Graphics issues

Right, a bit ‘o’ history first.
I recently resurrected an old desktop from work and although it has dual 3 gig processors and 4 gig of ram the graphics card is an unknown quantity, indeed it’s built into the mainboard and even struggles to run full screen video.I attributed this to a low quality card but…
The other day my windross lappy finally gave up the ghost (after installing official updates no less(I think they do it on purpose to make you buy a new os)) and I have now resurrected it with Maverick.
Thing is, although it runs full screen vids ok it really struggles with game graphics, Tried playing torcs and it displays like a series of snap shots almost like the processor is overheating (but it’s not).
I know the card can handle some intensive games like doom3 , prey, nfs carbon etc with no problems under windross so was wondering why the problems under Ubuntu/Linux and if anything can be done about it.
The card is an ATI Radeon X1400.

What’s the output from

sudo lshw -C display

And which Linux distro/version ? … Maverick ? … 32 or 64bit ?

  *-display               
       description: VGA compatible controller
       product: Radeon Mobility X1400
       vendor: ATI Technologies Inc
       physical id: 0
       bus info: pci@0000:01:00.0
       version: 00
       width: 32 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pm pciexpress vga_controller bus_master cap_list rom
       configuration: driver=radeon latency=0
       resources: irq:16 memory:c0000000-cfffffff ioport:ee00(size=256) memory:dfdf0000-dfdfffff memory:dfe00000-dfe1ffff

Sorry bout that, 32 bit Maverick

Is additional drivers offering you fglrx ?

If it is… don’t enable it yet, just let me know… I think I read something about having to enable “nomodeset” in the kernel boot line first.

Also, if this is a laptop… can you post the make/model.

Nope, nothing in additional drivers.
Yes it is a laptop. Dell Inspiron 9400

It looks like ATI dropped support for the X1400 in their proprietary drivers (fglrx) some time ago… they were made back in the days when ATI’s Linux support was pants… it’s a little better now, but they are still not updating any drivers for cards they consider “legacy” product.

Problem is that Maverick uses a version of Xorg that the old fglrx driver are incompatible with… leaving you in the horrible position of having to go all the way back to Ubuntu 8.04 for ATI’s last driver to work… and 8.04 is no longer receiving updates.

So I’m sorry to say… you’re buggered mate.

No big.
I’ll just get a good graphics card for the desk top.what would you suggest to be compatible with maverick?

Is the graphics card port PCI-E or AGP ?

Pci-e I think (how can I tell the difference?) But info for both would be appreciated just in case.

Preferably by getting the motherboard make/model, and looking it up on the manufacturers website :wink:


Here’s a a picture of PCIe slots

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/fc/PCIExpress.jpg/250px-PCIExpress.jpg

(from top to bottom: PCIe ×4, ×16, ×1 and ×16… the bottom slot is an ordinary PCI slot)

The long PCIe X16 slots are the graphics slots… and you’ll find them in many colours.

PCIe is the replacement for (amongst other things) AGP, so is normally found on more recent motherboards.

Picture source, and further info:-


Here’s an AGP slot


(from top to bottom: AGP slot… the bottom 2 slots are ordinary PCI slots)

AGP slots are shorter than PCIe x16 slots, tend to be brown… and always start further from the back of the motherboard than normal PCI slots.

AGP is an older graphics standard that PCIe so will tend to be found on older motherboards… VERY old motherboards won’t even have an AGP port, but you’d be going a VERY long way back :wink:

Picture source, and further info:-

All things considered I thought that as I could get console for the same price as I was going to pay for a graphics card I might as well just do that and so I bought (and yes I do feel like a bit of a traitor) an xbox.
Was going to get a PS3 but I honestly thing the box is better.
Thanx for the help and advise on this issue anyway.