Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 27th May 2007 18:53 UTC, submitted by Michael
3D News, GL, DirectX "We thought it was already clear what graphics processors and drivers work and don't work with Linux desktop eye candy such as Beryl and Compiz, but it seems based upon the number of e-mails we have been receiving along with messages in community bulletin boards that the line isn't so clear after all."
Order by: Score:
Onboard GeForce 6100
by Frobozz on Sun 27th May 2007 19:55 UTC
Frobozz
Member since:
2005-12-04

I was building up a new system for Linux - budget style. I decided to try onboard GeForce 6100 for Beryl. It works pretty good - until you move a window - then it goes down to 20fps.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Onboard GeForce 6100
by smitty on Sun 27th May 2007 20:32 UTC in reply to "Onboard GeForce 6100"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

If 20fps is the absolute minimum, I would think that would be all right. Movies only run at 25fps and that seems to be enough to be invisible to the human eye. On the other hand, if that is more like an average and it dips down lower than that it would be pretty annoying.

I'm curious about whether the GMA950 is good enough - that's the onboard graphics Dell is shipping in their new linux lineup (with a nvidia upgrade possible). The conclusion seems to suggest it isn't, but they didn't show any test results.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Onboard GeForce 6100
by nivanson on Sun 27th May 2007 21:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Onboard GeForce 6100"
nivanson Member since:
2006-07-13

I am using GMA950 with absolutely fine FPS, also note that it is the same chip that is in the MacBook series, and Quartz is running fine there too... So is Guild Wars, World of Warcraft and other games, all on this "horrible" GMA950. Seriously, it's not great, but it's not THAT bad.

Edited 2007-05-27 21:41

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Onboard GeForce 6100
by Stock on Sun 27th May 2007 22:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Onboard GeForce 6100"
Stock Member since:
2005-08-31

The laptops my company preinstalls Kubuntu on have GMA950 cards in them and whilst we don't officially support or recommend Beryl or Compiz just yet, I can tell you that it runs just fine and with open source drivers.
Don't expect blazing performance if you enable effect and constantly move the windows, but under normal circumstances it works very nicely.

http://www.linuxlaptops.eu

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Onboard GeForce 6100
by kaiwai on Sun 27th May 2007 23:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Onboard GeForce 6100"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm curious about whether the GMA950 is good enough - that's the onboard graphics Dell is shipping in their new linux lineup (with a nvidia upgrade possible). The conclusion seems to suggest it isn't, but they didn't show any test results.


In my experience, as soon as you get a heavy load, things start to get really horid in terms of performance with Intel GMA950. This is the reason I avoided buying a Mac laptop altogether, the ones with a dedicated graphics card are too expensive, and those with GMA950 are terrible when running under a heavy load.

With that being said, I think most of the problems lay with people trying to enable effects that would otherwise be disabled on Windows Vista; If people choose to run highly graphical effects on an extremely low end, the blame lays squarely with those who choose those effects - not the technology itself.

As for what to go with; personally, you're better off to go with a Nvidia graphics chipset; for me, I'm sitting on a Nvidia go 7400, and when running on Ubuntu, it is extremely smooth - same goes for Windows Vista (both using Nvidia proprietary drivers).

With that being said, there needs to be a pratical use for these capabilities to be developed; there is no use adding awesome features if they don't actually yield a usability and productivity improvement in the process.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Onboard GeForce 6100
by weorthe on Mon 28th May 2007 00:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Onboard GeForce 6100"
weorthe Member since:
2005-07-06

Beryl is working beautifully for me with a Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950 and a Core 2 Duo 6300 in Fedora Core 6. Better than my other machine with an older ATI video card. All effects, including transparency, are absolutely smooth. I was going to upgrade to an Nvidia card but found that I won't need to. I haven't gotten water effects working though.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Onboard GeForce 6100
by kaiwai on Mon 28th May 2007 06:59 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Onboard GeForce 6100"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Beryl is working beautifully for me with a Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950 and a Core 2 Duo 6300 in Fedora Core 6. Better than my other machine with an older ATI video card. All effects, including transparency, are absolutely smooth. I was going to upgrade to an Nvidia card but found that I won't need to. I haven't gotten water effects working though.


But how much of it is due to a really good processor than anything to do with the graphics card?

It really depends on what you do/use your computer for; for most people a GMA is more than adequate for all intesive purposes.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Onboard GeForce 6100
by matthewlam64 on Tue 29th May 2007 00:49 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Onboard GeForce 6100"
matthewlam64 Member since:
2005-09-28

My laptop is Toshiba Satellite A80, ATI Mobility Radeon X300 GPU.

In Mandriva Linux 2007.1, using X.org radeon driver, the result on beryl with minimal effect is 173.59 FPS, this is enough for normal usage.

