We have been waiting and waiting for NVIDIA to release their new Linux display drivers and today we can report that they finally did. Sneaking out of the NVIDIA camp on Friday night was the 100.14.03 Beta driver for Linux. However, at this time there is no 100.14.03 equivalent for FreeBSD or Solaris users.
The release highlights for the 100.14.03 driver only mention one change -- new product support. Specifically, the NVIDIA 100.14.03 display driver adds official support for the GeForce 8600GTS, 8600GT, 8500GT, 8400GS, and the 8300GS. The GeForce 8500 and 8600 series GPUs were introduced earlier in the week, while the GeForce 8300 and 8400 low-end graphics cards should be introduced shortly.
While Beta drivers are normally found at nZone, this time around they are hosted on NVIDIA's official website. For the 100.14.03 driver being the inaugural release in a new series the changes really are not there. There are likely some bug fixes in the driver but NVIDIA's only highlight is the additional GeForce 8 product support. We have been dissecting these drivers but so far, we have found nothing major. Of course, the rumor mill earlier in the year seemed to tell that there could be a new graphical NVIDIA installer, PureVideo HD support, and more. Nor have we seen any definitive performance improvements with these drivers.
While not corroborated, a stable 100.xx.xx NVIDIA display driver will likely arrive in May and then at that time we will hopefully see some more interesting changes. Meanwhile, to see the state of ATI's Linux driver you may want to check out An Outcry For Improved ATI Linux Drivers. Earlier this week was also the release of the NVIDIA 1.0-7185 Legacy Linux driver.
If you run into any problems with the NVIDIA 100.14.03 drivers or would like to share your Linux graphics experiences, be sure to stop by the Phoronix Forums. Next week we will be presenting our first GeForce 8500/8600 benchmarks under Linux with these new 100.14.03 display drivers. Stay tuned.
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