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NVIDIA GeForce 700 Series: Stick To The Binary Linux Drivers

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  • NVIDIA GeForce 700 Series: Stick To The Binary Linux Drivers

    Phoronix: NVIDIA GeForce 700 Series: Stick To The Binary Linux Drivers

    For current and potential owners of NVIDIA GeForce 700 series graphics cards that are curious about the graphics driver situation on Linux, under Ubuntu 14.04 LTS with the latest open and closed-source NVIDIA drivers with the latest "Kepler" and "Maxwell" graphics cards. Here's what you need to know now if trying to use the open-source Nouveau driver with these very latest NVIDIA graphics processors.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=20045

  • #2
    Originally posted by phoronix View Post
    Phoronix: NVIDIA GeForce 700 Series: Stick To The Binary Linux Drivers

    For current and potential owners of NVIDIA GeForce 700 series graphics cards that are curious about the graphics driver situation on Linux, under Ubuntu 14.04 LTS with the latest open and closed-source NVIDIA drivers with the latest "Kepler" and "Maxwell" graphics cards. Here's what you need to know now if trying to use the open-source Nouveau driver with these very latest NVIDIA graphics processors.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=20045
    FYI, modesetting and initial acceleration support will land in 3.15. However, the ISA has completely changed and we need to work a lot on the compiler in mesa in order to get it running.

    Yesterday evening, Ben Skeggs managed to get a triangle. Time will tell how long it will take to have 3D support for Maxwell.

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    • #3
      Looks impressive even without reclocking.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by phoronix View Post
        While hardware acceleration was now working for the GeForce GTX TITAN, the GeForce GTX 780 Ti graphics card with the Linux 3.14 Git kernel was recognized as an unknown chipset.
        If anyone actually has a GTX 780 Ti and wants to get it working with nouveau, join #nouveau on irc.freenode.net; it's very likely that getting it up and running will be quite trivial, since it's mostly identical to the GTX 780. (Probably copying the 0xf0 section as 0xf1 in drivers/gpu/drm/nouveau/core/engine/device/nve0.c should be sufficient.)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Dukenukemx View Post
          Looks impressive even without reclocking.
          I totally agree, keep the good work guys, nVidia users can wait a little more for better open source driver, cause they got at least a quality binary blob driver. It's shame that ISA made some dificulties but I hope and wish for the best to Nouveau cause it gone a long way from what it was before.

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          • #6
            Per-clock benchmarks are not bad

            I don't know how well they will scale in the real world , but if you multiply the Nouveau benchmarks by the clock speed differences, you get results at over half the blob's performance for a lot of these benchmarks.

            OK, the Titan and its derivatives are huge, hot cards that would normally be run with the blob if the blob is even 5% faster. On the other hand, the binary driver cannot be shipped by default with FOSS distros, and even someone running a big gaming machine with the blob might need to boot live disk images from time to time.

            Small to mid-size cards are presumably the main use of our FOSS drivers, as FOSS games are not that heavy. Hell, Nouveau can now open any desktop and run it will on things like the tiny GT520, wasn't long ago that that card would not give any 3d acceleration at all.

            Small card or large, if the default desktop won't open when booting a live disk that really sucks. Only slightly better if a big GPU defaults to max clocks and heat like some ATI cards used to do. For small GPU's that was tolerable and helped Radeon performance quite a bit when the static reclocking of a year ago was not used. Nvidia'e engineeers no doubt realized that booting a card at max clocks when booting does not involve 3d was a power waster, AMD has followed suit on that. Probably that put a bee under AMD's bonnet about releasing the power management code. Since that driver didn't have to be reverse-engineered from scratch the cod seems to have been close to a drop-in.

            On the other hand, Nouveau developers had such a hard time that I had visions of uncooperative Nvidia cards having to be damned near waterboarded for their secrets, and tiny wires soldered to board traces to extract the binary instruction set. No surprise the driver would be enough different from the blob that reclocking code that did get released didn't just drop in and needs a lot of work to fit. I've got nothing but respect for the Nouveau team to come as far as they have so fast against such difficulties!

