GPUs & Beryl: What is Needed?
Phoronix: GPUs & Beryl: What is Needed?
We thought it was already clear what graphics processors and drivers work and don't work with Linux desktop eye candy such as Beryl and Compiz, but it seems based upon the number of e-mails we have been receiving along with messages in community bulletin boards that the line isn't so clear after all. For those that have never tried out Beryl, it is a compositing window manager branched from Compiz (though Beryl will merge back with Compiz soon) that provides a variety of window decorations and other desktop "eye candy" for X.Org users. In this article we hope to make it clear for you what GPUs will make your Linux desktop look the most pleasurable and what ones just sweat thinking about these desktop effects. We have taken eight different systems, benchmarked them using the Beryl Benchmark, and have our thoughts on these ATI/AMD, Intel, and NVIDIA solutions with Beryl v0.2.
How did you get beryl to keep the default looks in ubuntu? whenever i try loading beryl i lose my window frames, and emerald --replace doesn't always work.
a duron 700 with a geforce 2 MX 64MB can run beryl, not blisteringly fast, but it did quite well considering how dated the hardware was. I've passed on the machine so i can't give exact numbers.
Great article, I found something interesting though that everyone should be aware of, apparently theres a framerate limiter inside of Beryl, and on some systems seem to work in a slower speed on Beryl because on some monitors, the refresh rate isn't detected properly in Beryl. I got a nVidia FX 5500 so I took a look in the options and found some answers in the General Options Tab in Beryl Manager, basically, under main, uncheck detect refresh rate, put the refresh rate to what you want it to be, then you can also disable sync to vblank.
I really recommend keeping sync to vblank enabled unless you're having trouble coping with your refresh rate. With the FX 5500 I didn't need to do this, all I needed to do was uncheck detect refresh rate and define the one I wanted in the General Options under the main tab. My results were these:
Very fast on the desktop, 300 fps, doing minimizing cruising around the cube and such, the framerate would at most dip down to about 80-85, so I kept sync to vblank on, my refresh rate is 75 hz.
With the ripple effect however, the framerate drops to 20, I don't use this effect so it didn't bother me any.
I'm running Beryl very comfortably on significantly less exotic hardware. My laptop specs are:
Quadro4 500 GoGL w/64MB AGP4
At a static desktop, I see ~ 135FPS with it dipping to ~ 70-80FPS depending on the effect used, though I can't seem to get the ripple thing going at this point so not a real apples-to-apples. I got similar (though slightly slower) FPS counts on the GeForce4 Go 440 w/64MB that was in the laptop before the upgrade.
I'm impressed with the abilities of the people behind Compiz/Beryl in keeping it light and tight.
Yeah, Beryl/Compiz are definitely very well optimized. One feature I hope they put in, in the future, is to have a profile system where if you run a specific app that you define in the profile, it'll turn off the 3d desktop, this would come in handy in running it seamlessly while using other 3d applications. Using a 3d application right now while Beryl or Compiz running means you're going to end up with a complete lock up on the desktop, or very slow framerate in the application.
Originally Posted by tinfoil
I know that's a feature request that has long been outstanding in the Beryl community. And most certainly something I would love to see myself, not just in 3D apps, but in 2D as well.
Originally Posted by Vakilik
Last edited by tinfoil; 05-28-2007 at 02:40 PM.
Just on the open source drivers, a zero-copy texture from pixmap extension was added recently to the Xorg/Mesa trees, it should reduce the amount of copying necessary with open source drivers, I think support so far is for EXA based drivers and is available for r300 and i915 (with new TTM memory manager)
It won't be shipped until Xorg 7.3 but I just thought I'd mention that improvements are on the way.
I think it might help the r100 case if we port support to those as those chips have lower memory bandwidth.
I just gave out a computer last week with Ubuntu 7.10 replacing a virus/spyware ridden XP install that would bluescreen every other day.
I had an uptime of 2 weeks in Ubuntu, replaced a noisy fan and made someone really happy.
It was an Athlon Tbird 1ghz with 768mbs of PC100 ram.
Video was radeon 9100 pro
HDD Quantum 60gbs 7200 ata 100 (Wanted to keep it as a relic of the past)
Default Ubuntu video 7.10 driver.
Anyway, when desktop cube and rotate cuber were activated, I had a constant "green" framerate. the lowest I've seen it go was 35fps while watching a youtube (small) video and nothing much else going on on the PC; which I found was more than acceptable. The person I gave it to is close to computer illiterate and she was very thrilled to see the immense power of the ugly box with all the software she needs included.
And then some.
All the current talks about all the ways the different ati drivers will evolve