Compiz Slows System Down on TP T60

I have a ThinkPad T60, dual 1.8Ghz core, Mobility Radeon X1400 w/128MB RAM, 4GB RAM (total seen by Suse 3GB, which is normal).

Question…I loaded the ATI 9.3 driver (last supported version for this card), and when Desktop Effects are enabled…the whole system runs like crap. Turn off Desktop Effects, and all runs great.

Since this is a discrete card in the laptop, with dedicated memory, I’m not sure why it reacts this way (Beagle disabled btw).

I can live without Compiz (but **** its cool)…I’m more just interested in why this happens. I have a T43 laptop for testing, with 2GB RAM, and an X300 card, and it runs just fine (single 1.8Ghz core) with KDE 4.2.3. Same ATI driver.

Any ideas? Still learning the Linux performance stuff (I run Citrix servers under Windows, so I know Windows performance pretty **** well…have to…lol)

Thanks in advance…

There is no reason why you should only see 3GB of your 4GB RAM.
If you have 64bit hardware and you install 64bit OS it should show 4GB. If you installed 32bit OS you need to use the PAE kernel (the same applies here if your hardware is 32bit).

Radeon and compiz = Yikes!
I think most folks can’t get anywhere with these graphics devices. But it reports ok here:

Are you gnome or kde?

Thx…T60 is 32bit…due to pci issues, only 3GB is seen, even with pae kernel running. Forgot to mention KDE 4.24…fresh install.

My guess is a driver issue, but since the later revs are not supported, I won’t try them.

I would expect the lesser machine (T43) to have issues, not the one with discrete graphics…lol

in a terminal:

uname -a


Doesn’t sound like the graphics is setup right.

what does “glxinfo” return ?

Don’t paste the whole lot just the info lines - vendor, renderer etc.

Having said that it’s been a while since I setup compiz, I can’t remember why I stopped.

Linux tim #1 SMP 2009-07-01 15:37:09 +0200 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux


I got all the version stuff below…Thx

direct rendering:Yes
server glx vendor string:ATI
server glx version string: 1.2

client glx vendor string: ATI
client glx version string: 1.4

OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.
OpenGL renderer string: ATI Mobility Radeon X1400
OpenGL version string: 2.1.8543 Release

Thx again

Bump bump bump…lol

You may be using the same driver with the other computer, but the hardware is different.
Have you looked at ATI to if there are other driver options for manual install? I’m nvidia myself so I’m not much help am I. But sometimes there are beta drivers on offer.

Thanks…the ATI driver has 2 install methods, automatic, or gen an RPM for the ditribution. I opted for genning the RPM (auto doesn’t always work real well). That way seems to be the safest.

Haven’t been able to find anything. Another respondent pointed me to the built in ATI driver which is autodetected right out of the box. I may go that route if I have to. The driver is stable, no issues with anything, including Compiz (excpet for the slowness).

Do I need Compiz, no. But this is a puzzle I’d like to solve…best way to learn a new OS is to just jump in and get dirty.

Bump Bump…

You are using the repo - Correct?

Have you considered removing those and doing the manual?
ATI Catalyst™ Proprietary Display Driver

Just check, are you using kwin?

No, using the ATI proprietary driver, 9.3 (last support for this card).

Its really wild how the whole machine slows down. For example, Firefox instead of starting in 1-2 seconds, takes 7-10 when Desktop Effects are active. As soon as they are shut off, system response comes back.

The T43 I mentioned has an x300 using shared memory, and runs fine. My guess is its the driver. Interesting puzzle…lol

KWin…not sure…its KDE 4.24…still learning my way around this :slight_smile:

Thx for the response

Like here
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Yes, its KWin

I’m no expert with ATI and all my dealings with ATI have suggested they are rather troublesome. I’m using nvidia and Intel and both perform very well.
Can you cross check the /etc/X11/xorg.conf of the two machines?