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Old 01-06-2010, 12:14 AM   #1
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Nvidia GTX 280M cards under Ubuntu 9.10, need some help with drivers, please....

Hi All,
I'm really desperate here, and would appreciate your help.

I have an Alienware M17X laptop with dual Nvidia GTX280M video cards,
Ubuntu 9.10 64-bit kernel - 2.6.31-16-generic.
The installation was smooth excluding the video cards.
I tried installing the drivers through the Hardware Drivers (the easy way)
added this: to the list of repositories and got the following drivers available: 173,180,185,190,195(recommended).
So I tried them all (did 4 re-installs already) with a very poor result - the cards are detected and the drivers were installed ok, but the performance is really a no-go.
I'm not even talking about the SLI yet. Just trying to make one card work as it should.
What I get is 136FPS in phoronix lightsmark test at 19020x1200 rez. The card should perform 4x from what it does (I know it because the phoronix team did it with a Clevo laptop with single GTX280M card and the older 185.x driver).
Also I noticed that the Nvidia X-server shows my cards as PCI 8X instead of 16X, so
I think it's a driver issue. So right now I'm trying to install the same driver phoronix used and have some trouble: in the process the installer says it needs to compile the Nvidia driver kernel and is unable to do so, so it fails.
What am I missing here? Do I need some prerequisites to be installed prior doing it?
Please, help a newbie, as it's the only thing still keeping me from deleting my windoze partition...

P.S> Part of lspci output:
02:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation GT200 [GeForce GTX 280M] (rev a2)
03:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation GT200 [GeForce GTX 280M] (rev a2)

As you can see the cards are detected.
Old 02-02-2010, 11:37 AM   #2
Registered: May 2004
Location: UK
Distribution: Debian, Ubantu, CentOS
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Just to check you tried this:

If that did not work have you tried getting drivers/support from Alienware? I know they do/did funky cases but do they mod the cards as well? Or is it made by a specific manufacturer (Like Asus etc...)?

Sometimes specific cards get modified by the manufacturer and differ from the regular driver specs. I had a problem with a very specific Nvidia card that worked fine under Windows but under Linux did not want to use the AGP for primary monitor (but happy for secondary).

You can always try getting the drivers from Nvidia directly. But from my memory this requires some fiddling.

This is only hearsay but I did hear (When it first came out) that 9.10 did have 3D card support issues which broke some cards that worked under 9.04. I have not upgraded from 9.04 Because of hardware comparability fears (I haven't wanted to risk spending an evening fixing something that works at the moment). If you are on a fresh install then it may be worth trying out 9.04

It may be worth posting your xorg.conf file
Old 02-02-2010, 11:55 AM   #3
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What you need for the Nvidia driver...

See the README from Nvidia. You need more than the kernel sources; look at Chapter 2. The kernel headers that you install have to be the same version as the kernel. Check the package repositories or the documentation for your distribution. Chapters 3+4 of the README are a good guide to installation.

If you have problems with the resolution, you can use the utility "nvidia-xconfig" that will be installed or edit the xorg.conf file

You will probably need to use the latest driver; you might even have better luck with the beta version.

If you have problems, post back with the error messages you receive.

Last edited by thorkelljarl; 02-02-2010 at 12:09 PM.


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