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

Clock-For-Clock, Nouveau Can Compete With NVIDIA's Driver

Michael Larabel

Published on 6 November 2012
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 5 - 27 Comments

Similar to last week's testing of comparing the open-source vs. closed-source Radeon Linux driver performance from a stock Ubuntu 12.10 installation, the tables have now been turned to look at NVIDIA hardware on this latest Ubuntu Linux release. Benchmarks were done of the stock Nouveau open-source graphics driver, the official NVIDIA proprietary driver, and the proprietary driver when it was underclocked to match the clock frequencies as used by the reverse-engineered Nouveau driver.

This round of benchmarks is comparing the "out of the box" Nouveau driver performance to that of using the NVIDIA driver in Ubuntu 12.10, as obtained via the "nvidia-current" package in the Ubuntu Quantal archive.

Right now, the Nouveau driver does not handle any dynamic re-clocking automatically and even the manually configured static re-clocking can be hit-or-miss depending upon the specific GPU being used. The Nouveau driver is simply running the graphics core, shader clock, and memory clock at whatever the default speeds were for the hardware at boot time when the driver was initialized. With most modern GPUs, these boot speeds are much lower than their rated clock speeds -- for say an older GeForce 9500GT it has a 400MHz core and memory clock by default while it's supposed to run at a 550MHz core clock. For newer GPUs like the higher-end GeForce GTX 460, the rated clock speeds are 675/1800MHz while the boot clock speeds -- and what's used by Nouveau right now -- is 50/135MHz. Experienced Linux users can manually re-clock the graphics card with Nouveau, but it's not as trivial as adjusting a xorg.conf option but requires special kernel module parameters and writing a sysfs interface, as outlined in the aforelinked article. For many GPUs though, when attempting to re-clock the GPU it fails with either stability issues, rendering corruption, or other problems. With the Linux 3.8 kernel there might be better re-clocking, but that has yet to be seen.

Latest Articles & Reviews
  1. Turning A Basement Into A Big Linux Server Room
  2. NVIDIA's $1000+ GeForce GTX TITAN X Delivers Maximum Linux Performance
  3. OS X 10.10 vs. Ubuntu 15.04 vs. Fedora 21 Tests: Linux Sweeps The Board
  4. The New Place Where Linux Code Is Constantly Being Benchmarked
  5. 18-GPU NVIDIA/AMD Linux Comparison Of BioShock: Infinite
  6. Phoronix Test Suite 5.6 Adds New Phoromatic Enterprise Benchmarking Features
Latest Linux News
  1. Mesa's Android Support Is Currently In Bad Shape
  2. Wayland's Weston Terminal Can Now Be Minimized
  3. Phoronix - Working Towards Faster Page Loads
  4. Improved OpenCL Support For Blender's Cycles Renderer
  5. Mesa 10.5.2 Packs In A Handful Of Fixes
  6. More Fedora/Ubuntu Linux vs. OS X OpenGL Benchmarks
  7. Intel Adds Mesa IR To NIR Translator & Makes Other NIR Improvements
  8. HAMMER2 Gets A Man Page
  9. Kodi 14.2 Released To End Out The "XBMC" 14.x Series
  10. Debian 8.0 Jessie RC2 Installer Released
Most Viewed News This Week
  1. Introducing The Library Operating System For Linux
  2. Allwinner Continues Jerking Around The Open-Source Community
  3. AMD Is Hiring Two More Open-Source Linux GPU Driver Developers
  4. Open-Source Driver Fans Will Love NVIDIA's New OpenGL Demo
  5. Systemd Change Allows For Stateless Systems With Tmpfs
  6. GNOME Shell & Mutter 3.16.0 Released
  7. GNOME 3.16 Released: It's Their Best Release Yet
  8. GNU Nano 2.4.0 Brings Complete Undo System, Linter Support & More