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Nouveau's OpenGL Performance Approaches The NVIDIA Driver

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  • #16
    Can we see the xorg.conf used for this testing?

    If the xorg.conf was modified, of course.

    I've been running nouveau for a couple of months now on Gentoo/9800GT Low Power, it does everything I need for a desktop (KDE effects, video). I haven't tried video games yet. Very stable and plenty fast enough for desktop use.

    What amuses me was that Nouveau was labeled "Beta" and Unstable all over the place, and works fine, while the production Radeon drivers crashed KDE all over the place for the past year with both an HD4250 and an HD4290- in multiple distro's.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by oliw View Post
      The most telling part is one comment in that thread that points out that nouveau doesn't support things like AA/AF but the tests include them. So while the binary nvidia driver is rendering everything beautifully with all available features, the open source version is pushing out a haggard shell of a render. That would give it a substancial speed boost. Benchmarks need to be like-for-like.
      Ah, that explains a lot, because up until not long ago, noveau was just doing baby steps, it seems just too good to see them pick up so fast, particularly in contrast with the much more mature ATI OS efforts.

      Michael, if this is the case, could you please update the original report with at least a warning/caveat? I agree with Oliw that these things hurt credibility (even when there is certainly no evil intention on your part) ...

      Thanks!

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      • #18
        Originally posted by bug77 View Post
        Seriously, what does it take to realize open source video drivers will not happen?

        After years of trying, even with (some) support from AMD, no open source video driver can compete with the real thing. Nor does anyone have a plan to get there. All the community can do is play catch-up and that's all they do.
        Sure, it's fun to work on a video driver. There's tons of stuff to learn from that.

        But wake up and see the writing on the wall: not one project has delivered.
        I must disagree with you. I'm happy with r300g driver on r500 hardware. I only wish that the performance in wine games was better.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by bug77 View Post
          Seriously, what does it take to realize open source video drivers will not happen?
          I seem to recall that same sentence being used to talk about a lot of things that are real today, like automobiles, airplanes, telephones, wireless telephones, radio, internet, reaching India by sea, etc...

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          • #20
            Originally posted by mendieta View Post
            Michael, if this is the case, could you please update the original report with at least a warning/caveat? I agree with Oliw that these things hurt credibility (even when there is certainly no evil intention on your part) ...

            Thanks!
            At last check the Nexuiz configuration didn't use AA/AF. That'd be the only test profile where its performance comes into question. Will check in on it. The ioquake3 games, etc don't use AA/AF/any other advanced rendering features.
            Michael Larabel
            http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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            • #21
              Originally posted by oliw View Post
              The most telling part is one comment in that thread that points out that nouveau doesn't support things like AA/AF but the tests include them. So while the binary nvidia driver is rendering everything beautifully with all available features, the open source version is pushing out a haggard shell of a render. That would give it a substancial speed boost. Benchmarks need to be like-for-like.
              Partially correct, we do have GL_EXT_texture_filter_anisotropic, but yes, multisampling is not fully implemented by mesa/gallium.

              I don't think e.g. OpenArena uses MSAA though, and I hope it's not force-enabled (like through nvidia-settings). For nexuiz, just check the pts configuration file for it to see if it is ...

              http://cgit.freedesktop.org/mesa/mes...0_state.c#n430 (anisotropy)
              http://cgit.freedesktop.org/mesa/mes..._screen.c#n412 (msaa)

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              • #22
                Originally posted by NSLW View Post
                I must disagree with you. I'm happy with r300g driver on r500 hardware. I only wish that the performance in wine games was better.
                Ok, so there's some support where (I assume) ATI has none. But support for ancient hardware is not the way towards a better world.

                I keep looking at nvidia's binary: that's what a video driver should be.
                Open source drivers are nowhere near that and have no plans to reach there either. Sure they do the job if you use your linux box as a file server or something, but so does the vesa driver.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by bug77 View Post
                  Ok, so there's some support where (I assume) ATI has none. But support for ancient hardware is not the way towards a better world.

