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KWin May Drop Support For Catalyst, Vintage GPUs

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  • #46
    KDE with compositing is already very slow for the 'older cards',
    and there are people that don't need fancy cubes and wobblies
    and flip windows. For those people there are alternatives. KDE
    is pushing on a tablet front, and they really don't need legacy
    support to drag them down. Only time will show whether leaving
    legacy product behind will have any cost. Perhaps it will. But I
    wish them luck... XFCE is good enough for me now

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    • #47
      Power Management dynamic? Afaik dynpm doesn't work with more than one screen. Also, it still often produces flickering when changing power states.

      Then, I can definitely say that my HD 6550M uses more power on the "low" profile on the Open Source drivers than fglrx. It's not dramatic, but it's definitely noticeable when the power consumption of a laptop goes from ~ 15 Watt to > 20 Watt.
      Also, on this chip the "mid" profile and the "low" profile seem to be pretty much the same. With the exception that on "low" it seems to occassionally crash.
      The performance on either the "low" or "mid" profile is really low. And by really low I mean that even kwin opengl and opengl es effects with raster graphics system and opengl 2 shader disabled produce very laggy window movement. But that has gotten much better lately...
      Last edited by ChrisXY; 02-21-2012, 05:10 AM.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by hal2k1 View Post
        According to Help ==> Troubleshooting Infromation:

        Name: Firefox
        Version: 11.0
        User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Ubuntu; Linux x86_64; rv:11.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/11.0

        According to the System Monitor, under the KDE SC 4.8 desktop Firefox 11 uses 0% CPU when idle (probably due to rounding error) as I type these very characters in this reply window.

        I can momentarily get it up to 3% CPU by using the mouse wheel to rapidly scroll up and down.
        I mean how much CPU it uses when running that test.
        But it seems you are using 64bit system, so that may be the difference (I am 32bit for now).

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        • #49
          Originally posted by hal2k1 View Post
          This is all very, very dynamic.
          For one thing you have to manually switch it from static (high load) to dynamic, to get any dynamic power management at all.
          The conclusion of the folloing articale is also that Catalyst saves more power then the open driver:
          http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...ristmas&num=10

          Originally posted by hal2k1 View Post
          There are no articles yet on Phoronix, as far as I am aware, which report the performance of Mesa 8 and the OpenGL 3 milestone (for Intel and AMD/ATI GPUs) which was released in January this year. This release of the Linux graphics stack has very significant performance improvements over previous releases.
          Phoronix has several articales on the performance of Mesa 8.0 out already, infact the one I already liked to was a comparason between Mesa 7.11, Catalyst and Mesa 8.0, here only HD 6950 on low setting saw any improvements.

          Originally posted by hal2k1 View Post
          Perhaps by the release of Mesa 8.1 later this year the performance gap between the Radeon open source drivers and fglrx will have all but disappeared.
          Ok so we can agree that the radeon drivers is behind fglrx when it comes to preformance. Besides patches are not in yet and most distroes hasn't yet shiped Mesa 8.0 so i'm not relly taking the recent advances in to account.

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          • #50
            Originally posted by hal2k1 View Post
            Perhaps by the release of Mesa 8.1 later this year the performance gap between the Radeon open source drivers and fglrx will have all but disappeared.
            3D performance parity is unrealistic. I usually hear devs saying 60-75% of Catalyst performance is the target..

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            • #51
              Originally posted by aceman View Post
              I mean how much CPU it uses when running that test.
              But it seems you are using 64bit system, so that may be the difference (I am 32bit for now).
              Oh, I see. On my system when running the HWACCEL test under KDE SC 4.8 Firefox 11 hovers between 5% and 7% except for one interval when it hit 10%.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by hal2k1 View Post
                Oh, I see. On my system when running the HWACCEL test under KDE SC 4.8 Firefox 11 hovers between 5% and 7% except for one interval when it hit 10%.
                Thanks, and the X server process?

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                • #53
                  Relax. If you need to run catalyst, just switch KWin to the XRender backend. No spinning cube, but the important stuff works.

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by DanL View Post
                    3D performance parity is unrealistic. I usually hear devs saying 60-75% of Catalyst performance is the target..
                    While there is still a way to go, it does perform quite well now for 2D (desktop) performance. Let's see what happens when we get 2D tiling, HiZ, PCI Express 2 support and other not-yet-enabled-by-default features to up the frame-rates.

                    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...tem&px=MTA1NTE

                    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...cie_gen2&num=1

                    The main point to take away is that if you have an AMD/ATI GPU and you are running ordinary desktop software, such as Firefox and KDE and its aplications, the Radeon open source drivers are ALREADY the best choice. Easily.

                    It will only get better and better from here on.
                    Last edited by hal2k1; 02-21-2012, 05:52 AM.

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by aceman View Post
                      Thanks, and the X server process?
                      The X server process normally uses say 0.7 of the firefox process. However, when running the HWACCEL stress test, this jumped to about 1.5 of the firefox process. In other words, only when running the HWACCEL stress test, on my system the Xorg process climbed to 15% CPU.

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by ArchLinux View Post
                        I hope they'll do it. People with too old hardware should either upgrade theirs or use too old software.
                        +1

                        Even though one of GNU/Linux's strengths is that you are able to use old hardware, I think this is an area where it doesn't apply.

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by hal2k1 View Post
                          There are no articles yet on Phoronix, as far as I am aware, which report the performance of Mesa 8 and the OpenGL 3 milestone (for Intel and AMD/ATI GPUs) which was released in January this year...
                          You must be living under a very large rock...There's been dozens of Mesa 8 articles...
                          Michael Larabel
                          http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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                          • #58
                            I support KWin developers to drop FGLRX support

                            I absolutely support KWin developers. I've been running my laptop and desktops with the open-source Radeon driver for years now and it works great (big thanks to all the developers). Recently I had to assemble and set up a new computer for an acquaintance of mine and I thought I would check if in these years FGLRX is any better. And it is still very bad. So I just switched to open-source Radeon driver and all started to work fine. I really wish AMD moved all the FGLRX developers of this trash and instead focus all the work on the opensource driver, which is a much better starting point.

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Tsiolkovsky View Post
                              I absolutely support KWin developers. I've been running my laptop and desktops with the open-source Radeon driver for years now and it works great (big thanks to all the developers). Recently I had to assemble and set up a new computer for an acquaintance of mine and I thought I would check if in these years FGLRX is any better. And it is still very bad. So I just switched to open-source Radeon driver and all started to work fine. I really wish AMD moved all the FGLRX developers of this trash and instead focus all the work on the opensource driver, which is a much better starting point.
                              I second this.
                              In an ideal world, the developers will support anything and everything. But in the real world, when the KDE devs say the road to take is to focus, I'll trust their decision is more informed than mine.
                              As for ATI, if they haven't figured OpenGL2 out by now, I wouldn't expect it anytime soon either.

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                              • #60
                                I'd definitely say just go for it and drop the legacy Catalyst drivers...

                                the people who run legacy Catalyst drivers are stuck on old kernel and Xorg versions anyway..... Or they switch to Gallium...

                                So there's no point in continuing to support legacy Catalyst in KWIN, unless I'm missing something..

                                I'm assuming by legacy, he means the hardware which is no longer supported in the latest versions of Catalyst.

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