1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

ATI PowerPlay

Michael Larabel

Published on 12 November 2005
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 1 - Comment On This Article

As we had shared yesterday in our ATI v8.19.10 Linux performance article there is not much in the way of gaming performance improvements brought to the table with this latest driver release but that's not to say this build is malnourished. Highlighted in this new Linux driver release is a Frame Buffer Objects (FBO) mode in fgl_glxgears, initial suspend/resume support on capable kernels, and finally PowerPlay support. For those unfamiliar with this mobile-oriented power management technology, it allows the user to switch power consumption modes in order to save upon battery-life for your laptop/notebook. Of course, altering the power states will adjust your core and memory frequencies as well as the voltage supplied to the parts. Today we will be sharing a small preview of what has to come from this ATI technology now supported under Linux. To start with, below is ATI's official release note regarding PowerPlay in the v8.19.10 drivers.

PowerPlay™ Support

The ATI Proprietary Linux driver version 8.19.10 introduces PowerPlay™ support. This revolutionary power management technology allows the user to switch between power consumption modes using the aticonfig utility provided with the installation of the driver. For help on using this feature, run aticonfig --help from a terminal. This feature is supported on ATI Radeon 9000 series products and above.

When entering the --help option for aticonfig, the command-line X Server Configuration Utility for ATI cards introduced in the v8.18.6 drivers, among the many other adjustment possibilities were the two present PowerPlay options --list-powerstates and --set-powerstate=. When entering --list-powerstates or --lsp, the different power states for that particular card will print onto the screen. As mentioned in ATI's official statement, PowerPlay is supported with the latest Linux drivers with RADEON 9000 series and higher but of course, the technology is designed primarily for the mobile environment and the ATI Mobility products officially supported under Linux at this moment are the Mobility RADEON X700, 9800, 9600, 9550, 9200, and 9000 along with the RADEON Xpress 200M series. For this article, we used an ATI Mobility RADEON X300 64MB solution that was implemented in an IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad R52 (18494WU).

In the event of our ATI RADEON X300, upon entering aticonfig --lsp, the available power states were 1: 105/122 MHz [low voltage], 2: 209/182 MHz [low voltage], and 3: 297/230 MHz [default state]. Depending upon the particular GPU, the power states may vary greatly depending upon the series. When it comes time to set the power state, the aticonfig --set-powerstate= needs to be applied where the parameter is either 1, 2, or 3, that correlates to the previously mentioned values.

When using the set power state option, the specified value will also be written to the system's xorg.conf (if file permissions allow). The PowerPlay value will be written to the graphics card device section in the syntax of Option "PowerState" "<NUMERIC VALUE>". In our initial testing we have performed with the ATI Mobility RADEON X300, we experienced no shortcomings when it came to the PowerPlay operation.

Although Linux desktop users will not feel these latest ATI drivers are life changing, mobile users on the other hand should greatly welcome the belated inclusion of PowerPlay into their drivers. Like Windows, ATI PowerPlay for Linux will not only extend the life of your battery but should drive down the operating temperatures of the graphics processor. Of course, the processing capabilities of the GPU will be greatly confined when specifying a lower power state but the performance should be suffice for desktop usage. For those wishing to learn more about PowerPlay, the white papers can be found here. Ending off, we are excited about ATI's recent Linux advances and hope Matthew Tippett is able to continue with his great work and bringing fourth new features to the ATI proprietary Linux drivers.

Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. 13-Way Low-End GPU Comparison With AMD's AM1 Athlon
  2. ASUS AM1I-A: A Mini-ITX Board For Socketed Kabini APUs
  3. Mini-Box M350: A Simple, Affordable Mini-ITX Case
  4. Overclocking The AMD AM1 Athlon & Sempron APUs
Latest Linux Articles
  1. Ubuntu 12.04.4 vs. 13.10 vs. 14.04 LTS Desktop Benchmarks
  2. AMD OpenCL Performance With AM1 Kabini APUs
  3. A Quick Look At GCC 4.9 vs. LLVM Clang 3.5
  4. Are AMD Athlon/Sempron APUs Fast Enough For Steam On Linux?
Latest Linux News
  1. The Improv ARM Board Still Isn't Shipping; Riding A Dead Horse?
  2. Debian To Maintain 6.0 Squeeze As An LTS Release
  3. Wasteland 2 Is Finally Released For Linux Gamers
  4. FreeBSD Advances For ARM, Bhyve, Clang
  5. Ubuntu 14.04 LTS "Trusty Tahr" Officially Released
  6. Ubuntu 12.04 LTS vs. 14.04 LTS Server Benchmarks
  7. QEMU 2.0 Released With ARM, x86 Enhancements
  8. Running The Unity 8 Preview Session On Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
  9. R600 Gallium3D Disables LLVM Back-End By Default
  10. Fedora 21 Gets GNOME 3.12, PHP 5.6, Mono 3.4
  11. Fedora Workstation Is Making Me Quite Excited
  12. Maynard: A Lightweight Wayland Desktop
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. The GNOME Foundation Is Running Short On Money
  2. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  3. Radeon 8000M problematic on Linux?
  4. Linux Kernel Developers Fed Up With Ridiculous Bugs In Systemd
  5. After Jack Keane, RuseSoft will briing Ankh 3 to Linux through Desura
  6. Suspected PHP Proxy Issue
  7. Change installation destination from home directory
  8. Bye bye BSD, Hello Linux: A Sys Admin's Story