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Radeon Driver Now Enables GLAMOR By Default

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  • Radeon Driver Now Enables GLAMOR By Default

    Phoronix: Radeon Driver Now Enables GLAMOR By Default

    AMD developers working on the Radeon X.Org driver (xf86-video-ati) have enabled GLAMOR acceleration support by default at build time...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTQ2MzA

  • #2
    Hoefully GLAMOR will make peace with KDE soon, actually the Raster QT backend it's just too slow to be used while the native backend has graphical glitches and eats CPU:

    https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=69341
    https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=64297
    ## VGA ##
    AMD: X1950XTX, HD3870, HD5870
    Intel: GMA45, HD3000 (Core i5 2500K)

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    • #3
      Correct me if I'm wrong, but AMD is pushing GLAMOR (which uses OpenGL) because they don't want to release the source code for the video decoders in their GFX cards? Is this because they are afraid of the chinese stealing their IP? I thought GLAMOR was a temporary solution at first.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by wargames View Post
        Correct me if I'm wrong, but AMD is pushing GLAMOR (which uses OpenGL) because they don't want to release the source code for the video decoders in their GFX cards? Is this because they are afraid of the chinese stealing their IP? I thought GLAMOR was a temporary solution at first.
        There are only 2 options:
        1. using OpenGL like GLAMOR
        2. access hardware directly
        They are using OpenGL because it is easier.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by wargames View Post
          Correct me if I'm wrong, but AMD is pushing GLAMOR (which uses OpenGL) because they don't want to release the source code for the video decoders in their GFX cards? Is this because they are afraid of the chinese stealing their IP? I thought GLAMOR was a temporary solution at first.
          You are wrong. They already released source code for the video decoders and glamor is for accelerated 2D rendering using the hardware 3D engine under X ( http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/Glamor/ ).

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          • #6
            Originally posted by wargames View Post
            Correct me if I'm wrong, but AMD is pushing GLAMOR (which uses OpenGL) because they don't want to release the source code for the video decoders in their GFX cards? Is this because they are afraid of the chinese stealing their IP? I thought GLAMOR was a temporary solution at first.
            Wrong. Recent hardware no longer contains any dedicated 2D hardware acceleration. To accelerate X, they either need to program directly against the 3D hardware, or an abstract layer - like OpenGL - that they already support elsewhere. Glamor is simply a ready-made library to do the acceleration on top of OpenGL, which makes it convenient.

            It has nothing to do with specs or releasing code, and everything to do with wanting the driver to stay simple and not copy-pasting code between the 2D and 3D drivers.

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            • #7
              Have any other Radeon users had any luck with GLAMOR?

              I've tried it a couple times, but performance was never usable for me (2 minutes to bring up the X display). Any hints would be much appreciated. Special xorg.conf options? Conflicts with other options? Special kernel options? Needs a 3.11 kernel?

              Radeon HD 4650 AGP, r600g driver, 3.9??/3.10 kernel, all but kernel built from current Git.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by pa2708 View Post
                I've tried it a couple times, but performance was never usable for me (2 minutes to bring up the X display).[...]
                Radeon HD 4650 AGP[...]
                Not to say you can't/shouldn't, but why would you want to use glamor if there's a stable and fast 2D driver for your card?
                I fail to see the advantage (other than trying out new stuff).

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by droste View Post
                  Not to say you can't/shouldn't, but why would you want to use glamor if there's a stable and fast 2D driver for your card?
                  I fail to see the advantage (other than trying out new stuff).
                  The card was great under Catalyst, but is no longer supported. With the free drivers, 3d performance is decent (and has improved a lot in the past couple years), but 2d has never been very good.

                  Some 2d operations (like moving windows around) feel like they're hw accelerated, but a lot of plain old 2d drawing operations are just not that fast.

                  The hope was, with the 3d situation looking so good now, an OpenGL based 2d acceleration like GLAMOR could conceivably improve that area. Given that it was so unbelievably slow, maybe there's some specific issue or incompatibility that will go away as drivers and libraries are updated over time.

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                  • #10
                    That's really surprising to hear. Do you have an example for such a 2D operation? The usual opinion I hear is catalyst was/is bad at 2D and the open source driver is better there. And from my own experience (rage 128, ati radeon 9800, ati radeon x1950, radeon hd 5770) I never had problems with 2D so far.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by droste View Post
                      That's really surprising to hear. Do you have an example for such a 2D operation? The usual opinion I hear is catalyst was/is bad at 2D and the open source driver is better there. And from my own experience (rage 128, ati radeon 9800, ati radeon x1950, radeon hd 5770) I never had problems with 2D so far.
                      For me (A8-5500) catalyst is faster with 2d than radeon on Xfce. I dont use compositing.
                      The bad thing for catalyst is video playback - excepting xbmc, no video player can play tear-free with the tearfree (forced triple buffering, uses extra video memory) option not enabled - radeon is way better out of the box in this regard.

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                      • #12
                        Certainly it's better than the blob, but that doesn't mean it's perfect. Back when I switched from Matrox to Ati, I lost 2d speed.

                        Do check you're using 7.2.0, there were some 2d optimizations in that version.

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                        • #13
                          Hmmm. Most 2d drawing is in good shape these days, but there are some things here and there.

                          Just moving a window around in twm (I know :-) used to be slow and laggy, but it's good now. At times there's some lag between window updates - when rapidly dragging a window across the screen, the window may get redrawn at say 20 discrete points rather appearing to be perfectly continuous - but each individual update is instantaneous.

                          Scrolling in an xterm with antialiased text used to be slow, but it's pretty zippy now (looks like around 2500 lines/sec in an 80 line tall windows, based on a completely unscientific test just now).

                          One area of concern is basic X drawing operations (XDrawLine and friends). Again, I haven't noticed it so much in recent times. Maybe that's just because everyone is using Cairo or Qt or whatever. But there's a little vector-style 3d game I hack on once in a while that uses the low level X calls. It's always drawn around 30-35 fps on this box. I dusted it off last night, recompiled it, and now it only does 9-10, with every optimizing flag in the book turned on. So that might be an example.

                          The only serious 2d drawing problem left is with any kind of 2d operation in Gimp - rubberbanding for rectangle selection, placement of the measurement tool, using the airbrush, paintbrush, clone, smudge tools... all horribly, horribly slow. Of course, that could be caused by a billion different things, but it's definitely 2d related.

                          Long story short, there's definitely some kind of 2d weirdness going on, although it has improved steadily over time. I get the impression that 98% of all 2d operations works great, but a few specific calls maybe are performance killers. That kind of diagnostic work is out of my league, though.

                          At any rate, the entire Linux graphics stack, and particularly Mesa's r600g driver, have made fantastic progress in the past 2-3 years, so there's every chance that these remaining things will improve over time. I'll give Glamor another shot shortly and see what happens. If that doesn't work out, something else will at some point.

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