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  • Using Six Monitors With AMD's Open-Source Linux Driver

    Phoronix: Using Six Monitors With AMD's Open-Source Linux Driver

    Linux graphics drivers have come a long way in recent years for both the open and closed-source solutions from AMD, NVIDIA, and Intel. In this Sunday article, a Phoronix reader has shared his experiences in going from failing to setup two monitors under Linux just a few years ago with NVIDIA to now successfully driving six monitors on a single system using the AMD Linux driver...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTM3NTM

  • #2
    Good to know that it works!

    One more feature I've been wondering about for quite a while is support for 3D screens in open-source drivers, r600g in particular. Can they output 3D on a 3D monitor?

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    • #3
      Is that Niklas Andersson from Swedish TechWorld Open Source? (idg network)
      Nice to hear that things work.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by phoronix View Post
        Phoronix: Using Six Monitors With AMD's Open-Source Linux Driver

        Linux graphics drivers have come a long way in recent years for both the open and closed-source solutions from AMD, NVIDIA, and Intel. In this Sunday article, a Phoronix reader has shared his experiences in going from failing to setup two monitors under Linux just a few years ago with NVIDIA to now successfully driving six monitors on a single system using the AMD Linux driver...

        http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTM3NTM
        Is it not just that the xorg stack is in better state in fedora / ubuntu ?
        Will be nice to see some test between those two, not just openGL performance but tearing test, monitor detection test...

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        • #5
          7970-card with six outputs (4 hdmi, 2 dvi)
          AMD hardware only has two non-DP (DisplayPort) PLLs. Officially this means that only two non-DP monitors are supported. If you want to use more than two monitors, the rest of them should be native DP (or using active DP adapters). Technically this setup is not officially supported. That said, I added support for sharing non-DP PLLs in kernel 3.7 which means that you can share PLLs between non-DP displays if the selected modes on the displays share the same display clock. That's probably what "fixed" it, but it has some limitations and it wasn't really a bug per se.

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          • #6
            This is not really that new...

            I am running three monitor setup with my Sapphire HD6850 for quite some time. 3 Samsung 20" SyncMaster 204B/BM moniotrs, with each 1600x1200 = 4800x1200
            Two monitors are on DVI port and third is conneted through active Displayport to DVI interface.

            It works very well on open source radeon driver.

            For my next setup I plan to use FPGA to drive multiple LCD panels from Displayport directly.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Brane215 View Post
              I am running three monitor setup with my Sapphire HD6850 for quite some time. 3 Samsung 20" SyncMaster 204B/BM moniotrs, with each 1600x1200 = 4800x1200
              Two monitors are on DVI port and third is conneted through active Displayport to DVI interface.

              It works very well on open source radeon driver.

              For my next setup I plan to use FPGA to drive multiple LCD panels from Displayport directly.
              I think this article was more about the fact that just 6months ago...you shouldnt have even TRIED this. And now its working out of the box no problems.

              Edit: KScrens may make it in for KDE 4.11 .. http://www.afiestas.org/kscreen-0-1-rc1-released/

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by agd5f View Post
                AMD hardware only has two non-DP (DisplayPort) PLLs. Officially this means that only two non-DP monitors are supported. If you want to use more than two monitors, the rest of them should be native DP (or using active DP adapters). Technically this setup is not officially supported. That said, I added support for sharing non-DP PLLs in kernel 3.7 which means that you can share PLLs between non-DP displays if the selected modes on the displays share the same display clock. That's probably what "fixed" it, but it has some limitations and it wasn't really a bug per se.
                Could you elaborate on that ? Up untl now I thought the bottleneck is in framing circuits, since each frame is just a packet on Displayport while it has to be framed on other outputs ( X pixels in a row in Y rows with certain bit organisation within pixel and timings so it reaches the "phosphor" at exactly right moment).

                Your post implies that actually good PLL is expensive part wrt to silicon area and that ATI has been skimping on PLLs, not framing circuits.

                If so, it would be nice to know how could one drive M identical monitors at identical framerate and resolution with one PLL.

                Had I known how to do it before, it would spare me from much of the headscratching, endless googling, many failed attempts with passive adapters ( basically just a piece of wire and two connectors), suffering with DP-VGA adapter and using the latest addition XFX DP-DVI active adapter.

                Active adapters are not that cheap and adapters for dual-link DVI are outrageously expensive...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ericg View Post
                  I think this article was more about the fact that just 6months ago...you shouldnt have even TRIED this. And now its working out of the box no problems.
                  I've got my setup to work with DP-VGA adapter on 14.Sept.2011:

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                  • #10
                    Setup on last photo was probably with closed source driver, but it did not take me long to switch to open-sauce radeon.

