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Old 01-07-09, 08:46 AM   #1
personman
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Default New graphics stack? GEM support? Kernel mode-setting?

I guess this new GPU memory manager is supposed to be a big deal. Supposedly increases performance in Open Arena by up to 50%. Also kernel mode-setting is entering the kernel, I guess this is supposed to remove the flicker and delay when switching from X to console. Just curious if work is being done on this.

I figure the people who could give a definitive answer probably can't tell us, but I'll bring it up anyway. Looks interesting.

http://openarena.ws/board/index.php?topic=2662.0

http://kernelnewbies.org/Linux_2_6_2...f643b1746985d6

"New graphics stack. Many components of Linux's graphics system are being improved, Linux is gaining GEM, a new graphics card memory manager, created by workers at Intel, EXA/UXA, which is a new 2D acceleration system, DRI2, an improved version of the Direct Rendering Infrastructure. ATI has been releasing code for their chips, which will greatly aid creation of open drivers. Hopefully other companies will do this as well."

http://anarchismtoday.org/Blogs/display/id=18.html
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Old 01-07-09, 10:00 AM   #2
Dragoran
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Default Re: New graphics stack? GEM support? Kernel mode-setting?

GEM - not neaded for NVIDIA, it already has a very good memory manager. (and it cannot use it anway due to GPL'ed symbols)
KMS - would be nice to have but might not be easy to do due to GPL symbols
DRI2 - The nvidia driver already supports redirected direct rendering and FBOs, no need for it. (note: it does not use DRI at all)
Opensource - Well not going to happen in the foreseeable future.
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Old 01-07-09, 04:47 PM   #3
zbiggy
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Default Re: New graphics stack? GEM support? Kernel mode-setting?

Nvidia could implement proprietary KMS compatibile solution in binary driver. Together with hardware accelerated console framebuffer (only few functions are needed for full acceleration of text console: fillrect, copyarea, imageblit, ywrap or ypan). All these functions are already implemented in X nvidia driver because these functions are the most used one by X applications. They only need to be moved from X driver to nvidia kernel module. The same goes to mode setting and power management.

There is serious problem with high resolution text console. For example on servers there is no X but high resolution text console would be welcome to improve work comfort.
Today there are only 3 very limited solutions for high resolution text console:
1. vesafb - slow, pure software, no accelerated but works with nvidia binary driver

2. SVGATextMode - best acceleration but does not work at all without hacking display clocks on GPU. If you manage SVGATextMode to work nvidia binary driver resets all consoles to VGA low resolution during X<->txt consoles switching and all is lost. SVGATextMode allows you to enable full hardware acceleration, even faster than any frambeuffer. Every, even the oldest one video card has hardware text generator -a special device on GPU which takes text "as is" and using loaded font to GPU RAM assembles it on screen like puzzles. In Geforce FX5200 times I asked Nvidia Linux Driver team for values of pixel clock, H/V timings of display clocks so I could try to adjust SVGATextMode to recent GPUs. I was completely ignored. I thought 2D clock values for text modes are not so much top secret company secret. This numbers can be hacked by blindly trying random values hoping that some of them will work but it is waste of time and can seriously destroy monitor and/or graphics card.

3. nvidiafb - open source, full featured hardware accelerated text console. There is serious conflict with nvidia binary kernel driver. If you boot with nvidiafb the nvidia binary driver will not work and starting X will not be possible. If you use server without X this is preferred solution. However SVGATextMode is the best solution if you reverse engineer display clocks on Geforce GPU.

The most trouble for people using text console today are wide screens 16:9. Standard vesa modes do not work with such screens. For 1440x900 resolution you have to use max 1024x768 which is waste of screen space for such monitor, fonts are malformed because GPU tries to fit them to screen.

Looking how XRender and VDPAU implementation was done to Nvidia Linux driver I see we have to ask AMD/ATI first for implementation. When initial support arrives to fglrx driver for Radeon then one month later full implementation suddenly appears on Nvidia Linux Driver. ATI XvBA acceleration for mpeg-4 was advertised earlier then later VDPAU immediately appears from Nvidia shortly later. When Textured2D and TexturedXRender in fglrx driver appeared, massive XRender improvements hit the 169 and later Nvidia drivers.

Nvidia Linux Driver Team can do great things if they are motivated by ATI.
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Old 01-07-09, 05:00 PM   #4
Kirurgs
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Default Re: New graphics stack? GEM support? Kernel mode-setting?

