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Old 12-13-08, 06:18 PM   #1
dillzz
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Default 180.16 64bit Xinerama

For all xinerama users who are experiencing slow 2D when moving windows across screens I have tried 180.16 and the issue still exists. I can see a "shuttering/painting" effect when moving. I used 180.11 and this issue was much better. I reverted back to 180.11 as it is a huge annoyance. Setup:

q9450
(2) 9600GT's PCI Express
(3) 24" monitor xinerama
8GB ram

NVIDIA PLEASE HELP
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Old 12-14-08, 05:26 AM   #2
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Default Re: 180.16 64bit Xinerama

This is a limitation of Xinerama. Xinerama was never designed with cards having two outputs in mind. One of the slowness issues is that when you move a window between two screens on a single card, the X server has to manage all the copying. Each screen has its own frame buffer and the Xserver has to copy the bits of a window between the two screens (means a lot of copying between video memory and system memory). While in case of Twinview no such expensive operations are needed because all data is on the videocard.
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Old 12-14-08, 08:22 AM   #3
dillzz
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Default Re: 180.16 64bit Xinerama

I understand what the problem is I am just looking for help as this is frustrating. Learning that ATI is now developing multiview, I am now regretting my purchase:

"Introduced in the Catalyst 8.8 Linux driver and further stabilized within Catalyst 8.9 was AMD's MultiView technology. MultiView makes it possible to use multiple GPUs on the same system not for Linux CrossFire but for driving multiple display heads. Using MultiView on Linux you can easily drive four, six, or even eight screens. In fact, up to 32 displays are theoretically supported on a single system (permitting you have enough graphics cards and PCI Express slots). MultiView also allows for OpenGL acceleration across all displays and does not rely upon Xinerama. In this article we are taking a brief look at this multi-GPU multi-monitor feature catered towards AMD's workstation customers.

As described by AMD, MultiView provides "the ability to utilize GPUs from multiple adapters on an independent multi-display desktop. It allows a user to configure, manage and use a MultiView configuration under Linux and allows OpenGL applications run on any displays driven by multiple GPUs." Right now though there are several caveats when it comes to the support. MultiView will only work on systems that contain two identical FireGL graphics cards that belong to the FireGL V3300, V3350, V3400, V3600, V3700, V5200, V5600, V7400, or V7700 series. With that said, no Radeon graphics cards are currently supported by MultiView. Additionally, MultiView is not compatible with Compiz and it will not work if you are using Xinerama with X.Org. Last but not least, the RandR 1.2 support that was added in Catalyst 8.9 is disabled when using multiple ATI graphics cards."

I have always favored nvidia. I was just looking for some insight with xrandr 1.3 (replace xinerama) and support with nvidia. This is not just a problem for me but for where I work. I am responsible for many multihead systems and its hard to keep convincing them to use linux when we have all these problems - and in windows multihead/multiboard configuration works fine.
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Old 12-14-08, 10:14 AM   #4
dillzz
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Default Re: 180.16 64bit Xinerama

Please look at this picture as you will see what I am talking about. I simply moved firefox across xscreens. Twinview is not an option as it does not let you rotate individual screens.

http://i36.tinypic.com/250ugz5.jpg
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Old 12-14-08, 07:08 PM   #5
seenxu
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Default Re: 180.16 64bit Xinerama

No such issue on my pc.
I am using two 22' monitors setup on a 8600gt card with dual dvi ports, and 180.16 is installed.

8.10 ubuntu(wm: awesome 2.3.4) amd64 4gb
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Old 12-14-08, 09:22 PM   #6
JaXXoN
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Default Re: 180.16 64bit Xinerama

Quote:
Originally Posted by dillzz View Post
Learning that ATI is now developing multiview, I am now regretting my purchase:
According to this posting

http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=122675

I doupt that the grass is greener in ATI-land ...

However, i'd certainly appreciate links to real-world experiences and
benchmarks on that topic to get converted :-)

In the mean time, i stick to the single card triple head solution using
a Matrox TH2G that works perfectly fine up to 3x 1600x1200:

http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=106517

regards

Bernhard
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Old 12-14-08, 09:24 PM   #7
JaXXoN
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Default Re: 180.16 64bit Xinerama

Quote:
Originally Posted by seenxu View Post
I am using two 22' monitors setup on a 8600gt card with dual dvi ports,
Please note: dillzz uses three displays on two cards.

Bernhard
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Old 12-15-08, 04:39 AM   #8
seenxu
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Default Re: 180.16 64bit Xinerama

Quote:
Originally Posted by JaXXoN View Post
Please note: dillzz uses three displays on two cards.

Bernhard
sorry, don't notice (2) means x2, (3) means x3.
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Old 12-15-08, 08:16 AM   #9
dillzz
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Default Re: 180.16 64bit Xinerama

Thanks for the clarification JaXXoN. TH2G isn't an option for me either as I may add a fourth monitor. I also cannot justify TH2G. Multi-head works fine in windows which means the hardware is more than capable. I bought nvidia so I have the options of of having four displays. Now saying I should go buy some TH2G in order to get my hardware purchased supported - not happening.

Maybe the grass isn't greener - but at least they started working on a replacement for xinerama. I have emailed nvidia for work - opened cases - everything. Never a word about future support. . .

Like I had mentioned earlier for work we have devices with up to 12 heads using (3) Quadro NVS 440. Same issues are happening there as well and twinview/TH2G are not options either. You may say 12! thats crazy, well regardless the number, issues arise with even with as little as 3 monitors.

