NVIDIA 1.0-8178 Display Drivers
On December 5, a mere seventeen days ago, Linux gamers and enthusiasts were greeted by NVIDIA's Rel80 display driver launch for Linux. In the 1.0-8174 release was initial support for NVIDIA Scalable Link Interface (SLI) as well as the new nvidia-xconfig utility, similar to ATI's aticonfig tool they had unveiled months prior. There were also a few other improvements but what was expected in this almost five month void between driver releases was simply unimpressive. On this date we had published several articles pertaining to the 1.0-8174 drivers, and as the articles had stated, these drivers still had some issues mainly when it came to the initial SLI support. However, on the heels of the holidays, the green Linux team has delivered a surprising present and that is a new driver release. Bundled into the NVIDIA 1.0-8178 drivers is improved composite X extension, fixed detection of certain older TV cards, and miscellaneous other enhancements. Of course, the driver launch today is only minor, hence its version, but is there any performance gains or losses to be attributed to the latest set of drivers? We have wrapped up our testing and are here to share our results today. Below are NVIDIA's official notes regarding the 1.0-8178 drivers for Linux x86 and x86_64.
· Fixed a problem where certain precompiled kernel interfaces were not recognized.
To deliver our SLI performance numbers comparing the multi-GPU performance between the 1.0-8174 and 1.0-8178 drivers we used the system listed below.
Delivering our standalone single configuration driver results from the latest drivers is the i955X + 7800GTX setup with Pentium D processor.
In both setups, we used a combination of Doom 3, Unreal Tournament 2004, Quake 4, and Enemy Territory to focus our findings. Throughout these four benchmarks, our traditional benchmarking methods were applied and with each of these games they were tested at multiple resolutions, Antialiasing, and Anisotropic Filtering techniques. Some of our usual benchmarks were left out of action today due to the only minor upgrades incurred in this latest release.
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