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  • Performance Problems with new 780G motherboard

    I just bought a new motherboard for my wife. The previous board was an Nvidia based AM2 board with a shoddy SATA controller--it was causing nasty crashing in both Linux and WinXP64.

    My first thought for the new board was an AMD chipset, and after a little research, I settled on an ASUS M3A78-EM with the 780G chipset. The board has been stable so far, so it solved the main problem.

    However, my wife dual boots Debian Unstable and WinXP64, with Debian being her primary OS. She's running a 2.6.30 kernel, recent Xorg (not totally sure, but it is likely the latest), and KDE4.

    We've run into one major problem, when running with either the radeon or radeonhd drivers, the IGP has terrible 2D performance. Moving windows, scrolling in firefox and pretty much all animation is choppy and jerky where on the previous setup (NV mobo+7600GS card), everything was totally smooth. For comparison, with latest drivers installed on WinXP64, the 2D performance is excellent, so it isn't the hardware. (Oh, and when I say "terrible", I mean, bad--as in, greater than half a second between screen redraws.)

    I tried playing with all the IGP related settings in the BIOS (amount of dedicated VRAM, aperature above/below 4G, &c.), that didn't seem to have any effect (and since XP is fine, I would expect this to be true). I tried tuning the Xorg.conf file--turning glx on and off, compositing, and trying different acceleration modes (EXA and XAA).

    We also tried to get fglrx running just for a performance comparison, but the source code for the kernel module layer would not compile (errors in the AMD/ATI supplied header files, which makes me question its compatibility of the rest of the code with the kernel).

    Any thoughts on what might help this? Is there a setting I overlooked/don't know about? We would really prefer to run with the open source RadeonHD driver--OSS Linux drivers was a major selling point for us. Or is this a "more testing and development of the drivers needed" kind of deal?

    Thanks,
    Jeff

  • #2
    I have a 780G board and I have excellent performance. You don't have any 3D stuff, Compiz etc, enabled I hope?
    Try to boot it from an Ubuntu LiveCD, if performance is different you know it's the software and not the hardware.

    Comment


    • #3
      We also tried to get fglrx running just for a performance comparison, but the source code for the kernel module layer would not compile (errors in the AMD/ATI supplied header files, which makes me question its compatibility of the rest of the code with the kernel).
      2.6.29 and above need to be patched. alternatively you could use a 2.6.28 kernel.

      Generally the whole xorg/mesa stack is in a state of transition with various versions being either hit or miss.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi phaedrus.

        Can you show us your /var/log/Xorg.0.log ?
        Maybe we can find the failure. EXA should provide fast 2D Acceleration.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by ernstp View Post
          I have a 780G board and I have excellent performance. You don't have any 3D stuff, Compiz etc, enabled I hope?
          Try to boot it from an Ubuntu LiveCD, if performance is different you know it's the software and not the hardware.
          Great idea. In fact, I grabbed Kubuntu 9.04 and it works great. (I was actually hoping someone would pop on and say, "I have this setup and it works fine".)

          The debian install is on the unstable sources with stock KDE4 (4.2.4-1 per aptitude). So, no compiz and no 3D stuff that isn't setup by default. The version for the RadeonHD driver is 1.2.5, and the Xserver reports itself as:

          This is a pre-release version of the X server from The X.Org Foundation.
          It is not supported in any way.
          Bugs may be filed in the bugzilla at http://bugs.freedesktop.org/.
          Select the "xorg" product for bugs you find in this release.
          Before reporting bugs in pre-release versions please check the
          latest version in the X.Org Foundation git repository.
          See http://wiki.x.org/wiki/GitPage for git access instructions.

