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Nouveau Driver Power Management Against The NVIDIA Blob

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  • Nouveau Driver Power Management Against The NVIDIA Blob

    Phoronix: Nouveau Driver Power Management Against The NVIDIA Blob

    Following last week's completion of the Radeon driver power management tests against the AMD Catalyst driver, now it is time to turn the tables on NVIDIA. In this article are some power consumption and thermal tests when comparing the latest open-source "Nouveau" driver code against NVIDIA's closed-source proprietary driver.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=16195

  • #2
    Just a quick bug report for your PTS Graph Generator

    It should be Less is Better and More is Better not Less are Better and More are Better

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    • #3
      Looks like nouveau power consumption is coming along nicely — or else that it's just not very significant compared to that of a whole desktop machine anyway (only reading idle and DVD-playback graphs; power usage during games is a bit hard to compare when performance is so different).

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      • #4
        Could you try to run this on a laptop? My Thinkpad T61p with the Quadro 570FX battery life was quite shorter when using nouveau instead of the binary blob. If the newer version is better I could consider switching back. BTW, you should add playing a Flash video to the test, it suck ups battery like nothing!

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        • #5
          these benchmarks have not so much sense as you check only what can do the not official driver .
          may be checking changes in the kernel to make the ati/nv card less consuming with the official driver is a better useful thing to do ;']

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Cyborg16 View Post
            Looks like nouveau power consumption is coming along nicely or else that it's just not very significant compared to that of a whole desktop machine anyway (only reading idle and DVD-playback graphs; power usage during games is a bit hard to compare when performance is so different).
            It looks that way, because Michael was careful to stash the FPS graphs on a different page. 100W may look better than 110W, but not so much when you realize you're getting 30FPS for 100W vs 130FPS for 110W. (I just made those numbers up, the article is very hard to follow.)

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            • #7
              Originally posted by bug77 View Post
              It looks that way, because Michael was careful to stash the FPS graphs on a different page. 100W may look better than 110W, but not so much when you realize you're getting 30FPS for 100W vs 130FPS for 110W. (I just made those numbers up, the article is very hard to follow.)
              That's a good idea... FPS per Watt. We all know Nouveau is still trailling the binary blob, but would be nice to see.

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              • #8
                I did not notice that nouveau had active powermangement. Usually it is possible the change the powerlevel manually using a module option. Thats also possible via sysfs when you activated the override. I never saw that it would change the performancelevel automatically. So what was most likely compared is the default boot powerlevel that is stored in the firmware. Look at dmesg to see all possible, ask in the irc://irc.freenode.net/#nouveau how to enable the switching. It will increase speed very much when you use the fastest performance mode. Most likely you can save energy when you enable a lower state. Tests without comparing the frequency of the gpu is a bit boring.

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                • #9
                  CPU usage

                  WRT the graphs on page 6 of the test results, showing more frames per second with the proprietary driver, then the comment that it is 'interesting' that the Nouveau driver uses less of the CPU, well, this is exactly what you would expect, and is not a surprise at all, because the increased frames per second is directly the result of the increased usage of the CPU by the proprietary driver.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kano View Post
                    I did not notice that nouveau had active powermangement. Usually it is possible the change the powerlevel manually using a module option.
                    I was thinking the same thing, but then saw that voltage and freq adjustments are done in nouveau. But AFAIK, they do not switch automatically.

                    A nouveau dev has recently commented that nouveau runs the chips at 50MHz, and the blob at 600Mhz. That explains the "saving".

                    This seems a bit like running the low profile all the time with AMD cards.

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