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post #1 of 16 Old 01-07-2012, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
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I posted a while back that I was having better luck with the radeon driver for video accel, but that is no longer the case.

I've manually installed the 11.12 Catalyst driver in Kubuntu 11.10 x86_64, and my HD 4200 IGP is playing everything that I've thrown at it flawlessly -- 1080p BluRay, 1080p Youtube, Hulu, etc.

MythTV frontend doesn't like it (weird blocky video), but I'm using XBMC for that, so no worries here. I'm thrilled with XBMC's progress on this, btw: http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?t=110694 . The only issue that I've had is ProjectM will freeze up after about 5 mins, so I just turned that off for now. It does it with the stand-alone ProjectM, too, so it's not the XBMC build.

Note that I haven't told XBMC to use VA-API, either -- it's just at the default auto-detect setting. fglrx is loading up the XVBA stuff on its own now. Some interesting things from the X log:
Code:
...
(==) fglrx(0): ATI 2D Acceleration Architecture enabled
...
(II) fglrx(0): Desktop Vsync is enabled.
...
(**) fglrx(0): Textured Video is enabled.
...
(II) Loading extension AMDXVOPL
(II) Loading extension AMDXVBA
[-     XMM_GLX] [I ]glesxXvInit Configureable RGBOutputColorRange
(II) fglrx(0): UVD feature is enabled(II) fglrx(0):
(II) fglrx(0): Enable composite support successfully
...
So, I'm happy to report that AMD appears to be finally making some progress with its Linux video driver!
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post #2 of 16 Old 01-07-2012, 03:34 PM
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That is good news. After having some issues with 11.10, I decided to stick with my Geforce 240 card. I use the 5770 for gaming in Windows. I may give the Radeon a try.

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post #3 of 16 Old 01-07-2012, 05:11 PM
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Schweet!

Now that the ATI UVD switch has been thrown in Linux, is that the sound of most Linux users dropping their trusty Nvidia cards and buying up UVD-enabled ATI APU's/GPU's


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post #4 of 16 Old 01-08-2012, 08:21 AM - Thread Starter
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lol, I don't think that's what you're hearing at all, Rgb!

it IS one less excuse for mainstream users to not try Linux, though, which is always good.

EDIT: I'm a bit behind-the-times on the APU stuff, but, yeah, I'd love to drop having a separate GPU altogether; and I think that these recent driver improvements are a good sign that we Linux users won't be left behind.
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post #5 of 16 Old 01-08-2012, 01:05 PM
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Hey sysadmin:

Would you be willing to give smplayer a try and report back on how well it works with the catalyst drivers?

The box I have that has a 4290 IGP in it is my production box, so I can't risk just loading the catalyst driver and hoping nothing breaks. So to test it out would be a large amount of work for me.
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post #6 of 16 Old 01-08-2012, 06:58 PM - Thread Starter
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np, Mac -- I already have it installed.

Some common formats on my Phenom II X4 920:

BluRay, mkv, VC-1, 1080p, 24.9 Mbps, AC-3 = ~25% cpu
BluRay, mkv, x264, 720p, 7699 Kbps, AC-3 = ~15% cpu
BluRay. mp4, x264, 720p, 2543 Kbps, AAC = ~12% cpu
HDTV, mpg, MPEG-TS, 720p, 14.6 Mbps, AC-3 = ~17% cpu
HDTV, mpg, MPEG-TS, 1080i, 9901 Kbps, AC-3 = ~17% cpu (w/ linear blend deinterlacing)
DVD, mkv, MPEG2, 720x480, 6472 Kbps, AC-3 = ~10% cpu

These are with default vo and ao settings -- no passthrough. It looks like I'm getting some framedrops in the VC-1 file with smplayer (it plays smoother in XBMC), and the deinterlaced content isn't 100% perfect in either player but certainly acceptable.

Hope this helps.
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post #7 of 16 Old 01-09-2012, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sysadmin View Post

np, Mac -- I already have it installed.

Some common formats on my Phenom II X4 920:

BluRay, mkv, VC-1, 1080p, 24.9 Mbps, AC-3 = ~25% cpu
BluRay, mkv, x264, 720p, 7699 Kbps, AC-3 = ~15% cpu
BluRay. mp4, x264, 720p, 2543 Kbps, AAC = ~12% cpu
HDTV, mpg, MPEG-TS, 720p, 14.6 Mbps, AC-3 = ~17% cpu
HDTV, mpg, MPEG-TS, 1080i, 9901 Kbps, AC-3 = ~17% cpu (w/ linear blend deinterlacing)
DVD, mkv, MPEG2, 720x480, 6472 Kbps, AC-3 = ~10% cpu

These are with default vo and ao settings -- no passthrough. It looks like I'm getting some framedrops in the VC-1 file with smplayer (it plays smoother in XBMC), and the deinterlaced content isn't 100% perfect in either player but certainly acceptable.

Hope this helps.

Yeah, that helps.

It sounds like I really should try the catalyst driver. Unfortunately that machine is my PVR and has recordings scheduled for every day of the week. So I'm either going to have to move the PVR duties to another machine or take a big risk of missing recordings while I experiment with the catalyst driver.


