The NVIDIA vs. Open-Source Nouveau Linux Driver Benchmarks For Summer 2018

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 14 June 2018. Page 4 of 4. 26 Comments
Nouveau Summer 2018 vs. NVIDIA Linux Performance

Metro Last Light Redux meanwhile ran very slow on Nouveau even for the re-clocked older GPUs.

Nouveau Summer 2018 vs. NVIDIA Linux Performance
Nouveau Summer 2018 vs. NVIDIA Linux Performance

Serious Sam 3 BFE with OpenGL at 1080p could run sufficiently with low quality settings, but the performance is still a ways off from the mature NVIDIA 396 series driver.

That's the quick overview of where this unofficial open-source NVIDIA Linux driver is at today. Unfortunately there has been no major performance breakthroughs in recent time and no automatic/dynamic re-clocking yet achieved nor any other luck in GTX 900/1000 series dGPU re-clocking. The real interesting matter moving forward is to see Red Hat's play in the months ahead with what they end up delivering for Nouveau as their employees continue working on this driver including NIR/compute but it makes little sense to invest so much into this effort when the performance is abysmal until re-clocking can be achieved... So until we get to see their cards to understand the company's motivation, we'll just have to wait and hope for the best. Until then it leaves a lot to be desired, but for those who care just about gaming on Linux and not the driver license, the official NVIDIA 396 Linux driver continues performing great with OpenGL/Vulkan/OpenCL/CUDA.

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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via