Ressources documentaires pour Mandriva Linux et les Logiciels Libres

Intel Drivers Love Days : to make a better Intel eXPerience

Sorry for writing about this so late, unfortunately I’ve been very busy at the beginning of this week 🙁 So Colin Guthrie asked last week to test the Intel drivers in order to track possible regressions. An announce have been done on the Mandriva english forum too. The goal was to test the Intel 2.6.3 drivers + libdrm 2.4.5 versus the Intel drivers 2.6.99 with libdrm 2.4.6. Indeed many people report speed regressions or display corruption when using the Intel drivers. The following stuff should be checked :

  1. Check if you have 3D performances regressions with Intel 2.6.3 or Intel drivers 2.6.99
  2. Check if performances regressions can be fixed by using UXA accel method or GEM
  3. Check if 3D performances are correct with the Intel drivers, and notably test compositing and 3D effects in KDE Kwin and Compiz
  4. .

  5. Check also if Xv and video playback is working correctly at fullscreen and even with a busy system. Video playback could be test with compositing enabled or disabled.
  6. Report any issues with dual displays setup ( notably Clone mode ), and suspend/resume issues.

Users can found the Intel 2.6.99 drivers in the main/testing cooker repositories. So to install theses drivers, just enable the main testing media, and then install libdrm2, mesa-7.4 and x11-driver-video-intel-2.6.99.903 packages. Thoses wiling to test to UXA acceleration method just need to put in the Device section of /etc/X11/xorg.conf the following line : Option « AccelMethod » « UXA »

As GEM support have been integrated and enabled by default in Mandriva 2.6.29.1 kernel, users willing to disable GEM can just use the following module option to disable GEM : options i915 gem_enable=0. To enable GEM, just replace 0 by 1. Users should try to disable GEM « when slow 3D performance is noticed and when the Xorg.log makes reference to problems enabling tiling due to it being rejected by the kernel ». This module option could be add at boot time, or add in a i915.conf file located in /etc/modprobe.d/ directory as follow :
echo « options i915 gem_enable=1 » > /etc/modprobe.d/i915.conf

After 1 week of tests and reports, the following issues have been fixed or are about to be resolved :

  • DRM was disabled when using speedboot : mdv bug #49490
  • Performances was reported to be better with GEM disabled under kernel 2.6.29.1 for some older Intel cards
  • Intel acceleration method choice, and GEM support may be add soon in XFdrake. XFdrake will then allow to choose the acceleration method to use ( XAA ?, EXA, UXA ) and eventually enable or disable GEM support in the kernel.
  • As already spotted by Wanderlei Antonio Cavassin, glxgears can’t be used as a 3D benchmark to report 3D regression. The best thing is to use the phoronix test suite by installing the phoronix-test-suite package, and then calling the following command to start the GUI : phoronix-test-suite gui. The menu entry can be found also in the Tools -> System tools category. People willing to test 3D performances may be willing to install and run the GLmark or the Doom 3 tests. Those willing to test 2D operations and notably RENDER should use gtkperf, qgears2 and Render bench ( and eventually x11perf ). To test video playback, the « Mplayer Video playback tests » should be used.

Please note that each time you report an issue, a regression or an improvement concerning the Intel drivers, you should also give the following informations :

  • Provide the Intel and libdrm version : rpm -q x11-driver-video-intel libdrm2
  • Give your Intel graphic card version : lspcidrake | grep VGA
  • Provide the content of the Device section of your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file in order to know for example the accel method you are using
  • Notify if speedboot is enabled or not, and eventually provide relevant /var/log/Xorg.0.log content

We do hope that for the Mandriva 2009.1 Spring release, most Intel issues will be fixed and that users will have the best possible experience.

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