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Kepler: Nouveau Is ~20% The Speed Of NVIDIA's Blob

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  • Kepler: Nouveau Is ~20% The Speed Of NVIDIA's Blob

    Phoronix: Kepler: Nouveau Is ~20% The Speed Of NVIDIA's Blob

    With the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Linux review out of the way, I carried out some benchmarks comparing the performance of the open-source "Nouveau" driver to NVIDIA's official closed-source Linux graphics driver on this Kepler-based GK107 GPU. Similar to other NVIDIA GeForce 400/500/600 GPUs, if using the Nouveau driver as found by default on Ubuntu Linux and others, you can expect the performance to be less than 20% that of the official NVIDIA Linux driver...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTQ5NTA

  • #2
    Originally posted by phoronix View Post
    Phoronix: Kepler: Nouveau Is ~20% The Speed Of NVIDIA's Blob

    With the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Linux review out of the way, I carried out some benchmarks comparing the performance of the open-source "Nouveau" driver to NVIDIA's official closed-source Linux graphics driver on this Kepler-based GK107 GPU. Similar to other NVIDIA GeForce 400/500/600 GPUs, if using the Nouveau driver as found by default on Ubuntu Linux and others, you can expect the performance to be less than 20% that of the official NVIDIA Linux driver...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTQ5NTA
    aaaaaaaahahahahaha!

    Stay mad Nvididiots.

    Comment


    • #3
      Why don't you underclock the card when it's on the binary blob so that we can compare the performance of the drivers in an equal setting?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by boogerlad View Post
        Why don't you underclock the card when it's on the binary blob so that we can compare the performance of the drivers in an equal setting?
        He did that some time ago, and nouveau did quite well.

        Of course, bottlenecks and small delays tend to punish you more at higher clock speeds (larger proportion of each frame is spent waiting for the CPU), so the only real comparison would be to have them both running at full speed.

        Comment


        • #5
          ???

          Originally posted by boogerlad View Post
          Why don't you underclock the card when it's on the binary blob so that we can compare the performance of the drivers in an equal setting?
          what the point?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Andrecorreia View Post
            what the point?
            The point is to compare clock for clock perfomance, which was done last year, where Nouveau almost perfomed the same as the binary drivers.
            This almost provides an idea of how well Nouveau would perform if it was capable of reclocking, compared to the nVidia's drivers.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by UraniumDeer View Post
              The point is to compare clock for clock perfomance, which was done last year, where Nouveau almost perfomed the same as the binary drivers.
              This almost provides an idea of how well Nouveau would perform if it was capable of reclocking, compared to the nVidia's drivers.
              Except it doesn't.

              Because, as someone else already pointed out, most of the bottlenecks don't show up until you start rendering at high FPS speeds. Meaning underclocking automatically throws away 90% of the optimization work the binary drivers have worked on.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by smitty3268 View Post
                Except it doesn't.

                Because, as someone else already pointed out, most of the bottlenecks don't show up until you start rendering at high FPS speeds. Meaning underclocking automatically throws away 90% of the optimization work the binary drivers have worked on.
                Which is the reason I didn't say that it 'almost provides an idea', and not 'it shows how they will compare once Nouveau reach the same clock as nVidia drivers'.
                I really do hope that nVidia pushes some documentation through on this soon, though they've stated that that's some of the hardest documentation for them to release.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yeah these benchmarks are borderline useless w/o clock info.

                  From the log:
                  nouveau [ DRM] 3 available performance level(s)
                  nouveau [ DRM] 1: core 162MHz shader 324MHz memory 648MHz voltage 30mV
                  nouveau [ DRM] 2: core 405MHz shader 810MHz memory 1080MHz voltage 30mV
                  nouveau [ DRM] 3: core 1250MHz shader 2500MHz memory 1080MHz voltage 40mV
                  nouveau [ DRM] c:
                  nouveau [ DRM] MM: using COPY for buffer copies

                  Unfortunately doesn't say what it used, but it has to be either 1 or 2, which in the latter case would be a factor of 3, and putting nouveau at ~60% of the blob.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by not.sure View Post
                    Yeah these benchmarks are borderline useless w/o clock info.
                    (...)
                    nouveau [ DRM] 2: core 405MHz shader 810MHz memory 1080MHz voltage 30mV
                    (...)