                    It was a week or so sifting through the net like mad until I've got a hang of it. I remember having to got IRC channel #radeon for advice that finally enabled me to unlock that lock.

                    I've ended up on open driver, since it was updated much more frequently and developers reacted to user gripes with some energy. At the time closed driver ahd a nasty bug whic caused cursor corruption in certain situations, so I used radeon kernel module and xf86-video-ati open-source combination.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Brane215 View Post
                      I've got my setup to work with DP-VGA adapter on 14.Sept.2011:

                      Do you live in a sloped world by design?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Michael, you forgot something... recently you claimed:

                        Originally posted by Michael Larabel
                        However, if you're using such a high-end graphics card with the open-source driver stack at this point, it's rather silly and can find much better performance out of using the AMD Catalyst binary driver to exploit the full potential out of the pricey hardware.
                        7970/w opensource and your claim contradict themselves. I think its good... : )

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Marc Driftmeyer View Post
                          Do you live in a sloped world by design?
                          Yes. Ljubljana/Slovenia is at 4603′20″N 1430′30″E

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                          • #14
                            At work our standard desktop for our production systems we are using two Radeon HD 5450/6350 cards, on a 4 head setup, (4x1600x1200). It has been the most stable 4 head solution we have had. Its very nice and cheap too, as the cards only run about 40 bucks a peice. All running under RHEL 5.8.

                            I'm doing the upgrade to the Catalyst 3.1 driver and RHEL 5.9 on our production systems this week. Can't wait until we can go to RHEL 6.x as we can then have all one display (0.0) using Xinerama, it doesn't work on the older X server in RHEL 5.x though.

                            Sadly, getting to RHEL 6 is probably over a year away yet. Though we are getting some development machines at 6.4 to start checking out our software on.

                            We were looking at going 6 head, but may just go to 4x1920x1200. All our software(custom in house) is setup to expect at 1600x1200 layout. just need to change about 40 displays in one shot. Not hard to change the software and its layout, we just need to change everything at once, as most windows have a specific --geometry setting to bring it up in.
                            Last edited by matobinder; 05-19-2013, 09:40 PM.

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                            • #15
                              I've been running 6x 1280x1024 LCDs on a single Radeon HD 5870 using the free software radeon for about a year now. I don't have issues with my desktop not remembering my monitor layout or anything either.

                              Debian Wheezy, XFCE, ArandR, direct rendering on all screens (although I wouldn't play 3D games on this aside from Q3A).

                              Code:
                              $ xrandr 
                              Screen 0: minimum 320 x 200, current 7680 x 1024, maximum 8192 x 8192
                              DisplayPort-0 connected 1280x1024+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 340mm x 270mm
                                 1280x1024      75.0 +   60.0* 
                                 1024x768       75.1     70.1     60.0  
                                 832x624        74.6  
                                 800x600        72.2     75.0     60.3     56.2  
                                 640x480        72.8     75.0     66.7     60.0  
                                 720x400        70.1  
                              DisplayPort-1 connected 1280x1024+1280+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 0mm x 0mm
                                 1280x1024      60.0* 
                                 1024x768       60.0  
                                 800x600        60.3     56.2  
                                 848x480        60.0  
                                 640x480        59.9  
                              DisplayPort-2 connected 1280x1024+2560+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 0mm x 0mm
                                 1280x1024      60.0* 
                                 1024x768       60.0  
                                 800x600        60.3     56.2  
                                 848x480        60.0  
                                 640x480        59.9  
                              DisplayPort-3 connected 1280x1024+3840+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 338mm x 270mm
                                 1280x1024      60.0*+   75.0  
                                 1152x864       75.0  
                                 1024x768       75.1     70.1     60.0  
                                 832x624        74.6  
                                 800x600        72.2     75.0     60.3     56.2  
                                 640x480        72.8     75.0     66.7     60.0  
                                 720x400        70.1  
                              DisplayPort-4 connected 1280x1024+5120+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 359mm x 287mm
                                 1280x1024      60.0*+
                                 1280x960       60.0  
                                 1024x768       60.0  
                                 800x600        60.3  
                                 640x480        60.0  
                                 720x400        70.1  
                              DisplayPort-5 connected 1280x1024+6400+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 340mm x 270mm
                                 1280x1024      75.0*+   60.0     60.0  
                                 1024x768       75.1     70.1     60.0  
                                 832x624        74.6  
                                 800x600        72.2     75.0     60.3     56.2  
                                 640x480        72.8     75.0     66.7     60.0  
                                 720x400        70.1  
                              $

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