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  • #31
    Originally posted by crumja View Post
    bridgman is right. Nvidia's 71xx series of proprietary drivers have long since stopped support for the latest Xservers. This means old cards circa Geforce 2 don't work. If it weren't for nouveau, these cards would be nigh useless with the latest distros. Now the same slow/dropped support is happening with the 96xx series of drivers.

    At least with ATI, OSS drivers will ensure that your card doesn't turn into a useless brick. Gallium3D and KMS support means that your card will take advantage of hardware acceleration on video, SVG, OpenCL, and other yet undefined future standards. I'm very satisfied with everything ATI has done.
    You do? What if your card is older than R300? There seems to be 'uncertain' support in older ATI cards. I thought Ubuntu was one of the 'supported' distros. How come you can't boot up in 9.10 with a Radeon 9000 (RV250) card? You have to become a developer and edit xorg.conf to obtain 3D. Else, you have to disable 3D (Desktop Effects). Karmic is the latest release so the choices are: 1) edit xorg.conf and hope you can figure out what settings are needed; 2)install latest Ubuntu version (Alpha) and deal with any bugs; 3)switch to a different distro and pray it works; 4)Install an older release

    Is that supposed to indicate support? That you could try a bunch of configurations until you find one that works?!?

    At least, the comparative Nvidia cards work when the driver is installed correctly and the support is consistent.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Panix View Post
      You do? What if your card is older than R300? There seems to be 'uncertain' support in older ATI cards. I thought Ubuntu was one of the 'supported' distros. How come you can't boot up in 9.10 with a Radeon 9000 (RV250) card?
      because that is a bug in Ubuntu 9.10, smart ass? As you might have found out instead of complaining, the OSS driver stack is being rewritten right now. And rewriting stuff always itroduces bugs. I think Ubuntu 8.04 was the last version which had purley the old school stack, so try that...

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      • #33
        Originally posted by bridgman View Post
        DirtyHairy; you mentioned DynamicClocks, I think that was replaced a while ago with three new options :

        ClockGating (new name for DynamicClocks)
        ForceLowPowerMode (reduces engine clock and restrices PCIE lanes)
        DynamicPM (further reduces engine clock when display blanked via DPMS)

        Are you using all three of these options ? It's possible the driver is rejecting the DynamicClocks option - check your log.
        Hi Bridgman!

        Thanks for the suggestion, I'll try those options when I find time. The log indicates that DynamicGating is active:
        Code:
        Static power management enable success
        Dynamic clock gating enable success
        However, if those options exist, then it would be wise to document them in the radeon manpage; the current one (I'm on 6.12.4) still only lists DynamicClocks.

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        • #34
          Debian Lenny

          Another thread, same story: I use Debian Lenny, catalyst still works for my X1600 mobility, temperature and fan are a lot better than any recent linux distribution with open source drivers. I wouldn't need any performance for my driver, only low power usage. I'm sure one day I'll get it from the open source driver, but until then it's Lenny for me! Not everybody needs the newest and greatest (and most unstable )

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          • #35
            Originally posted by DirtyHairy View Post
            However, if those options exist, then it would be wise to document them in the radeon manpage; the current one (I'm on 6.12.4) still only lists DynamicClocks.
            well actually thats not so important as with kms you will get dynamic power management: http://www.rojtberg.net/366/power-ma...eon-on-ubuntu/

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            • #36
              Originally posted by DirtyHairy View Post
              Hi Bridgman!

              Thanks for the suggestion, I'll try those options when I find time. The log indicates that DynamicGating is active:
              Code:
              Static power management enable success
              Dynamic clock gating enable success
              However, if those options exist, then it would be wise to document them in the radeon manpage; the current one (I'm on 6.12.4) still only lists DynamicClocks.
              The man page usually matches the driver pretty well, so it's likely that your driver code is too old to have the newer power saving features.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by madman2k View Post
                well actually thats not so important as with kms you will get dynamic power management: http://www.rojtberg.net/366/power-ma...eon-on-ubuntu/
                I'd like to see some benchmark results. On my NC8430 laptop I could use as a temperature proxy the ACPI fan speed, which was 55% on fglrx, 70% on "old" open driver (with DynamicClocks) and 80% on first KMS efforts, after which I have stayed away from new distributions...

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                • #38
                  Looks like the power management code went in after the 6.12 branch was created (the branch is based on 6.12.2), so you won't have that code in 6.12.4 either. Check to see if your distro has a package available to give you a newer version of the driver built from master rather than the 6.12 branch.

