radeon and EXA

Michel Dänzer michel at daenzer.net
Tue Sep 20 11:35:04 PDT 2005

On Tue, 2005-09-20 at 10:12 +0200, Michael Olbrich wrote:
> Thinkpad with Radeon Mobility 7500
> Kernel 2.6.13-mm1
> debian experimental xorg packages ( + EXA and
> radeon_drv from cvs

How much video RAM, what resolution and depth? It might be useful to see
your config and log files.

> The basics are pretty much what was reported so far.
> Without xcompmgr scrolling is rather unusable.
> With xcompmgr scrolling is better (but not as good as XAA) but switching
> between desktops (and windows to a lesser extend) is very slow.

Do you have Eric Anholt's latest exaGlyphs improvements? They made a big
difference here, at least for scrolling.

Unfortunately, they cause problems of their own here: Only the first
word (sometimes the first two, if they're 'small enough') of most text
gets rendered, e.g.
http://penguinppc.org/~daenzer/EXA/Evolution-about-broken.png is what
the Evolution about dialog looks like. I've tried playing with the
radeon EXA cache flush code, building EXA with gcc-3.3 instead of
gcc-4.0, building it with -fsigned-char, but the only way to work around
it seems to be to disable exaGlyphs.

This is on a Titanium PowerBook IV with an M9 with basically the same
software setup except for kernel 2.6.12, but the weirdest thing is that
Benjamin Herrenschmidt doesn't see this on a same machine, and we have
yet to discover any relevant difference between our setups... Any clues
on this one would be much appreciated.

> What worries me most is the influence of CPU load. I've been running a
> compiler in background and the system was more or less unusable.
> Switching between windows takes seconds. The clock on my panel (which is
> usually the last thing that still works when the load gets to high)
> sometimes skips 2-3 second. Even the cursor gets jerky. While that can
> be improved with a higher priority for the xserver it is far from the
> responsiveness I get with XAA.

Note that EXA vs. XAA doesn't have any direct impact on how cursor
movement is handled, unless you're using SW cursor maybe.

> (This is all with xcompmgr which is what we want EXA for anyway, right?)

If you don't run the compile with nice, it might help to renice the X
server and/or xcompmgr to -1 or something.

Earthling Michel Dänzer      |     Debian (powerpc), X and DRI developer
Libre software enthusiast    |   http://svcs.affero.net/rm.php?r=daenzer

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