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Thread: Some questions about eyefinity

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novae View Post
    Then i finally got into X and it doesn't seem to want to keep my configuration(DFP2-DFP1-DFP3). It always starts mirrored although i can manually adjust it with xrandr fine.
    Try "sudo amdcccle" and create your monitor setup there. Xrandr does *not* offer persistent storage, i.e. your xrandr setup is lost as soon as you reboot.

    @mugginz: I've documented my complete experience with multiple monitors with both nvidia and ati (search my post history). My conclusion was the ati was both simpler and more flexible than nvidia in multi-monitor setups. Notice how I am talking about multi-monitor setups *specifically*.

    Wine tends to work better on nvidia but this depends greatly on the games you play, so YMMV. The few games I play work fine both within and without wine with ati.

    There are a few well-known issues with ati: lack of vsync (recently fixed), lack of video acceleration (works for some), slower updates to new kernel/x versions (apparently fixed in 11.1). OpenGL support used to be measurably worse on ati but the gap has all but disappeared now: both ati and nvidia have bugs in their OpenGL drivers and both take their sweet time fixing them. It's just a matter of what bugs you hit.

  2. #22
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    (fake edit)

    I should mention that I am a graphics developer. I no longer consider myself a gamer but I do have a rather intimate relationship with graphics hardware (ugh, that didn't come out right). I keep Linux systems with a variety of graphics cards and drivers, so I believe I can make a relatively unbiased comparison.

    My primary workstation run on a nvidia card until last month. I swapped that for an ati once it became apparent that nvidia didn't support the specific multi-monitor configuration I wished to use.

    After a few years of experience with all three graphics vendors, I have concluded that there's no such thing as a hassle-free graphics experience on Linux. If you want a multi-monitor setup, with proper vsync, video and 3d acceleration just give up and go Windows. Staying with Linux will require some compromise. What compromise will depend on the vendor, but it will be there no matter what you choose.

    For what it's worth, my experience is this:
    - intel and ati (open drivers) offer the best out-of-the-box experience. Nvidia (open drivers) does too, if it works on your hardware.
    - nvidia (closed drivers) offers by far the best single monitor experience.
    - ati (closed drivers) offers the best multi monitor solution.

    - if you work on 3d, use closed drivers.
    - if you work with productivity software, go open source.
    - if you are a gamer, go nvidia.
    - if you require multiple monitors, go ati.
    - if you just wish to watch movies, you are SOL. Yeah, nvidia has video acceleration but their multi-monitor support sucks. Ati and Intel have better multi-monitor support (hey, look, my TV lit up without root access!) but their video support sucks. Plus, you have to rip your bluray disks before you get to watch them, which is always fun.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    Try "sudo amdcccle" and create your monitor setup there. Xrandr does *not* offer persistent storage, i.e. your xrandr setup is lost as soon as you reboot.
    Indeed. I actually tried amdxdg-su -c amdcccle

    The utility would allow me to configure the screen layout but refused to both apply it to make it active and also wouldn't make the required changes to the xorg.conf

    I did it by hand instead.


    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    @mugginz: I've documented my complete experience with multiple monitors with both nvidia and ati (search my post history). My conclusion was the ati was both simpler and more flexible than nvidia in multi-monitor setups. Notice how I am talking about multi-monitor setups *specifically*.
    And why can I setup a lowly 8400GS graphics card with two screens rotated and still have 3D acceleration yet you can't?

    You seem happy to trot out that if the screens have different orientations then you need Xinerama and then get slowness, but forget to mention a fairly common situation where someone rotates both screens which doesn't required Xinerama and therefore is accelerated.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    Wine tends to work better on nvidia but this depends greatly on the games you play, so YMMV. The few games I play work fine both within and without wine with ati.
    Given one of his requirements is Wine that should temper your enthusiasm a little in your recommendation.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    There are a few well-known issues with ati: lack of vsync (recently fixed), lack of video acceleration (works for some), slower updates to new kernel/x versions (apparently fixed in 11.1). OpenGL support used to be measurably worse on ati but the gap has all but disappeared now: both ati and nvidia have bugs in their OpenGL drivers and both take their sweet time fixing them. It's just a matter of what bugs you hit.
    Both have bugs, but, and this is really important, for the usual normal everyday stuff nVidia is still better. There are edge cases that apply to some people that make AMD a better choice, but then that's where you should ask IF the user is going to be hit by one of those cases.

