Experimental Nouveau DRM Branch Yields Better GDDR5 Kepler Re-Clocking

Written by Michael Larabel in Nouveau on 16 September 2015 at 02:02 PM EDT. 23 Comments
If you've been reading Phoronix any length of time for open-source graphics news, you'll know the most difficult challenge facing open-source NVIDIA (Nouveau) driver developers is the re-clocking / power management situation. It's been slow and re-clocking still leaves a lot to be desired.

You can find out more about that via the recent Trying Out The Open-Source NVIDIA/Nouveau Driver Rework In Linux 4.3 and the numerous Phoronix articles mentioning re-clocking. By default, the NVIDIA GPUs running Nouveau are bound to their boot frequencies, which for newer GPUs is particularly low. With Kepler class hardware, the core re-clocking is working out fairly well but the memory re-clocking has been the biggest pain and when trying to re-clock to a performance state too high will generally be show-stopping. But if you don't re-clock, the Nouveau DRM performance will be very low and really not suitable for gaming.

A few Phoronix readers have pointed out today this Reddit thread about a user trying this independent "GDDR5" branch of the Nouveau DRM driver. With this GDDR5 branch, the Kepler memory re-clocking is working better. This user allegedly was able to fully re-clock his GeForce GTX 760 on Nouveau.

In the next few days I'll try out this GDDR5 branch and see how it goes for my extensive collection of GTX 600/700 series hardware. If you give it a whirl, be sure to share your results in our forums.
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Michael Larabel

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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