Nouveau DRM Commits Supporting Z Compression
Written by Michael Larabel in Nouveau on 19 October 2012 at 06:02 PM EDT. 3 Comments
Ben Skeggs of Red Hat pushed a number of new DRM commits into the Nouveau driver development repository today, including new support for Z compression.

With the commits that landed hours ago in the Nouveau DRM repository, Z compression is now enabled for NV30 and NV40 class NVIDIA graphics processors.

NV20 class hardware already had Z compression support since 2010 but now NV30 and NV40 class hardware has enabled Z compression support. Z compression is the compressing the Z-buffer image depth coordinates to reduce bandwidth on Z reads and writes. Z compression is one of the parts on the AMD side referred to as HyperZ. Both NVIDIA and AMD hardware has supported Z compression hardware for quite some time.

The NV30 class hardware is the GeForce 5/FX series while the NV40 class hardware is the GeForce 6 and GeForce 7 series. The Z compression support may lead to performance improvements for this hardware, but we will have to wait until new Phoronix benchmarks are conducted.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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