Newbie: How do I tell if my graphics card is accelerated?

Newbie: How do I tell if my graphics card is accelerated?

Post by heli.. » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00


I installed redhat6.1 on a system with a viper 330 graphics
card and also on a system with a RIVA TNT2 (creative blaster

In both cases the 2D performance is disappointing; scrolling and
movement of windows is choppy and sluggish compared to when these
systems run NT. Also, its seems that many fonts in websites
appear "rough and ragged" compared to the same viewed from a browser
in NT.

The X server that is running these cards is XF86_SVGA. Does that
mean that the server is NOT using the 2D acceleration features of
the card?

How can I get better performance from these cards? Is it possible
to buy an x server that does better? How can I tell if any x server
really will do better? The xfree86 supported card list just states the
card model and which X-server it uses, this tells a newbie absolutely
NOTHING about which cards will give good performance.

Why does the xfree96 FAQ refuse to say which cards are fast and
which are slow? They say that measurements of graphics performance
cannot be reduced to a set of numbers and any performance judgments
are subjective. Thats just great, xfree86, shoot yourself and linux
in the foot.

People spend a lot of money on graphics cards, and hardware
manufacturers are in intense competition to deliver even incremental
performance enhancements. Xfree86 is really putting themselves out
of the loop by making performance a non-issue. While it is great that
cards from 1995 are supported and that new cards are being added all
the time, it is frustrating to not have any answer to the question
of which cards will suck and which will be good.

I assert it is possible to review cards and to rate their 2D
performance under x servers. Is this subjective? Yes, maybe to Spock
from the planet Vulcan, but the rest of us will be happy to know
which cards to avoid and which to seek out.

Furthermore, the very act of announcing that a particular card gives
good performance will cause people to buy it, and be happy with their
linux experience. It will also encourage hardware vendors to cooperate
more with the linux movement (if it is clear that more cards will be


That said, which card and x-server combinations give performance
that is excellent? By performance I mean, which cards will have
smooth scrolling and motion? I hear that there will be support
for acceleration in some the newer ATI cards. Does this mean that
the ATI cards will work as well in Linux as they do in NT?


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