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-   -   ATI Radeon vs nVidia 3D accelleration (http://www.linux-archive.org/fedora-user/324315-ati-radeon-vs-nvidia-3d-accelleration.html)

Don Quixote de la Mancha 02-11-2010 11:38 AM

ATI Radeon vs nVidia 3D accelleration
 
How well is radeonhd's 3D accelleration expected to work in Fedora 11?
I did a "yum update" recently.

My box at work and my box at home are both Core 2 Quad Xeons.

My work box runs Ubuntu 8.10 and has an nVidia card - lspci says:

nVidia Corporation Device 0658 (rev a1)

lsmod shows that it's using the "nvidia" driver. Is that the
closed-source driver?

My box at home runs Fedora 11, with an ATI Radeon card. I don't
recall the model, but it has 1 GB of RAM and occupies the space of two
PCI slots, with a big fan, so it should be a fancy, powerful card.

However while the nVideo card at work can run glxgears at a frame rate
of 5000 FPS, my Radeon can only do 300!

"lsmod" tells me that the DRI drivers are loaded.

Is there something I can tweak to get faster 3D, or is this the
expected performance for the current radeonhd driver?

Thanks!

Don Quixote
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Roberto Ragusa 02-11-2010 12:05 PM

ATI Radeon vs nVidia 3D accelleration
 
Don Quixote de la Mancha wrote:
> However while the nVideo card at work can run glxgears at a frame rate
> of 5000 FPS, my Radeon can only do 300!

Note that glxgears has always been considered a bad speed test.
Better base your speed doubts on something else.

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Marko Vojinovic 02-11-2010 12:42 PM

ATI Radeon vs nVidia 3D accelleration
 
On Thursday 11 February 2010 12:38:38 Don Quixote de la Mancha wrote:
> How well is radeonhd's 3D accelleration expected to work in Fedora 11?
>
> My box at work and my box at home are both Core 2 Quad Xeons.

The idea of 2D and 3D acceleration is to take the load off the processor. So
you should not expect the performance of accelerated graphics to depend on the
CPU model. Not too much, anyway.

> lsmod shows that it's using the "nvidia" driver. Is that the
> closed-source driver?

Yes.

> However while the nVideo card at work can run glxgears at a frame rate
> of 5000 FPS, my Radeon can only do 300!

The glxgears utility is not a good benchmark. Better try out some real life
stuff like quake3, nexuiz, extremetuxracer, or such. :-) Or those more dull
things like googleearth and compiz (if your reflexes are too bad for gaming).

> Is there something I can tweak to get faster 3D, or is this the
> expected performance for the current radeonhd driver?

Is 3D actually turned on? You can have both hardware and drivers which support
3D, but have xorg.conf that disables it, or something like that. You can check
for direct rendering like this:

glxinfo | grep direct

If it says "yes", then all should be well. :-)

There are probably some tools out there which measure frame rate and do proper
serious benchmarking, but I don't know any.

HTH, :-)
Marko


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Don Quixote de la Mancha 02-11-2010 01:21 PM

ATI Radeon vs nVidia 3D accelleration
 
On Thu, Feb 11, 2010 at 5:42 AM, Marko Vojinovic <vvmarko@gmail.com> wrote:
> The idea of 2D and 3D acceleration is to take the load off the processor. So
> you should not expect the performance of accelerated graphics to depend on the
> CPU model. Not too much, anyway.

That depends on the application. Some 3D "accelleration" is
implemented by having the CPU optimize the input to the GPU, so that
there is less for the GPU to render.

>> lsmod shows that it's using the "nvidia" driver. *Is that the
>> closed-source driver?
>
> Yes.

Ah that is why my work box has such a high framerate - the
closed-source nVidia driver can use undocumented features that have
not yet been reversed-engineered for Open Source use.

>> However while the nVideo card at work can run glxgears at a frame rate
>> of 5000 FPS, my Radeon can only do 300!
>
> The glxgears utility is not a good benchmark. Better try out some real life
> stuff like quake3, nexuiz, extremetuxracer, or such. :-) Or those more dull
> things like googleearth and compiz (if your reflexes are too bad for gaming).

Heh. Actually I did know that, as I came across this page just a
couple weeks ago:

http://wiki.cchtml.com/index.php/Glxgears_is_not_a_Benchmark

On my nVidia work box, Extreme Tux Racer had a framerate of 100 to 130
at 1280x1024 (in a window, not full screen). I won't be able to try
my Radeon home box until this evening.

> Is 3D actually turned on? You can have both hardware and drivers which support
> 3D, but have xorg.conf that disables it, or something like that. You can check
> for direct rendering like this:
>
> glxinfo | grep direct
>
> If it says "yes", then all should be well. :-)

Ah, I didn't know about that - thanks.