                  I keep looking at nvidia's binary: that's what a video driver should be.
                  Open source drivers are nowhere near that and have no plans to reach there either. Sure they do the job if you use your linux box as a file server or something, but so does the vesa driver.
                  And what do you suggest, drop the developement for good? Then what happens to the hardware which isn't supported by the companies - I have around 3 year old laptop which doesn't have offical support from ATI anymore but open source drivers work just fine. Also I'm kinda sure that the open source developers want to have as good perfomance as the binary blobs, but they just don't have the means or time to do that - it should be clear that it is not _easy_...

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by bug77 View Post
                    I keep looking at nvidia's binary: that's what a video driver should be.
                    Open source drivers are nowhere near that and have no plans to reach there either. Sure they do the job if you use your linux box as a file server or something, but so does the vesa driver.
                    This is malicious FUD.

                    Open drivers for most hardware are much closer to the blobs than the VESA driver. You're just too lazy to try them out.

                    Sure, they do not match the blobs at everything, but r300g is a better driver for r500 hardware (and older) than fglrx has ever been.

                    r600g is a great driver for everything but a small number of specialised applications.

                    This is not a race to see who "delivers". It is an attempt to create open drivers for an open system. A stable driver with 75% percent of the performance of the proprietary lock-in tool is more valuable to distributions, kernel hackers and many users than the pure FPS numbers.

                    Everybody will agree that free drivers still have a ways to go, but you are not being constructive.

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                    • #25
                      BTW, r300g does not provide "some support", "comparable to VESA", it offers full support of almost every single thing the cards are capable of, at speeds comparable to the binary driver.

                      More modern hardware is a bit behind, especially on the OpenGL3 (half-way there) and OpenCL front. But it still supports more than 99% of 3d software available on Linux, including all the accelerated desktops.

                      Open drivers are a must. The closed-source fans have plenty of options. Open source users have no other choice.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by bug77 View Post
                        Ok, so there's some support where (I assume) ATI has none. But support for ancient hardware is not the way towards a better world.

                        I keep looking at nvidia's binary: that's what a video driver should be.
                        Open source drivers are nowhere near that and have no plans to reach there either. Sure they do the job if you use your linux box as a file server or something, but so does the vesa driver.
                        This sounds like someone who has never actually tried the radeon drivers.

                        Sorry if I'm wrong, but comparing them to VESA?

                        They're plenty fine for desktop effects and other light uses.

                        They're also fine for lightweight games, like most of what actually runs on Linux.

                        They can only run Q3 at 200fps instead of 400fps. That really doesn't matter to users. Really the only place it does matter is - workstation apps, and WINE apps which may not even work or if they do run more slowly.

                        The number of users that is important to is lower than the number it isn't.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by runeks View Post
                          r600g does this way better for me than fglrx. I have no experience with Nvidia in Linux.
                          I was using nvidia card few years ago and it wasn't good experience - too many hardlocks. It's great to see Nouveau's catching up in some cases with blobs, which still don't support KMS.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by bug77 View Post
                            I keep looking at nvidia's binary: that's what a video driver should be.
                            It's example of what Linux drivers shouldn't be. There's no KMS support, xrandr, it's a blob, its 2D was/is slow.

                            Open source drivers are nowhere near that and have no plans to reach there either. Sure they do the job if you use your linux box as a file server or something, but so does the vesa driver.
                            It's funny you're saying this while Nouveau already kicks nvidia's ass in some cases (including performance).

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by bug77 View Post
                              I keep looking at nvidia's binary: that's what a video driver should be.
                              You are free to use whatever pleases you, but what's the need to spread FUD?

                              Binary drivers are ok when they work, if they work, and if they are provided for your particular distribution. They SUCK if you hit a bug (I did both with NVIDIA and ATI and it was nasty), or are not supported in your platform. And this is why most people here care.

                              Radeon is great at 2D/video, which is one big piece of the puzzle, and they are solid at 3D but just ok for top of the line gaming (Catalyst is much faster at some 3D games). Me? I'll rather lower the details if I were to game, and use something more solid. It is ok with me if you make a different choice, but I don't see the need for your FUD.

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                              • #30
                                Looks like i'll be sticking with my 9800GTX card for a couple more months, i had planned on moving to ATI for the new version of ubuntu but seeing as how the 68xx/69xx series will require the closed binaries i'll wait until they get support in the opensource version.

                                Hopefully by next year i'll be able to play oilrush or games via wine using nouveau.

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