Nouveau Gets Initial Support For NVIDIA TU117 (GeForce GTX 1650)

Written by Michael Larabel in Nouveau on 10 May 2019 at 03:19 AM EDT. 9 Comments
While it missed the main DRM pull request for Linux 5.2, the Nouveau DRM driver now has initial support for NVIDIA's Turing TU117, the GPU powering the new GeForce GTX 1650 series.

Nouveau DRM maintainer Ben Skeggs of Red Hat committed the support to their staging tree on Thursday for this TU117 enablement. The TU117 support is largely based on their existing Turing TU106 GPU support and amounts to just 36 lines of code.

Like the existing Turing support by this open-source NVIDIA Linux driver, currently it's limited to just kernel mode-setting (display) support. Nouveau doesn't yet offer any hardware acceleration for Turing GPUs as they are blocked by NVIDIA, waiting on them to release the necessary signed firmware images needed for initialization.

But even when those Turing firmware blobs end up being released, there will still be the issue like with Maxwell / Pascal / Volta of only running at the boot clock frequencies without any re-clocking support for being able to drive the hardware at its optimal clock frequencies. For overcoming that challenge, additional firmware support or workarounds need to be devised around the PMU handling. Until that happens, the Nouveau performance past the GeForce GTX 700 series remains very slow.

At least the GeForce GTX 1650 does run well on the proprietary NVIDIA driver as outlined in our GeForce GTX 1650 Linux review. If you care about open-source driver support, however, the Radeon RX 570 is a much better bet.
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