X.Org Server 1.11.3 Officially Releasd
Phoronix: X.Org Server 1.11.3 Officially Releasd
X.Org Server 1.11.3 was released by Apple's Jeremy Huddleston prior to starting the weekend...
xorg is slowing down on old hardware
I often wonder what the test hardware is that is used by Xorg developers.
Intel HD10000, ATI 9999, Nvidia 974 ZT:
I'm exaggerating the device models but it's so hard to identify the premium from the heavy duty.
I've just been noticing Xorg slowing down.
My oldest machine -- P3 with a Trident chip -- chokes on just X and fluxbox.
Everything is configure to optimal settings. Even the tricks to turn off PAE and compiling for the chipset don't generate any better performance.
Then I was thinking maybe glibc had some sort of emulation for CPU extensions.
Tried a second machine with a Nvidia 6200pci -- p4 celeron -- that chokes on a lot it shouldn't.
So what I did was take an old distribution -- Slack 12 / 2.6.21 -- and compile a newer kernel for it (2.6.36). I didn't see any regressions in Xorg performance.
So that rules out the kernel.
True that it may be the case nobody uses these ancient systems anymore. I've just lost touch with where OSS is going in terms of the general population of hardware.
My core-duo/i945 is starting to show it's age.
Matrox G200 ships in servers sold by Dell. 1600x900 isn't going to happen. Maybe at 8bpp but I've no proof.
Vesa is still usable but only with reduced resources. Even then I've found it unbearable.
Just some random thoughts I had.
I noticed nobody has posted to this thread yet.
I think most people have updated their hardware since 1999...
You're a victim of the commercial success of open source. When it was just people hacking for a hobby, they paid a lot of attention to the systems they could afford - older, cheaper hardware.
Originally Posted by squirrl
But today, most of the work on X.Org is done by employees of vendors — either hardware vendors like Intel, AMD, and nvidia, whose employees also have to ensure the new hardware coming out is supported, so are often using it; or OS/distro vendors like Red Hat, SuSE, and Oracle, whose employees are paid to ensure it works on the hardware used by the customers paying for the enterprise support, which are typically companies that have discarded the old machines as fully depreciated and costing more (either directly or in lost productivity) to continue to maintain than replace.
A lot of the old video card drivers for X.Org are kept minimally building by the devs, in hopes that's useful for someone, but few of those ancient cards are tested, either for functionality or performance, and no community members who care have stepped up to help out with them, so they mostly sit and bit-rot.
You mean I can buy a new system and it will probably work, but your ancient junk from 1999 might not work as well as it did in 1999 (provided it even worked with Linux in 1999, since most off-the-shelf PC hardware was designed completely around whatever Microsoft was doing, compared to the minimal standards we have now).
Originally Posted by alanc
The problem with old systems is that you can not buy a new gfx card as they usually did not use pci-e. The few "new" agp cards are basically a dead end the day you buy em, similar are pci cards, those might work with newer systems but often even the onboard/chip solutions are faster. So in most cases the "solution" will be to replace the systems even if they would be still fast enough to surf the web (maybe without youtube). Another problem is that ram is really expensive for old systems if you are not lucky enough to get used ram for free. The minimal amount needed to buy a system that could be upgraded is about 100€ with an outdated amd board (sometimes with nv chipset) + basic cpu + ram. This is sometimes even cheaper than getting a new apg card...
Anyone who thought AGP had a future had a few screws loose.
Originally Posted by Kano
The number of old systems around that still work or are in the hands of people capable of supporting them are so few that the plan for supporting ancient graphics cards which will go into effect next year is to only use them for the VGA port and the 2d engine and use llvmpipe for 3d.
Since a lot of those cards are OpenGL 1.5 and DirectX 7 at best, I struggle to think about what you could still be doing with them that the 3d engine is suited for. Join the 21st century, we have cake.
I know they're not exactly high-end, but you can still buy fairly new PCI graphics cards... Newegg is currently listing a Radeon 5450 PCI, and they've also got a GeForce GT 430. I just installed a GeForce 8400GS PCI in a HTPC that I built for the in-laws (Nvidia blob + VDPAU = 1080p live tv on a P4 celeron in MythTV), and it works just fine.
Originally Posted by Kano
My recommendation if you have a system that can't handle modern 3D software is this: stick to the version of the software that performs the best for your hardware.
I've got a P4 laptop with an i820 chipset. It ran like crap on Ubuntu 11.10 (no KMS support = VESA driver), so I downgraded to 10.04 LTS and everything works much better. I'll have to stick with PPAs for Firefox and other updates, but the machine performs just fine with 10.04.