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Thread: Does the X1550 work with Linux yet?

  1. #1
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    Default Does the X1550 work with Linux yet?

    Some time ago I tried 3 (or maybe 4) times, all separate occasions, to get my X1550 graphics card working with Linux... it was a nightmare. I completely disabled my onboard video for a week on one occasion, heh. I completely recompiled X on one of my attempts too... a lot of it was over my head, not fun, and in general a terrible experience. I managed to reinstall xorg via my package manager (pacman, I'm using Arch Linux) and reassociate everything again - mostly. I have some unassociated files in my filesystem such as 'Xephyr' and 'Xvesa' (I know what they are, but don't use them :P).

    So I don't want to repeat that again.

    But I do want to know if the X1550 works with Linux now? I don't really mind what driver I end up using, as long as I keep the features of my current Intel integrated video that would apply to the X1550 as well, such as:

    - If X is running, it won't randomly crash if it feels like it
    - If the chipset encounters something it can't handle (eg, OpenGL), it just slows the PC down by humongous proportions until I fix it, instead of dying and taking X with it

    So, notwithstanding random issues that might need fixing, should I expect a fight without doing much else beyond simply installing an appropriate driver and reconfiguring xorg.conf? I'm fine with waiting, but I don't want any more nightmares.

    Thanks in advance.

    -dav7
    Last edited by dav7; 12-09-2008 at 03:05 AM.

  2. #2
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    I have an X1550 and it works fine.

    Best results are using the radeon driver in its latest form, you can download a current good build from Tormod Volden's PPA if you're using Ubuntu. Click the ati drivers link near the top of the page, you'll need the video-ati and video-radeon packages. Otherwise, check out the latest version from git.

    Once you have the drivers installed, specify the radeon driver in xorg.conf and specify EXA as the accel method. I also specify the dri and glx modules to load, but I believe they will load by default when the driver is in EXA mode. Works very well.

  3. #3
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    The X1550 has been working just fine in Linux for a long time(at least with fglrx). Are you using a recent version of X.Org/XServer?

  4. #4
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    This sounds interesting.

    I've never been able to figure out which XServer version I have, but I have Xorg 1.5.1.

    The problems I can remember I experienced in the past were (in no particular order):

    • Compiz Fusion's cube was slow (IIRC, this might have been with my integrated video)
    • Compiz would start up with a white screen
    • I couldn't convince the card to start up at my desired resolution - it'd always boot up at something insane
    • The refresh rate was completely messed up - the card wouldn't detect that my 19" CRT could run at 1400x1050@85Hz and only run it at like 60Hz or something - 83Hz with help (at the most), and I could feel my eyes straining because of it. My integrated video can't run at 1400x1050 unfortunately, only 1280x1024 (which I think the X1550 also failed to detect properly) - 1400x1050 is asking for the integrated display hardware to crash.
    • Not exactly related to the card, but if I booted up my system with "Integrated" selected in the BIOS and attempted to start X using the X1550, the system would hard-lock. No ssh, no caps lock light flashing, nada. Same if I selected "PCI" and tried to start X with the integrated video selected. This worked absolutely fine in windows allowing me to connect displays to both my integrated video and both DVI heads of the X1550 (with a VGA converter), giving me a tri-display setup which I never forgot.


    I don't remember much else, heh.

    But I don't want to check anything out from git. No compiling; like I stated clearly before I'm using Arch Linux, a binary-based distro, and although there is a compile-oriented user package repository I don't want to do any of this on my own - I just want it to work, without hassle, and want everything handled by the package manager.

    -dav7
    Last edited by dav7; 12-09-2008 at 09:36 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dav7 View Post
    The problems I can remember I experienced in the past were (in no particular order):

