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Old 04-22-08, 11:52 AM   #121
laurencevde
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Default Re: 8400M GS : Low performences

However, linux/(unix) gives you easier acces to the hardware and kernel, and with less overhead, than windows. Ok, X's architecture is slower, all other things being equal, but X has been fast enough for decades, and gives you benefits I wouldn't want to miss: if it crashes, you're only logged out most of the time; far more flexible window-management; network-transparency; being able to run multiple x-servers at the same time; etc.

One of the reasons Intel is faster is because all their cards use shared memory, so there's virtually no additional overhead for processors sending data to the videocard, and back.
One of nvidia's problems is the pci-express-overhead, which is higher than with agp, and as it seems that the drivers don't yet accelerate everything(f.ex: subpixel-text-aa was slow on pci-express-cards in kde3, becouse of this), that means copying data from the main memory to the video-memory, do some accelerated stuff on it, send it back to main memory, let the cpu handle stuff as well, and send it back to the videomemory to be shown. X is currently moving from mostly-cpu-rendering to gpu-rendering, while at the same time pci-express-cards are replacing agp-cards, so I guess this can be called part of the transition. It's not just nvidia fault, but they are a big part of it. Nvidia's 2d-performance has been decent until the pci-express-cards and gf8800's(which are made to do everything with their 3d-engine), so their drivers might be in need of some bigger changes/rethinking to be able to cope with this, which will hopefully just take time, even though we've been waiting for almost a year now...
That's not the only reason for intel to outperform nvidia in 2d. They also have a younger codebase, probably have more developers working on it, are directly involved in X-development, library-developers prefer them, etc.

Summary: 2d is pretty simple for all chips on the market since the last 10 years, so its speed is mostly governed by overhead, which just got a whole lot bigger.

Oh, and I meant that the gf8400m GS is slow compared to just about every other card currently for sale. Only intel's have a slower 3d-engine.
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Old 04-22-08, 12:05 PM   #122
txf
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Default Re: 8400M GS : Low performences

Quote:
Originally Posted by energyman76b
btw, before the 'we need specs' stuff starts again, AFAIK intel has not released specs.,,,
erm...http://intellinuxgraphics.org/index.html
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Old 04-22-08, 01:38 PM   #123
energyman76b
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Default Re: 8400M GS : Low performences

Quote:
Originally Posted by laurencevde
However, linux/(unix) gives you easier acces to the hardware and kernel, and with less overhead, than windows. Ok, X's architecture is slower, all other things being equal, but X has been fast enough for decades,
you should google for the unix haters handbook. X was always slow and only 'fast enough' on pretty highend workstations. That X is bearable today is caused by the fact that modern desktops are a lot more powerfull than early/mid 90s workstations.
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Old 05-21-08, 05:32 PM   #124
J-Da 01
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Default Re: 8400M GS : Low performences

OK I think I figured it out!

Explanation:
The problem isn't with the card, the drivers, or linux, but rather Nvidia software interacting with the card (PowerMizer). Geforce 8xxx series cards found in notebooks (such as 8400M GS) have a feature built in that allows them to be underclocked. Nvidia then includes a feature called PowerMizer which automatically underclocks the GPU if it isn't being used intensively for 15 seconds. This is an attempt by Nvidia to extend battery life (although PowerMizer runs even when the notebook is plugged in). The result is a severely underclocked GPU and the slow, crappy graphics we're experiencing in linux especially with compiz effects. You can see what i'm talking about by typing nvidia-settings in console and then going to the PowerMizer section. You should see three different performance levels listed (labeled 0 through 2). Level 2 is what your card is supposed to be at, specs-wise, but it almost never reaches this level and is usually underclocked to the settings seen for level 0. I guess this was supposed to be a nice feature from Nvidia, and probably is in a relatively graphics depleted Windows, but for Linux, the GPU isn't upscaled for things like compiz effects resulting in slow, laggy graphics. This is only with the 8xxx series cards which explains why their performance is worse than that of lower series cards.

Solution:
So how do you fix it?

1) open /etc/modprobe.conf
2) add the lines:
options nvidia NVreg_RegistryDwords="PerfLevelSrc=0x2222"
options nvidia NVreg_Mobile=1

3) Reboot

This permanently locks PowerMizer at level 2. I did this and my card is flying now!

You can also activate XGL, which (at least for now) inactivates nvidia-settings and thus PowerMizer. Howerver, I have had a lot of problems activating XGL on some distributions.
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Old 05-21-08, 05:39 PM   #125
shaundennie
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Default Re: 8400M GS : Low performences

Rather than using the PowerLevelSrc hack, you can also just write a script that runs:

Code:
nvidia-settings -q all
Every 25 seconds. That prevents the card from ever leaving maximum power and has the added benefit that you can disable it when it on battery and greatly extend your battery life.
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Old 05-22-08, 02:48 AM   #126
theophane
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Default Re: 8400M GS : Low performences

The problem is that even with powermizer switched off, the card still have terrible performances.
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Old 05-22-08, 02:50 AM   #127
shaundennie
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Default Re: 8400M GS : Low performences

Quote:
Originally Posted by theophane
The problem is that even with powermizer switched off, the card still have terrible performances.
Haha. Well, sure, there is that...
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Old 05-22-08, 03:11 AM   #128
JofArnold
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Default Re: 8400M GS : Low performences

Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Da 01
You can also activate XGL, which (at least for now) inactivates nvidia-settings and thus PowerMizer. Howerver, I have had a lot of problems activating XGL on some distributions.
For me, XGL works very well under Hardy and solved ALL my problems in the desktop environment... including the pesky lack-of-window-shadows issue. However, I'm greedy and I still don't think performance is as high as it could be...therefore no doubt I'll try the clocking approach in time ;-)
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Old 05-22-08, 01:53 PM   #129
kinzeron
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Default Re: 8400M GS : Low performences

Quote:
Originally Posted by JofArnold
For me, XGL works very well under Hardy and solved ALL my problems in the desktop environment... including the pesky lack-of-window-shadows issue. However, I'm greedy and I still don't think performance is as high as it could be...therefore no doubt I'll try the clocking approach in time ;-)
How did you make compiz works with xgl? it gives me blank screen with the mouse cursor hovering on it...
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Old 05-23-08, 11:02 AM   #130
JofArnold
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Default Re: 8400M GS : Low performences

Quote:
Originally Posted by kinzeron
How did you make compiz works with xgl? it gives me blank screen with the mouse cursor hovering on it...
I literally only did "sudo apt-get install xserver-xgl", nothing else. Maybe I got lucky? I'm personally very surprised that it worked... I'm pretty sure XGL is running; here's the output:

$ ps aux | grep -i xgl
cody 6521 0.0 0.0 3944 564 ? S 08:31 0:00 /bin/sh /usr/share/xserver-xgl/Xgl-lockfile-wrapper :1 -accel xv:fbo -accel glxbuffer -nolisten tcp -fullscreen -br +xinerama
cody 6526 2.4 7.5 351932 304300 ? RL 08:31 12:44 Xgl :1 -accel xv:fbo -accel glxbuffer -nolisten tcp -fullscreen -br +xinerama
cody 25573 0.0 0.0 5172 936 pts/0 R+ 17:01 0:00 grep -i xgl
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Old 05-24-08, 03:23 AM   #131
phelge
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Default Re: 8400M GS : Low performences

Yep, I'm running Ubuntu Gutsy (laptop HP 8710W - Nvidia Quadro FX1600) and I've installed xserver-xgl package. I confirm that it solved most of the slowness I had before.

It's actually running.

ps aux | grep -i xgl
7528 ? S 0:00 /bin/sh /usr/share/xserver-xgl/Xgl-lockfile-wrapper :1 -accel xv:fbo -accel glxbuffer -nolisten tcp -fullscreen -br +xinerama
7533 ? RL 8:04 Xgl :1 -accel xv:fbo -accel glxbuffer -nolisten tcp -fullscreen -br +xinerama

nvidia-settings gives an error stating nvidia driver is not running. But I'm satisfied with the current performances and hope better in a near future.
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Old 05-24-08, 03:27 AM   #132
shaundennie
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Default Re: 8400M GS : Low performences

I'm not running xgl but, you can probably get nvidia-settings to run with:

Code:
DISPLAY=:0.0 nvidia-settings
(Or something along those lines. It's possible to get nvidia-settings to run on xgl by messing with the DISPLAY variable).
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