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How To Setup Radeon DPM On Ubuntu Linux

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  • #16
    I've got a RadeonHD 4850 with an AMD Athlon X2-3800+ running Ubuntu 13.04.. and I installed Linux 3.11rc3 headers, x64 headers, and the kernel from the ubuntu mainline folks, I installed the RV770 firmware, added a radeon.dpm=1 parameter to my bootline and ran sudo update-grub, and I installed the PPA mentioned here and ran a dist-upgrade. I've verified that I'm running on the latest Linux and Mesa.

    I ran a Nexuiz bench with pts before and after these changes, and I got an average 5% improvement, a bit less than the 160% that I was expecting. Also, my display is 1280x1024, but it's running at 1024x768 and I tried making an xorg.conf file with the proper size using horiz and vert refresh specs from the panel manufacturer's site, but it was ignored.

    Would you say a 5% improvement is to be expected of a system where radeon dpm is not working or completely turned off? Also, how do I get the radeon driver to use the proper 1280x1024@75Hz mode?
    Last edited by ethana2; 07-30-2013, 06:51 PM.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by ethana2 View Post
      I've got a RadeonHD 4850 with an AMD Athlon X2-3800+ running Ubuntu 13.04.. and I installed Linux 3.11rc3 headers, x64 headers, and the kernel from the ubuntu mainline folks, I added a radeon.dpm=1 parameter to my bootline and ran sudo update-grub, and I installed the PPA mentioned here and ran a dist-upgrade. I've verified that I'm running on the latest Linux and Mesa.
      You don't mention getting updated firmware files, it's in the paragraph beginning "Utilizing Radeon dynamic power management support requires...". For a Radeon HD 4850 you need the files with names including "RV770". Take a look in your dmesg and hopefully you'll see a message about missing firmware.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by archibald View Post
        You don't mention getting updated firmware files, it's in the paragraph beginning "Utilizing Radeon dynamic power management support requires...". For a Radeon HD 4850 you need the files with names including "RV770". Take a look in your dmesg and hopefully you'll see a message about missing firmware.
        I realized that same thing right before I saw this response and edited my post to reflect that. The firmware was in place, but I'll check dmesg, maybe it wanted more than just that one file, or wanted a different one.

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        • #19
          If the BIOS on your card defaulted to a high clock at boot (which IIRC was common in the rv770 days) then you wouldn't get a performance boost from dpm unless you had been manually selecting a mid or low profile before. Instead of a performance gain you would see a power & temp reduction on average from the GPU going to *lower* clocks when not busy.

          APUs and GCN GPUs usually defaulted to low clocks (and there you would see a performance gain from dpm), but there wasn't a sharp cutover AFAIK -- with each new generation low default clocks became more common.

          You should see *some* kind of improvement with dpm, but parts that already default to max clocks can only go down (power savings) not up (performance).

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          • #20
            Originally posted by ethana2 View Post
            I've got a RadeonHD 4850 with an AMD Athlon X2-3800+ running Ubuntu 13.04.. and I installed Linux 3.11rc3 headers, x64 headers, and the kernel from the ubuntu mainline folks, I installed the RV770 firmware, added a radeon.dpm=1 parameter to my bootline and ran sudo update-grub, and I installed the PPA mentioned here and ran a dist-upgrade. I've verified that I'm running on the latest Linux and Mesa.

            I ran a Nexuiz bench with pts before and after these changes, and I got an average 5% improvement, a bit less than the 160% that I was expecting. Also, my display is 1280x1024, but it's running at 1024x768 and I tried making an xorg.conf file with the proper size using horiz and vert refresh specs from the panel manufacturer's site, but it was ignored.

            Would you say a 5% improvement is to be expected of a system where radeon dpm is not working or completely turned off? Also, how do I get the radeon driver to use the proper 1280x1024@75Hz mode?
            I doubt you'll much change at all, performance-wise, on older dGPUs because they boot up to relatively high clocks by default. The main place you'll see performance gains is on APUs and newer dGPUs (SI) where the boards come up with relatively low clocks by default. You should, however, see lower power usage and temperatures.

            As for your display question, try reconfiguring things with xrandr.

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            • #21
              Hah... I finally replied before Alex... first time in about 6 years. He must have been having dinner or taking the dog for a walk

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              • #22
                http://paste.ubuntu.com/5930999/

                Confirmed. DPM working correctly. Small max clock improvement, if any. I do recall when I took my Kill-a-watt to it several months ago, Catalyst had a *lot* lower energy usage than Radeon.. which is actually the main reason I used it. ..I had to ditch legacy Catalyst to go to 13.04 without a lot of hassle, and I thought this would close a lot of the performance gap, but if it's just power savings, hey, that's progress, I'll take it. You guys rock.

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                • #23
                  Thanks adg5f! I'll be watching that ticket. Hope this will get fixed before 3.11 comes out.
                  Would be awesome if I could use a stable kernel with power saving. Basically, use Linux every day.

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                  • #24
                    So, again, why don't APUs need the microcode? What makes them special like that?

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by GreatEmerald View Post
                      So, again, why don't APUs need the microcode? What makes them special like that?
                      It's loaded by the system bios rather than the driver since it handles more than just the GPU.

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                      • #26
                        How about support for the Accelerated Parallel Processing (APP) SDK?

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                        • #27
                          Hmm, then how do you update the microcode on APUs? Require a system firmware upgrade? Work around it in software?

                          Seeing how horribly implemented the UEFI in the netbook that I'm maintaining is, I really don't like the thought of that mess also handling the microcode for proper power management...

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by stfn View Post
                            There is basic support for OpenCL on evergreen and newer cards in mesa.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by agd5f View Post
                              There is basic support for OpenCL on evergreen and newer cards in mesa.
                              So the APP SDK will only work with Catalyst drivers?

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by stfn View Post
                                So the APP SDK will only work with Catalyst drivers?
                                yes, that is correct.

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