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Poor 2D Graphics performance

Discussion in 'Sun Hardware' started by Paul Curren, Jul 3, 2003.

  1. Paul Curren

    Paul Curren Guest

    Hi there, i'm looking for some input on behaviour i'm seeing on my Sun
    Blade 150 workstation.

    Despite my workstation having a XVR-500 3D Graphics card which I believe
    to be a decent card, 2D graphics performance seems very very poor. For
    instance, using KDE 3.1, if I resize any window (with "show contents"
    enabled) it is very very slow to keep up. Likewise, menus and other such
    display artifacts can be very slow to draw.

    The performance is much poorer than even my Linux PC machine of 6 years
    ago - around about the advent of 2D Graphics accelerators :)

    I have no real idea of the problem but i'm guessing that perhaps the Sun
    XServer (XSun) does not make use of any of the hardware available on the
    graphics card and is instead doing most of the 2D graphics in software.

    Does this make sense? Or can anyone offer me the real reason. And more
    importantly, does anyone know how to improve matters? 2D display drivers
    for Xsun? (I have the OpenGL drivers already), an improved X Server?

    Thanks in advance,

    Paul C
    Paul Curren, Jul 3, 2003
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  2. |directly connected to the graphics. I also believe Sun tried to correct
    |this with VIS (EOL'd) and XIL (endangered), and now with OpenGL and

    VIS is built in to every UltraSPARC processor and is definitely not
    EOL'ed. I think you've confused your acronyms there.
    Alan Coopersmith, Jul 3, 2003
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  3. |Does this make sense? Or can anyone offer me the real reason. And more
    |importantly, does anyone know how to improve matters? 2D display drivers
    |for Xsun? (I have the OpenGL drivers already), an improved X Server?

    There is no other X server you can use - the XVR-500 DDX module (what
    you call a "2D display driver") is only available for Xsun. It's that
    module which has the greatest effect on the speed at which your card
    does rendering. You may want to make sure you have the latest patches
    installed for that card to see if there are any changes to the DDX
    module that may help.
    Alan Coopersmith, Jul 3, 2003
  4. I have played quiet a bit with KDE3 and 3.1 and 3.11 on Solaris
    and built it from sources about 4 times.

    The problems with building KDE for solaris is that there is no
    automatic way or compile time option to force KDE to use
    the SUN Medialib or the VIS instruction set.
    As these acceleration facilities does not exist on LINUX
    KDE is not developed for them

    Last time I built KDE on Solaris I used:

    gcc -03 -mcpu ultrasparc -mtune ultrasparc -Wa,xarch=v8plusa

    as compile options. This seemed to make things slighly more

    To Build KDE with the Native SUN studio7 compiler you need to be
    a pretty good C-programmer ( better than me :) ) as the KDE
    code is GNUC specific in places.

    There are some people who you can find at this URL:


    that are producing KDE with the Native Sun compiler.

    The problem with performance in KDE is therefore the fact
    that KDE DOES NOT make use of the available graphic acceleration

    If you have enough RAM in your machine ( I have 1280 MB in my blade 100 )
    you will
    find that SUN GNOME2 is much faster doing graphics precisely because
    it IS using the Medialib and VIS.
    Lars Tunkrans, Jul 3, 2003
  5. Paul Curren

    Paul Curren Guest

    Hi All, and thanks for the comments. I'm not going to try and build KDE
    using the workshop compiler - I need to get on with some real work :)

    I'll give the Sun distribution of Gnome a shot, but I don't hold out
    much hope for improved 2D graphics performance. I say this because even
    using CDE, graphics performance is 1998-ish. I'll also have a check that
    i'm patched up to the most recent level though.

    Thanks again.

    Paul C
    Paul Curren, Jul 4, 2003
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