    When I resize a window across screen borders so that it becomes wider than one screen, on my AMD system that causes X crashes. On the 8400GS running two screens I don't seem to have that issue.

    Surely the day to day normal stuff needs to work before stuff like per screen rotation becomes a stand-out feature in AMD's favour.



    Clearly, if someone holds the importance of somewhat buggy accelerated three screen support over stable two screen support then they should go AMD but they should also be told what they're getting themselves into if the opportunity to do so has raised its head. That way if they have trouble, like the OP is having, then at least they knew what they'd be up against.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    (fake edit)

    I should mention that I am a graphics developer. I no longer consider myself a gamer but I do have a rather intimate relationship with graphics hardware (ugh, that didn't come out right). I keep Linux systems with a variety of graphics cards and drivers, so I believe I can make a relatively unbiased comparison.
    While my professional programming mostly finished when developing for the Amiga I do have an appreciation for the issues at hand with regards to the driver situation. But more importantly, as a user I'm able to keep fairly clean notes about what a user can expect to have to deal with with respect to driver bugs from the various vendors also.


    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    My primary workstation run on a nvidia card until last month. I swapped that for an ati once it became apparent that nvidia didn't support the specific multi-monitor configuration I wished to use.
    And this is relevent for a sub-set of users. You highlighted your specific troubles with nVidia for your use case the OP didn't seem to mention per output rotation in his list of requirements.

    Just as my system requirements makes Linux a better fit for me, my graphic designer friend has a software tool set that makes Windows a better platform for him. No biggie to me. I always try to recommend what's best for the individual.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    After a few years of experience with all three graphics vendors, I have concluded that there's no such thing as a hassle-free graphics experience on Linux. If you want a multi-monitor setup, with proper vsync, video and 3d acceleration just give up and go Windows. Staying with Linux will require some compromise. What compromise will depend on the vendor, but it will be there no matter what you choose.
    We both agree there.

    It's about fitting the users requirements to the benefits and trade-offs of each vendors solution that's the thing. Finding the best solution with the least hassle for their requirements.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    For what it's worth, my experience is this:
    - intel and ati (open drivers) offer the best out-of-the-box experience. Nvidia (open drivers) does too, if it works on your hardware.
    - nvidia (closed drivers) offers by far the best single monitor experience.
    - ati (closed drivers) offers the best multi monitor solution.
    Maybe the best triple head solution, especially if you need different rotations for each output but for people who don't require per-output rotations that differ, nVidia is a valid choice for dual head systems. Sometimes it can be better to stick with dual head that's reliable rather than "experimental" triple head support.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    - if you work on 3d, use closed drivers.
    - if you work with productivity software, go open source.
    - if you are a gamer, go nvidia.
    - if you require multiple monitors, go ati.
    - if you just wish to watch movies, you are SOL. Yeah, nvidia has video acceleration but their multi-monitor support sucks. Ati and Intel have better multi-monitor support (hey, look, my TV lit up without root access!) but their video support sucks. Plus, you have to rip your bluray disks before you get to watch them, which is always fun.
    I wanted a triple head system.

    I ran nVidia at the time and what I wanted was the nVidia experience or better across three screens.

    I though AMD could provide this.

    It turns out that's not yet the case. It may be coming, but it's not here yet.

  5. #25
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    Indeed. I actually tried amdxdg-su -c amdcccle

    The utility would allow me to configure the screen layout but refused to both apply it to make it active and also wouldn't make the required changes to the xorg.conf

    I did it by hand instead.
    Sorry to hear that. On my system, "sudo aticonfig --initial && sudo amdcccle" was enough. The settings applied as expected and where saved between reboots. I never touched xorg.conf.

