KDE4, Compiz and nVidia.
Using KDE4 with Compiz on an nForce 430 based system with nVidia 6150 embedded graphics.
Specifically, this is a short story about the problems you can have when using Compiz with KDE4 as shipped with Kubuntu 8.10 beta.
When using desktop effects on an nVidia based system, naturally you'll want to install the nVidia drivers. Only problem is that the hardware drivers app suggests you install the 177 series drivers and normally I would agree. But not when your system is based on an nForce chipset with the embedded nVidia 6150 graphics. In this case, I found that the 173 series drivers are the ones to use. I'm talking about the drivers as shipped with the distro and can't yet speak for the abolute latest drivers from nVidia site.
The system suffered from slow logins, very sluggish performance at the desktop, laggy application startup and slow navigating between programs. Some applications also misbehaved. The performance replicated what you would find on a hopelessly undermemoryed system, however this box had 1 GB so shouldn't have been like this. The screen redraw was fine, as in the frame rate was excellent but loading new programs was appaling.
The fix was easy. Switching to the 173 nVidia drivers made all the problems go away. There was no problem with KDE4's own composititing effects and the 177 drivers, but Compiz didn't like them for some reason.
So basically, all I did was:
- Disabled Compiz.
- Disabled 177 nVidia drivers.
- Endbled 173 nVidia drivers. They're the 173.14.12 version.
- Enabled Compiz and vwala! Nice bling and performance.