Hi,

On servers - why do You need nvidia binary driver at all? Use opensource + nvidiafb then
Laptop I'm currently typing on has text console of 1680x1050, it's not the fastest and not standart vesa but it works reliable and nice... I just pass vga=xxx param and that's it... I have the same resolution on ATI 4850, it works way faster, but consider that card is way faster too, I can cope with laptop's console speed (I don't use that much anyway)...

I don't see a problem here.
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Old 01-08-09, 06:15 AM   #5
apaige
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Default Re: New graphics stack? GEM support? Kernel mode-setting?

1680x1050 works with vesafb too.
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Old 01-08-09, 07:44 AM   #6
tier
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Default Re: New graphics stack? GEM support? Kernel mode-setting?

Uvesafb is fine here. KMS support would be nice, though.
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Old 01-08-09, 09:02 AM   #7
Linuxhippy
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Default Re: New graphics stack? GEM support? Kernel mode-setting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zbiggy View Post
When Textured2D and TexturedXRender in fglrx driver appeared, massive XRender improvements hit the 169 and later Nvidia drivers.
However, NVidia now delivers best-in-class XRender accaleration, whereas ATI's TexturedXRender is still unsupported and can only optimize a few rare cases, and its so unstable / works only on a few systems that its completly unuseable.
So far there is no driver at all that offers Render accaleration for their HD-series, released in early 2007 - not even by the proprietary fglrx driver.

I benchmarked XRender performance of a HD3850 vs an old GF6600, and the 6600 eat the HD3850 for lunch, despite the fact the ATI card is _way_ more powerful: http://78.31.67.79:8080/jxrender/RenderMark.html

I have to agree that the "but others have it" argument seems to be a great motivation everywhere to make something happen, its not very different in the open-source world.
I hope that argument can make ATI to implement serious XRender accaleration in fglrx soon.

- Clemens
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Old 01-08-09, 09:54 AM   #8
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Default Re: New graphics stack? GEM support? Kernel mode-setting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by apaige View Post
1680x1050 works with vesafb too.
Yes it "works", but nothing more. The performance is horrible. When I run
Code:
time for i in {1..100000}; do echo $i; done;
it takes 1m40s with vesafb, 8.2s in normal virtual terminal without vesafb and 1.7s in konsole under KDE.

If you output great amounts of text with vesafb (dmesg as an example), you can almost read it in real time.

And 1280x800 does not seem to be supported with vesafb, at least not on my notebook.
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Old 03-14-09, 04:38 PM   #9
unimatrix
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Default Re: New graphics stack? GEM support? Kernel mode-setting?

Quote:
GEM - not neaded for NVIDIA, it already has a very good memory manager. (and it cannot use it anway due to GPL'ed symbols)
So they should still use GEM.
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Old 03-14-09, 04:58 PM   #10
Dragoran
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Default Re: New graphics stack? GEM support? Kernel mode-setting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by unimatrix View Post
So they should still use GEM.
Your post does not make any sense, seems like you did not understood what I wrote.
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Old 03-14-09, 05:47 PM   #11
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Default Re: New graphics stack? GEM support? Kernel mode-setting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragoran View Post
Your post does not make any sense, seems like you did not understood what I wrote.
++

http://linuxhaters.blogspot.com/2008...en-source.html

read that and praise the nvidia
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Old 03-14-09, 06:57 PM   #12
nevion
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Default Re: New graphics stack? GEM support? Kernel mode-setting?

That was a true spoken blog post, I've been aggrivated at this **** for a few years now ever since actually using the graphics card became the normal thing in linux. And I've vented how the situation sucks as a whole before. But within 5 years, this situation has to change... gallium3d/mesa and gem just unify so many efforts from so many parties that progress simply has to be made. Hell, I think we'll have decent opengl support on the radeon r600/r700 support within 2 months. Why? Because they just released accelerated support for xv and EXA. And these cards only have 3d chips, no 2d core - you know what that means, right? They have most of the 3d engine support and if you read the mailing lists, they're near on full 3d support.

So to summarize: god damn the situation at the moment SUCKS.

And when it's worth using (now or in near future) nvidia should switch to the kernel/system provided infrastructures , if nothing else so they manage less and reduce conflicts. Not to mention the kernel should really be doing the memory management, no? If you don't think so - you need to go take an operating systems class.
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