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A 14-Way Comparison Of NVIDIA vs. Nouveau Drivers

Michael Larabel

Published on 9 November 2011
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 9 of 24 - 21 Comments

GeForce GT 520: The NVIDIA GeForce 500 series is a refreshed Fermi line-up that first premiered in late 2010. The Linux support for both the open and closed-source drivers for the GeForce 500 series is similar to that of the GeForce 400 series, except for what was already noted about the latest Fermi chipsets (0xD9) needing the Linux 3.2 kernel for mode-setting.

The GeForce GT 520 series was launched in April of this year on the GF119 core operating at 810MHz. The EVGA GeForce GT 520 that I had picked up has 1GB of DDR3 memory at 900MHz. This EVGA graphics card was a full-height card with a very small actively cooled heatsink on the core.

The GeForce GT 520 would light up with the Linux 3.2 kernel DRM and the xf86-video-nouveau DDX Git would work, but the Gallium3D driver (from Mesa 7.12-devel Git) would fail and fallback to using the Mesa software rasterizer. In other words, broken 3D acceleration.

GeForce GTX 550 Ti: The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti is the last graphics card available for testing from the Fermi generation. Fermi will soon be replaced by NVIDIA's GeForce 600 "Kepler" hardware. The EVGA GeForce GTX 550 Ti has the GF116 core at 900MHz and 1GB of GDDR5 video memory at 4.1GHz. The active cooler on the GTX 550 Ti is a dual-slot solution and this graphics card requires an external six-pin PCI Express power connector.

When booting the Linux 3.2 kernel with the GeForce GTX 550 Ti, the system would lock-up during the boot process.

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