When continuing our investigation for the "HP: The SLI Godfather?" article, it was found that Hewlett-Packard is hosting a NVIDIA Linux display driver that is numbered 1.0-8183. The interesting part about this is that the latest drivers available from NVIDIA's official site are 1.0-8178, which was released toward the end of last year. If you had read our other related articles, you will also know that we have been testing the 1.0-8751 Beta display drivers for most of this month now, and NVIDIA is not expected to release a new set until early April. What is inside the drivers that are entitled 8183 Revision 1? What are the details involved? We have a small report today on these findings, as well as a download.
When navigating to the driver and software section of Hewlett-Packard's website for the xw9300 (the HP workstation discussed in our previous article) under the NVIDIA graphics section we had found drivers entitled -- 8183 Rev. 1 27 Feb 2006, 8174 Rev. 1 7 Dec 2005, and 7676 Rev. 1 7 Nov 2005. Of course, from this list the driver that has not been officially released is 8183, or formally known as 1.0-8183. Seperate pages are available for both x86 and x86_64 software.
From this driver's download page, the download was apparently made available back on February 27, 2006 and is designed for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4. This 1.0-8183 driver is packaged as an RPM for RHEL 3 and 4, rather than using NVIDIA's universal installer (do not let this fool you though). The description for this driver is -- "This package contains the NVIDIA (AMD64/EM64T) accelerated graphics driver for the listed workstation models and Linux operating systems. NOTE: This is an incremental update for HP only. It goes beyond the latest released driver available on the NVIDIA website (www.nvidia.com". As mentioned previously, the latest driver at this time officially from NVIDIA is 1.0-8178, which reflects a minor update to this 1.0-8183 version. Turning to Hewlett-Packard's release notes, the HP products supported include the xw4200, xw4300, xw6200, xw8200, and xw9300 workstations. The listed fixes are addressing problems with an incompatibility with RHEL 4 Update 1 and Model 4 of Intel's Family 16 Xeon processors on x86_64 software. In addition, this release fixes the frame buffer corruption issue that had occurred in certain SLI modes where the screen would be filled with horizontal blocked lines. The x86 1.0-8183 drivers only contain the later fix. This downloadable file is named nvidia-8183-1.0.x86_64.rpm and nvidia-8183-1.0.i386.rpm -- the x86_64 version weighs in at 9.2MB.
Of course, the NVIDIA 1.0-8183 drivers are only a small update of what is anticipated to come with the driver releases slated for early April. There are also notable changes between the 1.0-8183 drivers and 1.0-8751 Beta drivers. It is certainly interesting to see yet another scenario similar to when ASUS had released the 1.0-8168 display drivers back in November of last year. However, this Hewlett-Packard 8183 release appears to be intentional and is meant only for use on HP workstations. However, do not be fooled if you are not running a Hewlett-Packard system! Downloading the RPM and then extracting its contents will yield the universal installer that its users have become accustom to using. The driver is located inside of opt/hp/graphics/nvidia/driver and is titled NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-1.0-8183-pkg2.run. We are able to confirm that these drivers are indeed the real McCoy with the universal installer. We had tried these drivers out on different setups and they had indeed functioned accordingly on GeForce graphics cards. Testing was done with both the x86 and x86_64 variants.
As the RPM (and the universal installer is contained inside), we had extracted the package and are now mirroring the NVIDIA 1.0-8183 drivers. These drivers are freely available from Hewlett-Packard's website thus they do not interfere with any pre-release distributing restraints, etc... Use at your own risk and enjoy. The download is available HERE AT PHORONIX. The Hewlett-Packard software link is here.
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