    You seem happy to trot out that if the screens have different orientations then you need Xinerama and then get slowness, but forget to mention a fairly common situation where someone rotates both screens which doesn't required Xinerama and therefore is accelerated.
    Why would you want to rotate two screens? It's significantly better to keep the original screen for video/games and use the rotated screen for browsing/development. Note that nvidia will stop vsyncing as soon as you rotate a screen, which means it's not a solution if you wish to watch video at all.

    What's more, nvidia won't autodetect connected monitors. This is especially annoying on laptops, where external monitors/projectors are rather common. I've actually had people complain to me about this when I recommended a nvidia card. I'm more hesitant to recommend nvidia now for systems that may be used in such a way.

    The crux of the issue is that you (and a few other people) seem to consider nvidia as the end-all solution to Linux graphical needs. As soon as someone points at that it really isn't and it suffers from its own set of issues you get up in arms to defend the one true way.

    Based on my own, personal experience, I'd use ati on a multi-monitor system today. In fact, I just did this and I haven't regretted my decision despite all those (real or imaginary) shortcomings of ati drivers.

    In any case, I don't think this discussion belongs here anymore. If the OP encounters any other issues, I (or someone else) will be glad to help.

  6. #26
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    I can't quote and reply to everything above as i simply don't have the time at the moment but i'll try to relay what i've found helpful.

    I started by installing the 10.12 driver from with gentoo's package tool, however due to issues with getting it to detect my card i soon removed it(again with the package tool) and installed 11.01 by hand. The ccc still say's that the driver version is 10.12. Now while i'm pretty sure that i am in fact running 11.01, due to things like the tearfree tool being part of ccc, i can't help but feel like if there is still some small reminant of 10.12 it might cause some sort of issue. Is there a script/guide/something that describes how to completely remove the fglrx driver. I have installed and removed the 11.01 driver by hand several times to no effect.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    Sorry to hear that. On my system, "sudo aticonfig --initial && sudo amdcccle" was enough. The settings applied as expected and where saved between reboots. I never touched xorg.conf.
    in reply to other comments above also about this, aticonfig simple returns(with both 10.12 and 11.01)
    Code:
    aticonfig: No supported adapters detected
    which stopped me in my tracks, i eventually worked out enough of the fglrx specific syntax in xorg.conf that i was able to get a x session that would start and from there i was able to get amdcccle to set my monitors up. It however does not write changes to xorg.conf and so requires me to do this at ever xsession start. I did try putting some xrandr lines in my .xinitrc to run before i execute xfce but they don't seem to do anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    Why would you want to rotate two screens? It's significantly better to keep the original screen for video/games and use the rotated screen for browsing/development. Note that nvidia will stop vsyncing as soon as you rotate a screen, which means it's not a solution if you wish to watch video at all.
    As stated above by someone else i currently have no requirement for rotation, first due to interest and secondly due to 1680x1050 being just a little too small i've found to run in portrait. I will add that i don't know if its because

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    Based on my own, personal experience, I'd use ati on a multi-monitor system today. In fact, I just did this and I haven't regretted my decision despite all those (real or imaginary) shortcomings of ati drivers.
    I agree, despite my current troubles there is simply no way to run an accelerated 3+ monitor desktop currently with nvidia.

    I should possibly also mention that my other core system components were also upgraded at the same time as the 6850, including sandy bridge processor.

    What i have been able to accomplish:
    3 monitor 5040x1050 xfce desktop with compositing
    native quake3 @ 5040x1050 in separate X session(mostly just as proof of concept)
    native ut2004 @ 5040x1050 in separate X session(mostly just as proof of concept)
    wine WoW @ 5040x1050 in separate X session(somewhat intermittent in terms of getting into the game, often just locks up at loading screens)
    wine League of Legends @ 5040x1050(+smaller) separate X(lots of issues even getting this to start the game client, eventually got it to run, however am missing lots of textures in game such as character, buildings and minions)

    what i haven't been able to accomplish:
    get X to start up with my desired monitor configuration.
    run EVE @ any resolution, have been able to start it a couple of times however it generally locks up after login. I was able to run this in windows a couple of hours ago at 5040x1050 with 4xAA so i know its possible
    some other things that i've forgotten about, i'll add them in when they come to me.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novae View Post
    I agree, despite my current troubles there is simply no way to run an accelerated 3+ monitor desktop currently with nvidia.
    That's true for when you want to be able to drag windows between all three screens without restriction, but if you can live with a dual screen desktop plus another desktop you can indeed have an accelerated 3 screen desktop with nVidia.

