1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

Nouveau Page-Flipping For NV50/Fermi Is Flipped On

Nouveau

Published on 11 February 2011 10:32 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Nouveau
7 Comments

While we are only half-way into the Linux 2.6.38 kernel development cycle with there still being a number of weeks before its formal release, there is already a reason to look forward to the Linux 2.6.39 kernel if you use -- or plan to utilize -- the open-source Nouveau graphics driver for NVIDIA graphics cards. What's there to be excited over is page-flipping being enabled by defaultfor the NVIDIA GeForce 400/500 "Fermi" and GeForce 8/9/100/200/300 "NV50" graphics cards.

Hitting the Git repository this week where the Nouveau DRM (Direct Rendering Manager) code for the Linux kernel is developed are two prominent commits alongside several other NV50 and NVC0 "Fermi" commits. This commit enables Nouveau KMS page-flipping for the NV50 class, which covers lots of hardware currently in use out there. This commit that came in shortly thereafter enables page-flipping for the NVC0/Fermi graphics cards.

There's been kernel mode-setting support for the GeForce 400 "Fermi" graphics cards for a couple of kernel releases now, but it's not until the Linux 2.6.38 kernel that there's actually the necessary support in the DRM driver for supporting 3D acceleration (and also needing the latest Mesa code on the user-space side). For now, this support also requires using external, out-of-tree firmware/microcode for the NVC0/Fermi acceleration. With the Linux 2.6.39 kernel, there's now page-flipping. It wasn't until recently that the open-source ATI driver even had KMS page-flipping in its mainline code-base.

Page flipping, of course, dramatically improves performance. Not only does it improve the performance by just changing the pointer between the front and back buffers rather than copying the entire contents back and forth, but this is also designed to lead to tear-free screen updating.

Ideally, by the time the Linux 2.6.39 kernel merge window opens there will be more advancements for the Nouveau project and the other open-source graphics drivers on Linux.

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 .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. MSI X99S SLI PLUS On Linux
  2. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 Offers Great Linux Performance
  3. CompuLab Intense-PC2: An Excellent, Fanless, Mini PC Powered By Intel's i7 Haswell
  4. From The Atom 330 To Haswell ULT: Intel Linux Performance Benchmarks
Latest Linux Articles
  1. Open-Source Radeon 2D Performance Is Better With Ubuntu 14.10
  2. RunAbove: A POWER8 Compute Cloud With Offerings Up To 176 Threads
  3. 6-Way Ubuntu 14.10 Linux Desktop Benchmarks
  4. Ubuntu 14.10 XMir System Compositor Benchmarks
Latest Linux News
  1. Dead Island GOTY Now Available On Linux/SteamOS
  2. Ubuntu 14.04 In The Power8 Cloud From RunAbove
  3. KDE With Theoretical Client-Side Decorations, Windows 10 Influence
  4. Sandusky Lee: Great Cabinets For Storing All Your Computer Gear
  5. Fedora 21 Beta & Final Release Slip Further
  6. Mesa 10.3.2 Has A Couple Bug-Fixes
  7. RadeonSI/R600g HyperZ Support Gets Turned Back On
  8. openSUSE Factory & Tumbleweed Are Merging
  9. More Fedora Delays: Fedora 21 Beta Slips
  10. Mono Brings C# To The Unreal Engine 4
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. HOPE: The Ease Of Python With The Speed Of C++
  2. Use Ubuntu MATE 14.10 Make it an official distro.
  3. Users/Developers Threatening Fork Of Debian GNU/Linux
  4. Debian Is Back To Discussing Init Systems, Freedom of Choice
  5. AMD Radeon VDPAU Video Performance With Gallium3D
  6. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  7. Ubuntu 16.04 Might Be The Distribution's Last 32-Bit Release
  8. Linux hacker compares Solaris kernel code: