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Thread: Intel X3100 - OpenGL support?

  1. #1
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    Default Intel X3100 - OpenGL support?

    Hello world,

    I'm going to buy a laptop from Novatux (a little french reseller) with a X3100 IGP and I would like to code a bit with pyOpenGL.

    My issue is that I only saw OpenGL 1.5 to be supported. I wonder if newer Intel drivers implement OpenGL 2.0?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgRevan View Post
    Hello world,

    I'm going to buy a laptop from Novatux (a little french reseller) with a X3100 IGP and I would like to code a bit with pyOpenGL.

    My issue is that I only saw OpenGL 1.5 to be supported. I wonder if newer Intel drivers implement OpenGL 2.0?
    If I have to follow in an exact way the specs available at WikiPedia, I'd say... NO, but I'm not sure, maybe there's a way for the driver to be able to let you use some of the OpenGL 2.0 featureset, but if I had to rely on the specs information... I wouldn't count on it

    Julio
    Last edited by LydianKnight; 12-06-2007 at 03:09 PM.

  3. #3

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    There's a glsl backend to 965. Mesa 7.1 should contain the bits to support opengl 2.0 on x3100+ hardware. Check out http://www.x.org/wiki/Events/XDS2007/Notes

  4. #4
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    I think the OpenGL 2 thing is just a driver issue. I'm fairly sure the hardware can do everything OpenGL 2 needs, but if it's not in the driver yet, it ought to be fairly soon.

  5. #5

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    Just waiting for Mesa 7.1. Fedora already bundles an rc version and the x3100 shows opengl 2.0 support in glxinfo.

  6. #6
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    Just to let you know that I installed Ubuntu Hardy to my business laptop (with X3100) and the result is... not pretty.

    First impressions: Compiz works out of the box!

    But that's about the only thing going for X3100.

    Issues:
    1. Graphics corruption in almost all Compiz effects. Windows leave trails behind, the screen stops refreshing (unless you "minimize all and show desktop"), windows stop responding etc etc.

    2. Performance is horribly bad. So bad, that the card cannot display simple Compiz effects like "fold", "kick" or "glide1/2". The only thing that works, barely, is fade-in/fade-out. Moving large windows around is also rather slow, e.g. Firefox.

    3. Driver only supports OpenGL 1.5.

    Compared to my age old Ati 9700 Mobile, the X3100 is miles behind in drivers *and* performance, and that's saying a lot.

    I'd stay as far away from this chip as possible, if I were you.

  7. #7
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    You should work out your driver-issues then. I installed Linux on a 7 laptops with the Intel X3100 IGP and the configurations all differed, but I never had any of your problems.

    The only thing I can think of was a font-corruption with the Fedora 9-LiveCD and that was fixed by temporarily disabling EXA in the xorg.conf and applying updates after the installation.

    All of your problems remind me of the problems I had when I first got my GeForce 7900 GTX. Should I have reportet the card being useless too, even if it works fine, now that I know what I am doing?

  8. #8
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    So you've had OpenGL 2.0+ support, good performance and stable compiz with the X3100 chipset on 6/7 laptops? I don't know if I believe that, judging from my (admittedly limited) experience with this chip.

    You should work out your driver-issues then.
    That's what I will do, of course, but I was rather disappointed by the experience. "Intel chips work out of the box", or so they said - which is clearly an overstatement.

    In fact, my ati 9700 Mobile did work out of the box on Hardy. So did my 9600 Pro. My father's 7600GS needed nvidia's binary blob, but was spotless afterwards. My X1950Pro was disappointing at first, but it's solid now.

    And all of these are about many, many times faster than the X3100.

    So, yes, I was disappointed and this shows in my post. I guess the moral of the story is to avoid the latest and greatest hardware - 12 months is a good baseline to allow devs time to work out the kinks.

