Slow 2D performance... any help?
Does anyone have any tips to help me get better 2d performance out of the NVIDIA driver under XFree86? It's nice to have good frame rates for OpenGL, but for 2d performance, the XFree86 "nv" driver smokes the NVIDIA-Linux driver. With the NVIDIA-Linux driver, the simple act of dragging an xterm window across a browser window, for instance, causes long "trails" to be left behind, while the CPU shoots to 100%. If a window is graphics intensive (even just a web browser with a blank page, or a new, blank image in Gimp) I can visibly notice the window "peel" itself away from the bacground if I minimize it. The most bothersome thing about all this is that it is impossible to listen to audio and browse the web at the same time (at least without the audio going to pieces), as scrolling pages in Opera or Mozilla causes the audio to crackle and sputter horribly. Makes for a really miserable time at shoutcast.com. :(
I admit, my machine is old (K6-2/400), but the XFree86 "nv" driver just does not suffer the issues I describe above. Surely there's a way to get more reasonable 2d performance out of the NVIDIA-Linux driver.
I have tried all manner of different XF86Config options, per the README. At the moment, all the driver options are left to the default, except that I have set CursorShadow to false and NoLogo to true.
I have tried different PCI latency settings to no effect. Also tried disabling MTRR's per a suggestion I read on the web. No difference there, either. It's not the dreaded 2d performance bug... that was version 4191 and I'm running 4363. I have tried newer versions of the drivers, but they have the same problem, (and bring problems of their own) and all my OpenGL apps are built against 4363, so I *really* don't want to change, unless it's absolutely necessary, but I need better 2d than this.
Nvidia GeForce2 MX-200 DDR 32Mb PCI (BIOS: 03.11.01.48.00)
NVIDIA-Linux-x86-1.0-4363 Video Driver
Linux 2.6.1 (Slackware 9.0)
256 MB PC133 RAM
gcc 3.2.2 (Nvidia module and Linux kernel built with gcc-2.95.3)
XFree86 Version 4.3.0 (Home built; optimized for K6-2)
CPU: AMD K6-2 400
MOBO: FIC VA-503+ w/VIA Apollo MVP3 Chipset
BIOS: Award v 4.60PGA Version JE438 03/10/2000-VP3-586B-W877-2A5LEF09C-00
Sorry I don't have a solution. I'm having exactly the same problem, and have been through the same attempts at fixes. My machine is of similar vintage: it's a Pentium 2 450MHz with an STB Velocity 4400 (TNT) 16Mb video card. The nvidia driver installed flawlessly (several times...), and 3D acceleration is excellent. I can finally do some serious OpenGL work on this old tank, and my hat's off to NVidia for that.
OTOH, 2D is really slow: judging by the way the CPU gets hammered whenever I move a window, I'd say there's no 2D acceleration at all, and no amount of fiddling with XF86Config has helped.
On the "bright" side, I've seen some posts that indicate some folks with much newer cards are having the same 2D performance problem, so hopefully it's something fixable and not just an "old card" issue.
Re: Slow 2D performance... any help?
btw MTRRs are a GOOD thing! Although the k6-2 does not have enough, especially if ou have an 'odd' amount of ram. Try limiting the amount of RAM in your system to a strict power of 2, that might help a little, but on my P4 1.8Ghz with a QuadroFX500 the 2d performance is still somewhat disapointing so don't get your hopes too high.
To limit ram without opening the case just append RAM=128M (or whatever value you want) to your kernel command line
Re: Re: Slow 2D performance... any help?
What do you mean by 'my OpenGL apps are built against 4363'?
They were linked against the NV libGL and compiled using the NV headers.
I have upgraded with pretty much every driver update and never had any problems with applications (I have run into the '2d slowdown bug' and the 'via problem'). Are you linking your apps directly against libGL.so.1.0.4363 instead of just libGL.so or libGL.so.1 ?
They're linked against "libGL.so.1", which is, of course, actually Nvidia's libGL.so.1.0.4363. I had problems with GL apps which were compiled against SGI's GL when I first installed the Nvidia drivers, due to functions which weren't available in the NV lib. Left me a bit "gun shy", I guess.
Maybe when I hear that Nvidia has boosted 2D perfomance by about 3000%, I'll consider upgrading. :)
btw MTRRs are a GOOD thing!
I know. I was just trying because I read where someone had stopped his audio from sputtering on a VIA chipset by disabling MTRR's
Try limiting the amount of RAM in your system to a strict power of 2
Never heard of that one, but my RAM is 256MB now... not an odd number.
Thanks to you and jblack for responding, although it's not too encouraging too hear you say that with a CPU 4 1/2 times faster than mine, and a newer, faster Nvidia card, 2D is "disappointing". I would think that the manufacturer's own driver could at least manage to equal the XFree86 drivers in performance, but it seems not. :(
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