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Jay Jay 08-24-2007 01:22 PM

sluggish and poor performance from ATI Mobility P/M with Kubuntu 7.04
 
I've been running Feisty Fawn on my HP Omnibook 6000 for a few weeks, so far everything has gone quite well apart from one area: graphics.

Random acts of slowdown occur during graphical operations. Video formats always playback with degraded quality (reduced clarity, jerking, tearing and digital artefacts like pixellation).None of this occurs whilst playing games or watching films from my Win2k partition so I know that the graphics hardware isn't faulty.

Before posting I looked on google and searched through LQ to check if similar questions were already answered. A fellow member of the Kubuntu forums helped me run through a wide range of strategies till they were forced to concede defeat. I posted details of my problem on the phronix forum too but no-one seems to have any answers.

Any advice would be really appreciated as this is the only remaining issue preventing me from relegating my Win2k partition to redundancy.

Jay

ericson007 08-27-2007 08:18 AM

A lot of times pixelation etc do occur because of the libraries you are using to decode the video. The other reason may be because you are not using the propriety drivers or the kernel is not quite happy with the way the ati module is configured. There could be many reasons. Rest assure there is nothing wrong with your hardware. The sluggish performance is just kubuntu. It automatically installs quite a lot of daemons which are not neccesary for common daily use. One of the big ones is the lvm that it sets up. If you do not use logical volume management then that daemon is surely dragging a lot of power. Another reason is also that Kubuntu is basically debian but with very new packages so it is bleeding edge. They also want to make it look very nice, which they are doing quite a good job with. Running the newest software though is not always the best thing because too many unstable packages makes for an iffy system. Just try finding some new libraries to start of with, if that doesn't work try installing the ati driver from their web site. Maybe also try not using things like compiz and beryl etc initially until your system is good to go.

Jay Jay 08-29-2007 11:37 AM

Thanks for responding with a thorough explanation of the problems I've experienced, much appreciated. As a novice, I have a few questions and hopefully you can point me in the right direction. Please bear with me for anything that I ask that appears easy or obvious because my knowledge of Unix & Linux is still in the early phases.

Quote:

A lot of times pixelation etc do occur because of the libraries you are using to decode the video. The other reason may be because you are not using the propriety drivers or the kernel is not quite happy with the way the ati module is configured
Ok, how do I go about changing the libraries, drivers and check that the ati module is being configured correctly for use?

Quote:

If you do not use logical volume management then that daemon is surely dragging a lot of power.
My laptop has an 80GB HDD with several partitions (mostly FAT32) and I use additional storage devices such as a USB2.0 external DVD/RW, a 2GB flash drive and portable hard drives. Does this setup require LVM?

Quote:

Maybe also try not using things like compiz and beryl etc initially until your system is good to go.
Again, I'm not even sure if they're running in the first place. I certainly don't recall downloading them from Adept, how can I find out?

Thanks again,

Jay

ericson007 08-30-2007 03:15 AM

About what libraries to use for the video decoding I am not sure as the place that I got good ones from once seemed to have disappeared. It was some ftp site, since then I have not even bothered about trying to get that going again. Although if you do manage to get a different set, then it would be sufficient to put them in a directory that you would include in the path to search in the programme that you are using to play the video. If it is a system wide change or that seems a bit too much, then simply make a backup of the ones currently in use and then extract the new ones to the libs folder. Doing this should work if it is in /usr/libs but before maybe try /usr/local/libs. That would make it a little better and easier to distinguish from pre installed ones. For the configuration of the ati card I am not 100% sure as to go about that once it is installed using the drivers preinstalled with your linux distro. You can however download the drivers from the ati website and I am sure they have a graphical wizard for guidance. This should over write your X configuration file to use the new drivers and patch your kernel . Or if Kubuntu has dpkg you can see with adept or something what the ati driver package name is and then type "dpkg --reconfigure package_name"

For seeing if you have compiz you can just do a search in your package manager making sure that it searches for installed software. There was a command to use to check but I can't remember it. Try typing "compiz" in command line if it doesn't display anything use "comp" then press tab to complete the selection.

For LVM it is not needed at all to have a functioning system. Many seem to like it, but if your machine is for home use, I think it's a waste. LVM is mainly used to streamline the way hardisk space is allocated, which with many disks and installations in a corporation is an advantage. You can name a volume "games or developing" for example, that volume may then be made up of several different partitions from different hard drives and will work as if all the partitions put together is a single disks, even though the data would obviously be spread fastly. The problem with Kububtu is that it installs LVM by default and once installed I think it could be a pain to get rid of it. I never tried using it so I am not familiar with it.

A useful command to see what processes are running is "ps -A"

By the way, I'm not an expert, still newbie as well.

Jay Jay 08-31-2007 09:44 PM

Apologies for the long post...

Quote:

About what libraries to use for the video decoding I am not sure as the place that I got good ones from once seemed to have disappeared. It was some ftp site, since then I have not even bothered about trying to get that going again.
Ok, I'm going to uninstall the existing Xine libraries and restricted formats using Adept and then search for alternatives.

Quote:

For the configuration of the ati card I am not 100% sure as to go about that once it is installed using the drivers preinstalled with your linux distro. You can however download the drivers from the ati website and I am sure they have a graphical wizard for guidance. This should over write your X configuration file to use the new drivers and patch your kernel .
Tried that, unfortunately ATI does not provide Linux drivers for the ATI Mobility P/M.

From the ATI Linux Driver FAQ
Quote:

The ATI Proprietary Linux driver currently supports Radeon 8500 and later AGP or PCI Express graphics products, as well as ATI FireGL 8700 and later products. We do not currently plan to include support for any products earlier than this. Drivers for earlier products should already be available from the DRI Project or Utah-GLX project.
I'm not sure which of the two above is the more suitable for my graphics hardware so I'll have to do some research into this.

Quote:

Or if Kubuntu has dpkg you can see with adept or something what the ati driver package name is and then type "dpkg --reconfigure package_name"
Perfect! Adept listed the following as not installed:

fglrx-control - control panel for the ATI graphics accelerators
xorg-driver-fglrx - Video driver for the ATI graphics accelerators
xorg-driver-fglrx-dev - Video driver for the ATI graphics accelerators (devel files)

However the driver details do not include my chipset among the compatibility list.

Quote:

For seeing if you have compiz you can just do a search in your package manager making sure that it searches for installed software.
Brilliant, did that: typed "compiz" into the Adept search engine and it confirmed that compiz is not installed.

Quote:

The problem with Kububtu is that it installs LVM by default and once installed I think it could be a pain to get rid of it. I never tried using it so I am not familiar with it.
I used Adept again and the LVM is not installed either. :)

Quote:

A useful command to see what processes are running is "ps -A"
Yeah, that's quite handy when you need to know what's going on inside the computer. :)

Quote:

By the way, I'm not an expert, still newbie as well.
Even so, you've managed to help this fellow newbie shed light on a few matters. I will post an update and in the meantime if you have anymore suggestions, feel free to share them with me. Thanks!

Jay


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