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Thread: HOWTO:Nvidia AGP FastWrites and Side Band Addressing

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    HOWTO:Nvidia AGP FastWrites and Side Band Addressing

    Introduction

    This guide is largely inspired to a wonderful guide of the Gentoo Forums (and wiki) ( and I would really thank the user elboricua who wrote the original guide. Unfortunately Gentoo and Ubuntu do not share the same configuration files therefore I couldn't port the entire guide to Ubuntu.

    You can find the original guide for Gentoo here:
    Nvidia Driver AGP FastWrites and Side Band Addressing

    The purpose of this guide is to give you a performance boost which could help you in 3d applications such as videogames.


    Requirements

    By default the nvidia drivers do not enable AGP FastWrites or Side Band Addressing. This tip is a quick and easy way to turn it on. To enable fastwrite you must have a motherboard that supports it, and have it turned on in the BIOS. Most AMD boards have fastwrite capability. I am not sure about Pentium based boards.

    You need a kernel compiled with support for agpgart (you can find it under the section Character Devices). The kernels that come with Ubuntu by default support agpgart.

    You need to have the Nvidia Drivers enabled and working. If you haven't installed the driver yet you can follow my guide on:

    HOWTO: Latest NVIDIA drivers


    NOTE: This tip requires a reboot.


    NOTE: Fast Writes and SBA might make your computer freeze if they are not supported therefore you should use them at your own risk.


    Check to see if the FastWrites and SBA is enabled or disabled

    Code:
    cat /proc/driver/nvidia/agp/status

    Code:
    Status:          Enabled
    Driver:          AGPGART 
    AGP Rate:        4x 
    Fast Writes:     Disabled 
    SBA:             Disabled
    Test the fps you can get with your current setup

    Open Terminal or Konsole and type:

    Code:
    glxgears -printfps
    You will get something like this:

    Code:
    ~$ glxgears -printfps
    6073 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1214.530 FPS
    6723 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1344.542 FPS
    6724 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1344.704 FPS
    6725 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1344.805 FPS
    6724 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1344.699 FPS
    6724 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1344.657 FPS
    6727 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1345.201 FPS
    6724 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1344.708 FPS
    6724 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1344.774 FPS
    6719 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1343.688 FPS
    6627 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1317.529 FPS
    NOTE: you can press CTRL+C in the command line to stop the process

    Save the output somewhere so that you can see if you get an fps boost after enabling Fast Writes and SBA.


    Enable Fast Writes and SBA


    Open Terminal or Konsole and type:

    Code:
    sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/nvidia-kernel-nkc
    OR (if you use KDE)
    Code:
    kdesu kedit /etc/modprobe.d/nvidia-kernel-nkc
    OR
    Code:
    sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/nvidia-kernel-nkc
    You should see a line like the following:

    Code:
    alias char-major-195* nvidia
    If so, add the following line at the end of the file

    Code:
    options nvidia NVreg_EnableAGPSBA=1 NVreg_EnableAGPFW=1
    so that it will look like this:

    Code:
    alias char-major-195* nvidia
    options nvidia NVreg_EnableAGPSBA=1 NVreg_EnableAGPFW=1
    Save the file and exit.

    NOTE: Otherwise if the file is blank:
    exit from the text editor and make a new file in the following way:
    Code:
    sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/nvidia
    make the content look like this
    Code:
    alias char-major-195* nvidia
    options nvidia NVreg_EnableAGPSBA=1 NVreg_EnableAGPFW=1


    Restart your computer.

    Check that it works

    Type:

    Code:
    cat /proc/driver/nvidia/agp/status
    If you get something like this then it works

    Code:
    Status:          Enabled
    Driver:          AGPGART 
    AGP Rate:        4x 
    Fast Writes:     Enabled 
    SBA:             Enabled

    Test the fps you can get with your current setup

    Open Terminal or Konsole and type:

    Code:
    glxgears -printfps
    It is likely that the number of fps has increased. Nonetheless you shouldn't rely only on glxgears and you should see if you have a performance boost while using games (or other 3d applications)


    If you want to disable Fast Writes and SBA

    Open Terminal or Konsole and type:

    Code:
    sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/nvidia-kernel-nkc
    OR (if you use KDE)
    Code:
    kdesu kedit /etc/modprobe.d/nvidia-kernel-nkc
    OR
    Code:
    sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/nvidia-kernel-nkc
    Remove the following line:

    Code:
    options nvidia NVreg_EnableAGPSBA=1 NVreg_EnableAGPFW=1

    Save the file and exit.

    Restart your computer.
    Last edited by tseliot; March 11th, 2006 at 11:30 PM.

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