NVIDIA Graphics: Linux v. Solaris
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 24 June 2007. Page 5 of 5. Add A Comment

Before sharing our conclusions from these Linux and Solaris benchmarks, it is important to keep in mind that all nine benchmarks were produced from SPECViewPerf 9.0.3 and from a single NVIDIA GeForce graphics card. This article isn't intended to make a blanket statement about the performance of Linux versus Solaris x86/x64 in general or as to the performance expectations in all environments. Instead, it is to look at the performance of Linux and Solaris with the NVIDIA proprietary driver. In future articles we will be looking more closely at comparing the state of Linux and Solaris with different classes of hardware including different graphics cards.

As we have shared in a number of past articles, the NVIDIA Linux driver is really on the same playing field as the Windows ForceWare version when it comes to the performance capabilities (which really cannot be said right now for the competition). With the NVIDIA driver code-base being shared in large part between their supported operating systems (Windows, Linux, Solaris, and FreeBSD), it's no real surprise that these SPECViewPerf results are very similar. Fedora 7 had outperformed both SXDE Build 64 and SXCE Build 66 in a number of the different tests, but the results as a whole were genuinely similar. While NVIDIA hardware is the leading option for Solaris x86/x64 users due to the lack of official drivers from ATI/AMD, the driver that NVIDIA provides to its Solaris customers is great quality. The Solaris driver code is very similar to the Linux, Windows, and FreeBSD drivers with the exception of the OS-specific bits, and this advantage is definitely able to shine through when talking about the performance benefits for alternative operating systems.

You can expect additional Solaris graphics articles at Phoronix in the near future; this article can be discussed in the Phoronix Forums.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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