performance problems with ATI Radeon r300

Wolfgang Jeltsch fmp0d6sw at
Thu Jul 2 13:56:50 BST 2009


I use Debian GNU/Linux lenny on an AMD64 laptop (about 5 years old) with an 
ATI Radeon Mobility XPress 200M card (should use an r300). The problem is 
that KDE’s desktop effects are not smooth.

If I use the proprietary fglrx driver, some effects like wandering through 
windows with Alt + TAB are acceptable at times, but not if more than about 
eight window are open. Others, like moving a window around the screen with 
transparency enabled, are never smooth. If I use the opensource radeon 
driver, it’s even worse.

The interesting thing is that performing exactly the same animation twice 
often helps (but is, of course, not what you do in ordinary work). For 
example, it can happen that showing all windows isn’t performed smoothely. If 
I press ESC and then show all windows again, it might happen that it’s smooth 

I understand that my laptop is not the newest model. On the other hand, Macs 
had desktop effects before my laptop was built. So I’d assume that my 
hardware should be able to handle desktop effects well. So what is the 
problem then? Is it that KDE’s effect code is not optimized enough, is it 
that drivers are in a bad state, or is it something else?

I’d really like to hear hints for solutions since these problems are getting 
more and more annoying. :-( 

Best wishes,
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