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Thread: Recommendations for a netbook with 3D accelerator?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmenessec View Post
    Those I'm not worried about. VDPAU or VA-API could be important, though. I don't recall what the MPEG-2 / MPEG-4 / x264 accel situation is for Ironlake. Does it work under Linux? Does it look good (have reasonable artifact removal / quality scaling and resampling)?
    Ironlake: MPEG-2 & H.264 decoding with VA-API under Linux.

  2. #12
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    Just xbmc is choppy with vaapi currently. vdpau is still better maintained there.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by droidhacker View Post
    How exactly do you figure? BOTH the blob as well as the open source radeon drivers support the 4200 series.
    I mentioned ION / ION2 for a reason. I have a GTX card in my workstation now, and it works well. Amazingly well, compared to the AMD junk I'm ripping out. It even has basic reclocking support, and it's only a desktop part. (Although I do expect this by now.) After five years of buying nothing but AMD/ATi GPUs in the interests of supporting companies who support open source:
    • R3x0-R5x0 performance with OSS drivers is pretty miserable compared to the last (ancient) blob, which is now unusable with vaguely modern X.Org
    • R3x0-R5x0 power saving does not exist in a readily usable state, nor video decode in any state (that I'm aware of)
    • The OSS driver does not support post-R5x0 GPUs. I have no use for a 2D-only-accelerator that doesn't even really accelerate 2D. I don't really care that the not-in-kernel, not-in-XOrg-release-branch R6x0 code "just got texture support".
    • The blob is completely unsupportable. Horrible 2D performance, no coherence with kernel or X.Org releases, no video decode. I'm aware libxvba exists. I'm discounting it until it does something.

    Of course, a (small) part of my problem is that I've mostly bought Sapphire, which started as the poster child for good AMD reference boards, and is now apparently a poster child for crap product of any kind. My mislabled X800GTO (label: PRO) causes no-boot beep codes in any motherboard I plug it into now. Actually, make that two X800GTOs and three X1550s. And my two working X1550s are made by HIS-- who set the video-outs to PAL on boards destined for North America. Colour me unimpressed.

    Now that the last, best-supported AMD GPU (X1950PRO) is completely unavailable and oudated by three generations, AMD on Linux is dead. I'm finished with them.

    (Oh, and the Windows Cat drivers are terrible, too. But at least they mostly work.)

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbeauche View Post
    Ironlake: MPEG-2 & H.264 decoding with VA-API under Linux.
    That's encouraging. Thanks. No MPEG-4, then? VC-1 if I ever go insane and buy Blu-Ray sometime before Profile 4.1.2.2700 and HDMI 1.92xyz?

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kano View Post
    Just xbmc is choppy with vaapi currently. vdpau is still better maintained there.
    That's an interesting idea. I was considering XBMC for my media PC. What's the netbook story? Does it still present a reasonable general-purpose interface? How's power management compared to vanilla Ubuntu, say? Is gaming integrated in some way, along with the videos, music, pix, and so forth?

  6. #16
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    Well xbmc was the only app that managed to show vc1 with vaapi with ion1 via vdpau, with mplayer+vlc i got errors. Intel can not accellerate vc1 at all, but when you only dl the movies you get mainly h264 l5.1. in that case intel i3/i5 duals with onchip vga might be interesting. vaapi is not bugfree there but its improving. For full features get nvidia gfx, thats clear. Stay far away from ATI when you want working video accelleration with Linux.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kano View Post
    Well xbmc was the only app that managed to show vc1 with vaapi with ion1 via vdpau, with mplayer+vlc i got errors. Intel can not accellerate vc1 at all, but when you only dl the movies you get mainly h264 l5.1. in that case intel i3/i5 duals with onchip vga might be interesting. vaapi is not bugfree there but its improving. For full features get nvidia gfx, thats clear. Stay far away from ATI when you want working video accelleration with Linux.
    Yep, it's kind of painfully clear, now. EVGA has some interesting offers. Too bad they don't seem to include trade-ins on Radeon boards.

    As for MPlayer and VLC: your experience is going to depend a lot on whose packages you're using, when they were built, whether something extra was pulled from git / SVN, whether completely out-of-tree patches made it in, and so forth. --and there's that strong dependency on ffmpeg, which is quite the moving target.

    .deb packaging remains a mystery to me (RPM and Portage seem easy by comparison...), but I'm thinking hard about installing enough development packages to roll my own SMPlayer, MPlayer, and VLC. My firewall / router / NTP proxy / file server / who knows still runs Gentoo-- until I have time to upgrade it to Ubuntu Server 10.04 --so I'm not exactly a stranger to rolling my own code; I have an entire overlay of my own, including ffmpeg and Transmission svn ebuilds with minor custom patches of my own.

  8. #18
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    The OSS driver does not support post-R5x0 GPUs. I have no use for a 2D-only-accelerator that doesn't even really accelerate 2D. I don't really care that the not-in-kernel, not-in-XOrg-release-branch R6x0 code "just got texture support".
    Umm..

    OpenGL vendor string: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
    OpenGL renderer string: Mesa DRI R600 (RV710 954F) 20090101 TCL DRI2
    OpenGL version string: 2.0 Mesa 7.8.2
    OpenGL shading language version string: 1.10
    HD2k - HD4k are pretty well supported in the open-source (classic) drivers. It's a different driver for HD2-4 that just got textures

  9. #19
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    @rmenessec

    Maybe you did not notice that i worte scripts to compile always the latest versions of the apps i test. All comments are about the latest revisions.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmenessec View Post
    [*]R3x0-R5x0 performance with OSS drivers is pretty miserable compared to the last (ancient) blob, which is now unusable with vaguely modern X.Org
    The "last ancient blob" had years of performance optimization work on top of a major rewrite of the OpenGL stack, so it sets a higher performance bar than you might think. 2D performance on the OSS drivers is probably still as good as or better than the 9.3 fglrx driver, however the 3D focus right now has been on features & architectural improvements, not performance tuning. I think you'll see performance work start to ramp up over the next year. Are you running the Gallium3D driver or classic mesa HW driver right now ?

    Quote Originally Posted by rmenessec View Post
    [*]R3x0-R5x0 power saving does not exist in a readily usable state, nor video decode in any state (that I'm aware of)
    Power management was just implemented, so you either need to pull very recent kernel code or wait until your favorite distro picks it up. There is no useful video decode hardware in 3xx-5xx GPUs (the old IDCT block is MPEG-2 only and we stopped using it in the proprietary drivers because decoding on the CPU was faster and more efficient) so not sure what you are looking for in terms of driver support.

    Quote Originally Posted by rmenessec View Post
    [*]The OSS driver does not support post-R5x0 GPUs. I have no use for a 2D-only-accelerator that doesn't even really accelerate 2D. I don't really care that the not-in-kernel, not-in-XOrg-release-branch R6x0 code "just got texture support".
    Huh ? The articles are about the new Gallium3D driver that Jerome is working on, not the "classic" Mesa 3D driver which has been available on 6xx/7xx for over a year.

    Quote Originally Posted by rmenessec View Post
    [*]The blob is completely unsupportable. Horrible 2D performance, no coherence with kernel or X.Org releases, no video decode. I'm aware libxvba exists. I'm discounting it until it does something.
    Are you sure about "horrible 2D performance" ? It was always OK until distros stopped shipping the Fedora "no backfill" patch, and one of our devs provided a "backclear" patch which provided the same performance without the side effects that "no backfill" caused on Intel hardware. The new 2D acceleration (turned on for the first time in 10.6 IIRC) gives you good 2D performance without requiring the backclear patch, although there are still some app compatibility issues being worked through.

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