[ubuntu-x] Add tag for GPU fan related problems? [was: Tagging Xorg bugs (especially -intel)]

unggnu unggnu at googlemail.com
Fri May 8 20:21:24 BST 2009

Afaik the firmware is only static. I have used the
http://www.techpowerup.com/rbe/ which uploads the firmware to the
graphic flash memory but it should be used with caution!

Powerplay is more than fan control. It scales down the gpu and even
seems to disable shading units or similar because my card ist still
noisier with the lowest frequency and undervoltaging than under Win/with
fglrx and standard voltage.
The fan scales automatically per default at least with my hardware version.
Maybe there is some copyrighted stuff in it or they have to create the docs.

Btw. if I remember right the dev working on Powerplay is mjg59. I guess
you could ask in the #radeon Freenode channel.


Martin Olsson wrote:
> Thanks for the info unggnu..
> Is there any reason why your modded firmware image can't ship in the
> ubuntu kernel? low 3D perf? does it permanently alter the hw or is it
> one of those firmware blobs that the kernel supplies every time on boot?
> While I don't think a tag can fix bugs it can help us chart out the territory
> where the ubuntu experience is not great yet and it can help us build a better
> case when escalating to upstream.
> In general, are you sure the situation is still that bad? AMD has published a ton of
> nice docs in the last 2 years. Just yesterday they release 3D specs for R600/R700:
> http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=amd_r600_700_guide&num=1
> Why would they publish specs on 3D stuff but then hold back on something as
> trivial as fan control? Also, according to Phoronix, they introduced PowerPlay
> in fglrx in 2005 so at least basic components of that technology is pretty _old_
> given that it was on the market for years before coming to fglrx. This seriously
> limits the ability of people to use their cards after all. It doesn't exactly
> make sense to me, but then again this kind of stuff rarely does I suppose.
> All AMD docs are here in case anyone wants to grep through them:
> http://www.x.org/docs/AMD/
> ---
> I looked around a bit in these docs and found nothing _obviously_ useful.
> Of course I'm royally clueless when it comes to this type of low level stuff.
> None of the docs explicitly mention "fan" (except for "triangle fan" which
> is completed non-related of course) but I assume fan control can be connected
> to general "power state" and there is plenty of references to that if
> you search for "power". Maybe stuff like powering down the DRAM isn't
> what's needed though, that sounds more like for suspend/resume etc.
> Especially since fglrx ships the "aticonfig" tool that has an option called
> --set-power-state, that makes me think the explicit references to POWER_STATE
> in the given AMD docs could be potentially useful here? Also, since there
> is a userspace tool for it, there is probably just some ioctl() or register
> or something you need to poke for setting the power mode?
> Another interesting option here would be to factor out the proprietary
> aticonfig tool into its own package then just run:
> aticonfig --set-powerstate=1
> or similar, before using the free driver. That way we'd get way more users
> on the free driver and more bug reports etc. We can also do this _only_ for
> cards we have confirmed this "full fan" behavior on so we don't risk
> hurting 3D perf on cards where the fan magically work for some reason.
> Finally for reference, here is the bug report about now being able to
> use -ati because fans run at full speed:
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/xserver-xorg-video-ati/+bug/373669
> 		Martin

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