I'll crosspost this little writeup that I did for ubuntumini.com over the weekend.
There is much gnashing of teeth regarding video in Jaunty, esp with Intel chipsets. There are two common and really do-able fixes out there that some people are doing and in some cases have had some success in improving framerates and video playback. While neither of these have been noted by me to be big issues on the Mini-9, I went ahead and tried the various options to see what works and what doesn't. In the name of science, of course, documenting some numbers along the way. I concluded that the stock Jaunty is the best option for me, but some tweaks are available for slightly improved video performance.
All testing done on a Dell Mini-9 w/ 2gb ram, BIOS A04, all else stock incl wireless.
Option #1: Revert back to the 2.4 intel drivers from Intrepidhttps://wiki.ubuntu.com/ReinhardTartler/X/RevertingIntelDriverTo2.4
Option #2: Roll up to the 2.6.30-rc2 kernel from Karmic and upgrade the associated libs and driverhttp://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1130582
I've done both, and in the end reverted back to stock Jaunty. This is my report:
Rollback to Intrepid's xserver-xorg-intel went smooth and without hassle. Nothing broke. I noted slight decrease in glxgears performance, and some improvement of framerate in Planet Penguin Racer. Hulu and YouTube video performance unchanged, as in these were fine before and they're still fine. Compiz sphere animation was just as jerky as stock Jaunty. No other system functions broken as a result of this.
I backed out of those changes and went with the 2.6.30-rc2 kernel to ride the bleeding edge. Upgrade was smooth and painless. I rebooted, and immediately noted that wireless was gone. The new kernel wanted to use some b43 module, and I couldn't modprobe the wl module back in place so I was unable in the 10 minutes I spent poking at this to fix my wireless. I noted some change to glxgears performance, but substantial improvement was noted in Planet Penguin Racer framerate. I played this game for about 30min because the improved framerate made for a substantially improved game experience. Compiz sphere animation was smoothe. Hulu and YouTube video performance still good, and not noted to be any better than before.
I then backed out of all of the changes, which required me to hook up to wired ethernet as wifi was still not working. I then rechecked all of my numbers in "stock Jaunty", where I noted that my FPS in Planet Penguin Racer had improved overall. So something I did along the way hadn't rolled back to pre-test configuration. Digging a little deeper, I realized that I had failed to roll out of the xorg.conf and mtrr changes applied during the Karmic test (steps 3, 4, 5 of the how-to). My xorg.conf was still modified as per step 3, and lspci is still noting the mtrr changes because instead of writing a fixmtrr.sh script as the current tutorial instructs, I'd edited rc.local as the OLD tutorial instructed.
Some numbers to consider:
Pre-test Jaunty: 200mb idle ram, 420-450 glxgears, 12-16 planet penguin racer
Intrepid video: 220mb idle ram, 400-450 glxgears. 16-20 planet penguin racer
Karmic kernel: 150mb idle ram, 430-480 glxgears, 26-30 planet penguin racer
Post-test Jaunty: 200mb idle ram, 420-450 glxgears, 16-20 planet penguin racer
I did my work last Friday, and I note that over the weekend the how-to for the Karmic -rc2 change has been edited, tweaked, and refined. I have not repeated my experiment using the current instructions. I would encourage anyone interested in this issue to do so. I am very interested in the intel video improvements available in Karmic, but not at the cost of functional, reliable, wireless networking.
My recommendation at this time is:
1. edit xorg.conf as per option-2 step-3
2. modify /proc/mtrr as per option-2 step-3&4
3. consider 2.6.30-rc2 only if you don't need wireless on your Mini-9
Originally posted here:http://groups.google.com/group/UbuntuMi ... ee9e59b192