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                  • #39
                    bridgman, I have 2 questions:

                    1. Does KMS-based power saving apply to desktop cards or is it a feature just for mobile cards?

                    2. Will the amount of power saved match fglrx's powerplay?

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by crumja View Post
                      1. Does KMS-based power saving apply to desktop cards or is it a feature just for mobile cards?
                      Both are supported, however, older desktop cards tended to only have one power state.

                      Originally posted by crumja View Post
                      2. Will the amount of power saved match fglrx's powerplay?
                      At the moment it does not match, but eventually we hope to match the proprietary driver.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        1. both
                        2. not yet IIRC two things are missing
                        2.1: a solid formula to determine the minimum clocks required for the current screen resolution. Only when the hard limit is known, aggressive downclocking is safe.
                        2.2: a good logic to determine when to change clock speeds. There have been some experimental patches for dynamic clock-switching, but I'm not sure if anything went mainline yet.


                        KMS-based power management has some pretty sweet options, like synchronizing CPU + GPU sleep to save even more power. In theory, with enough work, it could beat powerplay. But it's not there yet.


                        /edit: oh, ninja'd.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                          The man page usually matches the driver pretty well, so it's likely that your driver code is too old to have the newer power saving features.
                          Ah, but see, this is _exactly_ why I was using the word "stable". I am on xf86-video-ati 6.12.4 which is the most recent released version. Same goes for comments along the line "KMS will eventually improve the situation" - the corresponding code is only partially written yet, lest alone well-tested and at least in beta state. I use this machine for work and, while I have done so in the past on several occasions, can't afford the time and risk of running it on highly unstable software anymore.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                            By the time they get their 'crap in order' your laptop will long be obsolete. Need a proper running performance driver in the mean time? All you will get is a 'we hear you, we understand but sucks to be you' reply back.
                            Nonsense. My T60p has a FireGL V5200 and I have inhouse service for this piece until March 2012.

                            I can safely assume that my laptop won't be obsolete until then, unless you'll find me a 4:3 with a non-glossy UXGA display and a keyboard of similiar quality.

                            You have probably never had a decent laptop to begin with.

                            The development of the drivers for this card has made enormous progress on all fronts and I trust the developers to continue their great work. It's not their problem that ATI has taken the support from r3oo cards.

                            These days a modern distro with up to date drm, xf86-drivers and mesa does all the things I expect it to do, except for power management that is, but that is coming along nicely thanks to some recent patches.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              I feel that AMD/ATi is making phenomenal progress on the free drivers.

                              Unfortunately, they are paying for many years of neglect, which left the Linux support for ATi cards in a miserable state. They have a lot of catching up to do. And due to the big changes going on in the X/gfx stack, the transition is not very smooth at the moment.

                              Still, they are doing the RIGHT thing -- working on free drivers which will not only benefit the users of ATi cards who want to run a free operating system, but also benefit all Linux users through the improved underlying infrastructure.

                              And this is why I bought an AMD card instead of an nVidia one. If I wanted to replace half of the Linux ecosystem (much of the kernel, half of X, everything relating to graphics) with a binary blob developed for Windows, I'd stick to a closed source operating system. I can run bash and Vim on top of Windows anyway.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
                                I feel that AMD/ATi is making phenomenal progress on the free drivers.
                                Well, I guess next time my battery runs out on the train without a socket nearby, I will try to bring myself in the mood of feeling the good KMS / powermanagment vibes coming nearer every month I'm waiting.

                                Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
                                And this is why I bought an AMD card instead of an nVidia one. If I wanted to replace half of the Linux ecosystem (much of the kernel, half of X, everything relating to graphics) with a binary blob developed for Windows, I'd stick to a closed source operating system. I can run bash and Vim on top of Windows anyway.
                                You're not serious about a binary driver replacing "much of the kernel"? That's utter crap, most of the duties of the kernel are not related to graphics in any way. In addition, the "linux ecosystem" as such doesn't exist, there's the kernel, then there's GNU, and in addition, we have X (and mark, all of these are independent components which can well live without each other). Therefore, a closed-source driver is not "replacing half of the linux ecosystem" but just supplying the necessary functionality to drive the hardware in question to a well defined, small subset of the system you are using.

                                Don't get me wrong, I am very much an advocat of open source, but the mere existence closed source software doesn't kill puppies, and I prefer a closed source driver which operates my hardware as intended over an open source one which may have the necessary functionality at some point in the future. If they would have supported "legacy" hardware in fglrx long enough for essential functionality to be replaced by the open source driver, I would have been the first to applaud ATI for its move, but as things stand, customers have been dropped and the task of reimplementing the lost functionality has been left to "the community" (although, as ATI is backing this development with manpower, this statement is a little bit too harsh).

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