Slow window drags - ( X server, video card, window manager, resolution/color depth)

Slow window drags - ( X server, video card, window manager, resolution/color depth)

Post by Steak Bom » Fri, 04 Sep 1998 04:00:00



First, my setup:

RedHat 5.1
Enlightenment E14 (window manager)
400 MHZ PII, 128 MB Ram
8MB Matrox Millennium II PCI
XFree86  XF86_SVGA server, 1600x1200x16

I find the performance of window drags on my system to be a little bit
sluggish.  Especially when I'm dragging Netscape windows around
(Communicator 4.06) - it's very jerky.   I have the drags set to be opaque,
and yes I know that the problem goes away if I use outline mode instead.  I
would prefer to use opaque mode and at least 16-bit color of course.   My
question is, am I asking too much of my video card?  I purchased the card
specifically because I heard it was a good card for Linux systems.  Does
anyone else who has a similar configuration have similar complaints, or is
it possible that something else may be causing the problem.   I have played
around for awhile and have found the following:

* My memory utilization usually stays close to 120 M but usually about
there's about 40-50 megs in   disk buffer.

* The X server process starts at about 15M and usually grows to around 30M.
It seems like Netscape is the culprit.  Would a commercial X server be a
worthwhile investment?

* The performance of window drags does seem to degrade a bit for awhile, and
then level off.

* I almost never go to swap

* The performance does not get significantly better if I try 1280x1024 -
that's the lowest I'd like to go on a 20" monitor.

* I have tried KDE and fvwm as well and found that performance is a tiny bit
faster on window drags, but not so much that it's no longer annoying.

* I have the original graphics card that came with my PC, an ATI Xpert 98
8MB AGP card.  I ran it for awhile, but I couldn't get the resolution as
high as I would like it.  I didn't use it long enough to say anything about
its performance.  Is this a better card to use for lower resolutions
(1280x1024 and below)?

Does anyone have any suggestions or comments?  I'd really appreciate some
comments from anyone who has a Millennium II running at 1600x1200 that says
everything is lightning fast!  If it is not the best card, I'd like to get a
better one if available.

One of the main reasons I'd like to find out what's going on is that I'm
trying to sell some folks on using Linux systems, and I don't want them
getting put off by poor graphics performance.  Especially since by contrast
on most decent Windows machines, drags (bitblts) are silky smooth.   BTW,
you don't need to convince me about the merits of X-windows and all of the
additional things it has to do in order to provide such great features and
flexibility.  I'm a believer.   I use Windows because I have to - I use
Linux because I want to.

Thanks very much

-Moe

 
 
 

Slow window drags - ( X server, video card, window manager, resolution/color depth)

Post by Mark » Fri, 04 Sep 1998 04:00:00



>8MB Matrox Millennium II PCI
>XFree86  XF86_SVGA server, 1600x1200x16

>I find the performance of window drags on my system to be a little bit
>sluggish.  Especially when I'm dragging Netscape windows around
>(Communicator 4.06) - it's very jerky Would a commercial X server be a
>worthwhile investment?

Yes, you are getting virtually NO hardware acceleration from the SVGA
server.
Look into the server at www.xig.com

I run a Diamond Stealth card on Redhat using the S3 server, and the
performance could be much better. But for the price I can't really complain.
I had to take a #nine Revolution 3D out of the machine as I couldn't get it
to work with the accelerated server for the I128. I'm going to order the xig
server soon, and put this card back in.
I've read nothing but praise for this server from people on the net. $100
retail, $75 academic.

 
 
 

Slow window drags - ( X server, video card, window manager, resolution/color depth)

Post by Steffen Klu » Sat, 05 Sep 1998 04:00:00





>>8MB Matrox Millennium II PCI
>>XFree86  XF86_SVGA server, 1600x1200x16

>>I find the performance of window drags on my system to be a little bit
>>sluggish.  Especially when I'm dragging Netscape windows around
>>(Communicator 4.06) - it's very jerky Would a commercial X server be a
>>worthwhile investment?

>Yes, you are getting virtually NO hardware acceleration from the SVGA
>server.

