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 5 of 5 - 27 Comments

Urban Terror is pretty much the same story as the other ioquake3-based benchmarks.

When running the more visually intensive Xonotic OpenGL game, the Nouveau driver was surprisingly still able to compete with the NVIDIA driver when both drivers were controlling the graphics processor and video memory at the same frequencies.

While it's nice to see the Nouveau driver can be rather competitive with the NVIDIA binary driver when both Linux GPU drivers are controlling the hardware at the lower boot frequencies for the graphics cards, don't get too happy just yet. The lack of proper re-clocking support within the Nouveau driver is still quite troubling and we may see it improved slightly with the Linux 3.8 kernel, but it won't be for all supported GeForce GPUs and it's unlikely to be dynamic re-clocking by default, such as what's done by the NVIDIA driver with PowerMizer. So even if you're able to run up your core and memory frequencies in a sane and stable manner, when not under load you'll likely still be burning through more energy than with the NVIDIA driver.

Most of the tests in this article are also rather basic GL2 games that aren't too demanding on OpenGL compared to game engines like Unigine and Source. The NVIDIA binary driver supports OpenGL 3.3/4.3 while the Nouveau driver is at OpenGL 3.0. The Nouveau driver also misses other important features like VDPAU using the dedicated PureVideo HD video engine, multi-GPU SLI, 3D Vision, etc. As I mentioned in the introduction to this article, the Nouveau stack found in Ubuntu 12.10 wasn't even stable for some of the older (GeForce 8) graphics cards. On the newer-end, the Fermi/Kepler support is still maturing too. Regardless, at least this community-based Nouveau driver reverse-engineering project continues to make great progress.

Stay tuned for more Nouveau benchmarks from Linux 3.7 + Mesa 9.1-devel.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. AMD Launches New FX CPUs, Cuts Prices On Existing Processors
  2. Preview: AMD's FX-9590 Eight-Core At Up To 5.0GHz On Linux
  3. Intel Launches The Core i7 5960X, Mighty Powerful Haswell-E CPUs
  4. AMD Radeon R9 290: Gallium3D vs. Catalyst Drivers
Latest Linux Articles
  1. Ondemand vs. Performance CPU Governing For AMD FX CPUs On Linux 3.17
  2. How Intel Graphics On Linux Compare To Open-Source AMD/NVIDIA Drivers
  3. The Fastest NVIDIA GPUs For Open-Source Nouveau With Steam Linux Gaming
  4. Testing For The Latest Linux Kernel Power Regression
Latest Linux News
  1. New Group Calls For Boycotting Systemd
  2. The Features To Find With The Imminent Release Of LLVM/Clang 3.5
  3. Borderlands 2 Is Coming To Linux
  4. The Witcher 2 Ups The Performance More & Works Around Catalyst Bug
  5. Running Gallium3D's LLVMpipe On The Eight-Core 5GHz CPU
  6. Trying Intel OpenCL On Linux For Video Encoding
  7. GSoC 2014 Yielded Some Improvements For Mesa/X.Org This Year
  8. webOS Lives On As LuneOS With New Release
  9. Marek Lands Radeon Gallium3D HyperZ Improvements
  10. Mozilla Firefox 32 Surfaces With HTML5, Developer Changes
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Lennart Poettering Talks Up His New Linux Vision That Involves Btrfs
  2. nv and xorg.conf under Debian PPC
  3. AMD graphics doesn't work with AMD Catalyst drivers
  4. Best Radeon for a Power Mac G5?
  5. The dangers of Linux kernel development
  6. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  7. AMD Releases UVD Video Decode Support For R600 GPUs
  8. SSD seems slow