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#1 2012-07-18 22:02:54

Unia
Member
From: The Netherlands
Registered: 2010-03-30
Posts: 2,471
Website

Cedar Trail support under Linux?

Hello friends,

Perhaps you've heard of it, but Asus just recently launched a new netbook (1225C) with Ubuntu pre-installed. It's also one of the few that could play 1080p video (on external screen through HDMI-out) and one of the few that has USB 3.0. I've been looking to get a netbook lately and this one caught my eye. It's only available in Italy though (for Europe) so I scratched it off of my list, but now that I'm on holiday in Croatia and will pass Italy on my way home.....

There's just one thing I want to know before buying this device: how's the Cedar Trail support under Linux? I quickly Googled some but haven't found anything really convincing. Most of the results are from some time back so things could have changed by now. I don't come across public, free WiFi too often so it would be nice if you could tell me your experiences here and I can quickly read about the support as it is now without having to skim through Google and find confusing results.

By the way, mods, I think this is the right sub-forum, but if it's not; please move it. Also, if I'm not allowed to ask these kind of questions, dustbin it. If I am, then thanks in advance to everyone that answers!

Greetings from Plitvice, Croatia!


If you can't sit by a cozy fire with your code in hand enjoying its simplicity and clarity, it needs more work. --Carlos Torres

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#2 2012-07-19 01:29:50

anonymous_user
Member
Registered: 2009-08-28
Posts: 3,058

Re: Cedar Trail support under Linux?

From my searching, Cedar Trail processors use PowerVR SGX 545 graphics. So I would not be optimistic about Linux support.

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#3 2012-07-19 06:56:13

Unia
Member
From: The Netherlands
Registered: 2010-03-30
Posts: 2,471
Website

Re: Cedar Trail support under Linux?

Okay. I did read somewhere though that there are drivers available, you just had to rebuild the kernel and enable them. Also, full support would be there with kernel 3.5. I think this was at the Debian forums.

Is that true?


If you can't sit by a cozy fire with your code in hand enjoying its simplicity and clarity, it needs more work. --Carlos Torres

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#4 2012-08-10 13:40:41

alex78
Member
Registered: 2012-06-13
Posts: 3

Re: Cedar Trail support under Linux?

I didn't hear about 3.5 but it would be great!

You can download the archive with PowerVR linux driver (cdv-gfx-drivers-1.0.1_bee.tar.bz2) directly from Intel's support site
(list drivers for DN2800MT motherboard and select linux).
There are also detailed instructions (in pdf) on how to integrate patches and compile the kernel for ubuntu and fedora.
The only disappointing thing - it is 32bit.
Have fun smile

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#5 2012-08-10 13:57:46

Gusar
Member
Registered: 2009-08-25
Posts: 3,409

Re: Cedar Trail support under Linux?

Even though there's a driver, I'd stay away from the thing. This isn't like Nvidia, who are quick to update their driver for new X and kernel releases. No, you'll probably be stuck at a specific version of X and the kernel. Which is not a good fit for a rolling release distro like Arch. It's doable, but I would not want to limit myself like that.

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#6 2012-08-10 14:25:53

masteryod
Member
Registered: 2010-05-19
Posts: 433

Re: Cedar Trail support under Linux?

Hmm and why not something with AMD APU's? E-450 or newer E2-1800 is far more superior to that Atom especially on graphics (don't know about support under Linux though but I guess is better than PowerVR). In that price tag you've got MSI u270, same resolution (1366x768), 1x USB 3.0, HDMI. Current Atoms are all powered by PowerVR I think, and I can't find any with nVidia on-board in that price range.

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#7 2012-08-10 14:45:13

Gusar
Member
Registered: 2009-08-25
Posts: 3,409

Re: Cedar Trail support under Linux?

Sadly there aren't any with Nvidia anymore, Intel made that impossible. Though even if there were, it'd for sure be Optimus, the last netbooks with Nvidia Ion were Optimus. I know there's Bumblebee, but that doesn't work for vdpau.

AMD APU is an option, but the thing is, you won't be gaming on a netbook anyway, so I'd value video decoding over opengl performance. And AMD isn't doing very stellar in this department.

Basically, now is a really sucky time to be buying a netbook. Wait for ValleyView. That one will have proper Intel graphics (based on Ivy Bridge), with open-source drivers, reliable hardware video decoding, and everything. Too bad ValleyView won't be released until late this year/early next year.

Last edited by Gusar (2012-08-10 14:49:16)

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#8 2012-08-10 16:13:01

bwat47
Member
Registered: 2009-10-07
Posts: 637

Re: Cedar Trail support under Linux?

If you're not doing any intense 3d stuff, I'd stick with intel graphics for a laptop/netbook. My ironlake laptop can output 1080p over hdmi just fine...I'm sure sandy or ivybridge would breeze through it, and you get excellent driver support.

Last edited by bwat47 (2012-08-10 16:13:24)

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#9 2012-08-10 16:31:48

.:B:.
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Registered: 2006-11-26
Posts: 5,819

Re: Cedar Trail support under Linux?

Gusar wrote:

AMD APU is an option, but the thing is, you won't be gaming on a netbook anyway, so I'd value video decoding over opengl performance. And AMD isn't doing very stellar in this department.

XvBA works quite nicely for hardware acceleration. In XBMC, that is. VA-API was still crappy and unstable last time I heard anything about it.


Got Leenucks? :: Arch: Power in simplicity :: Get Counted! Registered Linux User #392717 :: Blog thingy

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#10 2012-08-10 22:00:38

masteryod
Member
Registered: 2010-05-19
Posts: 433

Re: Cedar Trail support under Linux?

