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Author Topic: Intel Graphics 865G -- i810 module or i915? [SOLVED]  (Read 5420 times)
RonB
Vectorite
***
Posts: 120


« on: January 19, 2010, 06:20:15 pm »

I wasn't happy using 16 bit color, so back to the drawing board. I note that my CentOS has chosen the i810 driver for my 865G video chip and works well. Vector Linux, on the other hand, chooses the i915 module. Is there a way to force Vector Linux to load i810 instead? Or is this not a good idea?

EDIT: I've got it working well enough simply by changing the graphics card to 16 bit instead of 24 bit. I am able to set the CentOS to "millions of colors" instead of "thousands of colors" (16k) but that's probably an advantage of using Gnome over Xfce. At any rate, Hulu is now usable on the Vector Linux machine. If I decide to buy a nVidia or ATI card (it would have to be half height and relatively inexpensive -- 32 or 64 Megs would be plenty) -- what card would you suggest for Xfce and Vector Linux? What's frustrating is that this hardware worked fine before Hulu forced the Flash upgrade.

Since I've upgraded Flash (required by Hulu) Flash videos have become choppy on some sites and work well on others. YouTube and YouTube Videos work fine as do videos on Yahoo news and Movies. But Hulu and other sites (like ESPN and NFL.COM) are almost unusable -- sound is fine, but the video is like a choppy slide show. At first everything worked fine with Hulu after the Flash upgrade but, after I rebooted, it has been terrible. I even tried installing the beta version of Flash 10.1.x -- which worked as well or better than the newest version 10.0.x, but was still unusable on Hulu and the other sites mentioned.

I thought it might have been a memory problem, so I upgraded to 768 Megs from 384 but have the same issues. I know the Intel 82865G chip has 3D and it can work very well with Hulu -- my CentOS computer is the same as this one and works smoothly, but I have 3D turned on in that one. I'm guessing that's my issue here (though that doesn't explain why Yahoo and YouTube work without problems while Hulu and the others don't).

So to make a long story a bit shorter, is there a way to load 3D graphic drivers in Standard (Xfce) Vector Linux 6.0 for this Intel Graphics chip? I'm looking all around and haven't been able to find any information yet.

Thanks for any pointers. 
« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 04:54:29 pm by RonB » Logged

RonB
Registered Linux User #498581
Vector Linux Deluxe 6.0 -- Optiplex GX270
nightflier
Administrator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 4022



« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2010, 03:31:18 am »

Boot to text mode (linux-tui), log in as root, manually edit the configuration file:

mcedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

In "Device" section, find line that says:
   Driver "i915"
change it to
   Driver "i810"

In "Screen" section, find line that says:
   Defaultdepth 16
change it to
   Defaultdepth 24

Press F2 to save, F10 to exit, issue command "startx" to test.
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RonB
Vectorite
***
Posts: 120


« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2010, 08:58:53 pm »

Boot to text mode (linux-tui), log in as root, manually edit the configuration file:

mcedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

In "Device" section, find line that says:
   Driver "i915"
change it to
   Driver "i810"

In "Screen" section, find line that says:
   Defaultdepth 16
change it to
   Defaultdepth 24

Press F2 to save, F10 to exit, issue command "startx" to test.

Thanks. Apparently that's not the issue. The driver in xorg.conf was simply "intel." I changed that to "i810" and everything worked the same, so I'm guessing the "intel" driver is also linked when punching in "i810." I switched the driver to "i915" and it didn't work at all. So, apparently the intel driver just points to whatever module is loaded (at least that's the way I hope it works).

If I type "lsmod | grep i915" I get:
i915                   30208  2
drm                   70824  3 i915

"lsmod | grep i810" returns nothing.

