Open-Source NVIDIA Vulkan Driver "NVK" Begins Running Talos Principle... Slowly

Written by Michael Larabel in Nouveau on 11 January 2023 at 05:59 AM EST. 36 Comments
The NVK open-source Vulkan driver for NVIDIA GPUs that has seen a lot of progress over the past year is now able to run some games like The Talos Principle, which was the launch title for Vulkan 1.0. While the NVK driver is correctly rendering, it's still slow until the kernel driver side is sorted out with re-clocking.

Red Hat engineer and longtime open-source Nouveau developer Karol Herbst wrote on his account about NVK running games and showing off a screenshot of The Talos Principle running with this open-source, "community" Vulkan driver:

But he did follow-up by writing, "performance is terrible, but that's hopefully resolved with the GSP work which is still ongoing :)"

That's due to the Nouveau DRM kernel driver not supporting re-clocking for modern NVIDIA GPUs for being able to re-clock the GPU from the low boot frequencies up to the higher performance states... But Nouveau developers are working to support the GPU System Processor (GSP). The GSP is found with the RTX 2000 series and newer and by relying on the GSP it should become possible to avoid the re-clocking challenges they've faced for years. That GSP work remains ongoing. In case you missed it with the RTX 30 series acceleration found in Linux 6.2, from last month: Running The New Open-Source NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Support In Linux 6.2.

Other Nouveau kernel interface changes are also expected for proper/efficient NVK support, so it will still likely be a while before you'd want to consider gaming with NVK. For now the AMD Radeon and Intel Arc Graphics options are much better for those pursuing open-source GPU driver support on Linux.
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