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Wed - Jun 10, 2009 : 12:11 pm
okay
   rated 1 time
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ATI fglrx vs radeonhd
Man...  Starting my new job, I had the opportunity to build a new computer.  They ordered me the parts, and I was good to go.

For this computer, I opted to buy two acer 22-inch widescreen monitors.  In doing so, I knew I would have to be up and functioning quickly with a dual-head setup running gentoo Linux.  I knew this was pretty easily done with an nvidia card, but I really wanted to see if I could get it done with ATI.  After a quick google search, I knew it could be done, but wasn't sure about anything else.

So, fast-forward 4 weeks later.

I built the computer and quickly figured out how to get a dual-head setup going with the fglrx driver, but soon thereafter noticed all sorts of bugs with it.  I run the fglrx driver for my single-head setup at home, and on my laptop, and haven't had any problems with it whatsoever.  Dual-head seems to be a different story.

I could routinely cause my entire computer (keyboard / mouse included) to freeze by simply dragging a window.  Not good.

So, today, I decided to give the radeonHD drivers a go, and albeit not simply done, I now have it working, and it seems to be handling the dual-head setup much, much more smoothly than the fglrx driver did.  It took me about 2 hours to get it up, and I'm still working on getting the new DRI support functional.

Anyway...  This is my current xorg.conf file, and it's working with a RadeonHD 3870 card, with both monitors plugged into their respective DVI connector.

Section "ServerLayout"
    Identifier     "X.org Configured"
    Screen      0  "Screen0" 0 0
EndSection

Section "Files"
#    FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/misc/"
#    FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/TTF/"
#    FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/OTF"
#    FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/Type1/"
#    FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/100dpi/"
#    FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/75dpi/"
EndSection

Section "Module"
#    Load  "dri"
#    Load  "glx"
#    Load  "extmod"
#    Load  "xtrap"
#    Load  "record"
#    Load  "GLcore"
#    Load  "dbe"
#    Load  "freetype"
EndSection

Section "ServerFlags"
    Option "AIGLX" "On"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier   "DVI-I_1/digital"
    Option         "DPMS"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier   "DVI-I_2/digital"
    Option         "DPMS"
    Option         "RightOf" "DVI-I_1/digital"
EndSection

Section "Device"
    Identifier  "Card0"
    Driver        "radeonhd"
    VendorName  "ATI Technologies Inc"
    BoardName   "Unknown Board"
    Option        "RROutputOrder" "DVI1"
    Option        "DRI"
EndSection

Section "Screen"
    Identifier "Screen0"
    Device     "Card0"
    DefaultDepth     24
    SubSection "Display"
        Viewport   0 0
        Depth     24
        Virtual 3360 1050
    EndSubSection
EndSection

Section "DRI"
    Mode         0666
EndSection



and that's that!

 
Comment by Niko on Jun. 10, 2009 @ 02:07 pm
I have a similar setup (one VGA+one DVI) usind radeonhd, for me those xrandr calls helped:
xrandr --verbose --output DVI-I_1/digital --auto --crtc 1
xrandr --verbose --output DVI-I_1/digital --right-of VGA_1
Comment by bR3n+ on Jun. 10, 2009 @ 04:50 pm
 This sort of thing doesn't get me very excited about Linux. Two 22in monitors is cool.
Comment by PoeticIntensity on Jun. 10, 2009 @ 07:07 pm
Hey bR3n+ - Don't you dare let this discourage you.  I'm using gentoo Linux, which, by nature is much, much harder to install and configure than other distros.  Ubuntu, I'm guessing, would be much easier.

Also, the nvidia drivers for their respective cards seem to be much more mature and easier to set up and use than the ATI ones.

Also, the problems I've described only manitfested themselves when using dual monitors.  A single monitor set up with the fglrx driver hasn't given me any problems at all.

So, I hope I've cleared up any confusion which may cause you to keep from investigating Linux - because it's just too freakin' awesome not to.
Comment by scarabeus on Jun. 11, 2009 @ 04:45 am
Just tiny suggestion.
Use -ati not -radeonhd. With ati you will get more shinies, and soon kms ;]
Specialy tear free video is severe bonus ;]

Ah and interesting naming for the identifiers, i would be lost in mine 4 with such naming scheme :D
Comment by PoeticIntensity on Jul. 22, 2009 @ 06:07 pm
Another site I just found with more information about xrandr and setting up xorg with dual heads is found here.  Great site.
Comment by Kevin de Vries on Oct. 21, 2009 @ 07:30 pm
Hi everyone,

A friend of mine told me to share info on how to compile a custom kernel with pre-empt and low-latency that still works with the latest catalyst driver, took me about 1 week and a lot of rebuilds (23 to be exact) but got it to work.
What would be the right place to share this info ? (pat must be in the kernel, no vesa mode during boot allowed etc.. etc )
I have tested 2.6.28-10 and will now work on 2.6.32

some info:

# uname -a
Linux <machine-name> 2.6.28.10 #1 SMP PREEMPT Tue Oct 20 07:42:06 CEST 2009 i686 GNU/Linux
# fglrxinfo
display: :0.0 screen: 0
OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.
OpenGL renderer string: ATI Radeon HD 3850
OpenGL version string: 2.1.8918
# fgl_glxgears
Using GLX_SGIX_pbuffer
6810 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1362.000 FPS
# lsmod
Module Size Used by
fglrx 1954088 27
intel_agp 23100 1
agpgart 26548 2 fglrx,intel_agp

performance feels about 2x or 3x beter compared to microsoft


Greetings

Kevin de Vries