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Nouveau Publishes New Power Management, Re-Clocking Code

Nouveau

Published on 08 November 2013 09:34 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Nouveau
12 Comments

Ben Skeggs of Red Hat published his set of kernel DRM driver changes for Nouveau to enter in the Linux 3.13 kernel... The changes are super exciting as they work on new power management and re-clocking support! From my point of view and that of many Linux enthusiasts, the lack of proper re-clocking support has been the number one limitation of this open-source NVIDIA GPU driver.

Published over the night and already landing into drm-next for Linux 3.13 were the Nouveau DRM changes. While I have yet to come across any official announcement or email pull request, these changes do have re-worked power management and re-clocking support for the driver.

This is huge news since lack of adequate re-clocking has severely limited the driver's performance. See Nouveau vs. NVIDIA Linux vs. NVIDIA Windows 8.1 and Open-Source Nouveau Driver Remains Slow For NVIDIA's Fermi, Kepler.

Among the Nouveau DRM changes include user control of the GPU power state, sysfs interfaces for controlling the new power management code, automatic fan power management by default, many driver fixes throughout, and a lot of underlying work. When it comes to implementing GPU memory re-clocking one of the commits reads, "not even remotely ready for the vast majority of the world."

This new power management / re-clocking code does appear to cover GeForce 400/500/600/700 Fermi and Kepler GPUs, but none of the new code is enabled by default for this release aside from automatic fan power management. Will update when more information is available and will test as soon as the code lands in Linux 3.13 mainline Git, but for now you can browse through the code yourself from the Nouveau DRM Git repository.

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 .
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