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#1 2013-11-17 13:42:23

kpc21
Member
Registered: 2013-11-17
Posts: 16

Catalyst drivers - OS fail to shut down // +problems with open drivers

Some time ago I changed my video drivers from the open-source ones into AMD Catalyst. My video card is ATI HD3200 (integrated with the motherboard), so i had to use catalyst-hd243k drivers (version 13.1-16 - from unofficial repo).  To do so I had to downgrade my Xorg and now I cannot upgrade the kernel, but on the other hand 3D rendering really improved, so generally for me it is OK.

But changing the video drivers implied a different problem. When I want to shut down the computer, something crashes and the OS fail to finish this process. The kernel works - I am able to turn off the computer with Alt+SysRq+REISUO. But the system isn't turned off properly, because when I turn it on, it scans the filesystem for errors. And this strange crash not always happen. Sometimes - usually if the computer is on for a short time (e.g. 3 hours), but sometimes also when it's on all the day - everything is fine, it shuts down without any problems.

Do you have any idea why it is so? What should I do to repair it? Obviously with the exception of returning to the open-sourced drivers smile

Last edited by kpc21 (2013-12-30 08:36:14)

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#2 2013-11-22 21:02:50

schmidtbag
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From: MA, USA
Registered: 2011-02-08
Posts: 293
Website

Re: Catalyst drivers - OS fail to shut down // +problems with open drivers

First, what's the error you get when you try upgrading the kernel?  I personally have never used those drivers, but there's a high possibility that they either can't handle newer kernels, or, your Xorg version wants to update but can't.

Your problem is definitely a strange one but I wonder if you being unable to update the kernel has something to do with it.  Maybe something got corrupt and should be reinstalled.

At this point you might be better off with the open source drivers.  They're doing pretty good lately, especially on older hardware.  I'm not sure when you switched but they've been particularly good within the past year.


My Arch Setup:
4.5GHz FX-6300 (on an AM3 board), 6GB of RAM, R9 290, ADATA SP900 64GB SSD

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#3 2013-11-23 13:29:46

kpc21
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Registered: 2013-11-17
Posts: 16

Re: Catalyst drivers - OS fail to shut down // +problems with open drivers

I couldn't upgrade kernel because of some dependencies - I had to lock it in pacman.conf just to be able to ubgrade anything. Otherwise - as far as I remember - Pacman was going to remove almost all the system to solve dependencies. But now it works. Maybe it wasn't connected with the Xorg and Catalyst at all.

With open drivers FPS-es in glxgears were measured in tens (as I remember - about 60 FPS), now they are measured in thousands (almost 3000 FPS). So they really improved. And I did it few months ago.

Last edited by kpc21 (2013-11-23 13:30:22)

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#4 2013-11-23 16:57:48

schmidtbag
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From: MA, USA
Registered: 2011-02-08
Posts: 293
Website

Re: Catalyst drivers - OS fail to shut down // +problems with open drivers

yeah catalyst likes to really screw with things, there is a way around it so it doesn't remove all those packages but I forget how.

60FPS was probably normal, because I think by default vsync is on so your GPU was intentionally limited to 60FPS.  The fact that you're getting nearly 3000 now means you have vsync off.  But regardless, the drivers have improved significantly in the past few months.  Also, I wouldn't really use glxgears as a way to test how well your drivers perform, it's mostly just good to see if you've got functioning GPU acceleration, or, to see if you have vsync on.

Last edited by schmidtbag (2013-11-23 16:58:03)


My Arch Setup:
4.5GHz FX-6300 (on an AM3 board), 6GB of RAM, R9 290, ADATA SP900 64GB SSD

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#5 2013-12-01 23:46:15

kpc21
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Registered: 2013-11-17
Posts: 16

Re: Catalyst drivers - OS fail to shut down // +problems with open drivers

So what is the most reliable method of checking how efficient is the GPU acceleration?

I managed to update the kernel (and the rest of the software, except Xorg) and it looks as if it was OK. PC is always off after the shutdown. However, sometimes the video crashes in case of suspend... It means I lose the vision, the screen gets black, although the monitor obtains signal from the video card. But the OS still normally works, e.g. if I switch to the TTY console by Alt+Control+F2, blindly log in and run the beep command (or even if I run terminal emulator from Alt+F2), the PC speaker actually beeps. Last time I managed to get some strange lines, grids or green stains on the black background, but still the only way to return to use the PC normally was to reboot it.

Last edited by kpc21 (2013-12-01 23:47:59)

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#6 2013-12-02 02:25:38

schmidtbag
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From: MA, USA
Registered: 2011-02-08
Posts: 293
Website

Re: Catalyst drivers - OS fail to shut down // +problems with open drivers

Measuring GPU acceleration these days is very relative, since AMD, nvidia, and Intel all have a very different approach on what they deem efficient, and therefore some operations perform on one platform better than another.  That being said, the most reliable tests are games/benchmarks that were released when the GPU itself was released, because the software should be optimized for that GPU's generation and should push the hardware to its limits.  When it comes to the open source drivers, that somewhat limits you since openGL 4.x isn't yet supported and opengl 3 still needs work on the radeon and nouveau drivers.

Anyway back to your problem, what's your xorg.conf look like?  Also, while I think this would affect booting, maybe you have some stray fglrx module lingering somewhere, or a blacklisted driver.  Maybe this relates to your problem too:
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/AT … spend_in_X

If you're on a laptop, many models have an Fn key that toggles the monitor on and off.  Try pressing that to see if that gets your screen working again, there's probably some ACPI issue.