Screenshot: http://paste.ubuntu.org.cn/i2214

Edited 2007-05-29 00:51

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Onboard GeForce 6100
by kaiwai on Tue 29th May 2007 02:39 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Onboard GeForce 6100"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

My laptop is Toshiba Satellite A80, ATI Mobility Radeon X300 GPU.

In Mandriva Linux 2007.1, using X.org radeon driver, the result on beryl with minimal effect is 173.59 FPS, this is enough for normal usage.

Screenshot: http://paste.ubuntu.org.cn/i2214


My eyes popped out when I saw that result - you're using the stock xorg drivers? damn, they've done a pretty good job optimising their drivers. Its pretty shocking when opensource drivers derived from reverse engineering result in superior performance than the proprietary ones.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Onboard GeForce 6100
by matthewlam64 on Tue 29th May 2007 04:02 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Onboard GeForce 6100"
matthewlam64 Member since:
2005-09-28

I use the driver x11-driver-video-ati-6.6.3-1mdk2007.1 in my system from Mandriva 2007.1

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Onboard GeForce 6100
by adamk on Tue 29th May 2007 08:29 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Onboard GeForce 6100"
adamk Member since:
2005-07-08

Its pretty shocking when opensource drivers derived from reverse engineering result in superior performance than the proprietary ones.

It would be shocking, but I have yet to come across a 3D application where that's the case. I get roughly 200 fps with the open source driver on my x850, and 400 fps with the fglrx driver.

Of course, I still prefer the open source drivers to the fglrx ones if only because the open source drivers don't require using Xgl :-)

Adam

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Onboard GeForce 6100
by WereCatf on Tue 29th May 2007 07:01 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Onboard GeForce 6100"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Thanks to you, I learned there was a benchmark utility in Beryl ;) Well, I tried it out on my main PC and got around 450fps, and then I tweaked the xorg.conf of my second PC (P3 866mhz, 256mb RAM, Radeon 9200 with open-source drivers) and got around 220fps. Not bad. Though I noticed something strange: whereas the effects are very fluid, even after I set the filtering quality to best and enabled mipmaps and all such, the window contents are not that fluid anymore...strangely GTK+ apps bring the system to its knees everytime the window contents are updated...Opera, which uses QT, does work a whole lot faster, but it's not very fluid either anymore after I enabled Beryl. Decided to put xterm (not a GTK+ app, you see) running, executed 'top', and then started playing with Opera..I noticed that X server eats around 45-50 percent of CPU time when window contents change, whereas without Beryl it eats around 8%.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Onboard GeForce 6100
by msundman on Mon 28th May 2007 00:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Onboard GeForce 6100"
msundman Member since:
2005-07-06

> Movies only run at 25fps and that seems to be enough
> to be invisible to the human eye.

It only seems that way because most movie makers (or at least most camerapersons) know a thing or two about perceptions of continuity. If you shoot a movie with 1/1000 s shutter times any non-minimal movement of something in focus will look quite jerky.
For anything below 60 fps not to be jerky it'd have to have some motion blur. At least if the moving objects are crisp and high-contrast, like mouse pointers, program windows, scrollable lists/pages etc. usually are.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Onboard GeForce 6100
by smitty on Mon 28th May 2007 02:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Onboard GeForce 6100"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

It only seems that way because most movie makers (or at least most camerapersons) know a thing or two about perceptions of continuity...For anything below 60 fps not to be jerky it'd have to have some motion blur. At least if the moving objects are crisp and high-contrast, like mouse pointers, program windows, scrollable lists/pages etc. usually are.

OK, I'm going to admit I don't know very much about this topic. So maybe you're completely right, but I doubt it. I've seen 3D games that run very smoothly at 30fps, and they look just fine. Obviously they aren't twitch shooters, but then neither is a desktop. If a game can look ok at 30fps, then why can't a desktop? I don't think the game developers did too much especially to make things look smooth, but maybe they did. And if they did, then why couldn't Beryl do the same?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Onboard GeForce 6100
by thecwin on Mon 28th May 2007 12:22 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Onboard GeForce 6100"
thecwin Member since:
2006-01-04

I really must do an example of this, but the GP is correct.

If you play something like UT at 24fps, something about it will look jerky, yet even the most fast paced action movie seems fine at 24fps.

It's because the brain actually doesn't really capture images that quickly, so it seems to have some sort of circuitry for using motion blur as a direction and speed indicator. Provided what you're playing has accurate motion blur, it can run at a far lower framerate. Without the motion blur, something seems wrong; that's why CGI always renders with motion blur.

Ever played Gears of War? It only runs on average at about 30fps or lower, but with the motion blur it seems as quick and twitch as you could want. And anyway, usually the TV only displays at about 30fps so for next gen consoles, motion blur seems to be rather important for nice looking games. CryENGINE 2 will do the same thing.


More info here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motion_blur#Computer_animation

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Onboard GeForce 6100
by AdamW on Mon 28th May 2007 18:25 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Onboard GeForce 6100"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

Just about any gamer can spot the difference between 30fps and 60fps in about three seconds flat.

