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A Detailed Look At The ATI Linux Power Management

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  • #21
    Hi! I wrote to another thread ( about my experiences of the power consumption improvements, and only afterwards I remembered this article. I know that Thinkpad is frugal with power, but the consumption measured here is a lot less than on my HP NC8430, so I'd like to see where this test computer arrives with fglrx on Lenny or Ubuntu Hardy plus on Windows, just to compare. At the moment I'm really satisfied with the power management's temperature control, but not that satisfied with the power consumption that is practically double of that of Windows.

    So +1 for comparison request with fglrx (and Windows, if possible)


    • #22
      I was wondering, is there anyway to volunteer to help get some enhancements for 5xxx mobile GPUs moving forward?

      I have an Acer laptop (manu # LX PMB02 171), which has an ATI HD5650 GPU, and the battery on my laptop seems to chew through quite fast, and I get the feeling this is probably due a lot to my GPU running at full speed the entire time.
      The cpu monitoring apps show CPU speed drops back to 1.2Ghz, which is what I'd expect with an i5.

      So as per the comment above about lack of access to a laptop with these cards in them, is it possible to volunteer to test?


      • #23
        If you are very lucky you can disable the ati card in bios and use the one integrated in the i5. Then you can even decode h264 (up to l5.1) with vaapi when you run this script on a distro with 2.6.35 kernel and libdrm 2.4.21 (like u maverick, d squeeze could be partially upgraded too).

        it is definitely more fun to see some intel progress than with ati hd 5 series...


        • #24
          Originally posted by Ard Righ View Post
          I was wondering, is there anyway to volunteer to help get some enhancements for 5xxx mobile GPUs moving forward?
          Get the latest 2.6.35 kernel and report bugs. The power saving is integrated in there, also for HD5xxx hardware.

          At the very least, you can use power profiles, and turn the power consumption to minimum when you don't need the horsepower.

          Alternatively, you can use dynamic PM. It works, but is not perfect yet, as there are flickers during reclocking.


          • #25
            You use hd 5 with oss driver? That sounds crazy...


            • #26
              No, hd4xxx, but he was asking about HD5xxx.

              And there is PM stuff for that in the kernel. Sadly, no (public) 2d or 3d acceleration yet.


              • #27
                Which would be poor anyway. When you compare the r300 mesa speed against fglrx 9-3 it is still a joke. Just enough to use compiz, the worlds one and only 3d app..


                • #28
                  Poor compared to fglrx, but an HD5650 has enough horsepower for most stuff that runs on Linux anyway.

                  I have HD4550 (which is as low as you can get with r700 basically) and I'm playing games just fine. I finished Penumbra in 1080p. An HD5650 is considerably more powerful.

                  It's not enough for the FPS-hungry WINE crowd, but it's good enough for many people who simply want open drivers which work out of the box.


                  • #29
                    The 4550 is what i use for testing xvba - always when i swap it with a 5670 i only see artefacts. Penumbra is not really a demanding game. I like to compare Unigine Heaven Win+Linux - for that i need a hd 5 card. I do not play games on my ati test box, i have got a system with Nv 8800 gts 512 if needed - sadly no gtx 460 (or gts 450).


                    • #30
                      Penumbra is not really a demanding game.
                      The most demanding game on Linux is probably ET:QW, which is many years old now.

                      I don't think that the performance will bother many people with the latest generation cards. People running r300 hardware are obviously in a different situation.