Recent Kicad BZR (5339) and ATI graphics on Debian Jessie

With the combination in the subject (Radeon HD 5450), both eeschema and pcbnew are unusably slow scrolling and zooming. I timed a schematic at 3 seconds to zoom in. This is a fast machine with an i7-3820, 32 GB of RAM and SSD storage.

On another machine (Celeron N2830, integrated graphics), the same OS and Kicad build is quite responsive even with the weak hardware.

Has anyone found a fix for this? It doesn’t seem to be just a Kicad problem, but that’s where it is most noticable. It seems likely to be a combination of the ATI card and Debian that is the problem.

I’m running the radeon driver. The fglrx driver is not an option. A new graphics card is. Nvidia? Any suggestions?

Darrell Harmon

I noticed a similar issue on fedora 20, on a machine where it works just fine with archlinux. But I was just zooming on a black schematic. I have GT218M [NVS 3100M] (rev a2).

I use the nvidia driver on archlinux ver 343.36. I use the default that comes with fedora, which I don’t know what was.

I swapped the graphics card with an Nvidia Geforce 8400GS in hopes that it was strictly an ATI problem. It is faster. It’s now slow but usable in eeschema. In pcbnew, the default mode is slow, OpenGL is extremely fast and Cairo is very slow.

It seems you have been bitten by a known issue in the open source AMD drivers: LP #1003859. The schematic drawing code seems to hit a pathological case in the Radeon driver which makes it painfully slow. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find a workaround and nobody seems to be actively working on the underlying issue.