When I try "glxinfo | less" on my nVidia work box, it lists a whole
slew of GLX extensions. Even if my Radeon has 3D turned on, it
probably doesn't support as many such extensions as the proprietary
nVidia driver does.

> There are probably some tools out there which measure frame rate and do proper
> serious benchmarking, but I don't know any.

Actually there is a very good 3D benchmarking tool for Linux, which
I've been intending to try:

http://www.phoronix-test-suite.com/

My understanding is that the Phoronix Test Suite doesn't do the 3D in
itself, but serves as a test harness for running lots of other video
software.

The installation instructions says that Fedora has a
phoronix-test-suite package, if you want to try it out yourself:

http://www.phoronix-test-suite.com/documentation/2.4/install.html

Don Quixote
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Kevin Kofler 02-11-2010 01:33 PM

ATI Radeon vs nVidia 3D accelleration
 
Don Quixote de la Mancha wrote:
> How well is radeonhd's 3D accelleration expected to work in Fedora 11?

The "radeonhd" driver is not really supported in Fedora (some volunteer is
packaging it as an alternative, but it's not the recommended driver), you
should use the default "radeon" driver, or "ati" which will load "radeon"
when it detects a Radeon.

Fedora 11 has no 3D support for Radeon HD models, only up to the X1xxx
models. If you have a HD 2xxx, 3xxx or 4xxx, upgrade to Fedora 12 and
install mesa-dri-drivers-experimental. If you have a HD 5xxx, you probably
need to wait for Fedora 13 or 14, there is currently no 3D support for those
in Fedora 11, 12 nor Rawhide.

Kevin Kofler

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gary artim 02-11-2010 03:20 PM

ATI Radeon vs nVidia 3D accelleration
 
On Thu, Feb 11, 2010 at 6:33 AM, Kevin Kofler <kevin.kofler@chello.at> wrote:
> Don Quixote de la Mancha wrote:
>> How well is radeonhd's 3D accelleration expected to work in Fedora 11?
>
> The "radeonhd" driver is not really supported in Fedora (some volunteer is
> packaging it as an alternative, but it's not the recommended driver), you
> should use the default "radeon" driver, or "ati" which will load "radeon"
> when it detects a Radeon.
>
> Fedora 11 has no 3D support for Radeon HD models, only up to the X1xxx
> models. If you have a HD 2xxx, 3xxx or 4xxx, upgrade to Fedora 12 and
> install mesa-dri-drivers-experimental. If you have a HD 5xxx, you probably
> need to wait for Fedora 13 or 14, there is currently no 3D support for those
> in Fedora 11, 12 nor Rawhide.
>
> * * * *Kevin Kofler
>
> --

hey, so the mesa-dri-drivers-experimental needed in addition to the
radeon driver? could
this help with garbled screens I get from the radeon driver or kde?

-- gary
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Marko Vojinovic 02-11-2010 07:54 PM

ATI Radeon vs nVidia 3D accelleration
 
On Thursday 11 February 2010 14:21:51 Don Quixote de la Mancha wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 11, 2010 at 5:42 AM, Marko Vojinovic <vvmarko@gmail.com> wrote:
> Ah that is why my work box has such a high framerate - the
> closed-source nVidia driver can use undocumented features that have
> not yet been reversed-engineered for Open Source use.

Well, practically all (important) features of nVidia cards are undocumented.
That's why nouveau people have to RE it basically from scratch. That said, I
have a feeling that RE is going quite well, they even have some working 3D
acceleration already. Of course, it is still too early to compare it to the
closed source driver.

> When I try "glxinfo | less" on my nVidia work box, it lists a whole
> slew of GLX extensions. Even if my Radeon has 3D turned on, it
> probably doesn't support as many such extensions as the proprietary
> nVidia driver does.

That depends both on the capabilities of the hardware, and on the
implementation of those capabilities in the radeon(hd) driver.

> The installation instructions says that Fedora has a
> phoronix-test-suite package, if you want to try it out yourself:
>
> http://www.phoronix-test-suite.com/documentation/2.4/install.html

And yum search says that there is a phoronix-test-suite package in the main
Fedora repo (this is F12, but I guess it exists for F11 too). I'll try it out
some day, it would be interesting... :-)

Best, :-)
Marko

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Don Quixote de la Mancha 02-12-2010 12:04 AM

ATI Radeon vs nVidia 3D accelleration
 
This is very odd: on my F11 box at home, with the Radeon card...