Reply Score: 0

RE[5]: Onboard GeForce 6100
by smitty on Tue 29th May 2007 01:49 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Onboard GeForce 6100"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

Just about any gamer can spot the difference between 30fps and 60fps in about three seconds flat.

Maybe, but if so they obviously don't care. Otherwise the consoles wouldn't be selling so well.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Onboard GeForce 6100
by sbergman27 on Wed 30th May 2007 00:28 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Onboard GeForce 6100"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
Just about any gamer can spot the difference between 30fps and 60fps in about three seconds flat.
"""

Absolutely.

I'll bet they couldn't do it in a double blind experiment, though. Seriously.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Onboard GeForce 6100
by msundman on Tue 29th May 2007 08:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Onboard GeForce 6100"
msundman Member since:
2005-07-06

> I've seen 3D games that run very smoothly at 30fps

I haven't.
Even my 75 fps mouse pointer looks jerky when I move it fast. It doesn't look like it's moving continuously, but it looks like many pointers disappearing and reappearing along the line of "movement". It's really only one pointer disappearing and simultaneous reappearing, but the relatively slow unbleaching of photoreceptors on your retina makes it seem like many. Moving a real object causes the slow unbleaching to make it seem like a blurry line instead, which makes your brain interpret it much more as motion.

Try this:
Move a pen in a fast left-right movement first in front of your wall and then in front of your (CRT, i.e. not flat-screen) TV/monitor. The difference is very obvious even if you run your display at 75+ Hz.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Onboard GeForce 6100
by Ford Prefect on Mon 28th May 2007 09:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Onboard GeForce 6100"
Ford Prefect Member since:
2006-01-16

It is!

For example, an old GF 4800 on a 1600 Mhz machine is more than fast enough here, too.

There are just technical problems with Beryl which can lead to bad performance on some setups... ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Onboard GeForce 6100
by modmans2ndcoming on Sun 27th May 2007 21:07 UTC in reply to "Onboard GeForce 6100"
modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

I have a 5700 LE board... I got very good results using beryl.

It is all about the memory though.

Reply Score: 1

disapointing
by superstoned on Sun 27th May 2007 20:12 UTC
superstoned
Member since:
2005-07-07

I think all results are pretty disapointing. It really sucks to need such a heavy GPU for compositing. I thought it was supposed to speed up your system using the GPU, but it rarely does. Does anybody know if this is due to software or hardware?

Is there so much work left to do on the side of X, beryl/compiz, the graphics libraries and the drivers we can expect reasonable performance even on lower-end hardware, or do you simply need a very fast GPU to have some decent compositing?

Reply Score: 5

RE: disapointing
by Terracotta on Sun 27th May 2007 20:22 UTC in reply to "disapointing"
Terracotta Member since:
2005-08-15

isn't it quite normal that it requires more gpu-power if one uses effects. To show exactly the same visual looks as the usual 2D window managers do, the gpu should need less resources, but once compositing is enabled, a lot of options are enabled and hence more resoources are needed.

Edited 2007-05-27 20:27

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: disapointing
by modmans2ndcoming on Sun 27th May 2007 21:09 UTC in reply to "RE: disapointing"
modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

I turn almost everything off... I really only want Beryl to avoid window tearing and the expose type effects for managing my desktop... I miss it in windows a lot.

Reply Score: 2

RE: disapointing
by smitty on Sun 27th May 2007 20:25 UTC in reply to "disapointing"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

The GMA3000 is hardly a graphics powerhouse. I suspect the issue comes down to this:

AMD/ATI: the drivers just don't take very good advantage of the hardware, and performance isn't great.

Intel: very weak hardware.

NVIDIA: the FX series had absolutely horrid performance for SM2.0 effects (DX9 level stuff) and I'm betting most of the graphical effects in Beryl are using that. The plugins probably need to be rewritten specifically to have a SM1.1 fallback path to get better performance on these cards. But any 6 series card should do fine.

Reply Score: 5

RE: disapointing
by rayiner on Sun 27th May 2007 21:50 UTC in reply to "disapointing"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

The point of the GPU isn't to make things more snappy. It's to make things that are intractable with the CPU alone (full-screen compositing with special effects), tractable. The point of Beryl/compiz/etc isn't that it's faster than plain X alone (it isn't), but rather that it can do full desktop compositing at acceptable speeds.

As for the results, the performance seems quite reasonable. Quartz's frame rate meter shows that my GMA950 tops out at ~35 fps just moving a window around my 1280x800 desktop. The Phoronix benchmark shows a GMA3000 (a much faster GPU) running much more intensive special effects at 20-55 fps, on a roughly similar sized-desktop. Not a very precise comparison, to be sure, but the performance seems to be in the right ballpark, especially considering how much mature OS X's compositing system is.

You have to keep in mind that a desktop isn't a fast-twitch game. A 20-25 fps redraw rate for moving a window is perfectly smooth.

