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#1 2006-04-09 16:59:12

Gullible Jones
Member
Registered: 2004-12-29
Posts: 4,863

Using EXA with VIA hardware

According to xorg.freedesktop.org, EXA now works with VIA Unichrome:

Supported:

    * i128 (Solid and Copy only so far, incompatible with DGA, only tested on T2R4 cards)

    * radeon (r100/r200 with Render accel, r300 and r400 core-only. DGA 2d acceleration unsupported).
    * sis (sis/xgi; Solid and Copy only)

    * trident cyberblade and xp4 (Solid and Copy only)

    * via (Solid, Copy, Render)

However, when I add

Option "AccelMethod" "exa"

to the "Device" section in xorg.conf, EXA is not used, and I get this in Xorg.0.log:

(WW) VIA(0): Option "AccelMethod" is not used

This happens with both the xf86-video-via and xf86-video-unichrome drivers. Could someone please explain to me why this is happening, and how I can get EXA working with one or both of those drivers?

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#2 2006-04-09 17:46:00

raskolnikov
Member
From: France
Registered: 2006-01-08
Posts: 100

Re: Using EXA with VIA hardware

Same thing here. Maybe the are speaking of 7.1 release drivers ?


Excessive showering, grooming, and toothbrushing is not only vain, it wastes valuable coding time.

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#3 2006-04-09 18:04:19

Mikos
Member
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Registered: 2005-05-03
Posts: 228
Website

Re: Using EXA with VIA hardware

Don't use xf86-video-unichrome, it's piece of a shit. Even drivers included in X.Org 7 are much better.

If you want to try EXA, use drivers from http://www.openchrome.org (it's development version of drivers included in X.Org 7 with latest and greatest features). EXA should work with openchrome drivers, but it is still experimental.

Btw. I have created PKGBUILDs for xf86-video-openchrome. But there is problem that you must also install kernel DRM modules from CVS (which means you must rewrite DRM modules from Arch kernel, this is not systematic), so I didn't published these PKGBUILDs in AUR. But if you want, I can post it here.

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#4 2006-04-09 18:27:56

Gullible Jones
Member
Registered: 2004-12-29
Posts: 4,863

Re: Using EXA with VIA hardware

Do you mean you just overwrite the modules like with the old DRI packages, or that the kernel must be patched and recompiled? If the former, please post it... big_smile

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#5 2006-04-09 18:48:13

raskolnikov
Member
From: France
Registered: 2006-01-08
Posts: 100

Re: Using EXA with VIA hardware

I am interested, too wink


Excessive showering, grooming, and toothbrushing is not only vain, it wastes valuable coding time.

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#6 2006-04-09 18:58:49

Mikos
Member
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Registered: 2005-05-03
Posts: 228
Website

Re: Using EXA with VIA hardware

Gullible Jones wrote:

Do you mean you just overwrite the modules like with the old DRI packages, or that the kernel must be patched and recompiled? If the former, please post it... big_smile

Yes, you just overwrite the modules. Ok, I will post it here. Wait a moment, please ;-)

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#7 2006-04-09 19:43:32

Mikos
Member
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Registered: 2005-05-03
Posts: 228
Website

Re: Using EXA with VIA hardware

So here it is:
openchrome-abs-overlay-20060409-1.tar.gz

I have tried it 14 days ago, now I only updated pkgvers, so feel free to test it if it is still working.

These PKGBUILDs are included in tarball:
libgl-dri-cvs, mesa-cvs, openchrome-drm, xf86-video-openchrome

And there are some informations about EXA and Openchrome:
EXAAcceleration

Btw. don't forget to add this line to "Device" section of your /etc/X11/xorg.conf:

Option      "EnableAGPDMA" "true"

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#8 2006-04-09 20:19:11

Gullible Jones
Member
Registered: 2004-12-29
Posts: 4,863

Re: Using EXA with VIA hardware

Oh not good... As of late I have been unable to enable AGP DMA for unknown reasons, much to my annoyance. Umm, here's the message that appears in Xorg.0.log:

(EE) VIA(0): [drm] drmAgpAcquire failed 1023
(EE) VIA(0): [drm] Failed to initialize DMA ring-buffer: 1005

Gah.

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#9 2006-04-14 17:41:42

Gullible Jones
Member
Registered: 2004-12-29
Posts: 4,863

Re: Using EXA with VIA hardware

Well, Mikos, I installed your packages, and everything runs fine, but compositing effects are still damned slow. Also, I still can't get AGPDMA working:

(EE) VIA(0): [drm] drmAgpAcquire failed 1023
(EE) VIA(0): [drm] Failed to initialize DMA ring-buffer: 1005

This is getting really freaking annoying, no AGPDMA means a humongous performance hit. I think I'm going to post about that separately...

