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Old 07-03-2005, 01:46 PM   #1
zero79
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Post enhancing nvidia performance


i have a quick tip for those of you using the proprietary nvidia drivers. you can get a reasonable graphics speed boost by using the nvidia agp driver rather than the default. the following example is for a Debian 3.1 (Sarge) system, but should work for any generic distibution also.

the goal is to blacklist the default agp driver so that the nvidia kernel module will use its own agp driver. for example, i do

Code:
$ lsmod | grep agpgart
agpgart                33960  2 nvidia,via_agp
which tells me that i want to blacklist the via_agp kernel module. if you have an intel motherboard, you will likely want to blacklist the intel_agp module instead.

open /etc/hotplug/blacklist and add the name of your agp module to the end of the blacklist. for example, i add

Code:
via_agp
you need to reboot the system to be able to unload the current agp module (one of the few times you need to reboot a GNU/Linux box). when the system boots up, the nvidia kernel module will fall back on it's own agp driver, which is what we want. you can make sure that this is the case by doing

Code:
$ cat /proc/driver/nvidia/agp/status
and driver should say NVIDIA instead of AGPGART.

the inspiration for this guide was a post on the ubuntu forums
http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php...3&postcount=21

good luck. doom3 seems to run nicer for me using this tweak. peace.

Last edited by zero79; 07-03-2005 at 04:02 PM.
 
Old 07-03-2005, 03:58 PM   #2
TigerOC
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I tired this one but I am not succeeding but not sure why. Adding the module names to the blacklist does not seem to make any difference. Did some reading and edited the XF86Config-4 to load the nvidia driver but the result is still the same. It is still using agpgart, nvidia_agp, and via_agp. I thought I would then try to remove the module but it refuses as it is in use.;

/var/log/messages;

Jul 3 21:31:05 kt3 kernel: nvidia: module license 'NVIDIA' taints kernel.
Jul 3 21:31:05 kt3 kernel: 0: nvidia: loading NVIDIA Linux x86 NVIDIA Kernel Module 1.0-5336 Wed Jan 14 18:29:26 PST 2004
Jul 3 21:31:06 kt3 kernel: 0: NVRM: not using NVAGP, AGPGART is loaded!!
 
Old 07-03-2005, 04:11 PM   #3
zero79
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looks like you're using a pretty old version of the nvidia driver (5336) -- latest release is 7667. it may not work the same. update with

# /etc/init.d/gdm stop
# nvidia-installer --update

you may also want to check out the other method to prevent agpgart module loading on the link in my previous post.

oh, and like i said, you need to reboot because you can't seem to unload the agp modules without a reboot.

Last edited by zero79; 07-03-2005 at 04:23 PM.
 
Old 07-03-2005, 05:15 PM   #4
darkleaf
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I'm runnin the debian stuff made with nvidia-glx and the nvidia-kernel-sources and it's automatically like that. Now I think I have a 4x agp slot so is my card limiting it to 2x or can I change this somewhere?
 
Old 07-03-2005, 11:30 PM   #5
tarionyx
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hello,

i got the nvagp module to load properly, but my /proc/drivers/nvidia/agp/status still says disabled....any ideas?
 
Old 07-04-2005, 01:54 AM   #6
TigerOC
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Quote:
Originally posted by zero79
looks like you're using a pretty old version of the nvidia driver (5336) -- latest release is 7667. it may not work the same. update with

# /etc/init.d/gdm stop
# nvidia-installer --update

you may also want to check out the other method to prevent agpgart module loading on the link in my previous post.

oh, and like i said, you need to reboot because you can't seem to unload the agp modules without a reboot.
It's a fairly old agp card (not really into games) so fancy new support is not much good to me.

Have renamed the kernel drivers, as suggested in the link, which obviously nullified the drivers and it is now running off the nvidia_agp. Ran glxgears and getting a reading of 401 FPS which, if I remember correctly, is a big improvement on the old reading of about 300 FPS. The aspect of the desktop that has always bugged me has been the ghost images trailing behind a dragged object which seems to have stopped.

Update;

I have done some definitive tests with glxgears;

using the agpgart_agp and via_apgart 398 FPS
using nvidia_agp 398 FPS

based on this it doesn't seem to make any difference to display speed.

I would like to hear about similar experiences form others that try this.

Last edited by TigerOC; 07-04-2005 at 03:37 AM.
 
