NVIDIA's 352 Linux Driver Against Linux 4.1 With Nouveau Gallium3D

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 11 July 2015 at 01:20 PM EDT. Page 1 of 4. 7 Comments.

After earlier this week looking at whether the open-source NVIDIA driver is fast enough for Steam Linux gaming, here are some benchmark results that compare the performance of the latest Nouveau Gallium3D driver code against the latest NVIDIA binary Linux graphics driver.

With the three graphics cards used in the earlier tests (GeForce GTX 650, GTX 680, and GTX 750 Ti), I compared the performance on the same system when switching over to the NVIDIA 352.21 Linux proprietary driver. To reiterate the Nouveau configuration, the Linux 4.1.1 kernel was used and Mesa 10.7-devel Git from a few days ago.

As mentioned in the earlier article, the GeForce GTX 650 was able to re-clock with Nouveau to its highest performance state, the GTX 680 could only re-clock to the mid-level performance state (0a), and the GTX 750 Ti couldn't be re-clocked from its boot settings. The lack of proper re-clocking support by Nouveau is the main reason why the performance of this open-source NVIDIA Linux graphics driver is currently crippled. None of the latest-generation GeForce 900 graphics cards could be tested for this article since there isn't yet any hardware acceleration support on the open-source driver, in part due to NVIDIA not yet releasing the signed firmware images.

Open-Source vs. Blob NVIDIA Linux

All of the benchmarks in this article were carried out via the open-source Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software.

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