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NVIDIA Might Be Working On G-SYNC Linux Support

NVIDIA

Published on 11 April 2014 06:55 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA
12 Comments

With this week's NVIDIA 337.12 Beta driver release that was exciting for bringing overclocking support for new GPUs and other features, it also looks like NVIDIA developers are working on G-SYNC Linux support.

NVIDIA G-SYNC aims to reduce screen tearing, stuttering, input lag, and other similar gaming problems by not having the monitor's refresh rate be fixed but rather it's a dynamic refresh rate that will scan out whenever the GPU is finished rendering. That's the short story; more information is available via NVIDIA.com.

Up to now only Windows 7/8/8.1 have supported G-SYNC when using a capable graphics card and monitor/adapter, but that looks to be changing. One could assume that under pressure from Valve with SteamOS / Steam Machines and other Linux gaming initiatives, G-SYNC will ultimately come to Linux, but buried within the 337.12 beta driver are indications the developers might be working on the support right now.

A Phoronix reader tipped me off today to the fact that with the nvidia-settings 337 changes that are open-source, there's references to G-SYNC. In particular, some defines right now related to G-SYNC handling by this Linux GUI utility for managing the NVIDIA binary driver. There's a NV_CTRL_GSYNC_ALLOWED define and the code comment says, "NV_CTRL_GSYNC_ALLOWED - when TRUE, OpenGL will enable G-SYNC when possible; when FALSE, OpenGL will always use a fixed monitor refresh rate." This isn't a shared header file with the NVIDIA Windows driver.


Hopefully an upcoming NVIDIA Linux driver release will unveil the official Linux support for G-SYNC. Within the next driver series, 343.xx, we know there's big changes ahead with NVIDIA dropping pre-Fermi support from their mainline driver and moving it off to a new legacy driver. Stay tuned for more information, or if we have an official comment from NVIDIA, but generally their official statement comes down to not commenting on unreleased Linux driver features.

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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