Your ATI Radeon very slow on Xorg X server 1.3?

This one has bothered me for a long time. The solution is, of course, simple. But, I still don't understand why was it necessary to force users to search so hard for this piece of information, where all the older X server releases worked OK out of the box?

If you find that after upgrading to X.Org 7.3 your display becomes very slow, and you own ATI Radeon, all you need to do is to put this line in the Device section of your xorg.conf:

Option "MigrationHeuristic" "greedy"

After that, your display should return to the normal speed, and X server will stop burning CPU cycles during such simple tasks like moving windows or switching workspaces.

This is my whole xorg.conf Device section, with some other tuneups which you might find useful (depending on your card):

Section "Device"
 Identifier "ATI Radeon"
 Driver "ati"
 Option "AccelMethod" "EXA"
 Option "MigrationHeuristic" "greedy"
 Option "AccelDFS" "true"
 Option "EnablePageFlip" "true"
 Option "EnableDepthMoves" "true"


Can you give some background where you found this, and for which card this helps?

To be completely honest, I don't really remember where I found about "greedy" option. Somewhere on the Internet, that's for sure. :)

I tested the above configuration on two different machines, desktop with Radeon 9500 Pro, and notebook with Radeon IGP (whatever that is). On both of them it helped tremendously, aka without that "greedy" parameter they were practically unusable for serious work, that's how slow screen output was.

I am running 7.3 on Debian Unstable. My videocard is:
~$ fglrxinfo
display: :0.0 screen: 0
OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.
OpenGL renderer string: ATI Radeon 9550 / X1050 Series
OpenGL version string: 2.0.6958 Release

I have installed the latest drivers for ATi videocards, version 8.42.3 from the AMD website. They support AIGLX.
I have 3D acceleration and direct rendering:

~$ glxinfo | grep direct
direct rendering: Yes

My current xorg.conf is here (
But I cannot start compiz. I still get this error:

... executing: compiz.real --replace --sm-disable --ignore-desktop-hints ccp
compiz.real (core) - Fatal: GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmap is missing
compiz.real (core) - Error: Failed to manage screen: 0
compiz.real (core) - Fatal: No manageable screens found on display :0.0

What should I do now?

Submited by : Libros Gratis

thank you so much for the information, I really didn't know about it ,
again thank you....

Thanks so much! :) I'd just finished setting up my Ubuntu Hardy according to the Mac4Lin docs and noticed everything was too slow to work. Couldn't figure out and, as you pointed out, it's hard to find some decent info on the subject.

Well you saved me so thanks ;)

Just as an FYI, this looks like it's going to be necessary with F10 as well; radeon performance was abysmal on my laptop with the latest rawhide leading up to Fedora 10, but improved dramatically with this change. Thanks!

Thanks very much, this fixed it up a treat for me (Radeon X1600). Now I'll be finally able to enjoy the film I tried to start playing hours ago!

Your informations work really nice with my radeon card too : it is a Radeon 9100.

A very very Thanks a lot to you !

working for IBM X31 and fedora 10

I have suffered with this for over a year without a freakin' clue how to fix it! Why aren't these options ("MigrationHeuristic" and "EnableDepthMoves") included in the man page (i.e. "man radeon")?!?

I cannot just express in words the relief you gave me with those Xorg options.
Now i can have fast firefox scrolling HOORAY!!! And much much more speed goodies! THANK YOU SO MUCH

I've also filed this as a bugreport on launchpad:


Added all options as per your instruction and the improvement is notable, but the "greedy" option actually slows down things a bit, so I'm not using it. The rest of the options added are good.

Thanks for the effort.

The ATI Radeon card works for me, but I do notice that once in awhile, the screen goes black for a microsecond or second and when I watch videos, it closes down. Is this the solution to this? Also, I am new to Linux so, how do I go to the xorg.conf that you mentioned using the Terminal? How do I save changes?

I don't think so, those settings are mostly to get back performance. But, you could try them anyway, you never know. :)

xorg.conf is located in /etc/X11 directory. You edit it with some editor. Typically vi, but learn more about it before you start messing with system configuration. Also you'll need to do something like /etc/init.d/gdm restart when you're done editing, that will restart the X server. Of course, that means that it's a good idea to do the editing from the text console.

This is amazing. Why can't some of these essential options be documented? This problem only appeared for me after installing HAL (along with the usual loss of keyboard and mouse until the input sections of xorg.conf are deleted) but I can't thank you enough for the solution. :D

Great post. Just installed Ubuntu 9.10 Beta3 and it was incredibly slow. Copied your config and its now fine. Thanks

thnx soooo much!
im running ubuntu 9.04 on an old Sony VAIO PCG-Z1RA..
this xorg settings helped a lot since ATi doesnt provide drivers for old mobility radeon graphics :D

This really did the trick! I struggled with a Fedora 11_x86_64 install on an IBM x3650 server equipped with the ancient graphic card ATI ES1000. The system was unusable before I found your solution. I only added;
Option "AccelMethod" "EXA"
Option "MigrationHeuristic" "greedy"
the other options slowed things down for me. Also, I use: Driver "radeon", but I think that's not important since the ATI driver is a wrapper, right?

Why are they doing this so difficult for us?

A big, big, big THANK YOU!