If I do a locate for "i810" it shows among other lines):
/lib/modules/2.6.27.12/kernel/drivers/video/i810
/lib/modules/2.6.27.12/kernel/drivers/video/i810/i810fb.ko
/lib/modules/2.6.27.12/kernel/drivers/gpu/drm/i810
/lib/modules/2.6.27.12/kernel/drivers/gpu/drm/i810/i810.ko

I can also locate the i915 kernel modules:
/usr/lib/xorg/modules/dri/i915_dri.so
/lib/modules/2.6.27.12/kernel/drivers/gpu/drm/i915
/lib/modules/2.6.27.12/kernel/drivers/gpu/drm/i915/i915.ko

So it looks like both i810 and i915 modules are there. I just don't know how to *not* load the i915 module and load the i810 module instead.

If the i810 modules show up, does that mean they are available for the current kernel? Or could they just be left over from an earlier kernel? I'm pretty sure if I could load the i810 module instead of the i915 one my graphics problems would be over.

(Thanks for putting up with this rambling post.)
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RonB
Registered Linux User #498581
Vector Linux Deluxe 6.0 -- Optiplex GX270
RonB
Vectorite
***
Posts: 120


« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2010, 02:33:09 pm »

Okay, just checking this out on my own, I've figured out that the rc.modules file in the /etc/rc.d directory is somehow involved with loading modules. But, when I replace i915 line with i810 *both* i915 and i810 modules load. So I'm wondering what is telling the i915 module to load? 

Well, if I boot into text mode, the i810 module loads instead of the i915. But when I type in "startx" or "gdm" and go to GUI, then the i915 module loads. I can remove the i815 module (with rmmod i810) but when I try to remove the i915 module, when X is running, it says it's in use. So something loads the i915 when X starts. I'll see what I can track down. Probably won't work once I get rid of the i915 module, but I've got to try.

Changing the name of the i915.ko file to i915.ko.bak allowed me to *show* loading only the i810 module when I ran lsmod, but something still wasn't right as I could rmmod i810, even though it was supposedly the only video module loaded? Apparently the kernel, itself, has a video driver built-in? (You can definitely see why I'm writing in the "Vectorbie" forum.) For now I'll just drop back to 16 bit when I want to watch Hulu, but I'm not going to give up. I know this 865G video chip is capable of full 24-bit motion on Hulu. I just don't know how to get Vector Linux to use it -- maybe it's still a problem with the newer Xorgs and the Intel video chips. Still frustrating.

Now I am able to watch all videos in 24 bit mode. I'm not sure if you could really call it a fix -- probably more of a work-around -- but a few settings in the xorg.conf file fixed it. Found the following on Arch's website.

~~
Intel drivers

The new Intel driver, xf86-video-intel, comes with compositing enabled by default. It's configured to use the newer EXA acceleration method, but the default build options can result in very slugish performance. In these cases, adding these options to the "Device" section of your /etc/X11/xorg.conf can improve the situation dramatically:

Option      "AccelMethod" "exa"
Option      "MigrationHeuristic" "greedy"
Option      "ExaNoComposite" "false"
~~

http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Composite

I put these lines into my xorg.conf file, rebooted and the performance was very good with the 24-bit setting. The sites I tried were Hulu and NFL.COM and the quality is as good (or nearly as good) as the older i810 driver. I wonder if these lines should be added to default xorg.conf for 865G video cards and chips -- and perhaps other closely related Intel chips. But there may be a cost when using these settings, I don't know. I haven't run into any problems yet, but since I don't know what these settings do, it still possible that they will cause other problems.

I still don't know why Youtube and Yahoo videos worked fine before. They still work well with the new settings. Sorry for rambling and for all the colors. I just wanted to separate various steps taken in one post, instead of spreading them out over several posts.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 04:52:07 pm by RonB » Logged

RonB
Registered Linux User #498581
Vector Linux Deluxe 6.0 -- Optiplex GX270
nightflier
Administrator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 4022



« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2010, 06:32:25 pm »

Good info. Thanks for reporting back your findings.  Smiley
Logged
RonB
Vectorite
***
Posts: 120


« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2010, 09:59:02 pm »

Good info. Thanks for reporting back your findings.  Smiley
Thanks. I hope some of it actually makes sense. My ignorance is definitely on display.
Logged

RonB
Registered Linux User #498581
Vector Linux Deluxe 6.0 -- Optiplex GX270
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