Not to rant but it is frustrating. I am a *nix admin and this is the second corporation where I have worked where these problems are crippling the deployment of linux as well as banning purchasing nvidia hardware for the future. What am I supposed to tell people when they say this works in windows etc.
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Old 12-15-08, 10:07 AM   #10
JaXXoN
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Default Re: 180.16 64bit Xinerama

Quote:
Originally Posted by dillzz View Post
TH2G isn't an option for me either as I may add a fourth monitor.
In theory, you could add two TH2Gs, each splitting up the two DVI-D outputs
of a single card into four DVI outputs for the monitors. Since i only have
one TH2G, i couldn't try that out, yet, but it should work since under
Linux, the USB connection to the TH2G is just used as power supply.
For the X-Server, the Matrox box simply appears as an LCD with high
resolution capabilities.

BTW.: what's the resolution of your 24" displays? If they are bigger
than 1600x1200 or 1920x1080, then TH2G won't work for you anyway ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dillzz View Post
I also cannot justify TH2G.
I guess that depends on for how many workstations you would need to apply
this solution? It least for me, when counting together all working hours i spent
on trying to fix dual-card xinerama issues, then i guess i could have afforded
a douzond TH2Gs even when serving those hours burgers at MCD, instead :-)


Here's a more serious argumentation:

Let's assume each card is 250 Euros, then you have the following calculation:

Dual-Card + Xinerama: 2*250 Euros = 500 Euros + plenty of pain
Single-Card + TH2G: 250+250 Euros = 500 Euros + more performance

When later on updating the video cards (maybe because you need
more GPU power), then you only need to update one card, not two!
(the displays typically last for a number of GPU generations, so does
the TH2G box).

If the cards you intend to purchase are more than 250 Euros (like performant
Quadros), then the TH2G solution is already the cheaper solution
(i.e. 2x FX3700 = 1500 Euros vs. THG+FX3700 = 900 Euros).

Also, take into account that you need a more expensive PC with 2x PCIe
and a bigger power supply (with a higher power consumption in turn, not to
mention potential thermal problems)

BTW.: working with windows is way more painful than bearing the dual-card
xinerama issues - at least for me, but YMMV ...


Quote:
Originally Posted by dillzz View Post
Multi-head works fine in windows
Don't get me wrong: i'd certainly like see the multi-card solutions working
similar well under Linux - i was using a triple head dual card setup for more
than two and a half years and i'm monitoring this topic closely. I had constant
problems with this two card solution and i hadn't the impressions that there
is something going on at nvidia to fix the xinerama problems in the foreseeable
future. So i finally bought the TH2G and for me, it's worth every single cent :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by dillzz View Post
Maybe the grass isn't greener - but at least they started working on a replacement for xinerama.
And the very moment it works stable, performant and well enough for my purposes
i would switch. The price tag could even be higher: excellent product deserve
to be expensive! But for the time being, i don't see any good alternatives to nvidia+TH2G
when it comes to triple-head (potentially quad-head).


Quote:
Originally Posted by dillzz View Post
I have emailed nvidia for work - opened cases - everything. Never a word about future support. . .
This is actually one of the most important reasons why i opted for TH2G:
the uncertainty if and when those issues will be fixed! Even worse: things
that already worked got broken now and then with newer driver releases!
This was a very frustrating experience - the annoying redraw events you
are observing are just the the tip of the iceberg. Trust me, i have been there!

Ok, to relax my statement above: I guess there a many linux useres out
there where a multi-card xinerama setup works well enough for them.
As told, it depends on applications and working habits (and the amount
of pain you are willing to bear).

Not to make this posting sound like an nvidia bashing, at this point, i'd like
to thank the nvidia linux crew for their constant hard work on the driver - at
least for single card setups, the driver evolved into something stable and
performant over the last eight years :-)


Quote:
Originally Posted by dillzz View Post
Like I had mentioned earlier for work we have devices with up to 12 heads using (3) Quadro NVS 440.
This is a complete different topic - I'm looking forward to your posting with experiences
and benchmarks on ATI MultiView, seriously!


Quote:
Originally Posted by dillzz View Post
Same issues are happening there as well and twinview/TH2G are not options either. You may say 12! thats crazy, well regardless the number, issues arise with even with as little as 3 monitors.
The number of displays is quite important in this discussion, because you could
probably have up to 4x 1600x1200 or 6x 1280x1024 with TH2G (with a single card).

BTW.: how about a mix of xinerama and TH2G? This will reduce the annoying
redraw events by a magnitude: lets assume you have three cards with two
DVI-D outputs, each. Then you attach a TH2G on each output for two 1600x1200
displays, each. So each card represents a row of four displays with three rows
altogether (4x3 = 12 displays with 6400x3600). This ways you will only experience the
redraw events when moving windows from one row to another one - but not when
moving a window within a row (consisting of four displays).



Quote:
Originally Posted by dillzz View Post
Not to rant but it is frustrating.
I can definitely second that - at least for the time i was using dual-card + xinerama.

regards

Bernhard



[Edit: typos, clearification]
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Old 12-15-08, 12:26 PM   #11
dillzz
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Default Re: 180.16 64bit Xinerama

JaXXon,

Thanks for the detailed response. Its nice to finally talk to someone who went through the same pains as I. All three of my monitors are running at 1920x1200 so no go with the TH2G. At work - definitely no go. I think I can get my hands on a pair of ATI FireGL PCI Express cards which are supported with multiview and give it a whirl. Probably will not happen until after the holiday season as I will be out of town next week.

Do you or AaronP know what happened with this? http://www.x.org/wiki/SummerOfCodeIdeas

Looks like we are not the only people experiencing this. Do you or anyone have any insight on xrandr 1.3 with multiple GPU'S, and possibly nvidia supporting it?
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Old 12-15-08, 09:12 PM   #12
dillzz
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Default Re: 180.16 64bit Xinerama

No ideas from anyone regarding previous post and Google summer of code and xrandr 1.3?
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