Reply Score: 4

RE: disapointing
by Stock on Sun 27th May 2007 22:13 UTC in reply to "disapointing"
Stock Member since:
2005-08-31

It will speed up your system if you have dedicated video ram, a good video card with quality drivers and you're not using all the fancy effects. Let's face it these 3D desktops are still beta software they're not supposed to run well yet!

However if you don't run the effects but use the compositing features with a regular desktop you probably will see an improvement. Wait a while and I'm sure the eye candy will improve too.

Reply Score: 2

RE: disapointing
by abraxas on Tue 29th May 2007 13:07 UTC in reply to "disapointing"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

I wouldn't exactly call a gma 950 a powerhouse of a graphics cards. I use compiz on a 950 and it runs smoothly without a hitch. Hell you can run compiz on an ancient MX440 if you wanted to.

Reply Score: 2

CPU matters
by baadger on Sun 27th May 2007 20:30 UTC
baadger
Member since:
2006-08-29

In my own experience it doesn't seem to matter what GPU you have, as soon as the *CPU* experiences anything near 100% load windows start stuttering and sometimes become unusable. Using a standard non-compositing Window Manager however, like Metacity, windows always move around the screen fluidly almost completely regardless of CPU load (An advantage the Linux/X platform has always had over Windows IMO). For me this makes Linux/OSS compositing managers a non-starter.

More off topic, I think the MS did a good thing in Windows Vista making the composite based effects relatively lightweight by default, i've had no problems with performance on Vista, but both Beryl and Compiz become useless in certain situations.

Maybe it's the architecture or maybe it's the fact that these window managers ask too much of your GPU, but I think the "GPU accelerated desktop" (as in making your desktop more responsive and usable as an intuitive UI) is a pipe dream and will be for the lifetime of Vista, at least.

Edited 2007-05-27 20:33

Reply Score: 5

RE: CPU matters
by Stock on Sun 27th May 2007 22:18 UTC in reply to "CPU matters"
Stock Member since:
2005-08-31

I'd love to know which GPUs you've used because your results are the complete opposite of my observations.

Using low end Nvidia (integrated 6100) or Intel GPUs on Vista has been a truly painful experience where I find myself actually waiting for the PC to respond.

Conversely, on Linux, whilst not perfect all the time, the general speed gain from compositing is noticeable.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: CPU matters
by baadger on Mon 28th May 2007 23:48 UTC in reply to "RE: CPU matters"
baadger Member since:
2006-08-29

nVidia 6150 integrated and 7600GT, as well as others on friends machines.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: CPU matters
by Stock on Thu 31st May 2007 08:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: CPU matters"
Stock Member since:
2005-08-31

I'm honestly surprised by the 6150. All I can say is I've had a very different experience. Perhaps that's down to bad luck or perhaps it's because the other components in the system were having more of an effect.

Vista is a lot more temperamental than most people realise. That's why there was such a fuss over hardware certification for it at the system builder level. You can't just throw a system together and expect it all to work. Linux on the other hand does a pretty good job of detecting all that hardware automatically and installing the drivers for you so I find it tends to be a more consistent OS on a variety of hardware.

I must admit I've not tried any 7000 series GPUs but I can imagine that with the extra speed and more recent drivers Vista will take the winners spot there. I wouldn't count Linux out yet though, Nvidia are pretty good at updating those drivers regularly and when they do the tables could turn again.

I must go out and get a 7600GT now to do some benchmarking. ;-)

---
http://www.linuxlaptops.eu

Reply Score: 1

RE: CPU matters
by abraxas on Tue 29th May 2007 13:17 UTC in reply to "CPU matters"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

In my own experience it doesn't seem to matter what GPU you have, as soon as the *CPU* experiences anything near 100% load windows start stuttering and sometimes become unusable. Using a standard non-compositing Window Manager however, like Metacity, windows always move around the screen fluidly almost completely regardless of CPU load (An advantage the Linux/X platform has always had over Windows IMO). For me this makes Linux/OSS compositing managers a non-starter.

I haven't experienced this problem. My windows NEVER stutter using compiz on a gma 950. I have been using compiz exclusively for the past 3 months and I haven't had any peformance issues at all.

More off topic, I think the MS did a good thing in Windows Vista making the composite based effects relatively lightweight by default, i've had no problems with performance on Vista, but both Beryl and Compiz become useless in certain situations.

Really? Vista effects are so heavy that they cannot be used on even half of the hardware that compiz runs on.

Maybe it's the architecture or maybe it's the fact that these window managers ask too much of your GPU, but I think the "GPU accelerated desktop" (as in making your desktop more responsive and usable as an intuitive UI) is a pipe dream and will be for the lifetime of Vista, at least.

No pipe dream for me. Compiz isn't a toy for me. It is my desktop. If it didn't work well I wouldn't be able to use it.

