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Old 07-23-2004, 02:04 AM   #1
vharishankar
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ATI Radeon fglrx driver - setting AGP speed


I have an Gigabyte Radeon R96P128D (Radeon 9600) on an ASUS A7v8x-x motherboard. I have set the AGP speed to 4X using SmartGart in windows as in 8x mode, games freeze when I run them.

Now the problem.

I have installed RHL 8.0.
I downloaded the latest fglrx drivers from ATI website and installed them correctly (after installing the kernel sources). 3d acceleration now works in all games (including UT2003 demo). The problem is that the AGP speed is set to 8X and the games hang regularly (in fact, every time).

How can I change the AGP speed to 4X in Linux? I tried setting the line

Option "AGPMode" "4"

in the file XF86Config-4 file, but that doesn't seem to have any effect.

Please help me as to how to change the AGP speed from 8X to 4X.
 
Old 08-02-2004, 04:28 PM   #2
demonraz
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try getting a modified bios that lets you change the speed setting. www.biosmods.com is a good place to start.

Other than that have you tried slowing down your memory settings?

n.b i think that AGPmode option only works with the open source version of the ATI driver. Try looking for ways to change the speed of the kernels agp module when its loaded.

peace out
 
Old 08-05-2004, 10:59 PM   #3
vharishankar
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I have tried installing the Open Source 'radeon' and 'ati' drivers and they don't work! :-(

In sheer desperation I tried updating the BIOS and (horror of horrors) I have rendered my computer unbootable... I'll have to now get back to the motherboard manufacturer and hope they can replace the BIOS.

Maybe I have to postpone my experiments with Linux to when I get more compatible hardware to work with.
 
Old 08-05-2004, 11:15 PM   #4
demonraz
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sorry to hear your miss fortune,although you don't generally learn much till you break something. So you can look at it from a good point.

Although there might have been a problem with the motherboard itself... i've personally modded and flashed bioses without any problems for over 10 years... and there is a way to rescue them with a floppy from the manufacturer (or some bios sites). The bios has its own boot sector which can normally be activated (dependent on boards) by holding down the 'ins' key on powering on, with this rescue floppy.

The only plus side is that you get a newer revision of the board you had or/and that the agp problem is gone.

If you havent already sent the board back worth a shot.

peace out
 
Old 08-06-2004, 07:36 AM   #5
vharishankar
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Ooops! I just disassembled my PC before reading your helpful suggestion. Well, never mind...

Incidentally, I was talking to my cousin about Linux support and hardware some time back and he tells me that he has installed SUSE Linux 9 at his workplace and has absolutely no problem with configuration and his hardware works to 100% optimum efficiency with his distro.

Is it worth a shot, trying to change my distro to see if a particular piece of hardware is compatible? Earlier I didn't consider this aspect of the matter. Are some distros better at support than others?
 
Old 08-06-2004, 08:25 AM   #6
demonraz
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personally i've tried most if not all of the main distros. SUSE is very cool and i know a few people that swear by it. I like Mandrake, although i tend to prefer Slackware. Been with my Slack baby for a while now and its never failed me

support for distros...ummm an interesting question, I personally tend to use Google and places like Linuxquestions.org to find solutions. Generally I've always perceived that linux gives the source and tools to fix it yourself. However it really depends on how much you want to learn or know. you could use a GUI orientated distro (not that distros are all that different from one another) and not touch a terminal. Which is fine if you dont really want to learn much... or as i would say, have more of a life outside the matrix

It seems that your main concerns are for hardware support. This is essentially the kernel driver support base. The kernel contains all interfaces to supported hardware. So if you want the latest hardware support, like for your AGP for example, the change logs per a revision of the kernel at


http://www.kernel.org will tell you what's what with any particluar module.

I did have a similar problem to your self, almost 2 years ago. My motherboard (Abit AT7-max2) automatically changes the agp speed, thus its stuck at x8. The older 2.4.x kernels didnt support it, however the 2.5.x (now 2.6.x) development kernel did. Slackware using the vanilla kernel enabled me to compile and install the lastest editions and thus get my radeon working for 3D. The thing is that a distro like Mandrake or Redhat have highly patched versions of the vanilla kernel, and so you normally either end up patching it back up or breaking parts of your distro.

My conclusion is that...

SUSE is good but you gotta pay for support.
Mandrake is good,but the real useful stuff is in the Mandrake Club...which you also have to pay for.
Redhat... essentially being the same.
Fedora... is free, and thus should have a good support base (haven't tinkered with it too much).

For me it leaves...

Gentoo... because you compile things (like the whole distro) you generally have alot of people that have had the same problems not to mention the fact that you built it from scratch (almost) anyhow and can take some days to finish. Also that fact you build it tends to mean that you know where thing is. I've also seen that they have a packaged radeon driver available and more tweaked kernels than you can shake a stick at.

Debian...is free and almost every problem i've ever had has been covered by a 'debhead' somewhere on some webpage.Although you can have issues with using the stable version rather than the unstable(unstable being what you probably want). But you are going to have to install a later kernel, but apt and the package manager, should sort you out nicely.

