Ati driver for legacy card on 11.3?

I have an old Radeon 9250, reported as RV280 in hardware info, the current driver is radeon but the performance looks very suspicious to me.

In browsers, for example, simply scrolling down a page shoots CPU to 100%.

It could be the browser issue but at this point I tend to think that I need the proprietary Ati driver, the problem is that my card is “legacy” and simply installing their driver from their repo won’t work for 11.3.

So, what are my options here?

Is Radeon driver tweakable in any way?

If fglrx is the better solution - what are the general steps to install an older driver? There’s so much to read on it and I can’t figure out what is applicable to my case and what isn’t.

Maybe I should just revert to 11.2?

I tried checking Opera forums, it doesn’t seem like a browser issue and it works just fine on 11.3 with a different graphic card anyway. I wouldn’t mention it at all but older versions of Opera, below 10.11, comparing to 10.61 in repos or 10.62 on their site, work extremely fast without any lag, or any latest improvements, for that matter. Chrome appears faster but CPU still shoots up to 100% on page scroll.

Or should I just buy a new card? They are not very expensive but then my motherboard might support only what is now “legacy”. It’s AGP, not PCI express or whatever it’s called now. In that case, should I go for nVidia or Ati? I’ve got AMD processor, if it matters.

Not sure about your cpu spike.

There is no way you’re going to get fglrx installed on OS 11.3 with a legacy card.
You would need to:
Downgrade the kernel, and never update it
Downgrade, and never upgrade it
Manually install & build the fglrx modules.
Cross all your extremities.

If it’s a desktop machine, I would just by a cheap (or expensive if you want) new ATI or nvidia card.

New discovery - the 11.2 still residing on the hard drive is using Radeon driver, too, and there’s absolutely no lag.

I’ve just booted into it and checked.

I’ve tried Xfce desktop in 11.3, too, btw, no effect whatsoever.

CPU spikes are related to anything that requires redrawing the screen. When the system is even modestly busy doing something else I can actually see how it happens, how the the blank screen comes up almost line by line, for example, ok, not as slow, but clearly a visible transition.Nothing like that on 11.2, same machine.

Both Suse versions run with the same /home directory located on a separate partition. Could that mess something up? Not KDE, not kwin effects, what could that be? None of the versions has xorg.conf.

I suspect Radeon driver in combination with new xorg and new kernel. Can I safely tweak any of those? Downgrade the driver, for example?

New Ati card is not really an option - all AGP cards are “legacy” now, I could only hope that radeon driver works better on them, they go up to X1650.

How can I be certain of that?

What if the problem is not with the card driver but rather with motherboard VIA to AGP bridge - it’s the troublesome spot when I boot into Windows. Never came up on Linux but who knows?

How to check if that’s the thing that spikes up CPU?

Would I be “safer” buying nVidia AGP cards? Are they better supported?

With older hardware it seems like a hit and miss.

Right now I’m reconfiguring 11.2 to bring it up to date.