NVIDIA Confirms Linux Driver Performance Regression, To Be Fixed In 390 Series

Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA on 30 November 2017 at 08:49 AM EST. 17 Comments
If you think recent NVIDIA Linux driver releases have been slowing down your games, you are not alone, especially if you are running with a GeForce graphics card having a more conservative vRAM capacity by today's standards.

Long time ago Nouveau contributor turned NVIDIA Linux engineer Arthur Huillet confirmed there is a bug in their memory management introduced since their 378 driver series that is still present in the latest 387 releases.

Succeeding the NVIDIA 387 driver series will be the NVIDIA 390 Linux driver series, which should get into public beta in December. The 390 series will introduce a workaround for this memory management issue while they are still trying to analyze the root cause of the problem. It's believed this memory management bug leading to performance drops affects all their GPUs, at least in cases where there could be video memory pressure.

As for the severity of the issue, some are reporting just a few frame drop in performance while with some GPUs and workloads are seeing much more severe (~10%+) drops in performance. I'll run some comparison tests on my end shortly.

More details via this NVIDIA DevTalk thread.
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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 20,000 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, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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