Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-features (518 mails)

< Previous Next >
[openFATE 307845] Fast/usable desktop effects with fglrx driver
  • From: fate_noreply@xxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2010 20:02:33 +0200 (CEST)
  • Message-id: <feature-307845-22@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Feature changed by: jpxviii jpxviii (jpxviii)
Feature #307845, revision 22
Title: Fast/usable desktop effects with fglrx driver

+ Hackweek V: Unconfirmed
+ Priority
+ Requester: Desirable

openSUSE-11.3: Unconfirmed
Requester: Important

openSUSE-11.4: Unconfirmed
Requester: Mandatory

Package Wishlist: Unconfirmed
Requester: Important

Requested by: Dominik Grafenhofer (dgrafenhofer)
Partner organization:

Some desktop effects (e.g. maximizing windows on compiz and kwin4) are
unacceptably slow (take a few SECONDS)  when using the fglrx driver on
ATI cards. This problem is well known and has been discussed in many
places (e.g. on the Phoronix forums
( ). Who is to
blame for the problem, is not entirely clear (possible candidates:
kwin, xorg, fglrx - e.g. see this blog
( ).
It is reasonable to suspect that it will still take some time until the
true source of the problem is located and a fix is brought foreward. As
an intermediary solution there exists a "workaround" (a patch
for xserver), which disables background initialization. This will
result in background corruption (video garbage) in windows or new
objects, however it also gives a performance boost e.g. for users of
ATI graphics cards and chips under the fglrx driver, and on some
drivers the corruption isn't noticeable.
It is the background corruption for other drivers, which prohibits the
patch from being applied upstream. Therefore Ubuntu provides a PPA
( containing
xserver packages with this patch applied for users of fglrx. I think
that openSUSE should follow suit and create a (semi-)official
repository. I have already built the respective packages in my private
buildserver project
, but I think that these packages deserve a more prominent and visible
Update: I started to use a different patch, which addressed the
(theoretical) security issues of the no-backfill patch but achieves the
same performance gains: xserver-xorg-backclear.patch

Buildservice repository for 11.2:
Buildservice repository for Factory (11.3): (link removed, with Catalyst 10.6
backclear patch is no longer necessary to get fast window resizing...)
Fedora patch:

PPA for Ubuntu:
backclear patch:

Kano's script to install Catalyst 9.10 beta on distributions other than Ubuntu

Test Case:
Install the fglrx drivers for your ati card/chip.
Turn on desktop effects (compiz or kwin4).
Open a window. Maximize the window. Minimize the window.
Note the delay (measured in seconds without the no-backfill patch, not
noticeable with the patch applied)

Use Case:
Everyday work using a destop environment typically involves opening,
maximizing, minimizing,... windows all the time.

Business case (Partner benefit): We want fast/usable desktop effects with the fglrx

#1: Jimmy Berry (boombatower) (2010-06-10 23:33:44)
I am assuming that the lagg isn't very noticeable for me (not instant...
but no more then half a second), since my graphics card is quite
powerful, Radeon HD 4870, and my resolution isn't overly large, 2 x
(1280 x 1024), but I would be curious to see what this looks like and
see if there is a noticeable difference.
I know a friend of mine with larger screens and the same video card
complains that the effects run slowly.

#2: Jimmy Berry (boombatower) (2010-06-10 23:52:21)
To clarify, it laggs quite bad when I drag-resize using one of the
grips on the window edge.

#3: Dominik Grafenhofer (dgrafenhofer) (2010-06-11 07:48:36)
@Jimmy Berry: Did you try the packages with the backclear patch from my
repository? Links for 11.2 and Factory can be found above

#4: Dominik Grafenhofer (dgrafenhofer) (2010-07-21 18:02:56)
After version 10.6 of Catalyst the backclear patch is no longer needed
for fast desktop effects.

openSUSE Feature:

< Previous Next >
This Thread