Reply Score: 2

Compiz/Beryl
by diegoviola on Sun 27th May 2007 20:34 UTC
diegoviola
Member since:
2006-08-15

Can't wait for a release of Compiz with the complete merge. Compiz/Beryl rocks!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Compiz/Beryl
by Havin_it on Wed 30th May 2007 03:08 UTC in reply to "Compiz/Beryl"
Havin_it Member since:
2006-03-10

^this

I'll be very glad when this forkin' craziness is over, it just generated a lot of confusion and lost focus in order to keep the ricers happy with some new toys.

I didn't want to throw major changes on my system so I always stuck with compiz and AIGLX, not Beryl or Xgl. Okay, I toyed with Beryl when it came into Portage, but not for long -- it was just overkill, far more whizz-bang than I wanted and a lot less stable.

I chuckle to see people talking about 'low-end' GPUs like GT6700 and whatnot not taking the strain: I have an 855GM (Intel circa 2003) and with compiz's defaults I have a more enjoyable and nicely playable desktop, and I'm not overheating any more than before, possibly less. Dunno if a major Quake-head would be satisfied with the smoothness of my spinning cube, but as a non-gamer everyday user I find it a welcome improvement.

Reply Score: 1

Just a little bit more patience
by sukru on Sun 27th May 2007 20:39 UTC
sukru
Member since:
2006-11-19

I guess the Linux hardware interfaces required for composition are not stable yet.

However I find it very normal. A decade ago, we lacked proper hardware accelerated OpenGL, or even movie playback. Now we have no problem in that area.

At the moment, Vista is able to do proper (and fast enough) composition on my ATI X200 laptop, while Linux cannot do it well even with my X1600 desktop PC. (ATI binary drivers does not do composition with XMovie or XRender enabled, yet open source drivers does not support the chipset at all).

I'm just being patent. I know that in less than a year none of these problems will remain, and I'll be able to do Vista style effects on both of my computers.

(Btw my on board X300 based PC works with compiz, albeit very slowly).

Edited 2007-05-27 20:41

Reply Score: 4

IkeKrull
Member since:
2006-01-24

Beryl/Compiz is unlikely to work as stably as 'native Xorg' for anyone regardless of the type of GPU you have.

In my experience, on 3 different GPUs (all Nvidia, to be fair - Quadro 280, GF5200,GF6200), random crashes or freezes are the norm - i'd be lucky to go 4 hours of heavy use without seeing one of these.

As for performance, its less than stellar, thought the 6200 seems to be better - and the lack of truly 'pixel-perfect' animation effects - theres a noticeable pause or 'tic' as the warped-by-OpenGL texture mapped polygons 'snap into place' - or are replaced by the original pixmap every time you move a window or otherwise invoke one of these effects that really ruins the experience as far as I am concerned.

And whats with the poor support for running 3D applications in XGL/AIXGL? (and really, whats the point of a 3d desktop framework you can't do 3d work on?).

I've gone back to running KDE on 2D Xorg every time i've tried it (and i've tried it several times, on Dapper, Edgy and Feisty). Beryl/Compiz simply doesn't exhibit the required level of polish (or tasteful defaults) that would make it really useful to me.

It's a nifty toy, but not a piece of GUI infrastructure that has a place on my machines at this point in time.

Reply Score: 5

cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

"Beryl/Compiz simply doesn't exhibit the required level of polish (or tasteful defaults) that would make it really useful to me"

I loved the expression "tasteful defaults". I'm pretty sure you can select your own settings for Beryl, and they are pretty tame defaults, and Compiz *always* had pretty tame defaults.

Now if you said the configuration manager in Beryl was a nightmare you would have had a point.

Reply Score: 4

mallard Member since:
2006-01-06

I'm running Feisty on a GeForce 7600GT AGP with dual monitors (NV TwinView) and have no problems with stability or performance under Beryl.
In fact, my Linux installation seems completely rock-solid.

I also have no problems running OpenGL applications on Beryl. The only issue I have come across is that Java applications don't work correcly (blank windows), but it seems that Sun's Java does some 'funny' things to the display anway (even on Windows, pre-6.0 JVMs cause Vista to turn off DWM effects).

I would suggest that since all of the graphics cards you have tried are 'budget' models (even the Quadro is low-end) the performance problems are what you might expect (esp. since the FX/5 series have poor SM2.0 support).

Reply Score: 2

Detect refresh rate
by sonic2000gr on Sun 27th May 2007 20:52 UTC
sonic2000gr
Member since:
2007-05-20

If you take a good look at the article, second page, the screenshot shows "detect frame rate" is checked. This I have noticed, significantly slows things down in beryl.
I am using a 6600 GT AGP on a my older 3G P4 and 7300GT PCI Express on Athlon 64 3200+
They both actually fly. And 7300GT is not really a powerhouse, it is a cheap modest 3D card.
The 7300Go on my notebook is another story. Works pretty well until you try to get any transparency.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Detect refresh rate
by kop316 on Sun 27th May 2007 21:05 UTC in reply to "Detect refresh rate"
kop316 Member since:
2006-07-01

I would agree with that. I have a 7600GS and it runs beryl just fine, but when I put on the detect refresh rate, everything slows down to a crawl.