What?? This is the MGA driver feature list from the SVGA docs:

" - Uses linear frame buffer.
  - Resolutions up to the maximum supported by the card
    should be possible.
  - 8 bpp, 16 bpp (depth 16), 24 bpp (depth 24, packed) and
    32 bpp (depth 24, sparse) are all supported.
  - Supports VESA Display Power Management Signaling (DPMS)
  - Supports RGB Sync-on-Green (We understand that support for
    this is broken for the Mystique in this release. We will
    try to have this fixed for the next release).
  - Supports the XF86-DGA extension.
  - Makes extensive use of the graphics accelerator.

  This server is very well accelerated, and is one of the fastest
  XFree86 3.3.2 Xservers. Future work will concentrate on bug fixes
  and new features.
"

I suggest you check your sources before spreading "knowledge"...

Cheers
Steffen.

--

Fujitsu Australia Ltd
Keywords: photography, Mozart, UNIX, Islay Malt, dark skies
--

 
 
 

Slow window drags - ( X server, video card, window manager, resolution/color depth)

Post by koen Gadey » Sat, 05 Sep 1998 04:00:00




>>8MB Matrox Millennium II PCI
>>XFree86  XF86_SVGA server, 1600x1200x16

>>I find the performance of window drags on my system to be a little bit
>>sluggish.  Especially when I'm dragging Netscape windows around
>>(Communicator 4.06) - it's very jerky Would a commercial X server be a
>>worthwhile investment?

No.

Quote:>Yes, you are getting virtually NO hardware acceleration from the SVGA
>server.

That is a LIE.

XFree86 has done a lot of work to get full acceleration for the Matrox boards
in their SVGA server. And they have succeeded.

You didn't see (or want to see, if you are in someway related to Xig) he said
he was running in 16 color mode.

So this person was running the VGA16 server, not the SVGA server. And VGA16 is
VERY slow, not only because of lack of acceleration (almost no modern
accelerators can do 4bpp acceleration), but also because of the horrible way
the VGA16 memory layout works (planar as opposed to linear).

Quote:>Look into the server at www.xig.com

Hold it right there! There is no reason to throw your money out the door.

Just replace your server with the SVGA server from XFree86, and you'll get so
much acceleration your heart stops. For free (you can spend the money you
saved on your heart attack hospital bills :-)

Quote:>I run a Diamond Stealth card on Redhat using the S3 server, and the
>performance could be much better. But for the price I can't really complain.
>I had to take a #nine Revolution 3D out of the machine as I couldn't get it
>to work with the accelerated server for the I128. I'm going to order the xig
>server soon, and put this card back in.

XFree86 3.3.2.3 supports that card. No need to waste your good money.

Quote:>I've read nothing but praise for this server from people on the net. $100
>retail, $75 academic.

Are you reading the same newsgroups we are? I've seen lots of complaints about
support. People complain about XFree86 support as well, but the small
difference is that XFree86 is manned by volunteers.

Koen.

Any oppinions expressed are my personal ones, and not those of my employer.

When replying, please remove all the numbers from the E-mail address.
This inconvenience is brought to you by Spamford and his E-mail vultures.

 
 
 

Slow window drags - ( X server, video card, window manager, resolution/color depth)

Post by Mark » Sat, 05 Sep 1998 04:00:00



> it's very jerky , Would a commercial X server be a
>>>worthwhile investment?

>No.

>>Yes, you are getting virtually NO hardware acceleration from the SVGA
>>server.

>That is a LIE.
>You didn't see (or want to see, if you are in someway related to Xig) he
said
>he was running in 16 color mode.
>So this person was running the VGA16 server, not the SVGA server.

I stand corrected, I did not notice that he was running the VGA16 server.
I have nothing to do with Xig. I have talked to two people who run this
server. One claimed substancial performance increases vs. xfree with the
same video card, the other has a card that was not supported by xfree. The
other testimonials are from web sites where the author(s) use the server and
all claim great performance. They claimed not to be affiliated with xig.

Quote:>>I had to take a #nine Revolution 3D out of the machine as I couldn't get
it
>>to work with the accelerated server for the I128. I'm going to order the
xig
>>server soon, and put this card back in.
>XFree86 3.3.2.3 supports that card. No need to waste your good money.

