Receiving vast criticism for some time now has been NVIDIA's Linux department with their questionable release cycle, and with that NVIDIA has finally come to the table with their newest Linux display drivers. The drivers that were released today were not the 1.0-9XXX drivers that many were expecting, but rather NVIDIA has squeezed in a final Rel80 series driver. The NVIDIA 1.0-8774 drivers finally deliver on X.Org v7.1 support, XVideo with the Composite X extension when using X.Org v7.1, and improved interaction with newer kernels.
X.Org v7.1 is one of the key changes in this release, which has been one of the complaints by NVIDIA users. X11R7.1 was originally released back on May 22 back but not until today had NVIDIA supported this latest X release. One of the prominent additions to X.Org 7.1 was the inclusion of AIGLX, which requires the OpenGL GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmap extension. For those NVIDIA users wanting to use AIGLX, you will need to wait for the Linux 1.0-9XXX drivers. ATI had delivered their X.Org v7.1 supported Linux proprietary drivers last month, but likewise they continue to lack the GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmap support.
The other major change in this release was support for X-Video with the Composite X extension when using X.Org v7.1. Also featured in this release for the Linux drivers is improved interaction with newer Linux kernels. The FreeBSD and Solaris x86 drivers ship with similar changes, as well as addressing the AGP GART interaction bug with FreeBSD. The NVIDIA legacy driver has also been updated to 1.0-7184. Added in the NVIDIA 1.0-7184 release is support for X.Org v7.1 and improved interaction with newer kernels.
Although the time-frame mentioned on the Phoronix Forums several weeks ago turned out to be correct (this thread), NVIDIA had not officially provided any advance notice or Beta access for these drivers at Phoronix (like they had done in the past). With that said, we do not have performance results to share today. However, as this driver is only a minor update we would not expect any major performance changes. If we come along any other interesting results with these drivers, we will pass them along. Likewise, feel free to share your experiences with these drivers on the Phoronix Forums. We would anticipate NVIDIA's inaugural Linux 1.0-9XXX driver release to come in September, based upon other information received.