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NVIDIA GeForce GT 610 On Linux
The NVIDIA graphics cards this Zotac GPU is being compared against include an XFX GeForce GT 220, ECS GeForce GT 240, ASUS GeForce GTX 460, eVGA GeForce GT 520, eVGA GeForce GTX 550 Ti, MSI GeForce GTX 650, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680. On the AMD side were a Radeon HD 5450, HD 6450, HD 6570, and HD 6770 graphics cards. All of this NVIDIA / AMD Linux GPU driver benchmarking happened from an AMD FX-8350 system running Ubuntu 13.10 with the NVIDIA 331.20 and AMD Catalyst 13.11 Beta 6 (fglrx 13.25.5 / OpenGL 4.3.12614) proprietary drivers. All benchmarking was facilitated via the Phoronix Test Suite software.
All benchmarking happened from the proprietary graphics drivers. With the GeForce GT 610 being Fermi-based, the open-source support via the Nouveau driver is less than ideal -- namely due to the lack of the proper re-clocking support. See my recent Nouveau Fermi and Kepler open-source GPU benchmarks compared to the NVIDIA binary driver for reference. With Linux 3.13 there will be improved power management and re-clocking exposed via new interfaces, but the Nouveau video memory re-clocking still isn't in good shape for 3.13. While the performance will be disappointing, covered in a separate article will be the current shape of the GeForce GT 610 on Nouveau, but don't expect much out of it until the performance limitations have been addressed. Users of the GeForce GT 601 will be best off with the NVIDIA binary driver for the near future for better performance, OpenGL 4 support, and VDPAU video acceleration.
The Zotac GeForce GT 610 graphics card had performance levels of just 270 / 720 / 540 MHz and 810 / 1066 / 1620 MHz (graphics / memory / processor clocks). While idling the Zotac GT 610 was about 36°C and under load in the mid-50s. The Phoronix Test Suite has support for monitoring GPU temperature and system power consumption during benchmarking, but for a low-end GPU such as the GT 610 it really isn't worthwhile -- the graphics card was quiet and there were no thermal issues during any of the Linux GPU benchmarking.