PowerMizer Is Not Likely The Problem In 256.xx Issue
Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA on 28 May 2010 at 10:05 AM EDT. 14 Comments
One of the articles published on Phoronix this week was NVIDIA's 256.25 Beta Linux Driver Slows Things Down? With NVIDIA's first 256.xx Linux beta driver we encountered significant performance drops from a ZaReason notebook with a NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250M graphics processor. Some thought that PowerMizer was to blame, but this does not appear to be the case.

Since running that article we've received a few emails and forum posts from many not encountering any performance shortcomings with this NVIDIA Linux beta drivers, a few who are affected, and some blaming this problem on PowerMizer -- NVIDIA's technology for dynamically adjusting the GPU's clock frequencies based upon load and other power savings techniques. We're still going to be conducting more tests on other GPUs, but right now it doesn't appear that PowerMizer is to blame for this problem.

With the Phoronix Test Suite we monitored various system sensors (including the NVIDIA GT215 core clock frequency and power consumption) while running tests. As you can see from the graph below, there ended up being no change in the GPU clock frequency between the two drivers when running OpenArena.


We also re-ran the test when the Intel Core i7 notebook was running off its battery (the earlier tests were run on AC power).


The clock frequencies were also the same and there was no significant difference in the power consumption when the GPU was active between the NVIDIA 195.36.15 and 256.25 Beta drivers.


The investigation continues.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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