My Arch Setup:
4.5GHz FX-6300 (on an AM3 board), 6GB of RAM, R9 290, ADATA SP900 64GB SSD

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#7 2013-12-03 15:30:51

kpc21
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Registered: 2013-11-17
Posts: 16

Re: Catalyst drivers - OS fail to shut down // +problems with open drivers

Xorg.conf looks as follows: http://pastebin.com/85D9wu99

It's a stationary PC, so I don't have a key turning the screen off. And I think that tip from the Wiki is not for me, since I can't see even a mouse pointer.

In terms of modules, in /etc/modprobe.d/modprobe.conf I have only open "radeon" driver blacklisted. All the content of this file is "blacklist radeon". Lsmod shows: http://pastebin.com/h4Y21bv5

Which benchmark would you recommend to compare the efficiency of both drivers? The choice is quite wide, even here: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Benchmarking they mention many of them, including just glxgears.

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#8 2013-12-03 15:47:10

schmidtbag
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From: MA, USA
Registered: 2011-02-08
Posts: 293
Website

Re: Catalyst drivers - OS fail to shut down // +problems with open drivers

So, if you are in fact still using the open source drivers, you have 2 blatant issues right now.  First, rename your xorg.conf as xorg.conf.bak.  Your current conf is intended for the catalyst drivers and will not work with the open source drivers.  The open source drivers don't even require an xorg.conf, though you should probably make a new one with some of the following settings:
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/AT … nce_tuning
Second, the "radeon" drivers ARE the open source drivers, so by blacklisting them, you're basically telling them not to load.  I'm guessing the only reason your display is working at all is because X probably force-loads the drivers.  I'm not sure if modules are affected by suspend or not, but blacklisting them could be the main source of your problem.

In that list of benchmarks, they do list glxgears but even they say it isn't a reliable source.  glxgears basically just lets you know if your GPU acceleration is working properly but it doesn't do much else.  For your particular GPU, lightsmark might be a good test.  It too isn't the best benchmark out there but if you really care about benchmarking results, you can't just use 1 test anyway. Different tests have different results per GPU and per driver.


My Arch Setup:
4.5GHz FX-6300 (on an AM3 board), 6GB of RAM, R9 290, ADATA SP900 64GB SSD

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#9 2013-12-03 18:03:48

kpc21
Member
Registered: 2013-11-17
Posts: 16

Re: Catalyst drivers - OS fail to shut down // +problems with open drivers

Hm... You must haven't understood me, I am just using closed source drivers now smile It's why I have "radeon" blacklisted and I need xorg.conf.

Anyway, thanks for help. In case of further problems with suspend, I will look for a solution on the web and maybe ask here if needed.

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#10 2013-12-29 15:22:48

kpc21
Member
Registered: 2013-11-17
Posts: 16

Re: Catalyst drivers - OS fail to shut down // +problems with open drivers

Encouraged by texts glorifying the open driver, that it's almost as efficient as the closed one, I returned to it. And used lightsmark for benchmarking - for both old driver and the new one. I don't know whether I did something wrong or for my GPU closed driver is in fact better, but the results for radeon are terrible comparing with fglrx.

Results of lightsmark for fglrx: http://openbenchmarking.org/result/1312 … GLRXRESU00
For open-sourced driver: http://openbenchmarking.org/result/1312 … ADEONRES23 (for resolution 1024x768, the benchmark didn't recognize 1440x900, but I seem that for lower resolution results should be better)

A strange thing is that after returning to open driver, I couldn't set 1440x900 resolution without adding a new mode to xrandr or to xorg.conf (which in theory shouldn't be needed at all). Previously in the open driver it worked flawlessly, in the closed one there also wasn't any problem with this (but there I had to use xorg.conf, not to set the resolution, but just to be able to use it).

And, what is more, I have no idea how to set it to use this resolution also in tty console. Previously it was possible even in Grub. Later on, installing fglrx driver, I had to turn the KMS off, which made 1400x900 in Grub and tty console impossible. Now I turned KMS on back, but still I have 1024x768 in tty and if I disable manual resolution setting in Grub config, I get something very strange - the Grub resolution is very low (something like 800x600, or even 640x480), but widescreen.

Xorg.0.log: http://pastebin.com/XzYEuUum
/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-monitor.conf: http://pastebin.com/qsv94dSc
/boot/grub/grub.cfg: http://pastebin.com/k41ubd3V
(i edit it manually because when I use grub-mkconfig I get errors).

Errors of grub-mkconfig:

$ grub-mkconfig -o /test
Generating grub configuration file ...
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-linux
Found initrd image: /boot/initramfs-linux.img
  No volume groups found
error: out of memory.
error: syntax error.
error: Incorrect command.
error: syntax error.
Syntax error at line 164
Syntax errors are detected in generated GRUB config file.
Ensure that there are no errors in /etc/default/grub
and /etc/grub.d/* files or please file a bug report with
/test.new file attached.done

I have also a problem with suspending and hibernating the system from Xfce (which I use as a graphical environment) - getting a dialogue box with a statement:

GDBus.Error:org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.AccessDenied: Operation not permitted

If it matters, I don't use a login manager like gdm, I use just this method: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Start_X_at_Login - but previously everything worked.

Last edited by kpc21 (2013-12-30 17:23:23)

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