1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

Testing 60+ Intel/AMD/NVIDIA GPUs On Linux With Open-Source Drivers

Michael Larabel

Published on 4 June 2014
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 2 of 13 - 22 Comments

First up are the issues encountered when testing the open-source driver on the NVIDIA graphics cards... For those out of the loop, the open-source NVIDIA driver support is provided by Nouveau, an independent, third-party driver project with the bulk of the work being done through reverse-engineering the proprietary NVIDIA Linux graphics driver. It wasn't until last year that NVIDIA began providing some support to Nouveau, which so far is in the form of a Maxwell graphics card sample, some basic documentation, code enablement for the GK20A Kepler GPU on the Tegra K1 SoC, and some other limited forms of support. Hopefully in the months ahead we will see continued (and ideally greater) support by NVIDIA Corp for this open-source driver.

The biggest limitation right now for the Nouveau driver is the lack of proper re-clocking support. With few exceptions, the Nouveau driver is limited to running at whatever frequencies the video BIOS programmed the hardware to at boot time. For most of the newer GPUs, these boot frequencies are extremely low, and thus the Nouveau performance is crippled with having the GPU core and video memory clock frequencies at a fraction of what the hardware are rated to run at. Nouveau developers have been working on re-clocking support for years, but it's one of the most complicated areas to deal with, especially for the newer Fermi/Kepler/Maxwell GPUs. This isn't an easy problem that will be fixed over night, unless NVIDIA was to devote some engineering resources to help tackle this big problem.

Regressions are also incredibly common when using the Nouveau driver between kernel and Mesa releases. With Nouveau being community driven, their resources are limited and they lack any formal QA process. With all their fiddling with the reverse-engineered driver between releases, regressions are semi-frequent for different GPUs, and I've characterized it as a game of Russian Roulette. Aside from the re-clocking issue, here's some of the problems I encountered when testing the NVIDIA graphics cards on the Linux 3.15 kernel and Mesa 10.3-devel:

GeForce 8500GT - The display would go dark after starting the OpenGL tests.

GeForce 8600GT - The GeForce 8600GT would run into issues when running Reaction Quake 3 (TTM error about failing to expire sync object before buffer eviction), Warsow would result in another problem (failed to idle channel and PGRAPH errors), and Unvanquished would result in PGRAPH errors.

GeForce 8800GT - There were GPU lock-ups with this graphics card too when loading Tesseract. There were also issues encountered about failing to idle the channel produced by the Nouveau DRM driver and PGRAPH errors with Reaction -- similar to the 8800GT. Some corrupted text was also encountered on some boots.

GeForce 9600GSO - The GeForce 9600GSO was running into font rendering issues.

GeForce GT 240 - The GeForce GT 240 would mode-set correctly and show Plymouth while booting, but when it came to loading the Nouveau DDX for the Ubuntu desktop, the screen would become corrupted in a checkerboard-like pattern. With this particular ECS GeForce GT 240 I've never got it working right with Nouveau across many different Kernel/DDX/Mesa releases while other Nouveau users have reported success with the GT 240. The proprietary NVIDIA Linux graphics driver works just fine with this ECS GeForce GT 240.

Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. ASRock X99 Extreme3 Is An Affordable Choice For Linux Users
  2. A Walkthrough Of The New 32 System Open-Source Linux Benchmarking Test Farm
  3. Habey MITX-6771: Mini-ITX Board With Quad-Core J1900 Bay Trail
  4. OCZ Vector 150 SSD On Linux
Latest Linux Articles
  1. 17-Way Linux Graphics Card Comparison With Civilization Beyond Earth
  2. AMD Kaveri: Open-Source Radeon Gallium3D vs. Catalyst 14.12 Omega Driver
  3. 12-Way AMD Catalyst 14.12 vs. NVIDIA 346 Series Linux GPU Comparison
  4. AMD Catalyst 14.12 Omega Driver Brings Mixed Results For Linux Users
Latest Linux News
  1. Live Patching Support Planned For Linux 3.20/4.0 Kernel
  2. Features Of The Linux 3.19 Kernel: Graphics & Disks Rule
  3. Orange Pi Is The Latest Raspberry Pi Inspired ARM Board
  4. An Open-Source Hardware Ambient Light Sensor Is Brought Up
  5. Heterogeneous Memory Management Is Coming Along For The Linux Kernel
  6. NTP Is The Latest Project Struck By Security Issues
  7. LDC 0.15.1 Released For A D Compiler In LLVM
  8. Fedora Doesn't Yet Enable F2FS File-System Support
  9. XZ 5.2 Adds New Multi-Threaded Options
  10. Intel 2.99.917 X.Org Driver Released, 3.0 Release Finally Near
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Looking for an nVidia GPU, but not sure how well they are supported.
  2. No OpenCL with latest driver updates on Ubuntu?
  3. Need some hand holding with upgrading xserver
  4. Maker3D - create your 3D RPG
  5. FPS capped on Linux (AMD fglrx drivers)
  6. Speeding up systemd networking service
  7. Major Performance Breakthrough Discovered For Intel's Mesa Driver
  8. Are there an app using HSA ?