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

NVIDIA's Linux Driver On Ubuntu Is Very Competitive With Windows 8

Michael Larabel

Published on 30 July 2013
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 7 - 50 Comments

In recent days on Phoronix I have published benchmarks showing Windows 8 beating Ubuntu Linux for Intel Haswell performance and the Radeon Gallium3D driver losing to AMD Catalyst Legacy on Windows. As some good news for NVIDIA Linux users, the performance on Ubuntu Linux can beat out Microsoft Windows 8 on modern GPUs. However, the strong Linux performance can only be found if using the closed-source NVIDIA driver and not the open-source Nouveau alternative.

In years past on Phoronix when delivering Windows vs. Linux benchmarks with NVIDIA graphics, the performance has generally been comparable with the performance being more or less the same. With Windows 8 and the latest Linux stack, it's still largely this way but there are some nice performance wins too. However, if using the Nouveau driver, it remains a rather dire situation.

The open-source Nouveau driver developed through reverse-engineering still only supports OpenGL 3.1 rather than OpenGL 4.3 found with the latest NVIDIA Linux driver, the performance is largely behind, and as part of that the performance is horrible because most NVIDIA GPUs can't properly re-clock so that the Nouveau DRM driver can increase the core/memory/shader clocks to their designated frequencies and voltages. The Nouveau driver also has other shortcomings like needing to use external binary firmware for the video decode engine (VDPAU) support, some stability issues, and other problems depending upon the GPU.

While the Nouveau driver leaves a lot to be desired, it's the default NVIDIA graphics driver on Ubuntu Linux and other distributions due to its open-source status. Meanwhile, the proprietary NVIDIA Linux graphics driver is full-featured with performance spot on to their very well tuned Windows driver. The NVIDIA binary Linux driver shares mostly common code with the Windows driver (and Solaris/BSD).

On our Intel Core i7 4770K "Haswell" test bed, the NVIDIA GeForce 9800GTX, GeForce GTX 460, and GeForce GTX 680 graphics cards were tested. The 9800GTX was used as a graphics processor with very mature support while having a Fermi (GTX 460) and Kepler (GTX 680) graphics cards is interesting for a modern look. The Nouveau driver has no support for Fermi/Kepler re-clocking support yet and when attempting to re-clock the 9800GTX on the Linux 3.11 kernel there were artifacts and stability problems under stress.

Latest Articles & Reviews
  1. Intel Broadwell: GCC 4.9 vs. LLVM Clang 3.5 Compiler Benchmarks
  2. Ubuntu vs. Fedora Linux On Lenovo's X1 Carbon With Core i7 Broadwell
  3. Ubuntu 15.04 Is The Easy Path To Better Performance On Intel Broadwell
  4. NVIDIA's Latest Maxwell Line-Up Against AMD With Catalyst On Linux
  5. Preliminary Tests Of Intel Sandy Bridge & Ivy Bridge vs. Broadwell
  6. AMD FX-8320E Performance On Linux
Latest Linux News
  1. Open Lunchbox: Yet Another Open-Source Laptop Attempt
  2. Wayland/Weston 1.7 Release Candidate
  3. Bugzilla 5.0 Is Coming Soon With New Features
  4. Linux Benchmarking... Even Faster & A Very Interesting February
  5. Does VirtualBox VM Have Much A Future Left?
  6. HAMMER2 File-System Is Still Slowly Coming Together
  7. The Better Looking Window Decorations For GNOME 3.16
  8. Libinput 0.9 Adds Support For Hovering Fingers On Touchpads
  9. Free Software Foundation Endorses Another (Outdated) Laptop
  10. DNF Plugins Extend The Functionality Of Fedora's Yum Successor
Most Viewed News This Week
  1. PlayStation 4 System Compiler Support Landing In LLVM
  2. LibreOffice 4.4 Is Coming Soon With New Features
  3. Linux "GHOST" Vulnerability Hits Glibc Systems
  4. Broadwell Linux Ultrabook Running MUCH Cooler Than Haswell
  5. LZHAM 1.0 Lossless Data Compression Codec Released
  6. Linux Users Upset By Chromium's Busted HiDPI Support
  7. Vivaldi: A New Chromium-Powered, Multi-Platform Browser
  8. LibreOffice 4.4 Released With Better OOXML Support, UI Improvements