NVIDIA 1.0-8756 Display Drivers

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 7 April 2006. Page 1 of 3. Add A Comment

Four months since the launch of the 1.0-8178 Linux display drivers, NVIDIA is finally out of the starting gates with the official replacement. This 1.0-8756 release does include several new features such as nvidia-auto-select and Linux/i2c support over the 1.0-8178 release, as well as the hidden workstation-aimed 1.0-8183 release that we disclosed last month. Several other undocumented fixes also appear to have occurred, at least what we had discovered during our 1.0-8751 testing. In several other Phoronix articles, we also discussed the lack of such features as AIGLX in this release, and other pertinent information we have obtained from our sources. Of course, not many SLI advancements are contained inside of this release -- which is not too surprising considering our SLI investigation that resulted in Hewlett-Packard likely being the leading contributor for Linux SLI due to its xw9300 workstation. This GeForce 7600/7900 support comes approximately a month later after their CeBIT launch, and we have already provided performance numbers for the GeForce 7900GT using the NVIDIA 1.0-8751 Beta candidate (thanks to NVIDIA's and eVGA's cooperation). However, the GeForce 7300/7400 series has been out for a few months now and its official support has not made a premiere until now. For those keeping track on the other side of the graphics table, this month is the first release of the spring. For being almost four months since the 1.0-8178, the changes are not nearly as elaborate as we are or the rest of the community would have likely enjoyed.

Version: 1.0-8756
Release Date: April 07, 2006

· Adds support for GeForce 7300, GeForce 7400 Go, GeForce 7600 and GeForce 7900 GPUs.
· Added support for running OpenGL applications while the Composite X extension is enabled; see "The X Composite Extension" appendix for details.
· Enabled hardware acceleration of the Render X extension by default.
· Added "AddARGBGLXVisuals" X configuration option, so that OpenGL applications can render to X Windows' alpha channel.
· Added Linux/i2c support to the NVIDIA kernel module; see the "i2c Bus Support" appendix for details.
· Improved power management support with Linux >= 2.6.14 and added support for suspend-to-disk.
· Added new "nvidia-auto-select" mode entry for use in the X configuration file; see description in the "Programming Modes" appendix.
· Added support for GLX 1.4.
· Added ability for OpenGL applications to span greater than 4096 pixels when in Xinerama.
· Improved G-Sync support.
· Fixed interlaced modes on CRTs.
· Improved compatibility with the latest Linux 2.6 kernels.

Having already investigated the 1.0-8751 drivers, which were compiled in early March, and shared performance numbers, for our 1.0-8756 tests, we simply ran a few Enemy Territory and Doom 3 trials. Testing was done at 1280 x 1024 with various visual effects as stated in each of the test configurations. Of course, these tests are designed to display any performance gains or losses in a particular environment -- depending upon the graphics card used and system setup personal results may demonstrate different changes. Even with possible slight performance losses, we generally recommend staying up to date in the driver releases -- unless of course there are cards transferred to legacy support or other likewise issues -- due to numerous fixes presented and other items addressed.

Hardware Components
Processor: Intel Pentium D 820 @ 3.36GHz
Motherboard: Abit AW8-MAX (i955X + ICH7R)
Memory: 4 x 512MB DDR2-800
Graphics Card: NVDIA GeForce 7800GTX 256MB
Hard Drives: Seagate 300GB SATA2
Optical Drives: Lite-On CD-RW 52x
Add-On Devices: Creative Labs Audigy 2 Platinum
Case: Antec Studio Take 4
Power Supply: Antec 450W (SP-450)
Software Components
Operating System: Fedora Core 5
Linux Kernel: 2.6.16-1.2080_FC5 SMP (x86_64)
GCC - GNU Compiler: 4.1.0
Graphics Driver: NVIDIA 1.0-8751 w/ Xinerama
NVIDIA 1.0-8756 w/ Xinerama
X.Org: 7.0.0

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