I'd love for you to tell me how. I have tried four different times to get
that card to work with NO success. I have recieved E mails from three other
people who could not get it to work either. And a search on Deja news
reveals quite a few others with the same end.
I will say, however, that I have received some very kind and helpful E mail
from folks who claim to HAVE this card working. Along with it came lots of
advice, but I could not get the card to run X.

Quote:>>I've read nothing but praise for this server from people on the net. $100
>>retail, $75 academic.

>Are you reading the same newsgroups we are? I've seen lots of complaints
about
>support. People complain about XFree86 support as well, but the small
>difference is that XFree86 is manned by volunteers.

I think the concept of xfree is fantastic. I also know what I paid for the
Rev 3D card, and how it performs under NT. If I can drop $75 to not only get
the card to work, but work as well or better than it does under NT, then it
is money well spent in my book.
Seeing as how I paid $2 for my disrto, 75 more is still less than one third
the price of NT. I haven't seen one complaint about xig on these groups.
That's not to say there haven't been, just that I haven't seen one. I have
seen some bad reports about Metro-X though.
 
 
 

Slow window drags - ( X server, video card, window manager, resolution/color depth)

Post by Mark » Sat, 05 Sep 1998 04:00:00



>What?? This is the MGA driver feature list from the SVGA docs:
>" - Uses linear frame buffer.
>I suggest you check your sources before spreading "knowledge"...
>--

factual information snipped...

Yes, I agree with what you say... I'm speaking relatively..I'm comparing the
card's performance under the SVGA server and a native windows driver for the
same card.
There are better servers available for his card was my point.
I also didn't read his post very carefully, and didn't see he was running
the VGA16 server..I'm a complete dolt and you are an expert. What can I say?
Thirty lashes..
I'll quit spreading knowledge.

 
 
 

Slow window drags - ( X server, video card, window manager, resolution/color depth)

Post by Steak Bom » Sat, 05 Sep 1998 04:00:00


Quote:>XFree86  XF86_SVGA server, 1600x1200x16

I'm sorry.  I should have been clearer.  I actually am running 16 bit
color - not 16 colors - god heavens no.  I did mention this a little further
into the message:

Quote:> I would prefer to use opaque mode and at least 16-bit color of course

I most definitely am using the XF86_SVGA server.  The rest of my message is
still accurate.  About the best advice I've gotten was to try and change the
window manager, which helps a little bit, but not enough to my liking (or to
compare to Winblows)
 
 
 

Slow window drags - ( X server, video card, window manager, resolution/color depth)

Post by Steak Bom » Sat, 05 Sep 1998 04:00:00


By the way.  On the matter of commercial X-servers:   I am not at all averse
to spending money for software for my Linux box.  I don't see anything wrong
with paying for quality software.  In fact, I would gladly pay money to
support any company that puts out good products for Linux.   I have a hard
time understanding the element that is fanatical about not paying for
anything.  I just wanted an honest opinion on how good commercial X-servers
are.
 
 
 

Slow window drags - ( X server, video card, window manager, resolution/color depth)

Post by Jim Zub » Sat, 05 Sep 1998 04:00:00



> By the way.  On the matter of commercial X-servers:   I am not at all averse
> to spending money for software for my Linux box.  I don't see anything wrong
> with paying for quality software.  In fact, I would gladly pay money to

You know, I would gladly pay $40-$50 for Xi's server.  $100
is highway robbery.
I can buy a new video for that much cash!  Xi is really
pricing themselves
out of the Linux market in my opinion, this is not the Unix
workstation
market where you can mark up the price 10x!

With regards to your XFree problems...what verison of XFree
are you running?  Perhaps you could post the server startup
messages?

--
Jim Zubb

 
 
 

Slow window drags - ( X server, video card, window manager, resolution/color depth)

Post by Steak Bom » Sun, 06 Sep 1998 04:00:00


It looks like replacing my window manager (Enlightenment E14) with
WindowMaker did the trick.  WindowMaker feels really fast compared to E.  I
guess I'll run WindowMaker for a little while and see how I like it.   I
love the fact that wholesale GUI changes like this are a snap with Linux +
X-Windows.  Beautiful.

Thanks to everyone who offered suggestions.  I guess $100 is a little steep
for an X server now that I think about it.  You are right.. if it were
around $50 I might not even hesitate.