Gusar wrote:

AMD APU is an option, but the thing is, you won't be gaming on a netbook anyway, so I'd value video decoding over opengl performance. And AMD isn't doing very stellar in this department.

AMD still wins in raw CPU performance, even though Atom is hyper-threaded. APU is more like a real CPU - it's out-of-order architecture, plus you get hardware virtualization. Video decoding via UVD on Windows is flawless, I didn't have a chance to test it under Linux so you need to check this out (look at .:B:. response too)

* N2600 vs E-450 or slightly faster E2-1800

So as far as it goes for hardware: APU is clear winner, you just need to digg around video decoding under Linux (but still your competitor is PowerVR which has bad fame under Linux). Good choice would be "pure" Intel IGP because of Intel great Linux drivers but I'm not sure if there are any in netbooks segment right now(?)

bwat47 wrote:

If you're not doing any intense 3d stuff, I'd stick with intel graphics for a laptop/netbook. My ironlake laptop can output 1080p over hdmi just fine...I'm sure sandy or ivybridge would breeze through it, and you get excellent driver support.

Yeah but Ironlake = Intel chip not re-branded PowerVR and it's nowhere near price tag of a 1225C

Last edited by masteryod (2012-08-10 22:01:16)

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#11 2012-08-10 22:17:05

bwat47
Member
Registered: 2009-10-07
Posts: 637

Re: Cedar Trail support under Linux?

masteryod wrote:
Gusar wrote:

AMD APU is an option, but the thing is, you won't be gaming on a netbook anyway, so I'd value video decoding over opengl performance. And AMD isn't doing very stellar in this department.

AMD still wins in raw CPU performance, even though Atom is hyper-threaded. APU is more like a real CPU - it's out-of-order architecture, plus you get hardware virtualization. Video decoding via UVD on Windows is flawless, I didn't have a chance to test it under Linux so you need to check this out (look at .:B:. response too)

* N2600 vs E-450 or slightly faster E2-1800

So as far as it goes for hardware: APU is clear winner, you just need to digg around video decoding under Linux (but still your competitor is PowerVR which has bad fame under Linux). Good choice would be "pure" Intel IGP because of Intel great Linux drivers but I'm not sure if there are any in netbooks segment right now(?)

bwat47 wrote:

If you're not doing any intense 3d stuff, I'd stick with intel graphics for a laptop/netbook. My ironlake laptop can output 1080p over hdmi just fine...I'm sure sandy or ivybridge would breeze through it, and you get excellent driver support.

Yeah but Ironlake = Intel chip not re-branded PowerVR and it's nowhere near price tag of a 1225C

To clarify, that is what I meant. Intel as in intel graphics, not that powervr crap smile For a laptop I'd generally recommend: Intel or AMD integrated graphics. Intel still has better drivers, but it also still has the "24" fps hardware bug when trying to output video at 23.976hz, so if thats an issue I'd recommend an amd apu.

Last edited by bwat47 (2012-08-10 22:22:13)

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#12 2012-08-10 22:32:58

Gusar
Member
Registered: 2009-08-25
Posts: 3,409

Re: Cedar Trail support under Linux?

masteryod wrote:

AMD still wins in raw CPU performance, even though Atom is hyper-threaded. APU is more like a real CPU - it's out-of-order architecture

Very true. Atom being in-order execution really blows.

masteryod wrote:

Video decoding via UVD on Windows is flawless, I didn't have a chance to test it under Linux so you need to check this out (look at .:B:. response too)

Well, for me XBMC would be total overkill, I prefer a window that shows the video (or the video being fullscreen) and nothing more. mplayer-vaapi provides that, but .:B:. says vaapi is buggy on AMD, so that's a no go for me.

Even if it might actually work fine, that's still an uncertainty, and because of it I wouldn't go with AMD. Maybe that's just me though. Luckily I'm not in the market for a new netbook yet, I'll continue with my old Diamondville thingy (Atom N270 and GMA950 graphics, oh the crap-ness smile) for a while longer.


masteryod wrote:

Good choice would be "pure" Intel IGP because of Intel great Linux drivers but I'm not sure if there are any in netbooks segment right now(?)

There's Pineview, which is pure Intel. However it doesn't provide any hardware video decoding (the GMA3150 that's part of Pineview is basically a GMA950 moved into the CPU die). That's why I said to wait for ValleyView.

masteryod wrote:

Yeah but Ironlake = Intel chip not re-branded PowerVR and it's nowhere near price tag of a 1225C

Well, there are some cheap Sandy Bridge laptops (Sandy Bridge = successor of Ironlake), that aren't much more expensive than netbooks. So you get an out-of-order processor and reliable video decoding. But you lose the portability of a netbook.

All in all, since there's no ValleyView yet, AMD is probably a better choice right now. It's just for me personally the AMD graphics situation is too uncertain.

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#13 2012-08-11 00:48:58

masteryod
Member
Registered: 2010-05-19
Posts: 433

Re: Cedar Trail support under Linux?

Gusar wrote:

Well, there are some cheap Sandy Bridge laptops (Sandy Bridge = successor of Ironlake), that aren't much more expensive than netbooks. So you get an out-of-order processor and reliable video decoding. But you lose the portability of a netbook.

You're right, I checked and there are relatively cheep sandy bridge i3 notebooks but the they are >15" in size, smaller ones are more pricey unfortunately. You need to look around. And about portability - thin and neat 11.6-12" notebook is way more comfortable then some bulky thick 10" netbooks.

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