nouveau & screen blanking


My system is
Linux x86_64
Open Suse 11.4
KDE 4.6
My Display is:
NVIDIA GeForce 6150SE

I have problems with the graphic card:

  1. Nouveau from install disk does not work
    I found out that “nomodeset” does the trick

  2. Using nouveau + nomodeset, all is fine apart from Energy star’s screen blanking
    in /var/log/Xorg.0.log, at the end I get
    Information 54.383] (II) FBDEV(0): FBIOBLANK: Invalid argument (Screen blanking not supported by vesafb of Linux Kernel)

And the monitor never shuts down properly.

  1. Using the Nvidia propietary drivers, the energy star problem is solved, but system is painfully slow in rendering (video images jump) even if my desktop has a reasonable profile: AMD Athlon™ II X2 215 Processor, 2CPU, 4GB Ram

Any suggestion. I am mostly interested in solving problem 2 and use nouveau.


So you installed the most recent nVIDIA video driver How? Here is a link to the most recent version:

Here is a link to how to install this driver the hard way:

Installing the nVIDIA Video Driver the Hard Way - Blogs - openSUSE Forums

It is possible the real problem is your multimedia setup if you have the proprietary video driver installed: Here is a bash script that can help determine if you have a problem:

MMCHECK - Version 2.35 - Check Your Multimedia in 16 Steps - Bash Script File - Blogs - openSUSE Forums

Thank You,

Thanks jdmcdabiel3

Unfortunately the latest NVIDIA driver, built and compiled against the kernel source, did not help. The problem was the same as with all the other NVIDIA installation I tried, i.e.:

  1. The installation succeed and I could login in graphical mode.
  2. DPMS works and the monitor shuts down after the required period
  3. No errors reported in Xorg.0.log. The log looks healthy

However the performance is abysmal:

  1. videos jump when watched on the internet or CD, and this does not happen with nouveau, hence not an internet or media problem
  2. text resolution in console terminal window not good enough
  3. slow response when writing text and looking at the text being keyed in

I would happily stay with nouveau, if not for the fact that DPMS does not work properly (monitor does not shutdown) and that the video quality when watching dvds for example, is not as good as what I was used on the same machine and OpenSuse 11.2 (before this latest upgrade).

Form the Xorg.0.log when using nouveau, it uses fbdev as framebuffer, which is probably not the best.

Two questions remain:

  1. Why do I need to use nomodeset with nouveau?
  2. Why the frame buffer driver is the lowest denominator?



At the end I found the following compromise that seems to work for my system:

  1. blacklisted nouveau
  2. built NVIDIA driver (275) the hard way
  3. with nvidia-setting, saved a new xorg.conf file
  4. added Option “DPI” “96 x 96” in the device section
  5. changend the rendering from OpenGL to XRender

Now it seems that the combination of 4. and 5. is necessary for my system. With the default DPI (smaller), even with XRender on, the rendering is very sluggish.
When DPI is set to 96, but rendering with OpenGL, again the system is sluggish.
Besides, direct rendering with OpenGL never worked for me (lot’s of flickering and even black backgroud).

I think it probably boils down to a badly supported NVIDIA card, so maybe I will eventually need a card upgrade.

But for the time being I am happy with the compromise and DPMS is now properly working.


gchiaia, thanks for taking the time to let us know of your detailed solution. This can always be helpful to others here in the forum. I can say that upgrading from your NVIDIA GeForce 6150SE card would be a good decision if you can find a compatible video card you can afford as this is indeed getting a little old. Please update us this if you decide to make this change and happy to her you found a working solution.

Thank You,

Thanks jdmcdaniel3

Any suggestion for a reliable card for my system.
I want something that works and I am not into gaming.
The occasional dvd viewing is enough.:slight_smile:


Thanks jdmcdaniel3

Any suggestion for a reliable card for my system.
I want something that works and I am not into gaming.
The occasional dvd viewing is enough.:slight_smile:


If your motherboard supports PCIe (as opposed to AGP), I would suggest a nVIDIA GTS 450 I think. It would worth a look if it would work in your PC. Way faster than what you have and uses about 106 watts at full tilt. Here is one link you can look at: EVGA GeForce GTS450 FPB 1 GB GDDR5 PCI-Express 2.0 Graphics Card 01G-P3-1450-TR: Electronics

Thank You,

Hi again,

if I want a lower power profile, because the card would sit on my pc which is on 24x7, any other suggestion?
What do you think of NVIDIA series 8, e.g. GeForce 8400GS

Thanks again

The GeForce 8400GS will be faster than what you have and only uses 40 watts, which is less than the GTS 450 but the GTS 450 is up to 10 times faster. I will say that series 8 video cards will be on the way out for support (from nVIDIA, not openSUSE) in a year on so, but it does seem to fit your requirements right now. particularly for being newer, supported now and using less power. I am also sure it will be way cheaper. I would pick nVIDIA over anything else these days for openSUSE.

Thank You,

Hi James,

just to quickly wrap up this thread, I eventually bought and installed a GeForce 210 512Mb card which works fine (much better than my integrated card), with OpenGL / Direct Rendering on and NVidia prop. diriver 275.

The choice for this card was based on:

  • having a more recent device than series 8
  • reasonable power consumption given my needs: max is about 40W but standby mode works well with no extra drain from the card
  • reasonable performance.

So far I am happy with this compromise.

Thanks for your help and advice.


Thats pretty much the same ‘bottom end’ card my wife purchased for her PC (here PC is an Intel Core i7 860) and she is happy with it. I think she may have 1GB on the card, but I’m not sure (it may be 512MB). It also works well with the latest proprietary nVidia driver.