Reply Score: 2

Lucky and persistant
by Noremacam on Sun 27th May 2007 21:05 UTC
Noremacam
Member since:
2006-03-08

When I used to be heavily into PC gaming, I bought a Geforce 6800 Ultra graphics card, but after a couple years lost interest in 3D gaming. However, I found that this card is absolutely perfect for beryl. Overkill, yes, but the performance I do believe is actually better than a 2D rendered desktop. I notice no unusual 2D artifacts when dragging windows around(something that used to drive me nuts), and the reaction time for the effects feel very fluid. My only problem is I had to change the settings to fix the refresh rate bug and tame the default settings, to get the frame rate up, but once I did, the desktop flew. I have no other known bugs.

Guess all I'm saying is that it's possible to have an improved performance desktop with composite. The requirements for it just aren't ideal.

Reply Score: 2

R300 strangely low
by maxx_730 on Sun 27th May 2007 21:08 UTC
maxx_730
Member since:
2005-12-14

Im currently running Beryl with all plugins (except water ) enabled, and im getting 160 fps when idling with the open source drivers. How can there be such a difference between my setup and theirs?

Reply Score: 1

RE: R300 strangely low
by archiesteel on Mon 28th May 2007 02:09 UTC in reply to "R300 strangely low"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

My guess is that the water effect kills performance... :-)

Seriously, though, I'm usually between a smooth 28-31 FPS when doing light stuff (moving windows, exposť-like Scale, etc.) and go down to a usable 16-17 FPS when I spin the cube manually (which I don't use often). This is on a ATI Xpress 200M on a Compaq laptop, not exactly a high-powered chipset, and yet the performance is quite acceptable.

Note that I'm using Xgl with the proprietary fglrx (which requires a workaround for 3D apps, unfortunately), so I'm not sure what would be the performance with AIGLX.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: R300 strangely low
by mallard on Mon 28th May 2007 12:53 UTC in reply to "RE: R300 strangely low"
mallard Member since:
2006-01-06

It's likely the Xpress 200M that's causing problems. I also have a HP/Compaq laptop with one, although I don't currently run Linux on it.

Despite being called "Mobility Radeon X300" the Xpress 200M's graphics chip has less than 1/4 the performance of the desktop X300 (putting it on a par with low-end DX8 chips), plus the use of shared memory, means that you are unlikely to get steller performance.

Even Vista has troubles with the 200M, my install currently believes that the graphics is on a PCI (not PCIe) bus and consiquently has abismal performance.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: R300 strangely low
by archiesteel on Mon 28th May 2007 13:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: R300 strangely low"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Considering I'm getting decent performance (for everyday productivity - if it was a game I'd call it "crappy"), I have to say that I'm satisfied with it overall. I did increase the system memory so the card would get its full 128MB, however...

Reply Score: 2

7600GT
by OSGuy on Sun 27th May 2007 21:41 UTC
OSGuy
Member since:
2006-01-01

I have an NVIDIA 7600GT with 256MB and I don't have any problems.

Reply Score: 1

Bit dubious of the article
by cyclops on Sun 27th May 2007 22:21 UTC
cyclops
Member since:
2006-03-12

Test heavy load with the raindrop effect, every thing else runs well on all chips otherwise.

Does anyone else see a flaw in their testing.

Personally I turn the raindrop effect off.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Bit dubious of the article
by archiesteel on Mon 28th May 2007 02:09 UTC in reply to "Bit dubious of the article"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Yes, so do I. It's not useful, and not pretty as the snow plugin anyway...

Reply Score: 2

It works on my geforce 2 go smoothly
by aent on Sun 27th May 2007 22:58 UTC
aent
Member since:
2006-01-25

Well, Compiz does. Beryl didn't seem to, but wobbly windows and such works fine on my nvidia geforce 2 go with the binary drivers. I think it just depends on driver quality for your card.

Reply Score: 1

huh..
by helf on Sun 27th May 2007 23:38 UTC
helf
Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm using an nvidia 6800 agp card with 128mb of ram. Beryl and AIXGL run great on it. smooth as glass.

The machine is a Pentium 4 2.8ghz with 1gb of pc2700. Running Ubuntu 7.01 ( I think thats the newest release).

