KDE4 Shortcuts and performance (was Re: Re: disable fx prior to first 4.6 startups)

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at cox.net
Fri Jul 8 03:49:31 BST 2011

Stephen Dowdy posted on Thu, 07 Jul 2011 19:31:50 -0600 as excerpted:

> I had to buy a new graphics card for my Dell T3500 ( Intel E5520 ) to
> even sustain a KDE4 session. (was an nVidia NVS295, is now an nVidia
> GeForce GTS 450)
> I was having 5 second delays during window switching.  30% 'X'
> CPU usage just moving the mouse from one konsole to another and
> back/forth.
> Now, instead of it being hair-tearing-out slow, it's just mildly
> annoying [...] (i'm not able to use nouveau, or at least can't
> figure out how to have it work with my card AND my two monitors.  I also
> had to give up running my two monitors as independent X11 screens, one
> horiz, one vertical (documentation), because KDE4's kwin doesn't support
> multiple screens.)

FWIW, I bought a new card for kde4 as well.  My old one was a years-old 
Radeon 9200, but it couldn't handle OpenGL/3D at the dual-monitor desktop 
sizes a run, and amd finally killed ati's no-free-drivers-cooperation 
policy, so Radeons newer than the r2xx series finally have reasonable 
native freedomware support. =:^)

I've been *VERY* happy with my choice, a Radeon hd4650 (rv730 chip).  
It's well supported by the native freedomware xorg/mesa/kernel drivers, 
and has dual DVI outputs, an upgrade from the single DVI, single VGA, 

Xorg and kde work very well with it.  I'm running dual full-HD 1080p 
monitors (1920x1080, stacked for 1920x2160, get nice effects, etc.

If you do try a Radeon upgrade, note that the hd4xxx series is the r7xx 
chips, the latest of that design sequence.  With newer hardware, the 
support isn't stable yet, tho it should be stable upstream (however long 
that'd take to hit Debian whatever I don't know), hopefully within the 
year or at the latest, by early next year.  So depending on your 
tolerance for pre-production-grade support, you're likely best off with 
the r7xx series, hd4xxx cards, which is good as they should be reasonably 
low priced, now.  (Hopefully you have pcie, I still have agp, and the 
newer chips are pcie so require a pcie/agp bridge chip which ups the 
price and significantly lowers the commodity of the hardware; I paid $100 
for my 1-gig card, at Fry's Electronics probably about a year and a half 
ago, now, kde 4.3 timeframe, I believe.)

With the hd4650, the freedomware drivers have supported both outputs 
since before I got it, and randr works well, altho until kde 4.4 era, kde 
had some problems with randr and I had to use xrandr instead of kde's 
krandrtray and kcontrol graphics hardware config applet.

With kde 4.5 and later, kwin and the kde graphics config have worked well 
with it, and I can play around with randr rotation as I wish.  So your 
one monitor in landscape mode and one in portrait mode shouldn't be an 
issue at all.

As for multiple screens (zaphod mode)... kde is actually starting to 
support that.  Reports are that with 4.6 the basic support is there and 
sort of working, but there are bugs.  4.7 should be more stable in that 
regard.  But with native xorg/kernel drivers at least, randr is replacing 
xinerama (real xinerama, the hints it provided to window managers, etc, 
have long since been absorbed into main X and/or randr, so building 
various apps with xinerama support remains a good idea), multiple 
screens, etc, tho I understand nVidia has been resistant to the whole 
idea and randr continues to be broken with nvidia drivers.  Still, with a 
card from a manufacturer that properly supports freedomware instead of 
fighting it, randr works quite well now, and things are looking up.

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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