And my fave Slackware... you can compile it yourself like gentoo, however the fact i can go from zero to installed/configured in 45 mins with little fuss is just sweet. And as mentioned earlier the vanilla kernel and simplicity, do it for me. Some say you can learn other distros like redhat, but if you learn Slackware, you learn Linux Support everything is covered (it is one of the oldest distros), ocassionally somethings are harder to find out than others, but its fine. Just out of distro propaganda you can install the new slackware 10, it comes with a 2.6.7 kernel as a option, saving some hassle.

hope that helps

peace out
 
Old 08-06-2004, 09:49 AM   #7
vharishankar
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Thank you for your kind, patient and detailed explanations.

I think that I'll go with SUSE Linux when I get the opportunity.

About GUI Config tools: I wish the manufacturers of each hardware would supply drivers with GUI configuration for Linux as good as they give for Windows. One of my major headaches with Linux has been this searching around for a single line of text in a configuration file of hundreds of lines, just to change one tiny setting. As an example the ATI Radeon Control Panel for Linux is nowhere near as powerful as the one in Windows where you can tweak so many D3D and OpenGL settings with the click of a button. Maybe I ask for too much? Who knows? Maybe some day all these OEM vendors will wake up to the world of Linux...
 
Old 08-06-2004, 09:52 AM   #8
demonraz
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no probs any time

i too hope that the hardware vendors sort their lives out a little... i love open source, but would put up with a closed driver if it enables me to use my machine

peace out
 
Old 08-07-2004, 01:48 AM   #9
vharishankar
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With regard to your solution to the BIOS problem. I just reassembled my PC I tried it with a BIOS rescue disk.

The problem is that the whole PC is as good as dead. There is not even a 'beep' noise and there is no response from the keyboard or monitor. I guess that I must have completely erased the BIOS program. What a mess up!
 
Old 08-09-2004, 07:25 AM   #10
vharishankar
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I just found out from someone that there is a utility called 'make config' (or 'make xconfig') with the Linux Kernel which allows me to change certain settings in the Kernel. I found that the 'agpgart' module for enabling AGP support must be loaded. But although I have used this before, I cannot find out how to load the agpgart module on startup. (I am eagerly waiting for my dealer to service my motherboard so that I can try this out...) I think that using the "EXTERNAL" agpgart that I can set the AGP speed to 4x. So far the fglrxconfig has only been using the internal driver module.

any suggestions?
 
Old 08-09-2004, 08:05 AM   #11
demonraz
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Ok most distros follow the debian way that all modules are loaded from /etc/modules.conf or they are located in /etc/rc.d/rc.modules. U can manually load them before going into X windows with
Code:
/sbin/modprobe agpgart
the agpgart part varies depending on the kernel version, newer ones have the chipset name, like via-agp. Any options for the module can also be placed on the end of the line.
Code:
lsmod
will list all the current modules that have been loaded, so you can check there if it was successful.

peace out

p.s there's a longer way, recompile the kernel and include the agpgart in the kernel and thus not having to load a module, although that can be a pain in the butt, plus its not so flexible.
 
Old 08-10-2004, 12:23 AM   #12
vharishankar
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Yes! 'modprobe' works (in this system which I am using to write this message)...

Which brings me back to the original issue. My motherboard (A7V8X-X) claims to support AGP 3.0 standard (8X) mode. My graphics card (Gigabyte Radeon 9600 Pro) is an 8X card.
I am a bit confused about why my motherboard has problems with this graphics card at 8X AGP (the freezing problem within 3D hardware accelerated games). Apparently the h/w manufacturers have different standards even with the AGP 3.0 specification. I just found out from my cousin that just because a m/b claims to have the AGP 3.0 support, it may not work with a particular graphics card...
I wish the h/w manufacturers would be a bit more specific about their standards especially in their websites. Most motherboard manufacturers' websites do not provide highly technical information like voltages therefore leaving me without a clue as to which card will be supported by which motherboard and so on.
Is there any site where they have published technical details of the AGP 3.0 standard? Thanks, in advance.
 
Old 08-10-2004, 08:15 AM   #13
demonraz
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Well most of the time mobo manufacturers follow the chipset reference specification, some play or tweak the chipsets. Although your mobo is an ASUS, if im not mistaken, which have a good reputation. Abit my personal fav has a document on the agp 3.0 spec here.http://www.abit-usa.com/products/gra...0_final_10.pdf That may help, however I know hardware is normally better made than Windows drivers for example. So hopefully its just a bug with the board. Also is something like your PSU, having problems suppling the extra power? Most of the new x8 AGP vga cards have their own molex plug for power.

If you want to run x8 AGP in linux look at a distro with a 2.6.x kernel, I've recently installed the latest kernel 2.6.7 and the ati 3.11.1 driver and have noticed that thers a performace drop (500fps~ in glxgears), but the graphics seem smoother. May be that combination could provide stability for your system? worth ago.

peace out
 
Old 08-11-2004, 08:56 AM   #14
vharishankar
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With reference to the BIOS problem...

I have just got the information from my dealer that the problem with the m/b appears to be some physical defect or damage. That's why I suppose it doesn't work now. But it seems to be a strange co-incidence, nonetheless, that my computer didn't work after I flashed the BIOS.
 
Old 08-11-2004, 10:19 AM   #15
demonraz
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Like i said before ive never had a problem with any BIOS flashing, unless handed to me not working. Well at least this should resolve (hopefully) the AGP problem.

Better found early then late is what i always say.

peace out
 
  


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