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Old 11-16-05, 03:20 AM   #1
ayleron
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Default Lower than expected performance, FreeBSD 6 + PCI Express GeForce 6200 + nvidia 7676

I am trying to get accelerated performance on a PCI Express X16 NVidia GeForce 6200 TurboCache on FreeBSD 6.0-RELEASE with the NVidia 1.0-7676 accelerated driver. This is on a new Intel D945PVS motherboard + 3.0GHz Pentium-D with 2GB RAM.

The performance I'm seeing when running FlightGear is roughly 3 frames per second, and is roughly 1/10 of the frames/sec I get on my old/slow system (an Athlon 1.8GHz with an AGP 8X GeForce FX 5200, which gets an average of ~30 frames/sec).

When I run glxgears on the 3.0GHz PCI Express system with the GeForce 6200 TurboCache, I get around 725 FPS, which I've been told is basically equivalent to no acceleration. Running glxgears on an 8X AGP NVidia 6800 Ultra system with 3.4GHz P4 gets 13,846 FPS, so my PCI Express GeForce 6200 is roughly 1/19 the speed of a modern AGP solution. That same AGP 8X system gets roughly 60 frames/sec on FlightGear.

I've tried toggling about every option documented in NVidia's README and then some (EnableAGPFW, EnableAGPSBA, NvAGP=0,1,2,3, VideoEnhancement, etc), no changes in options or config has resulted in any real performance change.

In a separate test, I pulled the disk out of my system and ran it on a 3.2GHz P4 with a 6800 Ultra PCI Express X16 card, got 3 frames/sec on that system as well, so it looks like PCI Express is simply not running GLX apps anywhere as close to as fast as the same apps run on AGP.

FYI, to get the 1.0-7676 NVidia driver working on FreeBSD 6, I used the procedure described in the article at http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/show...48&postcount=5

Here's the ldd output for glxgears, in case it has something to do with GL libraries:

# ldd /usr/X11R6/bin/glxgears
/usr/X11R6/bin/glxgears:
libGL.so.1 => /usr/X11R6/lib/libGL.so.1 (0x2807a000)
libXp.so.6 => /usr/X11R6/lib/libXp.so.6 (0x28104000)
libXext.so.6 => /usr/X11R6/lib/libXext.so.6 (0x2810c000)
libX11.so.6 => /usr/X11R6/lib/libX11.so.6 (0x28119000)
libm.so.4 => /lib/libm.so.4 (0x281da000)
libpthread.so.2 => /usr/lib/libpthread.so.2 (0x281f0000)
libc.so.6 => /lib/libc.so.6 (0x28215000)
libGLcore.so.1 => /usr/X11R6/lib/libGLcore.so.1 (0x282ec000)
libnvidia-tls.so.1 => /usr/X11R6/lib/libnvidia-tls.so.1 (0x289ff000)
libm.so.3 => /usr/local/lib/compat/libm.so.3 (0x28a01000)

My xorg.conf and Xorg.0.log files are attached as text files. I've spent hours trying different settings to improve performance, and done web searches to find other people having similar performance problems, and found nothing helpful so far. The Xorg.0.log file said "(II) NVIDIA(0): Detected PCI Express Link width: 16X", so the NVidia driver seems to know about PCI Express. Is there any reason why this setup would silently not do acceleration? Is PCI Express "fully supported" by the 1.0-7676 NVidia driver?

Is anybody running FreeBSD 5.X or 6.0 with a PCI Express NVidia card and getting reasonably fast frame rates on any frame-rate-intensive applications (say over 30 frames/sec)? I would think a PCI Express x16 card should be *faster* than an AGP FX5200, not 1/20 the speed.. :-(

--Marc
Attached Files
File Type: txt xorg.conf.txt (3.0 KB, 401 views)
File Type: txt Xorg.0.log.txt (33.7 KB, 271 views)
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Old 11-19-05, 05:41 PM   #2
Aphax
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Default Re: Lower than expected performance, FreeBSD 6 + PCI Express GeForce 6200 + nvidia 76

I've had some performance issues with my Geforce 6800GT PCI-Express card under FreeBSD 6.0-RELEASE. Xorg does seem to load the right glx/OpenGL libraries (glxinfo says "NVIDIA" for all the vendor lines at least). But when I login to Xorg as root, things run a lot smoother. I'm currently preparing to post about this issue, but thought I'd let you know, maybe you are having the same problem (although the OpenGL games I've tried don't seem to perform as bas as they do for you).
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Old 12-02-05, 04:09 AM   #3
ayleron
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Default Re: Lower than expected performance, FreeBSD 6 + PCI Express GeForce 6200 + nvidia 7676

A followup to my original post -- I did a lot more testing, and paid careful attention to how each card behaved with each version of the driver I tested.