                    Unfortunately doesn't say what it used, but it has to be either 1 or 2, which in the latter case would be a factor of 3, and putting nouveau at ~60% of the blob.
                    In fact it doesn't matter, and even I was criticizing Phoronix for many benchmarks, this time it doesn't matter. Because for an user makes little difference when the driver is so crippled. It may be good to know that it uses less watts and it has "just" 60% of the "native" binary closed driver, but in the meantime it makes most of things you will use, like Gnome Shell (or KDE4) and your game playing not practical. Isn't it so?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      "Nouveau's DPM"

                      Originally posted by UraniumDeer View Post
                      The point is to compare clock for clock perfomance, which was done last year, where Nouveau almost perfomed the same as the binary drivers.
                      This almost provides an idea of how well Nouveau would perform if it was capable of reclocking, compared to the nVidia's drivers.
                      What about the released NVIDIA hardware documentation? They can use it for implement reclock capabilities in Nouveau, right?
                      After this, I think, these benchmarks will be far more interesting! :-)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rudregues View Post
                        What about the released NVIDIA hardware documentation? They can use it for implement reclock capabilities in Nouveau, right?
                        After this, I think, these benchmarks will be far more interesting! :-)
                        Sadly, no.
                        The documentation released at this point is really limited. To my knowledge, they have released documentation 2 times, where I can't remember what the first bit of info was, but the most recent, is about a developer setting in the GK104 BIOS.
                        nVidia said that the documentation about reclocking is most likely one of the bits of documentation that's hardest for them to release, though it's most likely the most wanted piece of documentation.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by UraniumDeer View Post
                          Sadly, no.
                          The documentation released at this point is really limited. To my knowledge, they have released documentation 2 times, where I can't remember what the first bit of info was, but the most recent, is about a developer setting in the GK104 BIOS.
                          nVidia said that the documentation about reclocking is most likely one of the bits of documentation that's hardest for them to release, though it's most likely the most wanted piece of documentation.
                          Yes, as much of the RE work for Nouveau has already been done and reclocking is the last major hurdle towards getting the driver on par with the binary blob, so the documentation covering the reclocking mechanism is what the Nouveau devs quite badly want now. Most likely the reclocking stuff's encumbered with 3rd party IP which is holding up releasing that information now. As it takes a lot of time and care in going through all that documentation it will be quite some time before NVIDIA will be cleared to release that stuff.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Modern cards can handle the desktop even with crippled clocks

                            Originally posted by ciplogic View Post
                            In fact it doesn't matter, and even I was criticizing Phoronix for many benchmarks, this time it doesn't matter. Because for an user makes little difference when the driver is so crippled. It may be good to know that it uses less watts and it has "just" 60% of the "native" binary closed driver, but in the meantime it makes most of things you will use, like Gnome Shell (or KDE4) and your game playing not practical. Isn't it so?
                            I tested Nouveau with both the GT520 and the GTS450, in both cases a gnome-shell or cinnamon desktop worked fine. Before AMD released the power management code for the Radeon driver (from Catalyst), I used to set my main card, a Radeon HD5750 to minimum clocks for most use to save power, about a 100 MHZ clock rate or so. That pushed the clocks down far more than Nouveau's boot clock situation usually does, and the desktop worked fine, as did most video playback in XV. It was turned back up by a panel applet for running games or some "difficult" 1080p videos.

                            In other words, if a driver has to be good enough for any distro to boot to gnome-shell, cinnamon, or Unity on any card I have in my posession, both Radeon and Nouveau are there right now, at least for all but one of the 7 video cards I have around(4 Nvidia, 3AMD).

                            As I recall, Red Hat said back in 2011 that before they could use GNOME 3 as a default, Nouveau had to be able to run it. It took quite a while for Nouveau to overcome the firmware situation for the GT520 to run an openGL desktop, but in my last tests that was cleared up. Only my ancient Nvidia 6600LE has trouble with gnome-shell based desktops on Nouveau, and that's only because that card is too old to run any kind of speed on a driver written for cards two generations newer than it. OpenGL works and the desktop will open, but on that card it is very slow, Old school compiz actually worked well enough to use on that same card with Nouveau, interestingly enough.

                            Hell, as of a couple months ago even the Scorched3d game will pull a playable frame rate (about 30fps) in Nouveau on the GTS450 in my testing-and it would pull 11 to 18 on that card as far back as June 2012. No, I would not advise anyone to buy Nvidia cards new for gaming on open drivers, but on the other hand those intending to use blob drivers are generally advised to avoid AMD. In the long run, Nvidia could end up releasing a "firmware" blob just to handle power management, so at least the rest of the open driver could handle serious use beyond the office desktop level. I'd rather see them do a code drop like AMD did, but if the lawyers stop them I would rather see a firmware blob just big enough for power management than nothing.

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