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

Nouveau Can Beat NVIDIA With Cairo In Select Cases

Intel

Published on 22 January 2013 12:13 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel
14 Comments

Chris Wilson has shared his testing experience of Cairo with NVIDIA ION hardware on the open-source Nouveau driver and the closed-source NVIDIA blob. In certain situations, the Cairo performance does better with Nouveau than the official NVIDIA Linux driver.

Chris Wilson, though an employee at Intel's Open-Source Technology Center, from time-to-time does deal with AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce hardware due to his involvement with the Cairo library and other open-source Linux graphics work. With the Cairo vector graphics library he works on a lot, which in turn is used by projects like GTK+ and Mozilla's Gecko and WebKit and Mono, he's run some new tests of Nouveau and NVIDIA.

He's publicly shared his test results from Nouveau and the NVIDIA 304.64 and NVIDIA 313.18 drivers in this blog post. "The Nvidia ion GPU was released a few years back to cater for the low power netbook market as a substantial upgrade for the anemic Intel GMA950 (or 945gm as it is better known to us) that shipped as the integrated graphics processor in the first Atoms. Those made quite nice machines with long runtimes, a touch on the slow side compared to the full grown laptops, but actually quite comparable to the current generation of premium tablets many years later. People still use these, and I get the occasional request to see how well they perform everytime Nvidia releases a new driver."

His conclusion? While the Nouveau driver is generally slower than the NVIDIA binary driver, the NVIDIA blob for certain operations sees dramatic slowdowns. "Strangely, the nvidia driver fares worse on average than the nouveau driver, despite it having substantially better performance in several cases. This is because the nouveau driver is, at least, consistently slow, whereas the nvidia driver also experience a few severe slowdowns and so has a much more mixed set of results."

Last week I happened to run some OpenGL NVIDIA ION benchmarks of NVIDIA vs. Nouveau, which is also an interesting read for those more concerned about 3D performance than 2D.

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 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. Calamares 1.0 Distribution-Independent Installer Framework Released
  2. Librem 15 Linux Laptop Set To Close At Around $400k USD
  3. Virtual GEM To Increase Mesa's Software Rasterizer Performance
  4. Open Lunchbox: Yet Another Open-Source Laptop Attempt
  5. Wayland/Weston 1.7 Release Candidate
  6. Bugzilla 5.0 Is Coming Soon With New Features
  7. Linux Benchmarking... Even Faster & A Very Interesting February
  8. Does VirtualBox VM Have Much A Future Left?
  9. HAMMER2 File-System Is Still Slowly Coming Together
  10. The Better Looking Window Decorations For GNOME 3.16
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. LLVM Adds Options To Do Fuzz Testing