BTW, your frame-dropping might be solvable by messing around with the settings in smplayer. The two main settings that come to mind is to turn off the "loop filter" on HD material and to play around with the number of threads. If you are still set to the default of "single threaded" then try turning it up. And if you already have mutliple threads try setting it back to single threaded since some material seems to have lots of problems in multi-threaded mode. And there's a bunch of other settings that might help too.
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post #8 of 16 Old 01-09-2012, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the smplayer tips -- I just never use it so I haven't tried to tweak it.

You know that you can swap out the video driver without even rebooting, right? Typically what I do is log in to a VT () and shut down the display manager whenever I set up a new video driver. That way mythbackend and everything else keeps running, and I'm still in a shell to troubleshoot it if it doesn't work right. aticonfig will backup your xorg.conf file if you have one, so switching back is just a matter of renaming files and starting the display manager back up.

Don't forget to enable the "tear free" option in the CCC gui after you log back in to the desktop.

EDIT: I don't remember if I had to remove the radeon module 1st or not, but I don't think that I did. The installer will tell you.
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post #9 of 16 Old 01-09-2012, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sysadmin View Post

np, Mac -- I already have it installed.

Some common formats on my Phenom II X4 920:

BluRay, mkv, VC-1, 1080p, 24.9 Mbps, AC-3 = ~25% cpu
BluRay, mkv, x264, 720p, 7699 Kbps, AC-3 = ~15% cpu
BluRay. mp4, x264, 720p, 2543 Kbps, AAC = ~12% cpu
HDTV, mpg, MPEG-TS, 720p, 14.6 Mbps, AC-3 = ~17% cpu
HDTV, mpg, MPEG-TS, 1080i, 9901 Kbps, AC-3 = ~17% cpu (w/ linear blend deinterlacing)
DVD, mkv, MPEG2, 720x480, 6472 Kbps, AC-3 = ~10% cpu

These are with default vo and ao settings -- no passthrough. It looks like I'm getting some framedrops in the VC-1 file with smplayer (it plays smoother in XBMC), and the deinterlaced content isn't 100% perfect in either player but certainly acceptable.

Hope this helps.

I wonder if there is a tool that shows GPU load similar to the CPU loads reported above, i.e. the equivalent of top, htop or gnome-system-monitor or XFCE's Task Manager that would show not only CPU% but also GPU % loads.


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post #10 of 16 Old 01-09-2012, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Code:
$ aticonfig --odgc

Default Adapter - ATI Radeon HD 4200
                            Core (MHz)    Memory (MHz)
           Current Clocks :    196           400
             Current Peak :    500           400
  Configurable Peak Range : [200-500]     [400-400]
                 GPU load :    10%
And there is nvidia-smi for nvidia cards.

You aren't going to make me do all of that again just to show you the GPU loads, are you???
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post #11 of 16 Old 01-13-2012, 01:03 PM
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Hey sysadmin:

I seen you're running Kubuntu and I'm trying to switch over to KDE, but I can't seem to find a good tutorial that gives any insight into the headspace of the KDE designers.

I constantly feel like I'm playing the game Myst or doing an easter egg hunt, trying to discover where the KDE designers have hidden the controls that change the preferences for everything from widgets to file manager windows. I can't see any logic or reason to it at all.

If you know of a good tutorial that reveals the design philosophy of KDE or if you can think of any good tips, I'd appreciate it.
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post #12 of 16 Old 01-13-2012, 06:40 PM
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Well, this is all welcome news. It'll be nice not to be obliged to go the nV route, even if I have become comfortable with it.
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post #13 of 16 Old 01-17-2012, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sysadmin View Post

...ProjectM will freeze up after about 5 mins...

^^^DISREGARD THIS!!!

It was caused by bad RAM. Once I pulled out the 2 failing sticks (4GB of my 6GB total ) it works beautifully! I left it running overnight just to be sure.

@Mac:

I don't know of any KDE tutorials off-hand. I just keep clicking on stuff until it looks/acts like I want -- which for me is a minimalist, dark theme with nothing on the desktop. I just add launchers to the panel for programs that I use most often (right-click on the program icon in the kicker menu and select "add to panel"). Below are a couple of screencaps from the Gentoo build I'm working on:



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post #14 of 16 Old 03-21-2012, 10:12 AM
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I just got around to installing my Radeon on another drive. It seems to work pretty good. My biggest complaint is dual monitor. The CCC isn't as good as Nvidias. I had to enable multiple desktops and then reboot. Upon reboot both my top and bottom bars are on the second display while my browser pops up on the main display. A friend wants my Nvidia card, so I will probably play with this for awhile. I may just end up buying a new Nvidia card when they come out.

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post #15 of 16 Old 03-21-2012, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ericglo View Post

I just got around to installing my Radeon on another drive. It seems to work pretty good.

Interesting...

I just removed my Radeon card and am using the Intel HD graphics. The HTPC is hooked to my surround receiver via HDMI. With the Radeon the screen was blank unless I switched to that input before I booted the PC. If I switched away for any extended time, and switched back, the screen would again be blank. I had to switch to a different output terminal (Ctrl+Alt+F1) and back to get it to come back up. No problems like that with the Intel HD graphics.

I'm sure that this is some sort of "handshake" problem, but just another reason to not use AMD/Radeon in Linux.

Anyone want to buy a AMD HD 6450?
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post #16 of 16 Old 03-21-2012, 07:58 PM
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Hmmm, it seems like Nvidia is the only solution.

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