Reply Score: 2

Beryl and GF 6600GT
by WereCatf on Mon 28th May 2007 00:08 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

Been running Beryl on my Sempron 2600+ + GeForce 6600GT combination for a good long while, and it works simply great! No slowdowns, no crashes, nothing such. Even if I'm emerging something big, like for example Seamonkey, the effects are still very fluid and clear ;) But for the heck of it, I tried Beryl also on my P3 + Radeon 9200 combination...Damn it sucks. The effects themselves are quite satisfactory, but for some reason things like scrolling down a window are slow as heck. And the open-source drivers for the card STILL don't support pixel-shaders or anything like that. Too bad. :/

Reply Score: 1

No problems here
by cmost on Mon 28th May 2007 02:54 UTC
cmost
Member since:
2006-07-16

I'm using an nvidia FX 5200 with 256 MB DDR RAM and Beryl runs flawlessly on my system. I leave it on for days on end and Beryl effects are always smooth and fluid. Of course, my system also has 2 GB of RAM.

Reply Score: 1

Free != Free
by Brandybuck on Mon 28th May 2007 06:09 UTC
Brandybuck
Member since:
2006-08-27

Someone wake me up when Free Software developers start developing for Free Software users again. I'm not going to tie all my systems down to proprietary drivers just to get some eyecandy.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Free != Free
by smitty on Mon 28th May 2007 06:21 UTC in reply to "Free != Free"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

Maybe you should read the article again, then. Or more likely for the first time. Since it clearly shows that both ATI/Intel have open drivers which work well enough to run Beryl.

Reply Score: 5

My thoughts
by melkor on Mon 28th May 2007 07:11 UTC
melkor
Member since:
2006-12-16

I have no experience with Compiz/Beryl, but I'll make a few comments nevertheless (based on commonsense thoughts). I could be very well wrong with my thoughts...

1. Most software these days is not written in a smart manner, it's bloated and innefficient. Whilst Linux is better (as a general rule) in this respect, than Windows, it's not perfect. I suspect that said code is bloated and that this doesn't help.
2. Most operating systems probably don't handle video cards working hard very well. I suspect the graphics system bus has a lot to do with this. The harder the graphics card is working, the more data is being transferred and the more the pipe will be choked. As the pipe gets choked, it'll probably stall the main system CPU.
3. Most video card drivers aren't particularly very good code wise I think you'll find. Just because you make good hardware, doesn't mean that the software/drivers will be just as good, or take full, and proper advantage of said hardware.
4. With so many video card/graphics driver components available, I suspect it's difficult to write good code for compiz/beryl to operate efficiently on *all* of the graphics cards.

I remember earlier versions of fancy E17 stuff, running on much older (and slower) video cards, and they ran half alright. These new breed of video cards are probably up to 100 times faster than these old video cards, so what is really going on?

Another viewpoint is that surely, 3D desktops are no more demanding than a highly intensive 3D game? I would expect that 3D desktops would require less raw grunt than 3D games, for a variety of reasons. This leads me to the suspicion that the drivers/3D desktop software are not very well written, or at least optimised for each other.

As I said earlier, I could be wrong, I probably am. I'm just trying to look at this type of problem logically. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, or educate me ;-)

Dave

Reply Score: 1

RE: My thoughts
by cyclops on Mon 28th May 2007 09:34 UTC in reply to "My thoughts"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

"I have no experience with Compiz/Beryl, but I'll make a few comments nevertheless (based on commonsense thoughts). I could be very well wrong with my thoughts... "

We live in the age of broadband; Live iso's; multiple options. To get Linux with a compositing Desktop its just a few clicks away, and then you can form an opinion.

Reply Score: 4

RE: My thoughts
by archiesteel on Mon 28th May 2007 14:08 UTC in reply to "My thoughts"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Another viewpoint is that surely, 3D desktops are no more demanding than a highly intensive 3D game? I would expect that 3D desktops would require less raw grunt than 3D games, for a variety of reasons.


Yes and no. Polygon count is waaay lower (even if we imagine a relatively high tesselation of Window objects for the wobbly effect), however texture requirements are likely to be severe (considering all desktop surfaces and windows have to be stored in texture memory).

I'm also pretty sure the code isn't as heavily optimized as most games are, but that's pure speculation on my part.

Reply Score: 2

YMMV
by MobyTurbo on Mon 28th May 2007 11:59 UTC
MobyTurbo
Member since:
2005-07-08

I manage to do fine with a $30US GeForce FX 5200 card, and 512MB of non-shared RAM, and Beryl or Compiz. Yes, if I turn on rain, things slow down, but who wants to have their desktop get puddles in normal operation anyway? :-)

Beryl sometimes after being left idling many hours locks up the system hard, but that's probably memory leaks in the software rather than a hardware limitation. (I just log out when I'm going to be away from the computer or switch to a non-compositing WM when away.)