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            • #7
              how is the "power management" (more precise: efficiency) of the GTX 760 with nouveau ?

              is it showing similar temperatures and power consumption to the nvidia binary blob ?

              if yes - it does have enough performance for e.g. compiz, video playback and gpu accelerated web-browsing via chromium or firefox ?

              thanks

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              • #8
                Titan on Nouveau should run Compiz with ease

                Originally posted by kernelOfTruth View Post
                how is the "power management" (more precise: efficiency) of the GTX 760 with nouveau ?

                is it showing similar temperatures and power consumption to the nvidia binary blob ?

                if yes - it does have enough performance for e.g. compiz, video playback and gpu accelerated web-browsing via chromium or firefox ?

                thanks
                I would imagine that chip at mid power clocks would use someone more power than my HD5750 would flat-out under max load, but much less than the max power the GF110 uses at full throttle. I have sucessfully run Cinnamon, which is quite a bit heavier than Compiz, on an Nvidia GT520 under Nouveau, shortly after that chip got working for 3d on Nouveau.

                Presumably with something the size of a Titan, the open driver would be used only when running from a live disk until power management is made to work. Five years from now, certainly 8 years from now though, Titans might trade cheap on eBay and at hamfests, and binary support will be long gone. At that point, power management in Nouveau will be a very big deal indeed, and if the Nouveau driver works anything like Radeon when power management is made to work that will be a plenty viable combination. A game would have to be awful heavy to not be able to run a decent framerate on a Titan with a driver 80% as good as the blob is today. As for 4K monitors that might be common by then, I suspect a Titan on Nouveau could run Compiz on one now, though not owning either monitors or GPU's that expensive I cannot test that. There are reports you can forget 4K gaming unless you want to run MULTIPLE Titans in SLI with the blob, however.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by kernelOfTruth View Post
                  if yes - it does have enough performance for e.g. compiz, video playback and gpu accelerated web-browsing via chromium or firefox ?
                  You don't need much for that - I'm running KDE + KWin on my tiny & slow gt220 with Nouveau, and it works pretty much perfectly.

                  As for the other question, I don't have one so I don't know - but according to http://nouveau.freedesktop.org/wiki/PowerManagement/ Thermal sensors/Fanspeed control works for the 760 (NVE0) so I don't think it should run much hotter than the blob.
                  For power consummation, my guess is that it's going to be higher on idle (since the card won't decrease the frequencies) but it will be lower under load (s/decrease/increase).
                  And for the browser, you probably have to force hardware acceleration as Nouveau is blacklisted (at least in Firefox), but after that it should work fine.

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                  • #10
                    thanks @Spittie, @Luke !


                    My main concern also was the thermal sensors to be able to see how much of a difference the power consumption and/or feature level causes in heat "dissipation"

                    if it's too much I would have to switch over to the binary blob again once it becomes warmer


                    ok, so the composited desktop works, hopefully the "negative", "zoom" and "expos" features, too cause they are a key factor in my everyday work


                    currently it's always around 39C (with the binary blob)


                    @Spittie:

                    youtube videos work for you ? if yes, up to e.g. 720p ? or is there major stuttering ? (not sure if nouveau video playback performance is comparable between a gtx 760 and gt 220)
                    Last edited by kernelOfTruth; 03-22-2014, 01:39 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kernelOfTruth View Post
                      @Spittie:

                      youtube videos work for you ? if yes, up to e.g. 720p ? or is there major stuttering ? (not sure if nouveau video playback performance is comparable between a gtx 760 and gt 220)
                      1080p working just fine here with flash, and 720p with html5 (1080p html5 probably work just as fine, but Firefox doesn't support dash so I can't test it).
                      But I'm not sure if it's using hardware acceleration or just failing back to software, I have a somewhat beefy cpu (i7-860) so I usually just don't notice.

