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Old 03-12-2004, 10:33 PM   #1
hoopyfrood
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Registered: Aug 2003
Distribution: SuSE 9.1
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Crappy NVIDIA performance on MDK 10.0


Hey all,

I was only a few hours ago singing the merit of Mandrake 10.0 on this forum, however I have found one severe dissapointment, which may either be my hardware or MDK 10.

I've installed the new official NVIDIA drivers (5336 - the only official drivers that are kernel 2.6 compatible) and installed them, only to find that my 3D performance has taken a severe hit. Where previously glxgears easily clocked about 2200 to 2500 fps, it's now averageing 1700. Neverwinter Nights, which previously ran in full detail with little appreciable performance degredation is now chugging, even with a lower resolution and detail options turned low/off.

I remember that the 4496 drivers always worked better with my card than the newer drivers when I was using Mandrake 9.2, and so I downloaded the hacked 4496 kernel 2.6 compatible drivers from http://minion.de/ . Though they installed okay and reported 3000+fps through glxgears, performance was no better in NWN, with the added downer that bump-mapping bunked out on my (ie, everything looked like it was drawn with *very* blurry, ultra-pixelated texures.)

So anyway, I'm wondering if there are other factors that may be slowing down video performance. I have noticed that my sound sputters a lot when the harddrive or CPU is under heavy load, but I assumed this because the default sound driver for my SB Live (the snd-emu101k driver) didn't work, and I was forced to switch to the emu101k driver. Is it possible that my system or my video card is taking a performance hit elsewhere? Where else should I be looking?

Specs:
Mandrake 10.0 Community Edition (kernel 2.6.3-4mdk)
Athlon 2000+ CPU
256mb SD-RAM
GeForce FX 5200
L7VMM2 ECS Elitegroup mainboard
Mesa 5.0.2


Any wisdom you can share will be appreciated!

Tim
 
Old 03-12-2004, 11:53 PM   #2
paehler
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Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Japan
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I am using NVIDIA-Linux-x86-1.0-5336-pkg1.run
on the following configuration:

Mandrake 10.0 with kernel
2.6.3-4.tmb.1mdk-i686-up-4GB
GeForce4 MX 440 AGP 8x
Athlon XP 1800+ 1.5 GB memory

glxgears:
11491 frames in 5.0 seconds = 2298.200 FPS

The motherboard is a GigaByte GA-7VAX1394-A
and I am using the onboard sound chip
 
Old 03-13-2004, 03:05 AM   #3
hoopyfrood
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Is the GeForce 4 MMX faster or slower than the FX 5200? Sorry, I'm a but out of the loop on the while video card thing. Also, did you notice any speed degradation between your last distro and MDK 10.0?

I've now installed drivers 4492, 5328 and 5336. Something weird is happening though -- 4492 runs at 3000+fps through glxgears, but can't bumpmap and doesn't run NWN any faster than any other drivers; 5328 runs 1000fps through glxgears but doesn't run NWN any slower than the other drivers; 5336 runs at 1700fps, but it doesn't run NWN and faster or slower than the other drivers.

So the output from glxgears has no bearing on performance in NWN. Is it a mesa/openGL issue then, I wonder?

Tim
 
Old 03-13-2004, 03:40 AM   #4
paehler
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i think the the FX 5200 is (supposed to be) better
than the GeForce 4 MMX - the 4 MMX was the
cheapesr video card I could find.
 
Old 03-21-2004, 12:26 AM   #5
hoopyfrood
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Smile Fixed

I kept at this problem until I finally solved the issue, and I've since resorted perdormance to my FX 5200. By process of elimination I installed a kernel 2.4 branch that came with MDK 10.0 and tried the NVIDIA drives with that. No speed increase. I updated to Xfree86 4.4.0. No speed increase. I tried about 6-7 nvidia drivers to see if performance varied. It didn't. For anyone else who may have had this problem, here's what worked for me:

Firstly, the 4496 drivers seem to be the only ones capably of getting a good framerate out of my card. I don't know if that's a problem with the NVIDIA drivers, Mandrake, or with my card. Either way, the first step was to get the hacked NVIDIA 4496 drivers from minion.de.

Secondly, the minion.de 4496, while modified to work with 2.6 kernels, wasn't working proplerly from the get-go. glxgears output was around 2300fps (all other drivers ranked about 1700fps), but it couldn't display any textures correctly. glxgears would complain:

Code:
Xlib: extension "XFree86-DRI" missing on display ":0.0""
Issue: turns out the 4496 drivers were linking incorrectly to libGL.so.1. (At least, that's what I learned from the NVIDIA Linux forum.)

Answer: For me, it was as simple as removing the /usr/X11R6/lib/tls directory and run ldconfig. This sorted out any mislinked files.

(For more info ---> nV News Forum - XFree86-DRI missing with XFree86-4.3.0.-17 and up solved)

This "unbroke" the NVIDIA drivers, so that 4496 drivers would show textures properly. For good measure, I then installed Mesa 5.0.2 (default for the distro) and ran "ldconfig" again (probably not neccessary.) Whether or not this had any bearing on the outcome, I don't know: it seemed to me that the card still wasn't running as fast as it should have been, but after installing mesa and running ldconfig again, something "clicked".

We'll assume, for simplicity sake, was the minion.de 4496 drivers and the problem with mislinking that caused so much frustration. The end result is that glxgears now clocks 3500fps as opposed to 1700fps before the fix. Max Payne (via WineX) struggled at 20fps and is now a smooth 60fps.

Cheers,
Tim

Last edited by hoopyfrood; 03-21-2004 at 12:30 AM.
 
  


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