[xubuntu-users] Video weirdness with strange Xorg behavior

Eberhard Roloff tuxebi at gmx.de
Mon Oct 6 14:22:35 UTC 2008

Kelly Clowers wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 22, 2008 at 5:31 PM, Andrew Kane <googoleyes at gmail.com> wrote:
>>      Hi everyone, sorry about the cross-post but I thought this might
>> be equally relevant to both groups, though perhaps not particularly
>> interesting to anyone but me.
>>      I finished building a new junk-box a couple of weeks ago- 1.1
>> GHz Athlon, 512 MB RAM, weird MSI mobo and ATI Radeon 9200. I can hear
>> some of you groaning at that last ;)
>>      In any case, after the initial install I attempted to install
>> fglrx from the repositories, not realizing that the 9200 is no longer
>> supported under that version. Of course it broke Xorg, so I had to do
>> a dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg, in order to switch to the "ati"
>> driver. I did that from tty2 and removed the fglrx package immediately
>> afterwards, *before* restarting X. At this point I remembered that I'm
>> retarded, so I did the dpkg-reconfigure yaddayadda again and this time
>> it skipped the server section entirely- I went through all the usual
>> prompts about the keyboard, monitor, etc with no mention of the card.
>> Then I had a look at my /etc/Xorg.conf:
>> Section "InputDevice"
>>        Identifier      "Generic Keyboard"
>>        Driver          "kbd"
>>        Option          "XkbRules"      "xorg"
>>        Option          "XkbModel"      "pc105"
>>        Option          "XkbLayout"     "us"
>> EndSection
>> Section "InputDevice"
>>        Identifier      "Configured Mouse"
>>        Driver          "mouse"
>>        Option          "CorePointer"
>>        Option          "Emulate3Buttons"       "true"
>> EndSection
>> Section "Device"
>>        Identifier      "Configured Video Device"
>> EndSection
>> Section "Monitor"
>>        Identifier      "Configured Monitor"
>> EndSection
>> Section "Screen"
>>        Identifier      "Default Screen"
>>        Monitor         "Configured Monitor"
>>        Device          "Configured Video Device"
>> EndSection
>> Section "ServerLayout"
>>        Identifier      "Default Layout"
>>        Screen          "Default Screen"
>> EndSection
>>       ...and I said, "WTF?" (unabbreviated, of course:)
>>          I fail to understand how this file is useful for anything at
>> all. Have Xorg's settings for these "configured devices" moved
>> elsewhere in the system? Am I an idiot for not reading the release
>> notes, or a dotard for having read them and forgotten what they said?
>> Anyway, I still am not sure which driver is installed in the system.
>> The video works fine, glxgears reports about 250-350 FPS, OpenArena
>> works, etc. Does the ati driver support 3D acceleration? I'm happy to
>> have it but I was unaware that the driver provided it, and the
>> performance seems a little low compared to the 8500 LE I used to run
>> under fglrx back in the day.
> Nowadays, many basic configurations can run without any xorg.conf
> file at all, thanks to much improved autodetection. Many, even most
> of the old options still work if you need to specify things.
> You are almost certainly using the r200 accelerated 3d drivers.
> Open source r100, r200 and r300 (which actually includes r400,
> up to the x1050 card) drivers all do 2d acceleration, and r100/r200
> have good 3d. r300 has 3d, but it is supposedly not as good.
> However, I use a Radeon 9550 (r350) and it works fine for Quake 3
> http://dri.freedesktop.org/wiki/ATIRadeon#head-bb5de723d3bee252c77ae040087d8a4d85bcd22f
> http://megahurts.dk/rune/r300_status.html (2006)
> http://olivermcfadden.livejournal.com/18831.html
>>          Yes, I know that those old driver versions still exist
>> somewhere out in the luminiferous aether, but I'm so not going there.
>> Mostly I'm just happy that the bugger works, but my curiosity has been
>> aroused. Also, and oddly enough, the 2D performance is more than a
>> little lacking. Desktop effects in GNOME (why did I install GNOME? So
>> that I could test the desktop effects ;) work but are jerky, and the
>> xfce compositor works but with some strange effects- when a drop-down
>> menu animates, there is about a half-second of static before the
>> contents become visible. Also, playback of compressed video (flv) is
>> noticeably slower than it was on another machine, a 450MHz P3 with a
>> GeForce 2 MX 400 under nvidia-glx-legacy.
> I don't know much about performance tweaking, or compiz-type stuff,
> but try things like XAA vs EXA acceleration. I *think* some other odd
> options have an effect, such as  XaaNoOffScreenPixMaps and
> EnableTileFlipping. Google around, or ask your friendly neighborhood
> X developer.
>>           Submitted for your consideration- do y'all think this
>> machine's performance would improve if I switched to a 64MB GeForce2
>> MX400, using the nvidia-glx-legacy driver? Would the putative
>> performance be diminished by the use of a 32MB card (same model)
>> instead? I'm not sure if the 64MB card works- I found it inside the
>> machine when I opened it up, along with an old NCR SCSI card, a
>> wristwatch, two 3/4'' brass washers, and about 40 pounds of dust
>> bunnies. Oh, and a dime.
> I don't know enough comparative graphics-card-ology to say,
> but you could try your Radeon with ATI's binary drivers. They are
> better behaved than they used to be. Also keep in mind that
> Radeon drivers will be lots better soon - maybe in time for Ubuntu 9.04
9200 imho is NOT supported by ATI Binary drivers for about two years 
now, iirc,

You will surely get more from a Geforce 2 MX 400. The question remains, 
if you need more with that CPU.

I would go with what your ATI offers and simply work without any 
accelerated effects. After all, it is work this machine is for, I assume.

Kind regards

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