                      P.s. with KWin, I used to get tearing on the desktop until I configured Desktop effects > Advanced > Tearing prevention to "Full Scene Repaint". But I don't remember having tearing with videos before that.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Spittie View Post
                        1080p working just fine here with flash, and 720p with html5 (1080p html5 probably work just as fine, but Firefox doesn't support dash so I can't test it).
                        But I'm not sure if it's using hardware acceleration or just failing back to software, I have a somewhat beefy cpu (i7-860) so I usually just don't notice.

                        P.s. with KWin, I used to get tearing on the desktop until I configured Desktop effects > Advanced > Tearing prevention to "Full Scene Repaint". But I don't remember having tearing with videos before that.
                        oh - I got the same processor

                        things seem to work so far albeit the "zoom" & expos-like functionality is a bit slow

                        1080p appears to play back flawlessly (chromium + flash, will try out firefox and webp, x264, etc. later)

                        the invert feature (very import for the workflow) also works fine

                        temperature stays at 40C (vs. 39C) so it *must* consume some more energy but it's not much (the Phantom has a large cooler body so will see the effects when it gets warmer again, currently outside it's only between 5-15C compared to 15-19C in the previous few days)

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                        • #13
                          I suspect that compiz(-fusion) and/or chromium and its render process are causing the gpu to consume more energy ?!

                          under windows 8.1 it's more around the temperature of 37-39C - whereas under linux (both nvidia binary blob or nouveau) lead to a temperature of constantly around 39-40C [when running no intensive opengl or other demanding tasks]


                          the only issue during the transition from nvidia blob to nouveau was

                          that a modeline was needed in xorg.conf, and the maximal resolution allowed and/or possible was only 720x400 and others

                          e.g.

                          Code:
                          gtf 1920 1080 60
                          then adding that line to the "monitor" section


                          this probably won't be a concern for *buntu or OpenSuse users

                          but for those that use Gentoo, Arch Linux, etc.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by kernelOfTruth View Post
                            how is the "power management" (more precise: efficiency) of the GTX 760 with nouveau ?

                            is it showing similar temperatures and power consumption to the nvidia binary blob ?

                            if yes - it does have enough performance for e.g. compiz, video playback and gpu accelerated web-browsing via chromium or firefox ?

                            thanks
                            Hi,

                            I've got a GTX 760 starting from September last year, and 3D and desktop effects worked out of the box on the first boot after a fresh Fedora 19 install, back then.
                            I'm very happy with the performance, Nouveau did an awesome job! The only issue I had, was that games crashed when they tried to use AA, but after filing a bug report, they fixed it within a couple weeks.
                            I did have some tearing issues, but they are also present in the binary blob.

                            The first time I started Xonotic (game) to test the performance, I couldn't believe that I was using Nouveau: 60-120fps at settings between High and Ultra, and no stuttering issues.
                            And I was even more surprised when I viewed the temperature sensors:
                            IDLE:
                            GPU: 29-32 degrees Celcius
                            CPU: 33 degrees Celcius
                            MB: 28 degrees Celcius
                            Room temp (not a sensor): 22 degrees Celcius
                            While running XONOTIC:
                            GPU: 33-34 degrees Celcius
                            CPU: 46 degrees Celcius
                            MB: 31 degrees Celcius
                            Room temp (not a sensor): 22 degrees Celcius
                            So... Pretty impressive for that performance, right?
                            I must admit I use the Twin Frozr from MSI, but even then.

                            With the binary blob driver I get better performance (about 2x fps) in more demanding games like Flightgear, but I assume this is because the clock-speeds increase:
                            GPU becomes ~46-56 degrees Celcius.
                            But I uninstalled the blob because I'm happy enough with Nouveau's performance, and it saves me power!
                            And as a rather surprising fact: with Nouveau, when running games in Wine, motion-blur is rendered correctly (e.g. Trackmania), and I don't need to set StrictDrawOrdering to get correct rendering results in COD4 so this saves performance.

                            Elias

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