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Old 06-13-2009, 07:31 PM   #1
feganr
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Video running up CPU


Hello,
I am a reletively new user to Linux and have used CentOS 5.3 and Ubuntu 9.04 on this Dell Latitude D600. With both distributions I have expereinced the same issue with watching videos, running games, or anything else that is video intensive where the CPU runs up to 100%. After closing whichever program was causing the issue the CPU manages to drop down to a normal running usage, but performance is greatly degraded. Restarting X does not resolve the issue, only a system restart. This is a timed issue in that it will occur anywhere from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours of intensive video usage. I have been trying to narrow down this issue for a couple months now and have learned a great deal about the OS but still have not resolved the issue.
I have not been able to totaly rule out a simple issue with Xorg or just the fact that the ATI drivers are not working properly.

System:
Dell Latitude D600
ATI Radeon RV250 FireGL 9000

OS/drivers
Ubuntu 9.04 x86
xserver-xorg-video-ati
xserver-xorg-video-radeon

I don't know if this is related but unable to get the xorg-driver-fglrx or ATI catalyst control center packages to work.

Thank you in advance for assistance in reducing my stress leaves and cranial blunt force trama from to many hits to the wall. :-)
 
Old 06-15-2009, 03:02 AM   #2
rylan76
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Hmm, is your DMA working in the kernel for the motherboard you have?

I once had a vaguely similary problem on an older system of mine and it turned out the kernel I was running did not have DMA support for the motherboard chipset I had.

I had to recompile the kernel with the necessary chipset support, and then DMA started working, and my problems (vaguely similar to yours, mainly DVD watching was choppy and slow) went away...
 
Old 06-15-2009, 08:24 AM   #3
barunparichha
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Can you check using top, the applications taking more CPU and amount of available memory ?

The CPU utilization may increse for swapping.
 
Old 06-15-2009, 08:39 AM   #4
farslayer
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Shouldn't be that hard to get the ATI Proprietary drivers working in Ubuntu

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BinaryDriverHowto/ATI

http://wiki.cchtml.com/index.php/Ubu...ietary_Drivers
 
Old 06-15-2009, 09:36 AM   #5
feganr
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Thanks for the info Rylan. I have never compiled a linux kernel before. How would I go about locating information on recompiling the kernal, DMA support information, etc.
This does not seem to be swap related because I have conky setup to monitor CPU, Swap, RAM, and the high users of top. Swap file and RAM stay low on the monitor it's jsut the CPU that runs high.
 
Old 06-17-2009, 01:43 AM   #6
rylan76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feganr View Post
Thanks for the info Rylan. I have never compiled a linux kernel before. How would I go about locating information on recompiling the kernal, DMA support information, etc.
There are several howtos and quite a lot of information available on kernel compilation. Basically, what you need to do is to install, for your distro, its kernel sources (if they are available) and then recompile them. A better alternative may be to download a newer kernel, and compile that. Basically it entails downloading the kernel archive, unbzipping or ungzipping it, untarring it in the right location, and then running the neccessary commands in a terminal.

See http://www.digitalhermit.com/linux/K...WTO.html#INTRO

As for DMA support information I've got no idea. I suppose a list of all supported motherboard chipsets is available somewhere. I would try something that you might consider stupid or pedantic, but it is how I fixed my problem. I literally perused my motherboard manual to find out what type of chipset my motherboard had. Then I downloaded a (then) recent Linux kernel from kernel.org. I unzipped it, and ran the menuconfig command. I then exited and saved the config file. Then I searched this file for the name of my chipset, and made sure that line was turned on in the config (i. e. changed it to read =y at then end).

I then recompiled the kernel with that manually edited config and hey-presto! DMA was working.

Quote:
This does not seem to be swap related because I have conky setup to monitor CPU, Swap, RAM, and the high users of top. Swap file and RAM stay low on the monitor it's jsut the CPU that runs high.
Hmm not sure but it does sound as if you might not have on-board DMA running. Anyway, see the above link, and post again if you have more questions.
 
Old 06-17-2009, 07:27 AM   #7
farslayer
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If the CPU usage is high only when running video related tasks that tells me you are not using the acceleration features of your GPU and you need to install the Proprietary drivers, which is really the easiest fix. If those drivers were already installed and working, and you were still having this issue, only then would I be looking for other solutions.
 
Old 06-17-2009, 11:12 AM   #8
feganr
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Looks like the inability to run fglrx-drivers may be the culprit. Seemd from the ATI How To that the driver does not support my video card - Radeon 9000.
"The model of the card is in the 9xxx series, 9500 or higher, or it is in the X series (e.g. X300), or it has TV-Out capability. The 'fglrx' driver does not support cards earlier than the 9500."

Anyone know a fix or work around for this?
 
Old 06-17-2009, 12:53 PM   #9
farslayer
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http://wiki.cchtml.com/index.php/Hardware
Quote:
These cards are no longer actively supported by AMD as of the 8.28.8 fglrx driver. The installer is still available on AMD's website. ati-driver-installer-8.28.8.run
If you own one of these cards, it is highly recommended that you use the "radeon" Open source drivers.

* Radeon 8500
* Radeon 9000
* Radeon 9200
* Radeon 9250
Looks like you are right on the lack of support. bummer


I see in your first post you listed both 'ati' and 'radeon' driver.. Do you know which one your system is currently using ?
cat /var/log/Xorg.0.log | grep autoconfigured
 
Old 06-17-2009, 01:00 PM   #10
feganr
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cat /var/log/Xorg.0.log | grep autoconfigure
did not provide any data.

cat /var/log/Xorg.1.log | grep autoconfigure
provided the following data:
(==) Matched radeon for the autoconfigured driver

Does it make a difference which log file this information is from?

I also verified that the ait and radeon drivers are dependencies of eachother in Synaptic. I assumed they were interchangable.
Does this mean that I should have my xorg.conf setup with
driver "radeon" instead of driver "ati"?
 
Old 06-17-2009, 01:18 PM   #11
feganr
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I have located an ati-driver-installer-8.27.10-x86.run file. I have been unable to locate information on compatability with the kernel I am using, 2.6.28-11-generic. How is linux with backwards compatability between kernel and drivers? Is this something that I can install or would there be a conflict?
 
Old 06-17-2009, 03:26 PM   #12
farslayer
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radeon is the correct driver so X has detected and used the proper Open Source driver for your card..


That proprietary driver you located, may or may not install..

Usually the first thing to go with an old driver like that is it's ability to compile against the newer kernels. Since that driver was published long before the kernel you are currently running the only way to find out would be to try compiling the module against your current kernel. but also note their recommendation is to use the radeon driver.


funny, nvidia still supports my old TNT2 cards with their legacy driver, and they are several years older than your ATI video card.
 
Old 06-17-2009, 05:55 PM   #13
feganr
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Yes. I now know that I need to get a new laptop with an Nvidia card. I have been reading a lot of information about how Nvidia has been working more realiably for linux drivers than ATI. This is the first system that I have used for Linux as a testing and learning platform. Nothing like a good lesson like this. :-)
Thank you guys for all of your assistance.
 
  


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