Thanks a lot! Radeon 9600 pro works well again!
(debian lenny, 2.6.30-1-686, X.Org X Server 1.4.2, radeon module version = 6.12.4).
Screen refreshing was very slow after I replaced amd's fglrx driver with xorg one.
Now it's fine!

Thank you very much. It has speed up my graphics noticeably and improves overall feel of my system.

I end up having just these two lines in my xorg.conf file:

Option "AccelMethod" "EXA"
Option "MigrationHeuristic" "greedy"

Running Debian lenny with metacity and gnome. I installed the Catalyst driver (from
manufacturer) for my ATI Radeon HD 4550 card and it seems to be working, but I noticed something weird. Now when I move a window it no longer shows the window static as it is
being moved, it's like it keeps redrawing it as I move it. So as I drag it it will move it a little then redraw the window, move it a little, then redraw the window, etc. Also I noticed in Firefox when I scroll it does the same thing, instead of keeping the text fixed it redraws the text as the scroller moves. i really don't like this. It didn't do this in Ubuntu and I used the exact same driver and same machine! How can I fix this? Here is my /etc/X11/xorg.conf

# xorg.conf (X.Org X Window System server configuration file)
# This file was generated by dexconf, the Debian X Configuration tool, using
# values from the debconf database.
# Edit this file with caution, and see the xorg.conf manual page.
# (Type "man xorg.conf" at the shell prompt.)
# This file is automatically updated on xserver-xorg package upgrades *only*
# if it has not been modified since the last upgrade of the xserver-xorg
# package.
# If you have edited this file but would like it to be automatically updated
# again, run the following command:
# sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg

Section "ServerLayout"
Identifier "aticonfig Layout"
Screen 0 "aticonfig-Screen[0]-0" 0 0

Section "Files"

Section "Module"

Section "ServerFlags"
Option "Xinerama" "off"

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Generic Keyboard"
Driver "kbd"
Option "XkbRules" "xorg"
Option "XkbModel" "pc104"
Option "XkbLayout" "us"

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Configured Mouse"
Driver "mouse"

Section "Monitor"
Identifier "Configured Monitor"

Section "Monitor"
Identifier "aticonfig-Monitor[0]-0"
Option "VendorName" "ATI Proprietary Driver"
Option "ModelName" "Generic Autodetecting Monitor"
Option "DPMS" "true"

Section "Monitor"
Identifier "0-CRT2"
Option "VendorName" "ATI Proprietary Driver"
Option "ModelName" "Generic Autodetecting Monitor"
Option "DPMS" "true"
Option "PreferredMode" "1440x900"
Option "TargetRefresh" "60"
Option "Position" "0 0"
Option "Rotate" "normal"
Option "Disable" "false"

Section "Device"
Identifier "Configured Video Device"

Section "Device"
Identifier "aticonfig-Device[0]-0"
Driver "fglrx"
Option "Monitor-CRT2" "0-CRT2"
BusID "PCI:1:0:0"

Section "Screen"
Identifier "Default Screen"
Monitor "Configured Monitor"

Section "Screen"
Identifier "aticonfig-Screen[0]-0"
Device "aticonfig-Device[0]-0"
Monitor "aticonfig-Monitor[0]-0"
DefaultDepth 24
SubSection "Display"
Viewport 0 0
Depth 24

Adding the MigrationHeuristic option solved the problem for me too! Thank you!
I'm on Xorg server 1.4.2 by the way.

I don't know if the "greedy" parameter is to blame, but my system hangs frequently after my upgrade to Ubuntu Karmic, requiring a cold restart. I'm still experimenting with the parameters to make my system stable. Hardware issues may account for some of these options not being enabled.

After applied this configuration changes it speeds up my system performance on Ubuntu 9.10 with Display controller: ATI Technologies Inc RV350 AR [Radeon 9600] (Secondary)

THANKS a lot!

This information is about 2.5 years old, but it's still actual for linux mint 8 and ubuntu 9.10. This settings gave me about 40% gain in glxgears and much fastrer window switching. And that's really pity, because that means, that developers don't think about performance on end-user systems..

Did the problem affect you only with compositing enabled?
I have problems only when I activate it, both in KDE and Gnome.

My video card:
01:05.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc RS690M [Radeon X1200 Series]

Thank you so much! It fixed my problems too! :D. Sticky on google! :P

Thank you very much!!! You really saved my day, I had recently installed ati drivers in Fedora 15 and everything from then went so slow! I now can enjoy using my computer!
You're a genious!

Thank you very much! Thank you very much! Thank you very much!

Excellent! Solved my problem.

I have:

Xorg: 'RADEON(0): Chipset: "ATI Mobility Radeon 4300 Series" (ChipID = 0x9552)'

ATI RV710 to lspci(8), and an Atom D510 1.66 GHz, and am running Arch Linux, xorg-server 1.12.2. Recently they made some change in the driver packaging and WOW, did this page make a world of difference.

Worked great w/ Radeon x1250 running LTSP. No need for an xorg.conf file on LTSP, though... just CREATE an lts.conf file under your tftp "share" (mine needed to be created at /opt/ltsp/i386/etc/lts.conf).

The beautiful thing is, you can tweak these settings w/out having to rebuild your image. Just be sure to restart the clients to get the benefit of your changes.

The complete lts.conf file I used is below:

X_OPTION_01="\"AccelMethod\" \"EXA\""