The problem appears to be related to an interaction between the NVidia driver version and the card chipset, and does not appear to have anything to do with PCI-Express (which I determined by testing several AGP cards and seeing the same problem on all of those 6000-series AGP cards, see below).

I am still seeing very poor frames/sec (i.e., 4 fps or much lower) when I run FlightGear on NVidia 6200TC AGP, 6600 AGP, and 6800Ultra PCIe&AGP cards I've tested with drivers after 6634. Note that 6634 (which is no longer available for download on the NVidia FTP site) was the latest driver from NVidia that gave me decent performance on FreeBSD (i.e., > 30 frames/sec), and I carefully tested all drivers more recent than 6634 available to me (e.g., 7174, 7667, and 7676). Performance on 7174 was the worst at less than 1 frame/sec, and 7667 and 7676 were slightly better at 3-4 frames/sec. Note that I am NOT seeing performance change between driver versions on any 5000-series cards I've tested (in particular, a FX5200, which yields roughly the same performance on all driver versions tested).

My current theory is that something changed in the NVidia Linux/FreeBSD driver after 6634 such that FlightGear performance went into the toilet on at least FreeBSD, and it's still a problem when using the very latest NVidia driver available.

I would LOVE to hear from anybody who is running FlightGear on Linux (any version) and getting acceptable smoothness (>=30 frames/sec) on any NVidia 6000-series card (e.g., 6200, 6600, 6800, AGP -OR- PCIe) using driver version LATER THAN 6634 (e.g., 7174, 7667, or 7676).

I will post a new thread regarding FlightGear performance under FreeBSD when running driver later than 6634.

P.S.: For those of you who haven't heard about FlightGear ( http://www.flightgear.org/ ), it's an open source Flight Simulator program, and is surprisingly good for an open-source package. My hat is off to Curt Olson and crew who continue to develop it. It's very cool to see and be able to modify C++ source code that does a ton of practical 3D manipulation.
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Old 12-02-05, 08:58 AM   #4
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Default Re: Lower than expected performance, FreeBSD 6 + PCI Express GeForce 6200 + nvidia 76

A small correction to what I posted earlier, logging into X as root does not influence my performance apparently. Not sure why I thought it did, maybe it really did - but but I have not been able to reproduce it.

I have at this point given up on getting decent performance in FreeBSD 6.0 and OpenGL apps. Someone in #nvidia on Freenode told me FreeBSD / nvidia-driver PCI Express support is limited to normal PCI bus speeds, which would be a perfect explanation for my problems, and this was also confirmed to a post of mine on the FreeBSD-questions maillinglist.

I wish you good luck
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Old 12-02-05, 09:23 AM   #5
zander
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Default Re: Lower than expected performance, FreeBSD 6 + PCI Express GeForce 6200 + nvidia 7676

@Aphax: the problem you're seeing isn't caused by insufficient bus bandwidth, the PCI Express link speed is the same on FreeBSD as it is on Linux. The problem is that the NVIDIA FreeBSD graphics driver can't currently allocate write-combined memory (a FreeBSD kernel limitation that's being worked on), which some of the fallback paths in NVIDIA's libGL do not currently handle very well. We hope to address this in a future driver release. Meanwhile, native PCI-E GPUs should perform well on FreeBSD.

@ayleron: some of the problems you're seeing are caused by the same problem that Aphax is experiencing. AGP cards should be unaffected, though.
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Old 12-02-05, 12:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: Lower than expected performance, FreeBSD 6 + PCI Express GeForce 6200 + nvidia 76

Many thanks for clearing that up Zander!
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Old 02-22-06, 10:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: Lower than expected performance, FreeBSD 6 + PCI Express GeForce 6200 + nvidia 76

I recently installed FreeBSD (6.0-RELEASE) on an ASUS A6Vc laptop which also has a 6200 Go (TurboCache), and again the same performance issues. Exactly which nvidia cards are/are not 'native' PCI-Express? Maybe next time I an avoid non-native ones so I can finally get to play some games under FreeBSD
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Old 03-07-06, 06:26 AM   #8
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Cool Re: Lower than expected performance, FreeBSD 6 + PCI Express GeForce 6200 + nvidia 76

UT2004 Runs *MUCH* slower on mine Athlon64 3700+ (32bit mode) with GF6800GT PCI-E than it runs on mine Athlon 1.6+ with GF4 MX440 AGP which is ... blow mindding . I barely get 10-15 fps in 800x600. In win I play on fullmax
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