Old 07-04-2005, 04:07 AM   #7
mugstar
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Has a negative effect on performance on my box, although note I am using the 1.0-7174 module:
Code:
:~ # cat /proc/driver/nvidia/cards/0
Model:           GeForce FX 5900XT
IRQ:             16
Video BIOS:      04.35.20.38.00
Card Type:       AGP
Code:
:~ # cat /proc/driver/nvidia/version
NVRM version: NVIDIA Linux x86 NVIDIA Kernel Module  1.0-7174  Tue Mar 22 06:44:39 PST 2005
GCC version:  gcc version 3.3.5 (Debian 1:3.3.5-8ubuntu2)
Before:
Code:
:~ # lsmod |grep agp
sis_agp                 8068  1
agpgart                31784  2 sis_agp,nvidia
:~ # glxgears
27682 frames in 5.0 seconds = 5536.400 FPS
31624 frames in 5.0 seconds = 6324.800 FPS
31634 frames in 5.0 seconds = 6326.800 FPS
31950 frames in 5.0 seconds = 6390.000 FPS
31622 frames in 5.0 seconds = 6324.400 FPS
31585 frames in 5.0 seconds = 6317.000 FPS
31645 frames in 5.0 seconds = 6329.000 FPS
31394 frames in 5.0 seconds = 6278.800 FPS
And after:
Code:
:~ # lsmod |grep agp
agpgart                31784  1 nvidia
:~$ glxgears
23400 frames in 5.0 seconds = 4680.000 FPS
25983 frames in 5.0 seconds = 5196.600 FPS
26346 frames in 5.0 seconds = 5269.200 FPS
26002 frames in 5.0 seconds = 5200.400 FPS
26089 frames in 5.0 seconds = 5217.800 FPS
26001 frames in 5.0 seconds = 5200.200 FPS
26083 frames in 5.0 seconds = 5216.600 FPS
26089 frames in 5.0 seconds = 5217.800 FPS
26321 frames in 5.0 seconds = 5264.200 FPS
 
Old 07-04-2005, 06:50 AM   #8
TigerOC
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Just a comment about getting results through glxgears. The glxgears module should be run in the same position relative to the console. If you move it over the console window you will get a different result to it positioned next to, but not overlapping the console window.
 
Old 07-04-2005, 07:00 AM   #9
mugstar
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That would appear to be true, but the difference, on my box at least, seems minimal:
Code:
:~$ glxgears
26269 frames in 5.0 seconds = 5253.800 FPS
30376 frames in 5.0 seconds = 6075.200 FPS
30444 frames in 5.0 seconds = 6088.800 FPS
30422 frames in 5.0 seconds = 6084.400 FPS
30429 frames in 5.0 seconds = 6085.800 FPS
30262 frames in 5.0 seconds = 6052.400 FPS
30743 frames in 5.0 seconds = 6148.600 FPS
30111 frames in 5.0 seconds = 6022.200 FPS
18721 frames in 5.0 seconds = 3744.200 FPS
29746 frames in 5.0 seconds = 5949.200 FPS
29679 frames in 5.0 seconds = 5935.800 FPS
29702 frames in 5.0 seconds = 5940.400 FPS
30019 frames in 5.0 seconds = 6003.800 FPS
29686 frames in 5.0 seconds = 5937.200 FPS
29717 frames in 5.0 seconds = 5943.400 FPS
29700 frames in 5.0 seconds = 5940.000 FPS
29400 frames in 5.0 seconds = 5880.000 FPS
(The 3744.2 line was me moving the glxgears window)
 
Old 07-07-2005, 05:33 AM   #10
thoffland
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Quote:
Originally posted by mugstar
That would appear to be true, but the difference, on my box at least, seems minimal:
Code:
:~$ glxgears
26269 frames in 5.0 seconds = 5253.800 FPS
30376 frames in 5.0 seconds = 6075.200 FPS
30444 frames in 5.0 seconds = 6088.800 FPS
30422 frames in 5.0 seconds = 6084.400 FPS
30429 frames in 5.0 seconds = 6085.800 FPS
30262 frames in 5.0 seconds = 6052.400 FPS
30743 frames in 5.0 seconds = 6148.600 FPS
30111 frames in 5.0 seconds = 6022.200 FPS
18721 frames in 5.0 seconds = 3744.200 FPS
29746 frames in 5.0 seconds = 5949.200 FPS
29679 frames in 5.0 seconds = 5935.800 FPS
29702 frames in 5.0 seconds = 5940.400 FPS
30019 frames in 5.0 seconds = 6003.800 FPS
29686 frames in 5.0 seconds = 5937.200 FPS
29717 frames in 5.0 seconds = 5943.400 FPS
29700 frames in 5.0 seconds = 5940.000 FPS
29400 frames in 5.0 seconds = 5880.000 FPS
(The 3744.2 line was me moving the glxgears window)
Holy cow! What kind of system are you running? My system is a slug in comparison:

