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First impressions with the Radeon driver

So, this morning the new video card I ordered arrived (good service from that e-shop, ordered Sunday evening and arrived Tuesday morning), 10 minutes to mount it on, and a while more to have the software set up for it.

I asked leio his configuration file yesterday, so that I could have something to base myself on, so it wasn’t that difficult after all to have it started. It was difficult to have it working correctly, tho.

First problem, I enabled EXA even if leio’s configuration file didn’t have it enabled. The reason was that I was told before it was all good and shiny.. but when I started KDE, the windows moved sloooowly, even slower than VNC. Javier helped me with that, by suggesting enabling COMPOSITE extension and xcompmgr. That worked indeed, and the system was usable.

Good responsiveness even when using kompmgr and shadows. MergedFB with the pseudo-Xinerama support works great with KDE, and the only real glitch is with Xv not working when put in the middle of the two screens, but hardly a showstopper. I was also already informed of this by leio.

Fonts looks great, better than with nvidia driver, the resolution has changed from 94×95 to 75×75 (that is quite good for me, I like small fonts).

The problem? xine and mplayer didn’t work correctly. When using Xv output, that should be handled in hardware, you shouldn’t see them stopping when you move another window, but they were, both of them, which meant it isn’t an app’s problem.

Asking a bit around and looking myself, I finally tried, and the problem is due to EXA, moving back to XAA solved the problem. I’ll try to ask Donnie about that, and see if it’s the case to report it upstream, as it’s not that good if EXA eats all the video ram (256MB) without leaving any to Xv 🙂

For the rest, up to now it’s really a good experience, and no more binary drivers for me! 🙂

*Update:8 of course it wasn’t 75×57, thanks Hamster for making me notice the typo. And yes, I thought so too, that lower resolution would mean bigger fonts, but…

Comments 3
  1. Good to hear about the success :)> the resolution has changed from 94×95 to 75×57 (that is quite good for me, I like small fonts).You mean DPI? 75×57 looks odd to me. And I’d think lower DPI means actually larger fonts, not smaller?

  2. After thinking for a while, I think I see why less DPI means bigger fonts. If your whole screen resolution (or “dimensions” as reported by xdpyinfo) in pixels stayed the same, less DPI means it’s calculated the physical size (in milimeters) to be larger than before, and as fonts have physical sizes, they are now smaller (because obviously your screen didn’t get physically bigger 🙂 Anyway, optimally your DPI should reflect reality (xdpyinfo showing real screen size in milimeters)…

  3. I don’t suppose you’d be willing to pass on the finished product X config file?I wouldn’t mind trying out the open source radeon driver instead of fglrx.I haven’t even gotten xinerama/dual monitors working on the damn thing yet anyways, and your setup sounds damn near identical to mine here at work.

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