[mythtv-users] Intel GPU HD 630 Graphics Configuration

Stephen Worthington stephen_agent at jsw.gen.nz
Fri Sep 10 10:09:23 UTC 2021

On Thu, 9 Sep 2021 13:23:01 -0700, you wrote:

>I am hoping someone on this list might know something that could help me 
>configure the Intel HD 630 graphics controller.
>I recently needed to upgrade my motherboard due to signs of failure (it 
>was over 11 years old).  I was running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS with the stock 
>5.4 kernel and a GT220 video card using the nvidia-340.108 driver.  The 
>ethernet adapter in the new motherboard was not supported by the 5.4 
>kernel, so I updated the HWE (to 20.04.3) which comes with the 5.11 
>kernel.  I then discovered that the nvidia-340 driver will not compile 
>with any kernel >= 5.5 (seems to be a known issue), so I tried switching 
>to the built-in Intel video:
>   Device-1: Intel driver: i915 v: kernel
>   Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.20.11 driver: fbdev
>   unloaded: modesetting,vesa resolution: 1920x1080~60Hz
>   OpenGL: renderer: Mesa Intel UHD Graphics 630 (CML GT2) v: 4.6 Mesa 
>This "seems" to work, but I have noticed that black text on red 
>backgrounds is blurry and I don't remember this issue with the GT220 
>card.  Some web searching leads me to the conclusion that the Intel 
>video is not configured correctly (something to do with chroma 
>subsampling YUV 4:2:0 vs RGB 4:4:4).  My search found many examples of 
>this by others, but no solution as to how to fix it. One user's fix was 
>to ditch the Intel video and install a separate video card.
>Does anyone know how to configure the Intel GPU on linux to RGB mode?  
>The TV display is 1920x1080 at 60Hz, no UHD or 4K required.

It is a long time since I last dealt with Intel video, but having just
bought a new laptop with dual Intel/Nvidia, I suspect I will be having
to learn about it again.  Intel drivers should all just be part of the
kernel, so you need a kernel new enough to have support for your new
motherboard's CPU's video hardware.  If using Ubuntu, it can take a
little while for even the HWE kernels to catch up with very new
motherboards and CPUs.

Since you seem to have switched from using Nvidia to using the kernel
Intel drivers, there may be some problems with getting rid of all the
old Nvidia drivers.  One thing to try is to run "prime-select intel"
to make sure that the Intel drivers are being used instead of any
Nvidia remnants.  You have to at least log out and log in again after
using prime-select, but I usually reboot.  After that, you may need to
start looking at all the possible options to put in xorg.conf.  You
should look in detail at the contents of /var/log/Xorg.0.log to see
exactly what drivers and options are being used.  There can be warning
or even error messages hidden in there.

>If that is not possible, then a recommendation for an Nvidia video card 
>that has a working linux driver for the 5.11 (and later) kernel.

I am using Ubuntu 20.04 with and without HWE on various boxes.

I replaced my Nvidia GT220 card on my main MythTV box with an Nvidia
GT1030 (both are silent versions).  I did that for multiple reasons.
Firstly, Nvidia had signaled that support for the GT220 chipset was
ending and I knew I would then have problems getting drivers for it.
But also because I was starting to get downloaded video that was 4K
and would not play on the GT220.  As well, there were occasionally
H.265 encoded videos that would play (mostly) but were not supported
for hardware acceleration on the GT220, so some stuttered and some did
not play at all.  The GT1030 fixes all those things.  I initially had
some lockup problems with the GT1030, but updated drivers came along
and fixed that.  I normally use the Ubuntu Nvidia PPA drivers so that
I get such fixes earlier.  I am using the latest PPA 460 or 470 Nvidia
drivers on various machines and there are now no problems with them
and GT1030s that I know of.

I only have a 1080p TV (multi-frequency) and a 1920x1200 (60 Hz)
monitor to test with, so I do not know how well a GT1030 would work
with a proper 4K monitor or TV.  But its specifications say it should
be OK.

What a GT1030 does not have is support for the upcoming AV1 codec,
which is likely to be important in the not too distant future.  AV1 is
a completely free (no licenses required at all) codec that is
significantly better than H.265 and is likely to take over from H.265
as the codec of choice for 4K and greater video.  It is being
developed by a consortium of big names that includes Nvidia and Steam
so will have lots of support once it is finalised.  At present, I
believe only Nvidia 3xxx chips have AV1 support, but when I went
looking for a new video card, they were all far too expensive to
consider as I do not do gaming.  And they all have fans, so will not
last nearly as long as the silent cards I prefer to buy (I have not
yet had any fanless video card die, despite extreme old age).  Since
you have just bought a new CPU, AV1 support is not likely to be a
problem as your CPU should be able to do AV1 itself without requiring
hardware acceleration in a GPU.

The GT1030 chipset supports PCIe 3.0, and uses the extra speed of v3.0
(8 GT/s versus 2.5 GT/s for PCIe v1.0-1.1).  Instead of using PCIe x16
as older video cards did, it now uses only 4 lanes of PCIe (PCIe x4),
and gets the necessary bandwidth by using the higher transfer rate of
each lane.  It will work in an older PCIe 1.0 or PCIe 2.0 motherboard,
but will be unable to work at full speed.  This will only affect games
and other things that need the maximum bandwidth between the CPU and
GPU.  Playing video files for MythTV only needs very low bandwidth and
is unaffected.  I have an EVGA brand GT1030 card that only has a PCIe
x4 connector, which is all any GT1030 card needs.  However, all the
other GT1030 card I have seen (and my other three Asus GT1030 cards)
physically use a PCIe x16 connector, and just have nothing connected
to the other 12 lanes.  That is very stupid, as you lose the ability
to plug the video card into a PCIe x4 socket, and have 12 lanes of
PCIe that you are unable to use on the PCIe x16 socket you are forced
to plug it into.  Your new motherboard is almost certainly PCIe 3.0 or
even PCIe 4.0, so should be fine.  If you need a low profile video
card, all the GT1030 ones I have looked at come with a low profile
bracket included in the box.

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