View Full Version : [ubuntu] How do you check whether a video card is broken or is it just the setup that's wrong?

August 14th, 2010, 10:10 AM
I have a GeForce 8600M GS card in a Dell Vostro 1710, which has appeared to be playing up lately, but I'm unsure whether it's the hardware itself or have I not properly set things up.

I have Ubuntu 10.04 installed with compiz, and 'rotate cube' enabled. The 'deformation' is set to cylinder. I recently tried using rss-glx (really slick screensaver) when the slow-down and screen freezes happened.

The symptoms:

Odd behaviour begins after attempting to log in after the screensaver has blanked the screen, i.e. screensaver ran for a while then the screen blanked. When logged back in, a 'cylinder' rotate freezes and the screen does not refresh. Clicking around the screen refreshes it somewhat. Switching between screens becomes next to impossible and a restart is required.

In general rotating the cube is OK, rotating the cylinder seems a task on the video card and rotating the sphere is horribly slow.

Things done so far:

Each time I log in, I need to open the NVidia settings and change the powermizer to 'prefer maximum performance'. On next reboot I will try this in xorg.conf:

Option "RegistryDwords" "PowerMizerEnable=0x1; PerfLevelSrc=0x3322; PowerMizerDefaultAC=0x1"

...as a means to have this powermiser setting fixed to maximum, but this is not the key concern.

Other settings in xorg.conf are:

Section "Screen"
Identifier "Default Screen"
DefaultDepth 24
Option "AllowGLXWithComposite" "True"
Option "AddARGBGLXVisuals" "True"

Section "Module"
Load "glx"

Section "Device"
Identifier "Default Device"
Driver "nvidia"
Option "NoLogo" "True"
Option "RegistryDwords" "PowerMizerEnable=0x1; PerfLevelSrc=0x3322; PowerMizerDefaultAC=0x1"

Section "Extensions"
Option "Composite" "Enable"

My questions are:
- How can I verify the card is working correctly, enough to be able to decide whether it's hardware or software at fault?
- If the hardware is proven to be OK, what am I then leaving out?

August 15th, 2010, 09:37 PM
... just as an update, the following didn't work (in xorg.conf).

Option "RegistryDwords" "PowerMizerEnable=0x1; PerfLevelSrc=0x3322; PowerMizerDefaultAC=0x1"

The NVidia option is still set to Adaptive by default.

Meanwhile I've uninstalled rss-glx as it make my system unstable at times. Has anyone heard of problems with rss-glx? Otherwise, I'd like to hear from someone about how I can test my video card to see if that's where the problem lies.

August 18th, 2010, 03:22 AM
* bump *

August 21st, 2010, 10:17 AM
** bump **

August 21st, 2010, 01:30 PM
So do you still have problems after removing rss-glx? If so what are they, as the issues seem directly related to that screensaver.

August 21st, 2010, 11:03 PM
The basic compiz functionality works ok after removing rss-glx and initially I thought the screen saver was at fault. I have another laptop with the i915 Intel GMA, which also has rss-glx and runs without any problems. The only difference is the i915 laptop uses a 64bit version of lucid. No problems there.

The nvidia driver installed through the System > Hardware Drivers facility appeared to cuase another problem where cube rotation was slow and jittery. I manually installed the latest nvidia driver from their website and this problem doesn't happen anymore.

I tried the Unigine Heaven benchmark demo (http://unigine.com/products/heaven/) without luck. I don't know if their software demo has problems, but I couldn't get better than about 3fps. Extremely slow and jittery. This demo eventually locks up my system.