NVIDIA 2007 Year In Review
Striking midway through the year was the 100.14.11 driver release. The new product support added in this release was for the GeForce 7025 and GeForce 7050 IGPs. Improved interaction with ATI RS480/482 motherboards, improved support for House Sync with G-Sync II, and improved NVIDIA X driver interaction with the ACPI daemon were also other official changes. For some users in a select configuration, this driver had also fixed a console restore problem.
After a dry summer, the NVIDIA 100.14.19 Linux driver was released, which had a lengthy change-log. The new product support in this release was for the Quadro FX 290, 370, 570, and 1700. While this driver had many changes, the noteworthy ones included fixing the GeForce 8 performance regression, improved GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmap out-of-memory handling, improved power management support, X.Org 7.3 compatibility, support for bridgeless SLI on the GeForce 8 series, Linux 2.6.23 kernel support, improved hot-key switching, and reducing the kernel virtual memory usage.
In November the 169.04 beta driver was then released, and then last week the stable version was made available: 169.07. The product support added in this release was for the GeForce 8800GT, 8800GTS 512MB, and GeForce 8800M. Noteworthy changes in this last driver release of the year was improved mode-setting support on Quadro/GeForce 8 series GPUs, fixing GeForce 8 (and select other GPUs) stability problems, improved XRender performance, added PowerMizer support to nvidia-settings, improved display device detection for the GeForce 8 series, and experimental support for running the X server at Depth 30. This driver also shipped with a nasty bug that causes the graphics card fan to run at full-speed the entire time.
Between these seven driver releases, most of the changes came down to being new product support and improvements/fixes for the GeForce 8 series. Aside from that and the XRender performance boost there weren't any major changes this year on NVIDIA's proprietary Linux driver front.
For benchmarking these NVIDIA Linux drivers from the year we had dug up an Abit AW8 (i955X) motherboard, which was compatible with Fedora Core 6. We had went back to use Fedora Core 6 as its shipping kernel and X.Org were compatible with the 1.0-9755 driver release. With the i955X motherboard, we had used an Intel Pentium D 820, 2GB of DDR2-800, and Western Digital 160GB SATA hard drive. The graphics card we had used for testing was a GeForce 6600GT 128MB (PCI Express) for compatibility with the earliest driver tested and as we have already delivered a number of GeForce 8 benchmarks with the different drivers. Benchmarks used for this NVIDIA AYiR 2007 article were Doom 3, Quake 4, and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars.
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