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Recommendations on Radeon card for Debian desktop.

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  • #11
    Originally posted by Kano View Post
    @nyc_paramedic

    Maybe you can get tearfree video with R500 hardware and radeonhd (can not verify), but with R600+ you need to use radeon oss. With R600+ fglrx and radeonhd have got tearing with xv.
    I noticed that ages ago - It did sometimes work by luck on my RV670.

    The problem varied with xserver commits, I did post all the details on #radeonhd but never actually filed a bug on the grounds that running git xserver under ~/ with old server still installed was probably not the sort of reporter they wanted. Also the suse people already said -ENOTIMEFORAGP when r600 demo failed some tests for me.

    I guess if someone using PCIE and a stock distro reports it they'll take a look.

    It was because the screen xy dimensions the vsync code gets were either 0 = novsync or big junk = vsync by luck.

    Last time I used HD I also had worse issues than that - screen not updating properly, and dmesg getting errors when it happened but I don't know if that one has surfaced for anyone else yet. I haven't actually run it since kms arrived.

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    • #12
      Originally posted by Kano View Post
      @nyc_paramedic

      Maybe you can get tearfree video with R500 hardware and radeonhd (can not verify), but with R600+ you need to use radeon oss. With R600+ fglrx and radeonhd have got tearing with xv.
      I can verify very fast 2d acceleration and tear free video with the Dell X1300 using the radeonhd. The problem is that the card, being passively cooled, is overheating when playing flash videos or fooling around with the 3d screen savers. The heat sink can fry bacon *and* an egg.

      I can't use the radeon driver because of this issue: http://www.phoronix.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20146

      I don't know whether the overheating is due to the design of this particular heat sink or driver.

      P.S. I appreciate all the prompt and artiuclate responses.

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      • #13
        FYI the radeonhd driver also has the ability to force a low power mode (slower clocks, reduced heat).

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        • #14
          Originally posted by bridgman View Post
          FYI the radeonhd driver also has the ability to force a low power mode (slower clocks, reduced heat).
          Do you have a link to some info? Is this set in xorg.conf?

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          • #15
            If you run "man radeonhd" you should see the info (if not then your driver is probably too old ).

            Adding Option "ForceLowPowerMode" "on" to the device section of xorg.conf should work.

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            • #16
              "ForceLowPowerMode" and "LowPowerModeEngineClock" are the options available.

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              • #17
                Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                If you run "man radeonhd" you should see the info (if not then your driver is probably too old ).

                Adding Option "ForceLowPowerMode" "on" to the device section of xorg.conf should work.
                Those options are not in my version of man radeonhd. Adding them to my Xorg, they are ignored. Oh well, it'll trickle into Debian sooner or later.

                Thanks again.

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                • #18
                  I'm not sure what is in Debian these days, but xorg-video-ati could do all the 2D things you need using r700 hardware starting with version 6.12.2, which was released in April if I recall correctly.

                  The only thing you might need is a newer kernel for the needed drm calls, but nothing from git, a stock vanilla kernel 2.6.31 should work. 2.6.32 definitely will. Back when I was using Debian, compiling your own kernels was something I did regularly, so this shouldn't be too experimental for you. Install the kernel, install the stable driver, and you're set.

                  I have a HD 4550, and I can recommend it. It is quiet (fanless), cheap (<$50), consumes little, and has no problems at all driving a full HD display. It is r710 class hardware so 3d still requires compiling experimental code from source, but I've had 2D acceleration for half a year and no problems with it. Despite being passively cooled and not having powersaving, it hasn't overheated yet, despite hours of playing OpenArena.

                  You'll get a modern card with fully accelerated 2D, compositing, XVideo, tear-free playback, etc.

                  Kernel modesetting, 3D and load-based powersaving are already working, but you'll have to wait for them to stabilise.
                  Last edited by pingufunkybeat; 11-25-2009, 07:30 AM.

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                  • #19
                    I have got the same card (4550), and you did not notice that DVI is broken with radeon and radeonhd? There is a hotfix that works for radeon however. Well i tested it mainly with VGA output because i had my NV card connected via DVI. But to recommend this card is really hard to understand as only the lastest Kanotix snapshots would support it correctly.

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                    • #20
                      Nope, I've been using DVI exclusively ever since I got it (sometime in April, I believe). I've used stable drivers (2D only), DDX 3D and experimental KMS+3D, and no issues.

                      This is the first I've heard of it. What exactly is broken?

                      I've only used Radeon, don't know how it is with RadeonHD.

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