ATI graphics in F7
geek at uniserve.com
Mon Dec 24 01:51:42 UTC 2007
I have a F7 box using an ATI 1600 board. I am happy with the board but
confused about drivers. When I set up F7 I added Livna as a repository. I
currently have the ATI catalyst 8.42.3 driver. I would like to be able to use
the hardware on the video card to get smooth graphics in normal desktop use.
When F7 was first set up the default desktop graphics stank. No fancy stuff,
either, just moving and resizing windows routinely did not give smooth
motion. Scrolling text worked better, but not what I hoped. I basically think
a modern computer (a dual core opteron with 2G RAM) should be able to do
better than a 386 DOS box and maybe it did but it was a close thing.
Using the instructions at http://www.fedorafaq.org/f7/#radeon I made some
headway. I don't know any good simple test suite for measuring graphics
capability in Fedora, so for lack of some better metric I used glxgears to
see how many frames I'd get. Well, after initial install I got about 600 fps.
Then I used the ATI driver and got about 5000 fps. The subjective view more
or less corresponds to what you'd expect from this ratio. I have not been
able to enable desktop effects. I don't know why, when I click on the
deceptively labelled button that says, "enable desktop effects" what I get
instead is a lot of screen wiggling and a highly informative error message
that says, "desktop effects could not be enabled." True no doubt, but less
useful than I would have wished.
Yesterday I downloaded and burned an iso of mandriva 2008 one (a live cd),
just to see. After figuring out that the terminal was called Konsole I ran
glxgears and got a figure of about 10,000 fps. The desktop came up with
desktop effects enabled by default and everything was pretty smooth.
I have in the past tried quite hard to figure out what is the best free driver
setup to use and to actually install and use one. But the performance of what
I could achieve was pathetic and the process was painful. Do people have
1 a good simple test of graphics capabilities for a Fedora install?
2 the likelihood that Fedora will have comparable performance to Mandriva (or
any other similar distribution) any time soon?
3 Is the ATI disclosure of their software internals going to result in the
RadeonHD driver getting better? or when?
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