[Nouveau] Bad performace for NV18 driver

Emil Velikov emil.l.velikov at gmail.com
Sat Jun 8 13:31:15 PDT 2013

On 08/06/13 19:06, Carlos Garces wrote:
> After update the system now I use:
> Kernel 3.9.2
> x server 1.12.4
> nouveau 1.0.7
Good call

> the xorg config are at:
> http://pastebin.com/2LUxLiVs
Bad call, your resolution issues are due to messed up config

If you really insist on having such an "interesting" setup, start from
scratch and build on top of it - one section at a time. I would
recommend getting the "minimal" xorg.conf [1] as a base

> It's the one installed by my distro, without any modification
> I have made 2 test.
> Normal boot
> Xorg at http://pastebin.com/reZdAXEF
> GLX Renderer is detected as GLX "Mesa DRI nv18 x86/MMX+/3DNow!+/SSE GLX"
Note that nouveau correctly detects that the monitor is 1024x768 60Hz

"(II) NOUVEAU(0): Modeline "1024x768"x60.0"

Something is the config you're feeding it causes the issue

> Same configuration with nomodeset
> Xorg log at http://pastebin.com/ZbXBG8sz
> GLX Renderer: Gallium 0.4 on softpipe
> Results for Cairo test with and without nomodeset
> http://openbenchmarking.org/result/1306082-CGAR-CAIROTE23
> Full results from Friday (before update Mesa)
> http://openbenchmarking.org/result/1306072-UT-2DGPUTEST95
> The result with Cairo are better in the updated system, 0.63 FPS vs
> 0.54 FPS but still worse than boot with nomodeset (7,84 FPS)
> Any ideas to improve the results with Cairo?
If you do a bit of search[2] you'll notice that in quite a few cases
cairo/sw is quite fast

Quite a few of the benchmarks in your original post were faster using

On that note, I believe that a question in terms of "Program XXX is
rendering very slow, is there any way to improve that ?" would be more


P.S. Please avoid top-posting

Section "Device"
  Identifier "my_fancy_identifier"
  Driver "nouveau"

[2] http://ickle.wordpress.com/

> On Sat, Jun 8, 2013 at 12:18 AM, Ilia Mirkin <imirkin at alum.mit.edu> wrote:
>> On Fri, Jun 7, 2013 at 5:56 PM, Carlos Garces <carlos.garces at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Hi!
>>> I have some strange results on my test with nouveau drivers
>>> I'm using a old GeForce4 MX 4000 (NV18) with 128 MB.
>>> I have made 2 test.
>>> -The default configuration, using nomodeset without nouveau_vieux_dri.so
>>> $inxi -G
>>> Graphics:  Card: NVIDIA NV18 [GeForce4 MX 4000]
>>>            X.Org: 1.12.4 drivers: vesa,nouveau (unloaded: fbdev)
>>> Resolution: 1024x768 at 0.0hz
>>>            GLX Renderer: N/A GLX Version: N/A
>>> -The "optimized" configuration, after removing nomodeset, installing
>>> the 3d driver (nouveau_vieux_dri.so, package libgl1-mesa-dri) and
>>> configure the xorg to use only nouveau
>>> $inxi -G
>>> Graphics:  Card: NVIDIA NV18 [GeForce4 MX 4000] X.Org: 1.12.4 driver:
>>> nouveau Resolution: 800x600 at 85.1hz
>>>            GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI nv18 x86/MMX+/3DNow!+/SSE GLX
>>> Version: 1.2 Mesa 8.0.5
>>> The resolution is 800x600 because was impossible for me set up  1024x768
>>> There is the full xorg log
>>> http://pastebin.com/2ZbMwyRK
>>> The results are strange for me. I expect better performance on
>>> "optimized" configuration but some test using Cairo are very bad (0,54
>>> vs  5,38).
>>> The test are available at
>>> http://openbenchmarking.org/result/1306076-UT-2DGPUTEST63
>>> Any idea to improve the performace of NV18?
>>> Any know issue with nouveau_vieux_dri.so and NV18?
>> It's a little difficult to tell anything without seeing your xorg.conf
>> -- it seems like 1024x768 should work fine. You also appear to be in
>> 16-bit mode, and using fairly old software (xorg 1.12, mesa 8.0,
>> xf86-video-nouveau 1.0.1). What kernel version are you on? Although
>> it's a fairly old card so perhaps there hasn't been much improvement
>> on it. In recent X versions, things get auto-detected for the most
>> part and you can forgo most explicit configuration like
>> modelines/etc... not sure if that's the case for xorg 1.12 or not.
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