Open-Source NVIDIA Driver Is Still Sour For Some GPUs
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 24 January 2014. Page 3 of 3. 12 Comments

All hopes to test any GeForce 8 series graphics cards on the Linux 3.13 kernel with Mesa 10.1-devel and Nouveau DDX from the Oibaf PPA were foiled... While the hardware used to work great with Nouveau, in testing the GeForce 8800GT, 8500GT, and 8600GT, there were mode-setting issues as soon as the Nouveau DRM driver was loaded.

With none of the GeForce 8 series graphics cards in my possession was I able to get the screen to light up properly on the Linux 3.13 kernel with Novueau.

Aside from the GeForce GTX 650 issue, it was the GeForce 8 and 9 series that was most problematic for me with the Linux 3.13 kernel and Mesa 10.1-devel Git. The GeForce 9 testing ultimately worked as the corruption wasn't show-stopping (sans the 9600GSO with PGRAPH errors) and the games were being rendered fine when in-game, but the GeForce 8 issues were a non-starter with not having a display. While for some software configurations the GeForce 8/9 series have been a nice "sweet spot" for Nouveau support, with this latest testing I've found Nouveau to be more reliable overall on the newer Fermi and Kepler graphics cards.

Aside from these problems, the overarching issue with Nouveau for all NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards is its lack of end-user / out-of-the-box re-clocking and dynamic power management for getting maximum performance out of the hardware while being power efficient at idle with reduced heat output, etc.

Stay tuned for the large open-source Linux graphics card comparison this weekend on Phoronix.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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