say they're working on improving it.

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                              • #45
                                I think Firefox under Vista is silky smooth for on an 8800 GTX. It doesn't have an embarassing 4 second pause when rescaling images or zooming in Google maps, either.

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