While the new NVIDIA drivers have yet to surface in the hands of the public, we have been fortunate enough to obtain a pre-release (Beta) copy of these soon-to-be-released drivers. While no official change-log is available, we have begun our exploration of these new NVIDIA Linux display drivers. Luckily NVIDIA has allowed Phoronix to share our results at this time, we simply can't distribute the package. One of the first areas we examined was was the nvidia-settings Linux control panel. While we hadn't visibly seen the changes we were hoping for (such as any Scalable Link options or toggle items for the various other features we were anticipating), there are a few minute changes that can be found in this next release. Below are a few images taken today from the NVIDIA 1.0-8751 Beta Linux display drivers from a GeForce 6600GT SLI setup. The new setting on the X Server XVideo Settings page is the Sync to this display device, and then lists the various monitors. When running Linux SLI, the Enable SLI Heads-Up-Display is still present under the OpenGL area. Unfortunately, this appears to be the lone location in nvidia-settings for toggling any SLI options, unlike the Windows drivers that allow profiling, etc... Another noticeable area that is in need of reworking is the thermal monitor page when running multiple graphics cards, or SLI. The slowdown threshold, core temperature, and ambient temperature are displayed; however, there isn't a separate area for each of the respective GPUs. Moving onto the display device section, the monitor does appear to now be properly identified (i.e. Acer AL1714) rather than previously displaying CRT-0. Opening up the display device screen, image sharpening was the only slider-bar option as it appears the digital vibrance ability has been removed. Keep in mind, these images and text above are based upon the 1.0-8751 display drivers which are private Beta drivers, and some of these options may change between now and the public availability of the next driver set.
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 Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.