Hardware acceleration with ATI cards

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by linuxforall, Sep 12, 2011.

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  1. linuxforall

    linuxforall Registered Member

    Feb 6, 2010
    I recently bought a AMD Fusion powered ASUS netbook, the 1015B has a 1GHz dual core AMD CPU with integrated ATI 6250 graphic card called the ALU here, that was the lure for me to buy this. My SONY Vaio laptop has a 17" screen and it is difficult to lug it around in my backpack. Also the price was good, under US$300 with 2GB RAM and 320GB hdd. It came with Windows 7 starter, HD movies as well as full screen flash playback was possible with minimal CPU load thanks to the 6250 GPU. However overall with Windows 7 running, the system would crawl. Bear in mind I am a old Linux user so both my dual XEON desktop and my i7 laptop run Kubuntu. This netbook gave me an intro to Windows 7 but its too underpowered to run this OS. I decided to install Ubuntu, ideally I wanted LTS as I have on the other two systems but I found out that AMD Fusion works best on Natty rather than the older distros. After installing Natty, everything ran well, instead of returning the system, I could now do basically anything that I wanted including word processing, converting audio and even video to an extent. The only issue remaining was that unlike nvidia powered GPU that work fine in Ubuntu, ATI still wouldn't give me hardware acceleration, that meant playing HD movies for the presentations I do would tax the 1GHz heavily and I would get stutters. I fixed all that thanks to help from this blog and Ubuntu forums.

    Here are the steps I took.

    Added X Swat ppa for newer Catalyst

    Add catalysthacks ppa (https://launchpad.net/~dtl131/ archive/catalysthacks) for VLC with hardware acceleration

    Follow this blog to a T, this will make your install of xv-va-driver needed for VAAPI acceleration easier.


    Just modify his install command for xvba-video to xv-va-driver

    After following his instructions, remove any previous VLC that you might have in the system. Do a system update, install VLC and reboot, do a vainfo in terminal, you should see the message as indicated in the blog.

    Now with HD movies, my CPU never goes over 50% on full screen, earlier it used to be close to 75%. I can live with this till next edition of Ubuntu comes out with working hardware acceleration. This would however be my last system with ATI card, I would get AMD CPU in future but my video card would be nvidia.
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