We have previously looked at the NVIDIA 100.14.03 and 100.14.06 display drivers, but this afternoon we finally have our hands on the stable NVIDIA 100.14.09 driver. New in version 100.14.09 is added GeForce 8 and Quadro product support, improved notebook GPU support, improved RenderAccel support for sub-pixel anti-aliased fonts, added Xv brightness and contrast controls, improved interaction with newer kernels, and fixing an issue with nvidia-settings. The new yet-to-be-released GeForce 8 names have also tipped up in the release notes. We've seen many of these features introduced in the previous 100.14.xx builds, but they are now officially supported.
The new product support in the NVIDIA 100.14.09 driver is for the GeForce 8300GS, 8400M G, 8400M GS, 8400M GT, 8400GS, 8500GT, 8600M GS, 8600M GT, 8600GT, and the 8600GTS. We've seen the GeForce 8500 and 8600 products in the NVIDIA 100.14.06 release (see our NVIDIA GeForce 8500GT review), while their new mobile "M" parts have yet to be officially announced. Among the new Quadro cards with official Linux support is the FX 1600M, FX 570M, FX 360M, NVS 320M, NVS 140M, NVS 135M, and NVS 130M. This driver also supports the Quadro FX 5600 G-Sync and the Quadro FX 5600 G-Sync products. In the NVIDIA 100.14.06 review we shared with you that the notebook improvements include no longer needing mobile kernel options for the NVIDIA driver and other bug fixes.
The 100.14.09 driver also contains improved RenderAccel support for sub-pixel anti-aliased fonts along with adding Xv brightness and contrast controls for GeForce 8 graphics processors. The next change is improved interaction with newer Linux kernels, which should officially work now on the Linux 2.6.21 kernel and the 2.6.22 release candidates thus far. Last but not least, this driver fixed a locale-interaction issue with the nvidia-settings configuration file parser. This driver does not fix the black window bug issue that some Beryl/Compiz users experience (still a few more months until it will likely be resolved).
Continuing in our tradition of benchmarking the driver releases, we had compared the NVIDIA 100.14.09 driver to the previous 100.14.06 release. At hand we had used a NVIDIA GeForce 8500GT 256MB graphics card, which was previously reviewed here at Phoronix. The rest of the test system consisted of 1GB of RAM, an AMD Sempron 3400+ processor, Seagate 300GB SATA2 hard drive, and Fedora 7. Solaris and FreeBSD driver updates also accompanied today's NVIDIA 100.14.09 Linux driver. The benchmarks we had used in this comparison were Enemy Territory and Quake 4.