Intel GMA 500

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The Intel Poulsbo Chipset, also known by its official name "GMA 500", is typically found on boards for the Atom Z processor series. it embeds a graphics core that was developed by PowerVR and is licensed by Intel. It's main feature is the hardware decoding capability of FullHD video content in various state-of-the-art codecs, e.g. h.264.

As the graphics hardware was not developed by Intel themselves, regular Intel drivers do not work with this hardware. Furthermore, two different accelerated Linux drivers for this hardware exist; both of which have major problems.

On this page you find comprehensive information about how to get the best out of your Poulsbo hardware using Arch Linux.


What to expect

At the end of the day you will be able to run X on your hardware. Furthermore, you will be able to use basic OpenGL capabilities, some may even get GL compositing working. You may use your display at its native resolution and maybe even have decent 2D acceleration.

With the IEGD driver, you will not be able to use suspend states anymore. You may play FullHD videos without stuttering, but only some will play correctly, others will show artifacts.

How to get started

First thing to notice is that, regardless of which driver you use, Intel currently only supports kernel versions up to 2.6.31 and Xorg server versions up to 1.6. You may be able to use newer software without hardware acceleration.

Installing Xorg server 1.6

Here will be a guide on how to retrieve xorg-server 1.6 packages, install them and get fbdev driver to work instead of vesa driver.

Choosing between psb and IEGD driver

IEGD is better. Explanation follows.

Installing IEGD-enabled kernel

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Installing IEGD binary drivers

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Installing mplayer-vaapi

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