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  1. #1

    Slow Video Acceleration


    I am using a Dell Inspiron 5000 with an ATI Rage Mobility P/M graphics card. I've been using Mint 9 for about a week now, and I finally managed to get graphics acceleration with my card, which I understand is a fairly infamous problem with the older mach64 chipsets in all modern distros of Linux. I did it by following the guide at xorg website that talked about installing radeon drivers and mesa, only instead of installing the xf86-video-ati drivers referenced in the guide, I installed the xf84-video-mach64 6.8.2 (latest I could find) drivers in their place. Of course, it still didn't work at first because the mach64 drm was removed from my kernel. So, I obtained the source code of a mach64.ko that was linked to in an Archlinux guide, and compiled it for my kernel, and then put the compiled mach64.ko file in my /lib/modules/2.6.32-25-generic/kernel/drivers/char/drm folder, set the appropriate options in my Xorg.conf file, and restarted X. On paper, it worked like a charm. Glxinfo reported

    direct rendering: Yes
    OpenGL renderer string: Mesa DRI Mach64 [Rage Pro] 20051019 AGP 2x x86/MMX/SSE
    and my /var/log/Xorg.0.log file reports absolutely no errors, and glxgears reports over 1400 frames in 5 seconds (it had reported only 200 before I had my graphics drivers installed, and OpenGL was using swrast).

    However, in practice, performance has been extremely sub-par to what I was expecting. This is an extremely old laptop, true, but I still expected performance to be much better than what it is now. Before I had Mint installed, it had a 9-year old installation of Windows 2000, and had no ATI graphics drivers installed at all. It was running off of Windows' generic drivers. Yet even then, video playback was fairly smooth, and simple games like Dark Forces 2 and Worms Armageddon played with a solid, unwavering 60fps. Here in Mint, anything involving video or graphics operates as a choppy slideshow, even with graphics drivers installed and glxgears reporting an increase in performance. DF2 in WINE plays at about 3fps, and Wormux, a native-Linux version of the Woms games plays at about 8fps - still a surprisingly low framerate. The worst, though, is video. Whether it's a .wmv file played off the hard drive, or a low-res flash video streamed off of ebaumsworld, video plays at an extremely slow slideshow much less than 1fps. I have monitored CPU and RAM usage both when gaming and streaming videos, and CPU usage never goes about about 80% when gaming, and RAM usage never goes above about 75%. Plus, while video is choppy, sound plays perfectly fine with no stuttering (but the video of course struggles to keep up with it). I tried tweaking some settings in my xorg.conf to see if anything helps, but nothing has helped so far. I'll paste my xorg.conf file below.

    Section "ServerLayout"
    	Identifier     " Configured"
    	Screen      0  "Screen0" 0 0
    	InputDevice    "Mouse0" "CorePointer"
    	InputDevice    "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard"
    Section "Files"
    	ModulePath "/opt/xorg/lib/xorg/modules,/usr/lib/xorg/modules"
    	FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/X11/misc"
    	FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/X11/cyrillic"
    	FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/X11/100dpi/:unscaled"
    	FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/X11/75dpi/:unscaled"
    	FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/X11/Type1"
    	FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/X11/100dpi"
    	FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/X11/75dpi"
    	FontPath     "/var/lib/defoma/x-ttcidfont-conf.d/dirs/TrueType"
    	FontPath     "built-ins"
    Section "Module"
    	Load  "record"
    	Load  "dri2"
    	Load  "glx"
    	Load  "dri"
    	Load  "extmod"
    	Load  "dbe"
    Section "Server Flags"
    #       Option  "AIGLX" "off"
    Section "InputDevice"
    	Identifier  "Keyboard0"
    	Driver      "kbd"
    Section "InputDevice"
    	Identifier  "Mouse0"
    	Driver      "mouse"
    	Option	    "Protocol" "auto"
    	Option	    "Device" "/dev/input/mice"
    	Option	    "ZAxisMapping" "4 5 6 7"
    Section "Monitor"
    	Identifier   "Monitor0"
    	VendorName   "Monitor Vendor"
    	ModelName    "Monitor Model"
    Section "Device"
            ### Available Driver options are:-
            ### Values: <i>: integer, <f>: float, <bool>: "True"/"False",
            ### <string>: "String", <freq>: "<f> Hz/kHz/MHz"
            ### [arg]: arg optional
            #Option     "probe_sparse"       	# [<bool>]
            #Option     "accel"              	# [<bool>]
            #Option     "crt_display"        	# [<bool>]
            #Option     "composite_sync"     	# [<bool>]
            Option     "hw_cursor"          	"True"
            #Option     "force_pci_mode"     	# [<bool>]
            #Option     "dma_mode"           	# <str>
            #Option     "agp_mode"           	# <i>
            #Option     "agp_size"           	# <i>
            #Option     "local_textures"     	# [<bool>]
            #Option     "buffer_size"        	# <i>
            #Option     "tv_out"             	# [<bool>]
            #Option     "tv_standard"        	# <str>
            #Option     "mmio_cache"         	# [<bool>]
            #Option     "test_mmio_cache"    	# [<bool>]
            #Option     "panel_display"      	# [<bool>]
            #Option     "reference_clock"    	# <freq>
            #Option     "shadow_fb"          	# [<bool>]
            #Option     "sw_cursor"          	# [<bool>]
            #Option     "AccelMethod"        	# <str>
            #Option     "RenderAccel"        	# [<bool>]
    	Option      "NoAccel" 			"false"
    	Option      "ShadowFB" 			"off"
    	Option      "BackingStore" 		"True"
    	Option      "TargetRefresh" 		"60"
    	Identifier  "Card0"
    	Driver      "mach64"
    	VendorName  "ATI Technologies Inc"
    	BoardName   "Rage Mobility P/M AGP 2x"
    	BusID       "PCI:1:0:0"
    Section "Screen"
    	Identifier "Screen0"
    	Device     "Card0"
    	Monitor    "Monitor0"
            DefaultDepth    16
    	SubSection "Display"
    		Viewport   0 0
    		Depth     16
    		Modes	"1024x768"
    Section "DRI"
           Mode 0666
    Section "Extensions"
            Option      "Composite" "Enable"
    Is there anything else in this file I can tweak, or anything else I can do to get framerate in games and video to where it should be?

  2. #2
    Hi MuerteBlack,
    I've been trying to do the same in my Compaq Armada e500 with ATI Rage Mobility P/M, but I don't know how to do it. I don't have expertise in GCC compiling.
    Would you please can explain how you did it? I'll try the same and I'll reply here what happens.


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