    • Compiz Fusion's cube was slow (IIRC, this might have been with my integrated video)
    • Compiz would start up with a white screen
    • I couldn't convince the card to start up at my desired resolution - it'd always boot up at something insane
    • The refresh rate was completely messed up - the card wouldn't detect that my 19" CRT could run at 1400x1050@85Hz and only run it at like 60Hz or something - 83Hz with help (at the most), and I could feel my eyes straining because of it. My integrated video can't run at 1400x1050 unfortunately, only 1280x1024 (which I think the X1550 also failed to detect properly) - 1400x1050 is asking for the integrated display hardware to crash.
    • Not exactly related to the card, but if I booted up my system with "Integrated" selected in the BIOS and attempted to start X using the X1550, the system would hard-lock. No ssh, no caps lock light flashing, nada. Same if I selected "PCI" and tried to start X with the integrated video selected. This worked absolutely fine in windows allowing me to connect displays to both my integrated video and both DVI heads of the X1550 (with a VGA converter), giving me a tri-display setup which I never forgot.
    Sounds like:
    1. You had some issues using your integrated card instead of your dedicated card.
    2. You were using the opensource radeon driver when this driver did not support x1550. I'm not sure if it supports it now.
    You should have been using the closed source fglrx driver from ATI.

  6. #6
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    Oh, sorry, I forgot to mention that those results were WITH the fglrx driver.

    In one of the "sessions" I mentioned above I managed to get the card to half-work by recompiling X and using the latest radeon driver, but OpenGL didn't work properly and in the end I just gave up.

    I'm thinking this card is a lost cause, heh.

    -dav7

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dav7 View Post
    Oh, sorry, I forgot to mention that those results were WITH the fglrx driver.

    In one of the "sessions" I mentioned above I managed to get the card to half-work by recompiling X and using the latest radeon driver, but OpenGL didn't work properly and in the end I just gave up.

    I'm thinking this card is a lost cause, heh.
    It should work fine. you will, however, need mesa 7.2 for the 3D driver. Not all distros are shipping that at the moment. so you may need mesa and xserver bits from testing/experimental/rawhide/etc.

    Alex

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dav7 View Post
    Oh, sorry, I forgot to mention that those results were WITH the fglrx driver.

    In one of the "sessions" I mentioned above I managed to get the card to half-work by recompiling X and using the latest radeon driver, but OpenGL didn't work properly and in the end I just gave up.

    I'm thinking this card is a lost cause, heh.

    -dav7
    That's odd, it should definitely work on fglrx and has worked for quite some time.

    The white screen you mentioned is because it didn't detect compositing. Maybe your xorg.conf wasn't set up? This would explain every point you mentioned as well.

    Edit: I should also mention that some time ago ATI didn't support AIGLX and you had to use XGL to achieve compositing effects otherwise you'd get that white screen too.
    Last edited by Sacha; 12-10-2008 at 04:35 AM.

  9. #9
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    The white screen you mentioned is because it didn't detect compositing. Maybe your xorg.conf wasn't set up? This would explain every point you mentioned as well.

    Edit: I should also mention that some time ago ATI didn't support AIGLX and you had to use XGL to achieve compositing effects otherwise you'd get that white screen too.
    #1, how do I configure xorg.conf to enable compositing? Add 'Section "DRI' ..."?
    #2, that rings possible bells.

    Also...

    Code:
    /Users/dav7/ + pacman -S mesa
    resolving dependencies...
    looking for inter-conflicts...
    
    Targets (1): mesa-7.2-1  
    
    Total Download Size:    0.71 MB
    Total Installed Size:   3.59 MB
    
    Proceed with installation? [Y/n] 
    :: Retrieving packages from extra...
     mesa-7.2-1-i686          725.0K  345.8K/s 00:00:02 [#####################] 100%
    checking package integrity...
    (1/1) checking for file conflicts                   [#####################] 100%
    (1/1) upgrading mesa                                [#####################] 100%
    /Users/dav7/ +
    Looking interesting...

    -dav7
    Last edited by dav7; 12-10-2008 at 05:27 AM.

  10. #10
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    You will need functioning acceleration in order to do basic things like Xv video on the X1550.

    The latest builds of the radeon driver work fine for this, you'll need a recent build though. The last release was several months ago (6.9.0) and I don't believe that build supports the R500 chips fully, the newer builds do much better in that regard including EXA support which gives you TexturedVideo and Xv, etc.

    That's why I suggested Tormod Volden's PPA... unfortunately those are Debian/Ubuntu (.deb) packages, I don't believe you can use them in Arch. There may be someone doing packages for your distribution, check with the Arch forums and you may find what you need.

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