    This can be useful for some but of course the ultimate is to have a properly unified desktop.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    Sorry to hear that. On my system, "sudo aticonfig --initial && sudo amdcccle" was enough. The settings applied as expected and where saved between reboots. I never touched xorg.conf.
    For 10.12 and I think 10.11 I had no issues with this. With some of the earlier drivers I ran into this issue and now with 11.1. A bit odd, but there you go I guess.


    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    Why would you want to rotate two screens?
    It might be more accurate to ask "Why would BlackStar want to rotate two screens?" For that matter, the OP has no requirement for monitor rotation at all. Had he raised it I think it'd be clearly a factory to consider.


    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    Note that nvidia will stop vsyncing as soon as you rotate a screen, which means it's not a solution if you wish to watch video at all.
    And the OP has no requirement for this. So for HIS situation, this issue might as well not exist. You are again transposing your requirements onto his. I think it's valid to make him aware of the issue, it's just not a reason to discount nVidia in itself given his requirements as defined earlier.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    What's more, nvidia won't autodetect connected monitors. This is especially annoying on laptops, where external monitors/projectors are rather common. I've actually had people complain to me about this when I recommended a nvidia card. I'm more hesitant to recommend nvidia now for systems that may be used in such a way.
    For someone needing monitor hotplug then AMD and intel seem better. Does he require this? For that matter, most people can deal with initial configuration niggles that they can work out themselves or get help from others to rectify, just as I've had to with AMD. To me that's a black eye to AMD but not a deal breaker. Same goes with nVidia in the areas where it needs by hand configuration. What I don't like are situations where no matter how much effort you're prepared to expend in configuration you still wind up with a crappy experience due to driver bugs.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    The crux of the issue is that you (and a few other people) seem to consider nvidia as the end-all solution to Linux graphical needs. As soon as someone points at that it really isn't and it suffers from its own set of issues you get up in arms to defend the one true way.
    No. I'm very happy to discuss nVidia's areas of weakness. Where those weaknesses will impact the user in THEIR circumstances they should be made aware of them so they can decide for themselves which are the lesser of the evils.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    Based on my own, personal experience, I'd use ati on a multi-monitor system today. In fact, I just did this and I haven't regretted my decision despite all those (real or imaginary) shortcomings of ati drivers.
    And these "imaginary" shortcomings, are they the same ones I was assured I'd not have by some AMD fabois on these very forums, but then upon buying the card, low and behold, there are those issues. Just as I have not had some of the issues with nVidia cards you raise as having doesn't mean you didn't have them. Even when I don't have an issue with a piece of hardware, if I'm aware of someone else having one I'll bring it up as possible shortcomings. Especially where there's a preponderance of evidence that suggests a given scenario will produce an unwanted outcome no matter who the vendor is.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    In any case, I don't think this discussion belongs here anymore. If the OP encounters any other issues, I (or someone else) will be glad to help.
    I think the true nature of the AMD and nVidia drivers are quite an appropriate topic for here.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by mugginz View Post
    That's true for when you want to be able to drag windows between all three screens without restriction, but if you can live with a dual screen desktop plus another desktop you can indeed have an accelerated 3 screen desktop with nVidia.

    This can be useful for some but of course the ultimate is to have a properly unified desktop.
    While this is true, and for productivity type work would suit fine, this setup would not allow me to run full screen applications(read: games ) across all three monitors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Novae View Post
    While this is true, and for productivity type work would suit fine, this setup would not allow me to run full screen applications(read: games ) across all three monitors.
    Yes, I like those "full screen applications" too.

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