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Old 04-30-2003, 10:55 AM   #1
Brain Drop
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: just outside reality
Distribution: balanced
Posts: 752

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problem with ati igp 340m graphics

my laptop ,hp pavilion, uses ati 340m i cant find much on it, im thinking i have to wait or something? what i found is this article:

ATI Radeon XFree86 Graphics

This has definitely been the most frustrating aspect of the ze4100 under Linux. In their original web site advertising, HP claimed this notebook is powered by an ATI Radeon Mobility with 32 MB of onboard RAM and additional system RAM. The HP Guide that came with the notebook characterizes the video adapter as an ATI IGP 340M, and ATI's reporting utility (available on their web site) calls it an RS200M. Neither of these characterizations coincide with any other known Radeon Mobility. HP and ATI have provided no additional technical information about the capabilities of the video adapter (or display) used on the ze4100--despite several email requests! This would not normally be a big problem under Linux. However in this case the ATI chip (ID 0x4337) used to power this video adapter is completely unknown to XFree86. Most, if not all, other ATI chips used in Radeon Mobility adapters ARE known and recognized by XFree86.

XWindows will run at 1024x768 resolution with 24-bit color on the ze4100 using the VESA framebuffer driver. This gives acceptable graphics performance for routine work, but nowhere near the performance available from the ATI driver under Windows XP, and nowhere near the performance I would want for serious molecular visualization. I have also recently been able to make XFree86 use the radeon driver by including the following device section

Section "Device"
Identifier "ATI Radeon Mobility M6"
Driver "radeon"
VendorName "ATI Radeon Mobility M6"
BoardName "Radeon Mobility M6 LY"
ChipID 0x4c59
VideoRam 32768
BusID "PCI:1:5:0"
Option "AGPMode" "4"
Option "noaccel"

in the /etc/X11/XF86Config file. This forces XFree86 to assume that the video adapter has a ChipID of 0x4c59 (a Radeon Moblity M6) instead of the actual 0x4337. (See current XF86Config file.) The advantage to this configuration is that it gives slightly faster and cleaner performance than the VESA framebuffer driver. Notice however that this configuration DOES NOT use the ATI hardware acceleration capabilities. In fact removing the line Option "noaccel" (ie. trying to use acceleration) causes the system to hang indefinitely! This occurs because the agpgart host bridge in this system (detected as an ATI 0xcab2 chipset by lspci--see lspci output) is totally unknown to any Linux kernel.

Linux and XFree86 often lack support for very new hardware. What bothers me is that neither ATI nor HP appear to be providing the necessary specifications about this video adapter setup to either the customer or to developers working on Linux kernels or XFree86. It is difficult to believe that ATI or HP gain any meaningful competitive advantage by withholding such product info. In fact both companies benefit when their products are well supported by Linux. Furthermore the failure to provide full product specification information probably runs afoul of state consumer protection laws in many parts of the USA. That makes typical 'restocking fees' for returned notebooks unenforceable. I don't imagine Staples, Circuit City, etc. would be very pleased if they knew this. I am not sufficiently unhappy with this notebook to return it, but I know of quite a few people who might be.

if anyone knows of anything that works better please let me know or if i just need to wait because its just not possible right now.

Last edited by Brain Drop; 04-30-2003 at 01:23 PM.


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