    Off now to find a fix for the atrocious performance. Hopefully there's some simple tweak to help here - any ideas?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    So you've had OpenGL 2.0+ support, good performance and stable compiz with the X3100 chipset on 6/7 laptops? I don't know if I believe that, judging from my (admittedly limited) experience with this chip.
    Many, many others seem to have had decent results with it. Keep in mind that many laptop and motherboard vendors do screwy things with the chips they implement- some of which would cause problems. I know for a fact that the driver works FINE on my eeePC, but the same GMA on my Dell Optiplex 745 at work is unstable with 3D operation and I had to swap in a 6200LE just to work with things on the machine. BIOS settings and timings can play a BIG part in things working or not.

    I've seen things that way with pretty much all the Intel parts and any IGPs from ATI/AMD and NVidia (Just look at the X200M story to see proof of this...gad... It's largely NOT AMD's fault it's a mess, just FYI...).

    That's what I will do, of course, but I was rather disappointed by the experience. "Intel chips work out of the box", or so they said - which is clearly an overstatement.
    Actually, it's less of one than you're making it. YOU have found an issue with it. Having used computers for literally decades and dealt with the same sorts of garbage under Windows, I can safely say that I try to point fingers like that out of the gate. I try to see if it's a bad driver situation with the version of the OS I'm using, a bad BIOS or bad Mobo, etc.

    Since you didn't share what brand machine you're trying to claim this on, I can't tell you what might be the beginning of the problem, but...

    In fact, my ati 9700 Mobile did work out of the box on Hardy. So did my 9600 Pro. My father's 7600GS needed nvidia's binary blob, but was spotless afterwards. My X1950Pro was disappointing at first, but it's solid now.

    And all of these are about many, many times faster than the X3100.
    Yep. And for the notable exception of the 9700 Mobility, those parts are going to be in a completely different class of part- as they're all discrete devices. Discrete devices tend to paste IGP's out of the gate because they've got dedicated memory access and they've typically got higher clocks, more vertex (transform/lighting) and fragment (texturing) pipeline pieces so they can do more per clock. (And, comparing an X1950Pro to a GMA X3100?? C'mon...let's get realistic here. ) I'm also not a bit surprised about the 9700 edging out the GMA right at the moment. If you're using the fglrx drivers for it, you're going to see an edge there as they've got a more optimized rendering path codeset compared to the current batch of Intel drivers- I could even see the same story with the R300 FOSS drivers since Intel's stuff is still a bit in it's infancy. The in-progress Gallium3D drivers may change that situation, but for now, heh...

    So, yes, I was disappointed and this shows in my post. I guess the moral of the story is to avoid the latest and greatest hardware - 12 months is a good baseline to allow devs time to work out the kinks.
    The other moral is to not presume, just because 3D "works" out of the box, that your system configuration will allow it to work or that it'll perform unless you're buying something like an Intel motherboard, and so forth.

  10. #10
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    That's what I will do, of course, but I was rather disappointed by the experience. "Intel chips work out of the box", or so they said - which is clearly an overstatement.
    Actually, it's less of one than you're making it. YOU have found an issue with it. Having used computers for literally decades and dealt with the same sorts of garbage under Windows, I can safely say that I try to point fingers like that out of the gate. I try to see if it's a bad driver situation with the version of the OS I'm using, a bad BIOS or bad Mobo, etc.
    You are missing the point. Intel is thought to be the leader in OSS video drivers as far as features, stability and user experience is concerned. As such, I was looking forward to (finally!) trying a chip that wouldn't need countless hours of xorg.conf tweaking just to work - but the expectation didn't play out.

    I acknowledge that I'm just one person, testing a single hardware configuration (a Fujitsu-Siemens Esprimo Mobile to be exact). I'm not saying that everyone will encounter the same problems. On the other hand, if someone (like me) is thinking to go with an intel solution for driver stability and features, he might be wise to temper his expectations - there's simply no video card in the market today that doesn't suffer from quirky configuration or other random issues (e.g. OpenGL context construction on fglrx or 2d performance on nvidia's G80+).

    I'm not saying this only occurs on Linux either. The very same X3100 chip would blue screen windows, until the July drivers fixed what looked like an invalid memory allocation (this certainly didn't help my opinion of this card).

    Finally, I'm obviously not comparing ati's X1950 performance to intel's X3100 - but the latter should be able to take on ati's 5-year-old 9700M at least! Hopefully, things will change as X3100 drivers mature - they simply aren't there yet.

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