This past week was marked by the release of the NVIDIA 100.14.19 display driver for Linux and Solaris, which was the first alternative OS driver release from this Santa Clara company in about three months. The public change-log is quite lengthy and finally delivered on fixing the GeForce 8 performance regression. In our GeForce 8800GTS Linux tests, the performance fix was very evident. However, now that we have had the time to run more extensive tests with the GeForce 8 series and this new driver, we have found not everything to be smooth sailing.
We'll be following up with additional details in future articles and in the Phoronix Forums but we just wanted to pass along that we have indeed run into a couple new issues with the 100.14.19 Linux driver. Our problems have mainly come down to the driver improperly reading the monitor's EDID information and other connection issues with GeForce 8 hardware. The performance improvements are definitely there, but a new set of issues have crept up. For those that have been challenged by the "black window bug" when using Compiz or Beryl with GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmap, NVIDIA has acknowledged that there are still a few outstanding issues in that regard, which will be corrected in future driver releases.
However, one of the areas that has improved in recent times is in the area of Scalable Link Interface (SLI) performance. Later this week at Phoronix we will be delivering GeForce 8 SLI benchmarks with this new driver, which does show significant performance improvements compared to their poor past. How has your NVIDIA Linux driver experience been? Tell us in the forums.