NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960: A Great $200 GPU For Linux Gamers

Written by Michael Larabel in Graphics Cards on 22 January 2015 at 09:00 AM EST. Page 2 of 4. 20 Comments.

For those planning to pick up a GeForce GTX 960, they'll work fine on the Linux distribution of your choice if using the NVIDIA 346.35 Linux driver released last week. NVIDIA's Unix team will probably end up releasing a new driver soon anyhow where they'll officially claim GTX 960 support in their release notes.

In my testing of the NVIDIA 346.35 driver and the EVGA GeForce GTX 960 running with Ubuntu 14.10, everything has been going well. No issues at all!

For those concerned about open-source support, that will come in due time. The Nouveau developers are still blocked by waiting on NVIDIA to release the signed firmware images needed for the GeForce GTX 900 Maxwell series support. The Linux 3.19 kernel just brings basic display/mode-setting support for the newer Maxwell GPUs. For the next few months at least, GTX 900 GPU owners will really just want to use the NVIDIA proprietary driver as even when the open-source support comes, it will lack re-clocking abilities and other important functionality.

I've been testing the EVGA GeForce GTX 960 the past few days to great success under Linux when paired with the NVIDIA 346.25 binary driver. Unfortunately the testing is still ongoing for a large NVIDIA/AMD Linux graphics comparison with this new GPU, but more numbers should be out later today -- they just didn't get in time for the 6AM PST embargo lift. Just for now, here's a few NVIDIA-only Linux sample results that have been completed thus far.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 Linux

All the tests were done from the Ubuntu 14.10 Core i7-5960X Haswell-E box with Ubuntu 14.10 64-bit. All of the benchmarks were carried out using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite software. With these few early results are some OpenGL and OpenCL results along with a look at the GPU thermal performance and the overall AC system power consumption measured by a WattsUp Pro for PTS to also yield the performance-per-Watt metrics.

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