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Radeon PRIME Import/Export Support For Libdrm

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  • Radeon PRIME Import/Export Support For Libdrm

    Phoronix: Radeon PRIME Import/Export Support For Libdrm

    Support within the DRM user-space library for handling PRIME import and export of GEM buffer objects has been committed for the open-source Radeon Linux graphics driver...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTE1OTY

  • #2
    All this work is very exciting! What should be done to enable GPU-switching (with MUXless cards)? When it will be possible?

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    • #3
      I will be buying a notebook with enduro soon so I am a bit interested in that work but there is surprisingly little information "out there".

      As I understand it the whole GPU offloading and output slave will come with randr 1.5 but my xrandr --version says with xorg-git master:
      Code:
      xrandr program version       1.3.5
      Server reports RandR version 1.3
      So it's not even in Xorg yet?

      According to phoronix the prime/dmabuf stuff should be in linux 3.5. But is it ready? Is it ready in 3.6-rc1?

      Is there xf86-video-ati needed at all?

      And how long will it take until it is ready at least in git? I don't need to know it exactly, but days, weeks or months?

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      • #4
        GPU recovery

        Does PRIME support GPU crash/lock-up recovery?
        What if a device driver crash?

        Then the whole system crashes?

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        • #5
          What driver combo's will be possible with the PRIME technology?

          Intel(FOSS) + (NON-FOSS) ATi/NVidia
          Intel(FOSS) + (FOSS) ATi/NVidia

          I know there is no NON-FOSS optimus support, but is there any NON-FOSS ATi support for dual-card laptops, is it decent?

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          • #6
            I think the Linux Catalyst driver (aka fglrx) allows manual switching between GPUs, but requires that X be restarted for the switch to take effect.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by bridgman View Post
              I think the Linux Catalyst driver (aka fglrx) allows manual switching between GPUs, but requires that X be restarted for the switch to take effect.
              And that makes this feature useless

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              • #8
                Um... no, but I know you already knew that

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                  Um... no, but I know you already knew that
                  My point is that something like that should not involve user interaction or even an automated restart. The user must have no idea -not even the slightest blink must disrupt his work- when the system goes from one card to another. OK maybe a notification but thats all.

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                  • #10
                    Ahh, you mean "makes Catalyst's switching useless". I thought you were talking about making radeon Prime useless.

                    At least I understand what you're saying now, even if I still don't agree with it

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                      Ahh, you mean "makes Catalyst's switching useless". I thought you were talking about making radeon Prime useless.

                      At least I understand what you're saying now, even if I still don't agree with it
                      Useless was probably the wrong word to use but personally i find it annoying to have to switch between cards "manually".

                      To give you another example imagine if you could get 100hp more out of your car but you had to stop, get outside, open the engine bay, press some buttons, and then be able to use it. Its not the most "user friendly" way to do things. I would perfectly understand it if there are technical reasons (ie X doesn't support fancy stuff like that) for it but still its not "perfect".

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                      • #12
                        Using automotive analogies in the computer world has always been a high risk activity, but if you want to go there....

                        My Jeep has locking hubs - you get out and manually engage them if you want four wheel drive. Upside is better fuel economy on the road.

                        Modern V8's often have mechanisms to automatically disable 4 of the 8 cylinders under light load, but getting good fuel economy requires "reverse engineering the computer" in your head to figure out when it's safe to step gently on the gas. I would pay extra for a manual switch to lock it in 4-cylinder mode even if I had to pop the hood to switch it.

                        For what it's worth I don't think anyone is claiming the current multi-GPU support is perfect, but AFAIK it *is* better than anything else on the market right now.
                        Last edited by bridgman; 08-15-2012, 08:33 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                          For what it's worth I don't think anyone is claiming the current multi-GPU support is perfect, but AFAIK it *is* better than anything else on the market right now.
                          You know that one could switch graphics cards via an X restart longer than decade ago already? In the Xfree86 days.

                          That Catalyst's switching is in the same place as tech from 10+ years ago isn't really impressive. Better than anything else on the market, sadly yes.

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                          • #14
                            Yeah, the first goal was not to be impressive, but to let people use their HW if the vendor didn't follow the spec and left out the BIOS switch.

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