A Fresh Look At The Nouveau Gallium3D Performance
As noted previously on Phoronix, the Nouveau driver performance was boosted a great deal by the Linux 2.6.39 DRM, but with the Linux 3.0 kernel the performance is unchanged, at least for the GeForce 9 series. On average, moving from the Linux 2.6.38 to 2.6.39 kernel boosted the frame-rate in Nexuiz by 57% in this configuration, but with the Linux 3.0 kernel there is no frame-rate difference. For this test on the GeForce 9800GTX, the proprietary driver is still nearly three times faster.
The OpenArena results are not any different from the Nexuiz findings, but the Linux 3.0 + Mesa 7.11-devel performance here is at 45% the speed of NVIDIA's proprietary driver. At least with this ioquake3 game on the GeForce 9800GTX, the frame-rates with the latest code are always above 100 FPS, even with the 1920 x 1080 HD resolution.
With World of Padman, it is the same story as OpenArena.
When using the latest Mesa/Gallium3D and Linux kernel code, Warsow is playable on this NVIDIA graphics processor at all resolutions. The proprietary NVIDIA Linux driver is 3.2x faster on average than the reverse-engineered Nouveau stack.