A week into the ATI experiment

So I was sick of the crashes in the NVidia driver. Nouveau wasn’t that good. Maybe someday it will be, but its really not that useful to me.

So I opted for an ATI W5000 card.

Initial install was rocky. The card used VESA drivers, and that was fine for initial boot. Accelerated drivers … didn’t. They were slower than the VESA drivers. Window movements were jerky. It felt … wrong … somehow.

Ok.

Google my problems, and I find this obscure reference to a problem I should not be having.

The fixes are below for /etc/X11/xorg.conf, and they go in the device section.

### tuning c.f. http://www.linuxinsight.com/your-ati-radeon-very-slow-on-xorg-x-server-1.3.html
### tuning
	Identifier  "amdcccle-Device[134]-0"
	Driver      "fglrx"
	Option	    "AccelMethod" "EXA"
	Option	    "MigrationHeuristic" "greedy"
	Option	    "AccelDFS" "true"
	Option	    "EnablePageFlip" "true"
	Option	    "EnableDepthMoves" "true"
###
	Option	    "GLXVBlank" "True"
###

After this, everything worked nicely. Once the two HP displays was underscanned, so I fixed it with the GUI tool.

Now I’ve got a dual monitor accelerated Linux rig for day to day use. VirtualBox and other tools are nice and fast on it (some SSD goodness within it). A little storage … like 6TB of RAID10 … as well.

So all in all, I’d rate the ATI as being an OK experience so far. A little rocky to get started, but once it was up, it was stable, especially in comparison with the NVidia stuff.

Now of course, I still have the Mac Mini on the desk, and that is sharing the monitor and keyboard/mouse/audio/USB via a StarTech 2 port dual DVI USB KVM switch. So I can switch back and forth with ease.

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