XO-1.75 relative performance

Peter Robinson pbrobinson at gmail.com
Mon Nov 7 03:27:24 EST 2011

On Mon, Nov 7, 2011 at 1:11 AM, Jon Nettleton <jon.nettleton at gmail.com> wrote:
>> nouveau has been very usable for quite some time. I was using it
>> without issues back in F-12/13 timeframe without too many issues.
> What have you been using it for? Gnome-shell didn't exist back then.
> They have been incrementally adding features but it has taken time.  I
> have never used nouveau because there has been no power control
> features, not something we I can do without.  I am not trying to say
> something negative on the project, I just think it is a good barometer
> for people to realistically grasp how long it takes to mature modern
> graphics drivers without documentation.

Actually it did! It was the first release that Fedora has it in there
[1] , I packaged all the dependencies [2] as I packaged Moblin 2. It
worked fine for the testing of Moblin although as you mention the
power management was limited. My point still remains it was usable a
lot earlier than the 3-4 years you mentioned. They've also had to
reverse engineer it without any form of documentation.

The gnome team are working for a minimal subset of implemented
features for less capable cards so they run faster using SW rendering.
See some of the links I provided previously.

>>> There should be a distinction between GNOME 3 and gnome-shell.
>>> Gnome-shell is the only part of GNOME 3 that requires 3D acceleration.
>>>  Could our hardware run gnome-shell?  Well that would take a bit of
>>> time to figure out.  To my knowledge nobody has shown gnome-shell
>>> running with clutter utilizing the OpenGLES backend.  Last I remember
>>> clutter didn't support texture from pixmap capabilities with their EGL
>>> backend, so that may still have to be implemented.  This may have
>>> changed in the last couple of months by I have definitely not seen it
>>> demonstrated or talked about anywhere.
>> That's not exactly entirely true. There's a number of other apps that
>> are making using of clutter through clutter-gtk, clutter-gst or MX.
>> totem is one of these for example. Also before long gnome is planning
>> on deprecating non gnome-shell based UXs and concentrating on getting
>> sofware rendering up to a reasonable speed. We can start testing this
>> in F-17 as it'll be a feature [1]. Phoronix has more details on
>> llvmpipe [2] and the gallium3D bits [3]
> Is this argument for or against GNOME 3?  You point out a lot of
> libraries that require clutter, but none that are hard dependencies of
> GNOME.  I understand a lot of projects are dependant on clutter, but
> none are hard dependencies of the GNOME project.

No, its not an argument about gnome 3. Its to point out that
gnome-shell isn't the only bit of gnome-shell that uses/requires
3D/OpenGL GPU functionality. totem is one of them that we use.

> The use of software rendering via llvm is great, but unfortunately
> that is targeted at modern multi-core processors that have cycles to
> spare.  This does not target at the limited resources an XO has
> available.

I don't disagree, my point is though that this is the way the gnome
project is going and that its likely fallback mode will soon

>>> Oh and that is just system RAM it
>>> doesn't take into account the memory that is needed for the actual
>>> graphics engine.
>> Aren't the production 1.75s moving to 1Gb of RAM due to pricing of the
>> different units?
> Not that I have heard but we will see.  Regardless I don't see any
> justification that would suggest we should target gnome-shell as a
> desktop.

I'm staying we should target gnome-shell, my point is that if we want
to keep using the gnome desktop in upcoming releases we might not have
a choice. Read the previous links and you'll actually see the details
of the point that I raised.

> I understand the push to proliferate GNOME, however as Linus and many
> other GNOME expatriates have emphasized it is not the right fit for
> everyone.   I have been a gnome-shell contributor and propenent from
> early on, but I can' t suggest it is a good alternative for limited
> resource computers, when it continually fails me on my quad-core
> desktop with a top of the line video card, which I originally ran the
> nouveau drivers on but had to switch to the binary nvidia drivers
> because it ran the fan at 100% the entire time.

I'm not and have never said its the right and only desktop. On the
flip side I've not had many issues with gnome-shell in the F-15/16
timeframe and regularly will suspend/resume my laptop for weeks on end
without issues now. Moblin/Meego ran quite happily on my original atom
netbook which is of similar vintage and speed as the XO 1.5 without
massive issues. I have no doubt issues with some nouveau cards is
largely due to they are reverse engineered. The ATI and Intel GPUs
which have published docs don't seem to have nearly the amount of
issues on the NV based one.


[1] http://archives.fedoraproject.org/pub/archive/fedora/linux/releases/12/Everything/source/SRPMS/gnome-shell-2.28.0-3.fc12.src.rpm
[2] http://archives.fedoraproject.org/pub/archive/fedora/linux/releases/12/Everything/source/SRPMS/mutter-2.28.0-2.fc12.src.rpm

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