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#10 2006-04-17 21:15:33

Mikos
Member
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Registered: 2005-05-03
Posts: 228
Website

Re: Using EXA with VIA hardware

Maybe your graphics card isn't supported well... you can try openchrome mailing lists:

http://wiki.openchrome.org/mailman/list … rome-users

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#11 2006-04-17 21:32:54

Gullible Jones
Member
Registered: 2004-12-29
Posts: 4,863

Re: Using EXA with VIA hardware

That's the problem - it's VIA KM400, quite well supported, and the last versions of the Xorg 7 packages (from when they were in Testing) allowed me to use AGPDMA. In addition, I was able to use AGPDMA  with Xorg 6.8.2, courtesy of snapshots from here.

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#12 2006-04-17 22:05:24

Gullible Jones
Member
Registered: 2004-12-29
Posts: 4,863

Re: Using EXA with VIA hardware

Okay solved it, it was a module order thing, via getting loaded before via-agp, thanks to modules getting loaded manually before uevents kicked in. Filed a bug on it.

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#13 2006-04-17 23:18:57

JGC
Developer
Registered: 2003-12-03
Posts: 1,659

Re: Using EXA with VIA hardware

This means your AGP DMA bug is fixed now?

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#14 2006-04-18 00:00:29

Gullible Jones
Member
Registered: 2004-12-29
Posts: 4,863

Re: Using EXA with VIA hardware

Yep. Sorry for the stupidity on my part. :oops:

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#15 2006-05-24 01:33:59

raskolnikov
Member
From: France
Registered: 2006-01-08
Posts: 100

Re: Using EXA with VIA hardware

I just manage to have everything working (see here), but xterm is slow as hell (via km400)... Compositing works very good, though. How does it run for you ? And does anyone know if aiglx included with Xorg 7.1 will run better than this ?


Excessive showering, grooming, and toothbrushing is not only vain, it wastes valuable coding time.

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#16 2006-05-24 11:21:27

Gullible Jones
Member
Registered: 2004-12-29
Posts: 4,863

Re: Using EXA with VIA hardware

For me, compositing is fast but window resizing is much slower than EXA. I expect AIGLX will run better, seeing that it uses the hardware to render everything, but I can't be sure.

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#17 2006-05-24 14:30:42

raskolnikov
Member
From: France
Registered: 2006-01-08
Posts: 100

Re: Using EXA with VIA hardware

Well, I hope so smile


Excessive showering, grooming, and toothbrushing is not only vain, it wastes valuable coding time.

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#18 2006-05-24 22:56:00

JGC
Developer
Registered: 2003-12-03
Posts: 1,659

Re: Using EXA with VIA hardware

What makes you think Xorg 7.1 will be better with compositing in the classic ways? EXA has been improved, but it's still experimental and slow. The only improvements I've seen is rendering glitches that got solved and a complete API change to make it more usable.

You will need an OpenGL compositor, like metacity or a patched up version of compiz, and then, you still won't be able to use compositing with AIGLX, since the required driver extensions are not implemented in all DRI drivers.

Also, rendering on a shitty VIA chipset with shared memory and experimental flaky drivers (what else would you call a chip where 3 driver projects exist for and where the developers don't like eachother) don't know what is faster, CPU or "GPU" rendering...

The only plus of the VIA chips are the documentation which are available unofficially. The only problem with it: it's taiwanese english, which means your VIA unichrome card has grammar correction instead of gamma correction on some pages of the specsheet.

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#19 2006-05-24 23:26:15

Gullible Jones
Member
Registered: 2004-12-29
Posts: 4,863

Re: Using EXA with VIA hardware

JGC wrote:

What makes you think Xorg 7.1 will be better with compositing in the classic ways? EXA has been improved, but it's still experimental and slow. The only improvements I've seen is rendering glitches that got solved and a complete API change to make it more usable.

You will need an OpenGL compositor, like metacity or a patched up version of compiz, and then, you still won't be able to use compositing with AIGLX, since the required driver extensions are not implemented in all DRI drivers.

Also, rendering on a shitty VIA chipset with shared memory and experimental flaky drivers (what else would you call a chip where 3 driver projects exist for and where the developers don't like eachother) don't know what is faster, CPU or "GPU" rendering...

Wait, the required extensions haven't been implemented at all for Via hardware? I thought that it could do compositing if it could handle textures with OpenGL...

(FWIW GPU rendering is faster than CPU rendering on my machine. Unichrome is very low-powered hardware, but for most things it's good enough to get the job done.)

The only plus of the VIA chips are the documentation which are available unofficially. The only problem with it: it's taiwanese english, which means your VIA unichrome card has grammar correction instead of gamma correction on some pages of the specsheet.

LOL, that probably is a big problem. Might explain the crashes with BZFlag. lol

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#20 2006-05-25 11:15:56

raskolnikov
Member
From: France
Registered: 2006-01-08
Posts: 100

Re: Using EXA with VIA hardware

I don't say that it will work better, I wonder if it will work. Video performance doesn't really matter for me and is just fine since Xorg 7 for what I do (video playing, some games like Cube), but a little eye candy like shadows or transparency could be fine (and indeed it is). So I ask, excuse me to be interested with my hardware support (and yes, I know it's not as powerful as nvidia, but at least it has free drivers).


Excessive showering, grooming, and toothbrushing is not only vain, it wastes valuable coding time.

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