5654 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1130.800 FPS
6509 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1301.800 FPS
6503 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1300.600 FPS
6510 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1302.000 FPS
6497 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1299.400 FPS
5569 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1113.800 FPS
6605 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1321.000 FPS
5783 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1156.600 FPS
 
Old 07-07-2005, 05:48 AM   #11
mugstar
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Home-built box, Athlon XP2000 CPU (clock speed 1.67GHz), 1280MB RAM, Nvidia GeForce FX 5900XT with 128MB RAM. It runs numerous distros, but those tests were done under Kubuntu 5.04 running kernel 2.6.10-5k7 and the 1.0-7174 nvidia module.
 
Old 07-07-2005, 01:58 PM   #12
thoffland
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Quote:
Originally posted by mugstar
Home-built box, Athlon XP2000 CPU (clock speed 1.67GHz), 1280MB RAM, Nvidia GeForce FX 5900XT with 128MB RAM. It runs numerous distros, but those tests were done under Kubuntu 5.04 running kernel 2.6.10-5k7 and the 1.0-7174 nvidia module.
I dont know much about hardware, but is that the difference between amd and pentium? I have a pentium P4 1.5ghz and my GE Force also has 128mb. Doesn't seem like alot of difference there... did you do anything to tweak it to get the performace up? If so, can you guide me in the right direction?
 
Old 07-07-2005, 04:03 PM   #13
mugstar
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I haven't tried any other tweaks to the graphics setup other than this one, and the rest of the set up is straight from the kubuntu apt repository, including the nvidia-glx and nvidia-kernel modules. Maybe the kubuntu folks tweak them - did you install the nvidia module manually or via apt?

The only other change I've made to the stock install is to run the k7 kernel rather than the 386 one from the installation disc, 'cos the 386 kernel didn't make use of all the RAM I have. Are you running a 386 or 686 kernel?

Also, which model is your GeForce card? It may have the same amount of RAM as mine but the chipsets may not be equivalent.
 
Old 07-07-2005, 04:39 PM   #14
thoffland
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Quote:
Originally posted by mugstar
I haven't tried any other tweaks to the graphics setup other than this one, and the rest of the set up is straight from the kubuntu apt repository, including the nvidia-glx and nvidia-kernel modules. Maybe the kubuntu folks tweak them - did you install the nvidia module manually or via apt?

The only other change I've made to the stock install is to run the k7 kernel rather than the 386 one from the installation disc, 'cos the 386 kernel didn't make use of all the RAM I have. Are you running a 386 or 686 kernel?

Also, which model is your GeForce card? It may have the same amount of RAM as mine but the chipsets may not be equivalent.
My card is the GeForce FX 5500 and I'm using the 386 Kernel.

Per another suggestion I went through the readme and removed:
Load "dri"
Load "GLCore"
That gave me a little bit better perfomance, but I just noticed that if I have the glxwindow on top, my numbers are lower than if I'm running it in the background.

5647 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1129.400 FPS
5955 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1191.000 FPS
5641 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1128.200 FPS
5610 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1122.000 FPS
5279 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1055.800 FPS
(then clicked on a mozilla window to move it to the back)
15091 frames in 5.0 seconds = 3018.200 FPS
15772 frames in 5.0 seconds = 3154.400 FPS
15859 frames in 5.0 seconds = 3171.800 FPS
14819 frames in 5.0 seconds = 2963.800 FPS
15793 frames in 5.0 seconds = 3158.600 FPS
16002 frames in 5.0 seconds = 3200.400 FPS
15571 frames in 5.0 seconds = 3114.200 FPS

Should I try that kernel? Which one is it exactly, I see a few on the list in Synaptic.

edit: I just noticed that the K7 kernel is for AMD... i'm on a P4.

Last edited by thoffland; 07-07-2005 at 04:41 PM.
 
Old 07-07-2005, 06:47 PM   #15
zero79
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did you change the driver from "nv" to "nvidia"? if not, you are still using the free nvidia driver, not the optimized proprietary driver.

a 1.5 GHz P4 is approaching antiquation by todays standards, so it may just be a huge bottleneck.

btw, you can install the *-686 kernel for the p4.
 
  


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