          X.Org X Server 1.6.1.901 (1.6.2 RC 1)
          Release Date: 2009-5-8
          X Protocol Version 11, Revision 0
          Build Operating System: Linux 2.6.30-dsa-amd64 x86_64 Debian
          Current Operating System: Linux atalanta 2.6.26-2-amd64 #1 SMP Thu May 28 21:28:49 UTC 2009 x86_64
          Build Date: 23 June 2009 06:28:59PM
          xorg-server 2:1.6.1.901-3 (buildd@)
          (Which looks a little ominous.) The other interesting (to my eye) looking spot of the Xorg.0.log file is this message:

          (**) RADEONHD(0): Depth 24, (--) framebuffer bpp 32
          (**) RADEONHD(0): Option "AccelMethod" "exa"
          (**) RADEONHD(0): Selected EXA 2D acceleration.
          (II) RADEONHD(0): Unknown card detected: 0x9610:0x1043:0x82F1.
          If - and only if - your card does not work or does not work optimally
          please contact radeonhd@opensuse.org to help rectify this.
          Use the subject: 0x9610:0x1043:0x82F1: <name of board>
          and *please* describe the problems you are seeing
          in your message.
          (--) RADEONHD(0): Detected an RS780 on an unidentified card
          (II) RADEONHD(0): Mapped IO @ 0xfbdf0000 to 0x7f065b6a5000 (size 0x00010000)
          (II) RADEONHD(0): Getting BIOS copy from legacy VBIOS location
          (II) RADEONHD(0): ATOM BIOS Rom:
          SubsystemVendorID: 0x1002 SubsystemID: 0x1002
          IOBaseAddress: 0xd000
          Filename: M3A78_D4.bin
          BIOS Bootup Message:
          B27722 RS780 DDR2 200e/500m
          Since you guys probably know better than me what to look for, and since I'm not allowed to post attachments, I'll follow up with the whole (41kiB) Xorg.0.log file in my next post. (Since I have a software setup that works optimally--kubuntu 9.04 live CD--I'm going to pass on sending the prescribed email and rely on you guys.)

          Thanks for the quick replies.

          Jeff

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Perry3D View Post
            Hi phaedrus.

            Can you show us your /var/log/Xorg.0.log ?
            Maybe we can find the failure. EXA should provide fast 2D Acceleration.
            Ok, the log file is 41k, there is an (entirely reasonable) 10k character limit on post size, and I am currently not allowed to attach files to posts. Anything in particular you would look for in the log file? Or, will I be able to post attachments once I've hit five posts?

            (Also, I think I might be getting automatically sent to the moderation queue... Oh well, I accept my fate as a minor casualty in the war against canned meat.)

            Jeff

            Comment


            • #7
              Ok, I had one other post in there, which got eaten. I think the forum is being funny about leaving me with some tabs which are logged in and some which aren't, which means it[the unposted post] got posted as guest and sent to the moderation queue... If it doesn't make it out of that particular purgatory in the next hour or so, I'll try to reconstruct it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hint: pastebin.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  As others have mentioned, you're running the latest unstable bits in a time when the whole stack is undergoing heavy development, which means that you can and should expect some things to not run smoothly. I'd recommend for production usage a stable release of any distro.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Since you are using kde you are likely not to use compiz but kwin as compositor. Since your board has no 3D implementation in the open source drivers, everything done via opengl goes right through the CPU, which makes things slow. Here is what you should do to make things (reasonable) fast:
                    1) Edit your xorg.conf and specify EXA as acceleration method.
                    2) Go into the settings for desktop effects, In the Extended section select "XRender" as composite type, *not* OpenGL. This way it should work nicely, at least it does so here (though my graphics card is stronger).
                    3) If you are using radeonhd (I am using radeon over here, works fine) you also have to activate DRI by hand in your xorg.conf. Have a look at man radeonhd for details.

                    Beside this you should check if the modules drm and radeon are loaded (assuming they are not built into the kernel).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Forgot the previous posts.

                      Add the Debian non-free repository to your APT sources.

                      Install the "firmware-linux" package with

                      su
                      apt-get update && apt-get install firmware-linux

                      Reboot and done.

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