Over the last couple of months, we've quite extensively examined the latest Linux display drivers from both ATI and NVIDIA. We have even published two articles about Linux NVIDIA overclocking with both NVClock and CoolBits. Today, we will be continuing this never ending driver coverage as we see just how well XGI Technology fares when it comes to their Volari Linux display drivers as we attempt to run a Volari V3XT and V8 under Linux.
For months now at Phoronix we have been ranting about poor ATI Linux performance, as they simply haven't offered comparable drivers to that of NVIDIA's. However, today we may finally be able to change our stance regarding ATI's fglrx drivers, as they have released an all-new driver set (8.14.13) in addition to their monthly Windows Catalyst (5.6) release. Among other things, these new Linux drivers contain a much-improved installer.
In addition to OpenGL 2.0 and additional Xinerama support, the CoolBits feature has finally been added to NVIDIA's Linux Display Drivers. For those unfamiliar, CoolBits is an overclocking utility for NVIDIA based cards. Support for CoolBits has been built into the Windows NVIDIA drivers for quite some time, only requiring a small registry tweak in order to enable the control window. However, CoolBits has finally made its way to Linux! In this short guide we'll share with you how to enable CoolBits in the latest NVIDIA 1.0-7664 drivers along with our successes and failures we experienced using this new feature on a few of our machines.
For Windows users, with almost every new graphics driver release, whether it is ATI's CATALYST or NVIDIA's Forceware, a small boost in performance is generally noticeable to gamers. Does this same philosophy hold true with Linux NVIDIA users? At Phoronix we're trying out all of NVIDIA's Linux graphics drivers from the past year to see just how well these drivers have been tuned over time.
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