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ATI Open vs. Closed AIGLX Performance

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  • #11
    My experience with trying out Compiz-Fusion here was that all the actual effects worked really really (3D Cube with reflections and transparency, fire/water, wobbly windows) but the responsiveness of scrolling in GTK apps, maximising/restoring/minimising/resizing, and the 'moving' part of the many window-choosing things was really poor. I also had the fairly bad flicker in games. So these sort of things are very hard to actually benchmark.

    On a side note, while using the compositing manager included in Xfce I still get normal games performance, and handy transparencies in panels and terminal windows at the same time, with none of the flickering.

    (Machine is a 1.6GHz P4, 512MB of RAM, 9600XT)


    • #12
      It's really interesting, that the water effect now works. Maybe xserver 1.3 made it work and/or the newer mesa. Just tested it with intel onboard, there it worked now too. If you want a real challenge I would prefer to test gl2benchmark which is using openscenegraph (it is in the Kanotix repository). Not only the numbers are interesting, but also IF the test can run. And there is the problem: only 8.40.4 was capable of running test 3 and 4, nothing newer. Also standard xorg drivers gain more or less nothing in these tests. Testing only games or compiz is not everything... openscenegraph could be used for much cooler things, even playing movies in a 3d environment - ab bit like metisse but fully programmable and you could add additional effects of course too.


      • #13
        i think that DRI driver for r300 missing hw vbo accel at the moment.

        this may affect performance hit, but get correct rendering.
        i wish amd opens hw spec nearly.


        • #14
          Originally posted by Antiphonal View Post
          For me the problem was not FPS but responsiveness. If I was actually rotating the cube in old+XGL vs new+AIGLX the rotation itself was smooth in both cases (probably more FPS in AIGLX, but whatever).

          But when I hold down ctrl+alt and the left mouse button the old driver with XGL immediately and smoothly zooms out to reveal the cube. There is no hesitation or jerkiness, no matter what I'm doing. Doing the same thing on the new driver with AIGLX there is all sorts of hesitation, even though the actual cube navigation is smooth.

          The exact same thing happened with wobbly windows. Once the window was moving around they were both very smooth. But _starting_ the move was something the old driver with XGL did beautifully and seamlessly. The new one took a moment before the jerkiness and tearing died down.

          Now, this is on the exact same hardware with the same kernel and X version. (Ubuntu 7.10 for anyone interested). The new driver with Compiz is just not responsive enough. It probably pushes the polygons just fine, for whatever it's worth.
          I had the exact same experience with the new driver on a mobility X300. The new driver is simply not responsive enough yet and it uses a lot (I mean A LOT) of CPU (instead of the GPU) while updating window contents, minimizing/switching windows, etc... As a result, for example, Firefox scrolling can't catch up, browsing facebook becomes a torture, only 2-3 animation frames are seen during minimize/maximize, etc.

          BTW, I'm back on 8.40+Xgl now, and the performance (Compiz desktop performance/responsiveness, not game fps) is way better than both 8.42+Xgl and 8.42+AIGLX combinations.

          Hopefully these performance problems will be addressed in future drivers.

          Michael, thanks for the neverending flow of reviews/news/articles. To make this review more representative of the actual user experience, it might be better if you could write about Compiz performance and responsiveness on a lower end system if possible (e.g. a 2 year old laptop). With your (above average) system you are apparently not observing any of the performance issues the majority of users on the forums are experiencing with the new driver. Maybe it's just because your CPU is fast enough to compensate for the slowness of the driver and its insufficient/ineffective use of the GPU.

          And it might be good to talk about quickness/smoothness/responsiveness of window minimization/maximization, Firefox scrolling, moving windows, switcher, cube rotation, etc... instead of only fps results from the benchmark plugin.



          • #15
            Originally posted by Sovi View Post
            Another article telling us how better fglrx drivers are...
            Come on just take a quick look at the 8.42.3 forum topic here on phoronix EVERYONE is complaining about it being much slower on compiz with AIXGL than the older ones with XGL. Please Michael be fair I'm sure that you feel that too, just use it!!! I'm not blaming too much ATI for that, for sure they are doing hard work but thy are simply still not there. I cant' see any reason why articles on this site keep encourageing people to try the new driver when YOU know they are going to be disappointed!
            Please tell the truth, "things are getting better let's give ati couple more months, but 8.42 is still just beta quality".

            Not willing to flame, just a bit disappointed by phoronix, I love your site and I hate thinking you are not fair when talking about ATI.

            I agree. disappointed by phoronix. We are not idiots!


            • #16
              I have pretty much no problems with the new driver whatsoever; I love it. I don't see my Compiz fusion being any slower with AIGLX than with XGL, only the scrolling is slow. And even that is fixed if I turn Compiz off. And after turning off some boot options I even got my arch-nemesis, black-screen-on-logout defeated. I'm very, very happy with this driver release. It has gotten a lot of performance boosts and fixed annoying bugs.
              Not everyone is unhappy, notice that too.


              • #17
                michael, did you enable exa?
                seems to improve the performance very much.(newer driver releases have it by default)


                • #18
                  Originally posted by Regenwald View Post
                  michael, did you enable exa?
                  seems to improve the performance very much.(newer driver releases have it by default)
                  EXA was enabled.
                  Michael Larabel


                  • #19
                    Ehm, on my system (without aiglx) on xorg-server 1.4 using exa is almost unusable, no matter if using the open (r300) or the closed (fglrx) driver. When switching to xaa with "XAANoOffscreenPixmaps" "true" everything is fine.
                    Using exa results in a *very* slow behavior when switching desktops in KDE and scrolling and such is slow like hell. Using xaa I do get choppy images eg in tvtime. When activating "XAANoOffscreenPixmaps" everything is fine. All of this is *exactly* the same on the radeon and the fglrx driver. CPU-Load is a whole lot higher with exa, too.

                    So I do stay with the default XAA (yes, it is the default when not specifying RenderAccel) since it does work nicely (at least when aiglx/xgl/compiz/beryl/whatever is not active), is stable and produces a low cpu load.


                    • #20
                      Ehm, on my system (without aiglx) on xorg-server 1.4 using exa is almost unusable, no matter if using the open (r300) or the closed (fglrx) driver.
                      that's strange exa works way better for me on r300 card with opensource driver.did you use official driver or a git checkout? (i use the latter)