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Intel 945 Video Hint

Are you rocking an Intel 945GM chipset with the integrated Intel 943/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)? If so, this little tweak has helped 3 of us thus far in #kubuntu-devel with KDE 4 and compositing effects.

Step 1: xorg.conf editing

Section "Device"
        Identifier      "Intel Corporation Mobile Integrated Graphics Controller"
        Driver          "i810"
        BusID           "PCI:0:2:0"
        Option          "AccelMethod"   "xaa"

This is what our device section for the graphics card looks like. We added the “AccelMethod” “xaa” option.

Step 2: ~/.bashrc

export INTEL_BATCH=1

Added that line to our ~/.bashrc file.

We then restarted X with a swift Ctrl+Alt+Backspace and then tested this setup with glxgears and we all received an average FPS of well over 1000. Prior to this, my highest FPS was a low 900. After these little tweaks, composite never worked so smoothly in KDE 4 in the past.

Does this tweak work for others using say Compiz? Are there some more Intel tweaks that you know of that help out as well? If so, add them to the comment and attempt to explain exactly what they do. Thanks!

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  • Are you using hardy? If not, XAA is the default. Also, EXA is needed for 965 users to get compiz and video playback at the same time so they should not do this.

  • tom

    Nice tip! Thx! Mine went from the low 9’s to around 1500 FPS. I’m using Hardy, but still with KDE 3 for now. Haven’t been in compiz for a while b/c it has just been plain too slow. Guess I’ll have to try it again.

  • tom

    Kick ass! Thx again! I can now log in to KDE 4 without it ending up being a white screen.

    BTW, I’m using the intel driver instead of the i810 driver.

  • I’m using regular Ubuntu Gutsy and it increased my glxgears FPS from 770 to 930. Not too shabby.

  • ryan

    Great tip, thanks.
    Using Hardy, on a 915GM, it increased glxgears fps from about 630 to 800.

  • @Travis: Yes I am using Hardy. We tested this with and without the addition to xorg.conf, and by not setting it to “xaa” in xorg.conf, we noticed the lag compared to when we did set it. I am a graphics idiot, so I don’t know what the hell everything does, or why it does it. We were playing around with it, and after 3 of us noticed the immediate change, I decided to regurgitate here to my blog to see if anyone else had good results, or if someone might know even more tweaks ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thus far, looks like everyone is seeing results with it. To bad I really don’t know what it is doing though, guess I need to start reading up on X ๐Ÿ™‚

  • EXA is the new acceleration architecture in xorg that is replacing the older more venerable XAA. Here are links about both of them:

    If you were to read planet freedesktop, you would see the blog of Carl Worth about EXA progress. Take a look at this to learn a lot more about it:

    Hope this helps

  • @Jeff: thanks for the links! I will read over them and learn something new ๐Ÿ™‚

  • adam0509

    erh… I do *not* use “i810” driver but “intel” one… can I use this tip or not ? (I got 945GM… dell inspiron 6400 ubuntu offer in france…)

  • After reposting (thanks for the tip) on the French Ubuntu Planet, one membre just posted the results after adding the intel_batch line in /.bashrc:

    glxgears :

    $ glxgears
    4503 frames in 5.0 seconds = 900.387 FPS
    4541 frames in 5.0 seconds = 908.152 FPS
    4554 frames in 5.0 seconds = 910.672 FPS
    4572 frames in 5.0 seconds = 914.348 FPS
    4543 frames in 5.0 seconds = 908.477 FPS

    $ INTEL_BATCH=1 glxgears
    8385 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1676.839 FPS
    8470 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1693.832 FPS
    8491 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1698.036 FPS
    8438 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1687.393 FPS
    8464 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1692.795 FPS


    Quake 3 (timedemo=1, demo four.dm_68) :
    $ ./quake3
    1260 frames, 21.6 seconds: 58.3 fps

    $ INTEL_BATCH=1./quake3
    1260 frames, 16.1 seconds: 78.3 fps

    Source of the comment

  • fanfantasy7

    i have VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 82852/855GM Integrated Graphics Device (rev 02)

    with (Option “AccelMethod” “xaa”) glxgears result 808 FPS
    with (Option “AccelMethod” “exa”) glxgears result 801 FPS
    without (Option “AccelMethod”) glxgears result 799 FPS

  • Brian Curran

    hi all pretty new to linux and this is probabley not the right place to ask this was just wondering if someone could tell me where I can find the ~/.bashrc file is had no problem editing Xorg.conf but can’t find that file to add
    export Intel_Batch=1 line again sorry for asking this here

  • SIO

    Brian Curran
    This file is in your home directory. For example /home/USERNAME/.bashrc

    2 author
    THX a lot!! This hint increased my fps a lot (according to glxgears from 1090 to 1780)

  • Sam Weber

    THANKS! Went from 400 fps to 1000! no wonder things felt sluggish on kde4…

  • A suzerBuzer

    Well it’s official, from some of the metrics above, it seems that ubuntu is faster than opensuse (slightly) (I’m currently on opensuse because of their better KDE4/3 focus) PS. to optimize your Intel 945 GM/GMA/GML/etc try the following in Section “Device” of your xorg.conf file:

    Option “AccelMethod” “XAA”
    Option “PageFlip” “true”
    Option “TripleBuffer” “true”
    Option “XvMC” “true”
    Option “XvMCSurfaces” “7”

    force 2D Acceleration to XAA, since EXA is still unstable/wierd
    as of intel driver 2.5.0. XAA and EXA are 2D acceleration methods (EXA will be superior in the future, just not yet) the folks at Suse turned this on as default in opensuse 11.1 and it caused suse to come out dead last in graphic benchmarks of 4 major distros: Ubuntu, Fedora, Mandriva, Gentoo, so beware of EXA on Intel 945 and prior.

    2D accel method:
    Option “AccelMethod” “XAA”

    3D accel optimizations:
    Option “PageFlip” “true”
    Option “TripleBuffer” “true”
    (the above 2 option may cause instability with some peoples systems, test these and remove BOTH [as they work together] if it causes any problems)

    Finally, explicitly turning ON Intel’s hardware, MPEG2 Motion Compensation
    Decoder logic with following options:

    VIDEO Accel: Hardware Video Decode:
    Option “XvMC” “true”
    Option “XvMCSurfaces” “7”

    Note well: despite claims by the developers at Intel and Mesa,
    you MUST specify the exact path of the in the
    file /etc/X11/XvMCConfig (if it doesn’t exist on ur system, create it and
    place the entry on the first line of /etc/X11/XvMCConfig as follows:
    (as an example) Line 1 of my XvMCConfig contains the following:

    search for this lib file on ur system as it maybe in a different place on ur system

    make sure to set your video player software to use Xvideo with Motion Compensation instead of plain Xv, for example KMPLAYER;s video output should be set to XvMC instead of Xv; results…–> much lower CPU and smooth video playback of DVD (Mpeg2) video.

  • Vincent

    I use Intrepid and I have the minimal xorg.conf from Xorg 7.4. Where should I add these options?

  • Thanks for the tip. Running Debian Lenny + Gnome. This made compiz work better. I don’t think the glx gears part made it any better, but telling it to use the i810 driver did.

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