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NVIDIA's Linux Driver On Ubuntu Is Very Competitive With Windows 8

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  • #46
    Originally posted by mendieta View Post
    Ah, I see it, but clicking on it does nothing for me (Google Chrome). Anyways, thank you!
    Oddly enough, it works in Firefox, and not in Google Chrome!

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    • #47
      Originally posted by mendieta View Post
      Oddly enough, it works in Firefox, and not in Google Chrome!
      Yeap, sure works in Firefox. I wonder if it works in Rekonq...

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      • #48
        Originally posted by Artemis3 View Post
        According to nvidia, the driver code base is common in the different platforms. Perhaps AMD has a completely separate code base for each?
        Nvidia drivers' are mostly just a recompile of the Windows.
        Including down to the small details. They tend to do stuff "their own way".

        A a consequence:
        - some features are handled completely differently (multi display, for exemple, use their own way instead of being Xrandr from the begining like it is standard).
        A a consequence, some features don't work very well or in a standart way in Linux.
        (Multi-diplay can sometime break badly on Linux because the desktop environment doesn't expect the system to work that way).

        - other features just plain don't work because the mecanism Nvidia relies on don't exist as-is in Linux. Often Linux provides a different way to do it, but Nvidia doesn't bother doing stuff the Linux way. As an exemple: sharing buffers between graphics cards. It functions in a completely different way in Linux (DMA-BUF) then in Windows. As a consequence, Optimus doesn't work on Linux - hence the whole "Fuck You" public announcement.

        As an advantage:
        - As the drivers are more or less the same, for basic functionality you more or less get the same performance between Windows and Linux as it's basically the same code running.

        What you are testing in such a benchmark, isn't much the difference in performance between *the drivers* for Linux or Windows (there aren't much their basically the same).
        But you are in fact testing the relative performance of both OS (Linux is usually at as light advantage here) and the overhead of the layer between the OS and Nvidia (Linux is at some disadvantage as this is basically a Windows drivers which was twisted to work on Linux).



        An the AMD side:
        - Catalyst share some code between windows and linux. But not everything.
        - Most notably: the windows driver relies much more on the standard stack (its a DRI stack, it uses Xrandr for multi-display, etc.)

        That requires some resource (mostly programmer's working hours) to adapt.
        And as (currently) Linux is a much smaller market, they can't pour that much (from their limited resources) into this specific task.

        Don't also forget that AMD collaborates a lot for the development of opensource drivers (whereas Nvidia doesn't give a fuck about Nouveau, with a few exceptions regarding Tegra).
        This also needs resource (mostly legal department's working hours to grant clearance before public release of internal documentation, but they also contribute [paid-for] code to Radeon).
        Well, I'm not complaining about this, it's actually great. Just keep in mind that this means that when AMD announce they helped Radeon on Linux, it might also mean "we didn't touch Catalyst at all, we only spent time reviewing docs for Radeon 9x00 serie and sending patches for radeonSI".



        So in short :
        - Nvidia's performance on linux is better, because the only concentrate all their (much abundant) resources into writing a single Windows driver and getting the same to work under linux (and to hell for the bits that can't translate easily between Linux and Windows).
        - AMD spread all their (much smaller) resources among a binary Windows drivers, a separate port of that one on Linux but which actually uses different set of low-level interface to better play along with Linux, and last but not least also contributing to the opensource driver.


        So they are spread

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        • #49
          I remember many years ago when I read from fanboys how great was ATI and its support for Open Source and why I should use an ATI. Meanwhile I saw how nVidia users could run fluids desktop effects with Beryl and AIGLX (install and enjoy) while I with my ATI I had to create odiousodious XGL session, having a very poor performance and full of crashes.
          I wonder why AMD did not bet completely for OpenSource drivers and it still maintains Catalyst for GNU/Linux. Are the OpenSource drivers mainly designed for cards that AMD left unsupported? (leave unsupported ATI models that are not very old, something AMD does very often). Currently, Could have the best performance all ATI users only using radeon OpenSource driver? (all Steam games, for example).

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          • #50
            Originally posted by YAFU View Post
            I remember many years ago when I read from fanboys how great was ATI and its support for Open Source and why I should use an ATI. Meanwhile I saw how nVidia users could run fluids desktop effects with Beryl and AIGLX (install and enjoy) while I with my ATI I had to create odiousodious XGL session, having a very poor performance and full of crashes.
            I wonder why AMD did not bet completely for OpenSource drivers and it still maintains Catalyst for GNU/Linux. Are the OpenSource drivers mainly designed for cards that AMD left unsupported? (leave unsupported ATI models that are not very old, something AMD does very often). Currently, Could have the best performance all ATI users only using radeon OpenSource driver? (all Steam games, for example).
            Both AMD and Nvidia create proprietary driver,
            for both the end customer is Quadro/FireGL, *not* desktop,
            but Nvidia puts a lot more money and does a lot more testing - thats why usually nvidia driver works near everywhere and is good.

            Still, there *is* no promise from Nvidia, that their Linux driver is for Geforce or that its for gaming. It *was* however very good financed and supported. But not *windows-like* good.

            So, Nvidia never thought twice about disabling or removing a feature from Linux driver, if end-user uses Geforce instead of Quadro. Nvidia green and OpenGL extension crippling come to mind. No Optimus support, no SLI support. So, non-workstation Linux users were simply able to work nearly flawlessly with nvidia due to their awesome engineering team and good funding, even if they never were targeted as user group.

            Also, remember that Nvidia strongly dislikes opensource and does this only due to workstation/Tesla market, and also both AMD and Nvidia workstation drivers have a lot of 3rd-party code, that required to be mixed up and thus makes opening up the driver impossible.

            So, what AMD did, is to adapt and fund a universal graphics stack (Gallium), to work on it, to help MESA tremendously with OpenGL (together with Intel), to open some specifications and recently to reveal the code that really allows opensource driver to take full advantage of hardware. It is also a driver that is targeted at private customers, not workstation. Nothing this similar exists on Nvidia side.

            To my knowledge, nouveau also grew up with some help from AMD opensource driver and documentation. Officially nvidia has only one closed driver. Ofc it took enormously long time to complete and even today is incomplete, but the progress is undeniable and their powerful hardware paired together with open driver offers them exceptional place on the shelf.

            IMHO I would migrate to AMD if one cares about opensource. At least, it gained missing part - it has become quite usable and can justify hardware costs. Otherwise, nothing really prevents to stay with Nvidia if one is comfortable with it (I am less than so).

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            • #51
              Originally posted by DrYak View Post
              - Most notably: the windows driver relies much more on the standard stack (its a DRI stack, it uses Xrandr for multi-display, etc.)

              That requires some resource (mostly programmer's working hours) to adapt.
              And as (currently) Linux is a much smaller market, they can't pour that much (from their limited resources) into this specific task.
              See this. Search for the string "million". Teslas are plain normal GPUs, like FireGL. AMD simply missed the chance here, which it can retake with opensource driver (due to lower maintenance cost and dependence on provider).

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