Reply Score: 1

My biggest issue with Compiz/Beryl
by daniel on Mon 28th May 2007 13:47 UTC
daniel
Member since:
2007-05-28

I've been using Compiz and Beryl for quite a while now. I remember hearing about it on the Novell website and seeing the videos on there site and being amazed at the effects. I still remember thinking "That must be an amazing system". I then heard it would be available on openSuse 10.1. Of course I like many when compiz was first available put up with using the likes of Xgl and looked forward to AIGLX which at the time was in development by I think the guys over at fedora core (correct me if i'm wrong).
I use a ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 64MB on my laptop with a Athlon 64 3000+ which of course means I have to put up with fglrx to get any real performance from games (Alien Arena 2007 & gridwars!). However my biggest problem is not beryl, not compiz, but bloody ATI who for whatever reason don't have support for that stupid GL_Pixmap extension that allows Nvidia cards to work with both a composited desktop and direct rendering. I remember reading somewhere about ATI open sourcing there drivers but haven't read anything else relating to it? Hopefully my new employer will give me a laptop with a Nvidia card!

Reply Score: 1

Ubuntu 7.04 + Beryl on IBM x30
by DevL on Mon 28th May 2007 14:48 UTC
DevL
Member since:
2005-07-06

On an IBM x30 (1200MHZ PIII-M, 512MB RAM of which 8 is used by the integrated Intel graphics), Beryl works just fine, the Raindrop effect excluded of course.

Reply Score: 2

Compiz + Beryl = OpenCompositing (When?)
by REMF on Mon 28th May 2007 15:31 UTC
REMF
Member since:
2006-02-05

is the 0.5 compiz development code going to be the first combined OpenCompositing release when it is done?

When is the 0.5 code scheduled to be done?

cheers

Reply Score: 1

My laptops
by simo on Tue 29th May 2007 08:54 UTC
simo
Member since:
2006-01-09

My Toshiba with Geforce 420Go can barely handle Compiz.

My HP with Intel 945 can handle Compiz, but things like Beryl's fire plugin are not at all fast, I don't think it can even do water.

I'm not looking forward to trying it out on my desktops' Nvidia FX5200 and ATI Radeon 8500 when I upgrade them to Fedora7. Methinks its time for a PCI-Express motherboard.

I kind of dread Compiz and Beryl re-merging, as I find Beryl has much higher demands and much worse stability than Compiz, plus it really is mostly pointless eye-candy.

At least Compiz has useful features such as desktop cube, window list etc; not just windows that roll up with a fancy animation (that said, maximising a wobbly window under FC6/Compiz seems to render the window useless - like it doesn't redraw the content).

Reply Score: 1

RE: My laptops
by Havin_it on Wed 30th May 2007 03:16 UTC in reply to "My laptops"
Havin_it Member since:
2006-03-10

Don't panic about the merge; the re-merged project will be under freedesktop.org's roof, so the core will be expected to play nice with Xorg all down the line.

Anyway, much of the really wacky stuff in Beryl was in various plugins (almost everything is a plugin, in fact) so the user can pick and choose those that work on his/her system.

Reply Score: 1

Really funny ....
by dindin on Tue 29th May 2007 15:31 UTC
dindin
Member since:
2006-03-29

I read all those comments about how Microsoft is making people buy newer stuff to simply to run Vista and its effects and then this comes along and all the excuses ;) My Oh My.

(Disclaimer: I use a Mac and Fluxbox on my FreeBSD system)

Reply Score: 0

RE: Really funny ....
by cyclops on Wed 30th May 2007 00:46 UTC in reply to "Really funny ...."
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

"I read all those comments about how Microsoft is making people buy newer stuff to simply to run Vista and its effects and then this comes along and all the excuses ;) My Oh My."

phoronix.com is a really bad site for benchmarking anything they are simply not up to the job. If you don't believe me check their kernel benchmarking. They measure "heavy usage" by running an effect "raindrop" thats not available on compiz, is not on by default. They have done this becuase the desktop does not have heavy usage, by the nature of the desktop you pretty much move one window at once. How do you test it?

The problem with Vista is performance wise Vista is slower than its predecessor's in every way from networking to graphics to application preformance. Its major selling feature after everything else was quitely dropped, Aero is now a DirectX9 one, and simply not available on the Vast majority of hardware out there.

The reality is Beryl plays nicely with intel915 graphics where Aero does not.

Instead of posting pro-Microsoft comments hiding behind a Fluxbox lie, why don't you actually spend the time downloading and trying one of the many Distributions out there with compositing on Linux available.

The reality is Beryl is plagued by poor driver support in X and Linux both proprietary and open-source , buggy implementation of features, and confusing configuration. These are *real* problems and ones that are being dealt with, X-org is due out its 7.3 release soon which will alleviate a whole load of problems...but will not solve them all..

Although I do wonder why so many pro-Microsoft poster's hide behind vapourware APPLE and *BSD computers. Is Vista really that bad.

Reply Score: 2

Beryl hates my Quadro
by CharAznable on Wed 30th May 2007 13:20 UTC
CharAznable
Member since:
2005-07-06

Beryl runs smooth as buttah on a GeForce 5900 at home. Here at work, Beryl runs like crap on a Quadro FX 500. Windows randomly go black, and there are a lot of artifacts and refresh problems. Compiz works just fine though. This is all on Feisty.

Reply Score: 1