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Old 08-30-2008, 02:49 AM   #1
Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Grand Rapids, Mi
Distribution: Mandriva 2009 beta
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A basic instruction set for Nvidia chipsets and KDE 4

Okay, so Im currently using Mandriva 2009 Beta, which ships with KDE 4.1 final. I have an Nvidia 8800GTS video card, and was having some issues with it. After a *lot* of googling (neat how thats a verb now, isnt it?) I think I have finally gotten my issues straightened out. After doing what Im about to explain here, windows render fairly quickly and smoothly, and I've noticed other performance increases related to video and plasma. This should work for any distro, for anyone using an Nvidia card newer than the 7000 series.

Step 1: Install the latest Nvidia driver, even if its beta. Im using 177.67. I suppose it depends on your distro, but I like the binary installer from Nvidia over Mandriva's RPMs. I recommend you uninstall any packaged driver from your distro and do the same.

Link to Nvidia beta driver 177.67

Step 2: Put the following command in your ~/.kderc or ~/.xinitrc/ ~/.gnomerc, etc.

nvidia-settings -a InitialPixmapPlacement=2 -a GlyphCache=1

My /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc file looks like:

exec /etc/X11/Xsession $*
exec nvidia-settings -a GlyphCache=1
exec nvidia-settings -a InitialPixmapPlacement=2

Setting InitialPixmapPlacement to a value of 1 or 3 may improve performance on some cards.

Step 3: Add the following options to your xorg.conf file.

Option "PixmapCacheSize" "1000000"
Option "AllowSHMPixmaps" "0"
Option "RenderAccel" "true"
Option "UseEvents" "false"
Option "TripleBuffer" "1"
Option "DamageEvents" "1"
Option "BackingStore" "1"
Option "OnDemandVBlankInterrupts" "true"

Regarding PixmapCacheSize, this option reserves a chunk of your GPU's video memory for fast pixmap allocation and greatly improves performance of any X application heavily relying on pixmap allocation. The PixmapCache size is measured in pixels; a pixel of PixmapCache uses a little more than 5 bytes of video memory, meaning a PixmapCacheSize of 1,000,000 will reserve a little under 5MB of video memory for pixmap allocation. Feel free to increase this size to get better performance, taking into account the amount of memory on your graphics card and the fact that this memory will be unavailable for OpenGL texture allocation. Since I have 640Mb of Vram, I used a value of 2000000.

Step 4: Log out and then restart X.

Step 5: Pray

Step 6: Log back in

Hopefully once this is all done, you notice a performance increase with window resizing and such. If you don't, try changing some of those values with pixmapcachesize and initialpixmapplacement.
Most of this info is available if you google around, but I didn't see any posts regarding this issue on LQ. I Hope it helps some others out there.
Old 08-31-2008, 07:21 AM   #2
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Registered: Dec 2005
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.04 and CentOS 5.5
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Thank you for sharing this info. Any techniques to improve performance, especially video performance, are greatly appreciated.
Old 09-02-2008, 03:11 PM   #3
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Registered: Sep 2008
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Older MX400 chipsets

I have an older geforce mx400 card and am using a legacy driver. Would these tweaks work for this card as well (could just try them, I suppose)?
Old 09-02-2008, 08:56 PM   #4
Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Grand Rapids, Mi
Distribution: Mandriva 2009 beta
Posts: 88

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You could try them, but as far as I am aware, the issue with slow and lagging windows only affects 8000 series and newer cards requiring the latest drivers, since the issue is not a problem with KDE, but with the newer Nvidia drivers themselves. Nvidia is aware of the issue and they are working on it.

If you have no issues as far as video acceleration goes (run glxgears from console to confirm that GL and direct rendering are working on your machine) you may want to try this instead, or in addition to the above:

1. Right click on your title bar, and select, in KDE 4, "Configure window behavior".
2. In "Desktop Effects", select "Advanced options".
3. Select the following:
Composition type: OpenGL.
Direct rendering: Enabled
VSync: Enabled
Old 10-07-2008, 02:41 AM   #5
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Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Distribution: pclinuxos slackware64 tails kali
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Hi, thanks for your posts, using the instructions here and a few other places I now have a 3d desktop.

I explained it here

Keep it up, cheers glenn
Old 10-07-2008, 03:19 AM   #6
Registered: May 2008
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 306

Rep: Reputation: 34
Originally Posted by Blackhawkckc View Post
googling (neat how thats a verb now, isnt it?)
You don't want say it to someone that works at Google. They insist you should use the phrase "Google search" (yes, they think they're so powerful as to have command over the English language).



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