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Thread: Ubuntu 11.04 + Radeon 4200 + fglrx issues

  1. #1
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    Default Ubuntu 11.04 + Radeon 4200 + fglrx issues

    Hi,

    I have a Athlon II X2 + 785G based system plugged into my LCD TV over HDMI @ 1920x1080

    I'm running Ubuntu 11.04 + the default r600g driver.

    Almost everything in the open source driver is fantastic, firmly in the Just Works camp.
    Only Banshee's video player plays video at a reasonable frame rate without audio sync drift issues and minecraft is unplayable (slideshow, control lag and crackly sound)

    The only way I've found I can play minecraft well is by installing fglrx.

    However, this causes desktop composition, all video and all, well, applications to run like a slideshow. Scrolling, windows dragging, video playing. Awful.

    I think flash still works well, and that's about it.

    Has anybody else got any information on solving these issues? It seems odd that it should improve performance so much in a game and trash everything else.

    Thanks,

    J1M.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    I'm having similar issues. Even disabling sync to vblank doesn't completely solve it, but it does help, e.g. scrolling in chromium isn't smooth at all. It seems that 2D stuff with compiz active is very slow once again. It used to be a big weakness but AMD supposedly fixed it a few driver versions ago.

  4. #4
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    Grr, phoronix NEVER sends me notification emails for thread replies, sorry.

    I tried the vsync fix for fglrx, better, except in Firefox.
    Still epic slow in FF, both typing lag (AAARGH) and scrolling.

    I shall continue searching as at least fglrx is no longer mental unstable.
    Also, minecraft and system shock 2 works (under wine)

  5. #5
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    I've been digging deeper into this issue and it seems to affect more GPUs, but Radeon IGPs are the ones where it is more evident. It is probably a Compiz problem as some users reported similar symptoms using Ubuntu Classic with Effects, and downgrading compiz to version 0.8.6 fixed the issues for them. Also, my own personal workaround is to use unity-2d. It's sooo much smoother now! I don't understand how they fucked this up so badly. Ubuntu 11.04 with Unity feels like KDE used to with KWin and compositing.

  6. #6
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    HA!

    I just installed unity-2D as well (great minds)

    I can live without Compiz, but I can't live without Unity.
    Just 5 minutes in Classic made me want to scream (Applications/Start menu? Please, 1995 called...)

    Still, I'm very tempted to drive to local PC shop and buy a cheap NVidia card.
    Shouldn't do that though, as I'm quite deliberately supporting AMD/ATI because of their sterling FOSS efforts.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoboJ1M View Post
    I can live without Compiz, but I can't live without Unity.
    Just 5 minutes in Classic made me want to scream (Applications/Start menu? Please, 1995 called...)
    I know what you mean. It took me a while to get used to the way Unity (and Gnome Shell) works, but now I can't go back to the dark ages of traversing menu after menu.

    Quote Originally Posted by RoboJ1M View Post
    Still, I'm very tempted to drive to local PC shop and buy a cheap NVidia card.
    That wouldn't do you any good since this bug is more related to the processing power of the GPU than the chip manufacturer. There are also users of nvidia cards complaining about the same problem: bug #760814. Also, some people with more powerful Radeons seem to have no problems in this regard.

  8. #8
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    I've been using gnome do and docky for ages with the regular dfesktop which do much the same thing, so for me Unity was just a tight implementation of what I was already used to. Maybe that's why other people are finding it such a faf to use. Also, the whole Maximize-equals-fullscreen thing is glorius, loosing 3-4 centimeters to redundant tool and menu bars is irritating, expecially when coding.

    I cracked, rushed down to novatech with my visa card and bought a fanless GT 430.

    Does make a hell of a difference actually, Unity-3D now runs at a very high fps with as little lag as the radeon with Unity-2D. Also you get VDPAU accelerated flash which is nice.

    And minecraft and system shock now run at billions of frames per second.

    It immediately broke the HDMI audio though, had to revert to onboard optical out

    This will do me until the open source radeon drivers are on par with the binary nvidia drivers. 1-2 years maybe.

  9. #9
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    A Radeon HD6450 probably would have had the same effect minus the video acceleration advantage. That said, I do find the GT430 an interesting card, especially the fanless variant (I love silent computers ).

    Well, regarding the changes in Ubuntu I agree that it improves the working space and that makes a lot of difference in some cases. I mostly do graphical work and if I can see just 2 more pixels of what I'm working on it's already an improvement. Contrary to what happens in Mac OS, in Ubuntu applications do have a true maximized state and that is indeed glorious. Too bad this change for the better is not trouble free, but considering how much it improved over the initial release on version 10.04 there is great hope that it will become perfect in one or two major Ubuntu releases.

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