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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?

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Old 06-16-2004, 07:38 PM   #1
tallman
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Registered: Jun 2004
Location: Dumont, NJ
Distribution: Fedora Core 2
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Unhappy Poor 3d performance with ATI Radeon 7500LE desipte "Direct rendering enabled"


I received a Radeon 7500LE as a gift. Little did I know that the actual gift was going to be a crash course on configuring X servers.

I installed the card in my dual PIII 800Mhz Dell and followed with a Fedora Core 2 install. Everything went very smoothly. 2d performance is great. However, 3d performance is not so great. Glxgears reports an abysmal 170 fps at best that dives quickly with increased CPU load. The bind that I'm in is that the xorg and kernel logs report no relevant errors that I can use as a starting point. Glxinfo reports "direct rendering: Yes". The xorg log says that hardware acceleration is enabled.

I've tried the very helpful DRI troubleshooting guide on their website as well as various suggestions gleaned through some 3am googling. The only thing I'm not entirely sure about is if this Radeon is a PCI or AGP card. The manual cover seems to indicate its a PCI card but further reading mentions support for AGP BIOS extensions.

For the log curious:

A "dmesg | grep agpart" returns:

Linux agpgart interface v0.100 (c) Dave Jones
agpgart: Detected an Intel i840 Chipset.
agpgart: Maximum main memory to use for agp memory: 439M
agpgart: AGP aperture is 128M @ 0xe8000000

but a "dmesg | grep drm" returns only:

[drm] Initialized radeon 1.10.0 20020828 on minor 0:
- no line about AGP

So if this isn't a AGP enabled card, fine. But shouldn't I expect a little more tlc in the frame rate department?

lspci says:

03:05.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc Radeon RV200 QW [Radeon 7500]

Thanks for the help in advance. My screensavers thank you too.
Cheers,
Ivan
 
Old 06-16-2004, 08:05 PM   #2
slackMeUp
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Is this the only card in your system?

Also, what do you mean you don't know if it is AGP or PCI??? Did you not see the card before it went into your PC? Did you install it yourself?

The best way to know how the card preforms is to use the fglrx driver from ATi.
If fglrxinfo reprots that it is using ATi based GL extentions (not MESA) then whatever the card pushes in glxgears and fglrxgears is as good as what your current settings can provide. (on the distro side that is)


Also of note... while your FPS is really low, even for MESA rendering, this is a 7500LE we are talking about. . . don't expect much out of it.

My first Radeon was a 7000VE, it ran ok. I bought it for it's multi-head ability (which at the time, was not standard on mainstream cards) and it did a great job at what I wanted it to do.(2D desktop across two monitors)

I later upgraded to a 9000PRO and this card is everything I ever needed.
 
Old 06-16-2004, 09:46 PM   #3
tallman
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Ok now I know what an AGP slot is. The card I have is a PCI card. Sorry about the confusion. I'm teaching myself as I go. I should have known that as the card I removed was a Fire GL2 - an AGP card. I wish I could get that card working but that's another story.

Anyway, according to literature on the fglrx driver, it only supports the Radeon 8500 and later aka not me. ATI's website links to the DRI project for older support.

Is this as fast as I can expect it to go? I'd be more convinced if it didn't seem so dependent on the CPU load and visibility. On the other hand, I read that PCI is a shared bus so perhaps its fighting for attention. An "ldd glxgears" doesn't return any mesa libraries in use so perhaps it is that bad. I'm not really expecting much from this card. Its really just holding me over until I can afford something nicer. However, if I can kick a few more fps out of it and learn something in the meantime, so be it.

Thanks again,
Ivan
 
Old 06-16-2004, 09:53 PM   #4
tallman
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Whoops, I forgot to answer your first question. Yes, it is the only video card in my machine right now.

- Ivan
 
Old 06-16-2004, 10:02 PM   #5
slackMeUp
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The bandwidth difference between PCI and AGP is HUGE.

The poor card is starving for information but your computer can't feed it that fast.

But this is not the only bottle neck. It is a really old card, and a value card for it's time too.

Keep the DRI radeon driver.. . you have it working right. Just don't expect to much out of this card.

One thing to try out is this. . . comment out the load dri and load glx lines in your config file. . . that will start MESA up as the software 3D renderer. Run glxgears, and compare the results.

If the FireGL 2 AGP card works in 2D mode then why not put it back in, grab another cheap CRT and turn your computer into a dual monitor setup. . .

My computer is a workstation (as in games are not it's first task, or second for that matter). I spend most of my day on it, and while I use the 3D parts of my card, I could live with just 2D.

If I had to choose between a dual setup and 3D acceleration, I'd go for the dual setup... much more fun to do work on.
 
Old 06-16-2004, 11:31 PM   #6
tallman
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So what you're saying is that the CompUSA logo on the packaging was a warning label? I'm kidding although this horses's tonsils look pretty bad. I have to give major kudos to FC2 for setting it up right.

On the Fire GL2; I'm a victim of an ATI buyout. Diamond, S3 or whoever originally made the card use to release driver updates regularly. It was amazing to watch my card's performance and features jump every release. ATI acquired them and promptly killed support for the GL2. The last linux driver release was for Xfree86 4.2 so I was able to run Redhat 8.0. The installer script prevents installation on anything else and ATI's response is to buy a new card. They do have a trade in program but I'm a little peeved about getting dumped. I agree though, dual monitors would be nifty.

On the MESA front, I guess I don't have the libraries installed because GL support was disabled after commenting out the lines you mentioned.

Thanks for all the help.

Ivan
 
  


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