On Thu, Feb 11, 2010 at 5:42 AM, Marko Vojinovic <vvmarko@gmail.com> wrote:
> Is 3D actually turned on? You can have both hardware and drivers which support
> 3D, but have xorg.conf that disables it, or something like that. You can check
> for direct rendering like this:
>
> glxinfo | grep direct
>
> If it says "yes", then all should be well. :-)

Indeed it says yes, and "glxinfo | less" shows lots of GLX extensions.

lsmod shows that the radeon and drm kernel modules are loaded, and
that the radeon module depends on the drm module.

But when I run Extreme Tuxracer, I get a message box that says:

"Your system currently is not capable of hardware accelerated 3D.
Therefore etracer cannot run."

"Usually the cause of this error is that there are no Free Software
drivers for your graphics card, please contact your graphics card
manufacturer and kindly ask them to provide Free Software support for
your card."

My card is a 1 GB "ATI Technologies Inc RV770 [Radeon HD 4870]".

Note that my driver is "radeon" and not "radeonhd". Is the "hd-less"
radeon driver also closed-source?

If Extreme Tuxracer won't run without a Free driver, why would it do
so well with the very non-Free nvidia driver on my work box?

Thanks for your help everyone.

It's not so much that I wanna blow away the enemy at a prodigious
framerate. I'm just starting to learn OpenGL programming, and will
someday get to the point where effective hardware accelleration makes
a real difference to the 3D software I develop. I want to make sure
that I am set up right.

I just yum-installed the Phoronix Test Suite, but I expect it will
take a bit of time and work to figure out how to use it.

Best,

Don Quixote
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Marko Vojinovic 02-12-2010 01:04 AM

ATI Radeon vs nVidia 3D accelleration
 
On Friday 12 February 2010 01:04:37 Don Quixote de la Mancha wrote:
> This is very odd: on my F11 box at home, with the Radeon card...
>
> > You can check for direct rendering like this:
> >
> > glxinfo | grep direct
> >
> > If it says "yes", then all should be well. :-)
>
> Indeed it says yes, and "glxinfo | less" shows lots of GLX extensions.
>
> lsmod shows that the radeon and drm kernel modules are loaded, and
> that the radeon module depends on the drm module.
>
> But when I run Extreme Tuxracer, I get a message box that says:
>
> "Your system currently is not capable of hardware accelerated 3D.
> Therefore etracer cannot run."
>
> "Usually the cause of this error is that there are no Free Software
> drivers for your graphics card, please contact your graphics card
> manufacturer and kindly ask them to provide Free Software support for
> your card."
>
> My card is a 1 GB "ATI Technologies Inc RV770 [Radeon HD 4870]".
>
> Note that my driver is "radeon" and not "radeonhd". Is the "hd-less"
> radeon driver also closed-source?

No, radeon is the open source driver, the closed source one is called catalyst
(once known as fglrx). It seems it is available for F11 in rpmfusion, but not
for F12 as it doesn't support the F12 version of X.

AFAIK, the radeon driver doesn't support 3D acceleration for HD4*** family of
cards. and that is probably the reason why tuxracer doesn't work. However, I
don't know why glxinfo reports that direct rendering is active in this case.

> If Extreme Tuxracer won't run without a Free driver, why would it do
> so well with the very non-Free nvidia driver on my work box?

The tuxracer (or any other app for that matter) doesn't know and doesn't care
whether the video driver is open source or closed source. It tries to use the
standard interface extensions for 3D, and X tells it what is available and
what isn't.

The warning from tuxracer about asking for Free Software support is just a
message that reflects the programmer's belief/preference in what kind of
drivers should be provided in Linux generally. The tuxracer itself should run
with both open source and closed source driver, if they both provide necessary
functionality. In fact, it is quite impossible for an application to check
whether the source code for some driver is licensed in this or that way.
Open/closed source is a human, social concept. The machine doesn't know and
doesn't care about that.

Best, :-)
Marko

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Don Quixote de la Mancha 02-12-2010 03:53 AM

ATI Radeon vs nVidia 3D accelleration
 
On Thu, Feb 11, 2010 at 6:04 PM, Marko Vojinovic <vvmarko@gmail.com> wrote:
> AFAIK, the radeon driver doesn't support 3D acceleration for HD4*** family of
> cards. and that is probably the reason why tuxracer doesn't work. However, I
> don't know why glxinfo reports that direct rendering is active in this case.

Ah, that's too bad.

It's going to be a while though, before my OpenGL skills have advanced
to the point that hardware accelleration really matters.

These I'm doing pretty good to draw a rainbow-colored square in a GLUT window.

Maybe by the time I become the 1337 graphics h4x0r, the radeon driver
will be able to accellerate with my card.

Mike
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