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The Fastest NVIDIA GPUs For Open-Source Nouveau With Steam Linux Gaming

Michael Larabel

Published on 30 August 2014
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 5 - 4 Comments

Earlier this week I ran a 20-Way Radeon Comparison With Open-Source Graphics For Steam On Linux Gaming and that was followed by looking at The Most Energy Efficient Radeon GPU For AMD Linux Gaming. The tables have now turned as we benchmark a variety of NVIDIA GeForce GPUs using the latest open-source NVIDIA driver article.

In this article the NVIDIA hardware is being benchmarked to a similar stack from earlier this week with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and then upgrading to the Linux 3.17 Git kernel and employing the Oibaf PPA for the upgraded xf86-video-nouveaui DDX and Mesa/Gallium3D drivers. Compared to the Radeon tests, the Nouveau driver was bumped slightly ahead to address a Nouveau driver problem that otherwise was a show-stopper. So even though it shows Mesa 10.3-devel vs. Mesa 10.4-devel, it's just a few days difference of Mesa Git due to the recent branching of Mesa 10.3. The rest of the stack was maintained the same for this Nouveau Linux gaming tests. The tested NVIDIA hardware included both old and new graphics processors:

- MSI GeForce 9800GT 512MB
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 768MB
- eVGA GeForce GT 520 1024MB
- Zotac GeForce GT 610 1024MB
- MSI GeForce GTX 650 1024MB
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 2048MB
- NVIDIA GeForce GT 740 SC 1024MB
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2048MB
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 2048MB
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3072MB
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN 6144MB

For the Kepler GPUs where Nouveau has basic re-clocking but can be unreliable, the re-clocking was attempted. For the Kepler GPUs the maximum performance state reached was usually the 0a level. The only tested GPU on Linux 3.17 that could fully re-clock to its maximum performance state (0f) was the GeForce GTX 650. Embedded on the next page is the Phoronix Test Suite system table that shows the maximum re-clocked core and memory frequencies achieved for this round of Linux 3.17 driver testing. There's also a listing of the Radeon GPUs from the open-source driver comparison for reference purposes.

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