Trying Out Nouveau GPU Re-Clocking On Linux 3.16
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 16 June 2014. Page 2 of 2. 14 Comments

When writing a new performance state (e.g. echo 0f > /sys/class/drm/card0/device/pstate), the performance state of the graphics card changes immediately. For the graphics cards I have tested thus far, when manipulating the performance state, the Nouveau driver immediately ramps up the fan control to 100%. The GTX 700 Kepler cards tested were screaming with the fans running at full load when changing the performance state, as the driver isn't yet doing dynamic fan control management for Kepler based upon the actual GPU load or temperature.

Before getting your hopes too high, when I went to performance level 0a (405~967 / 1620MHz for the GTX 760) the display went black. When trying to hit the highest performance state, the display became garbled as pictured below.

Stay tuned for lengthy Nouveau re-clocking tests from various Kepler graphics cards in the days ahead. This was just a preview article for those curious about the steps to try the re-clocking of Nouveau in Linux 3.16 and a warning to not get your hopes too high as you may run into show-stopping issues, the fan noise can be unbearable, and the performance state switching isn't yet dynamic. However, it's great to finally be able to re-clock the Kepler graphics cards in Nouveau and kudos to the developers involved in hitting this difficult milestone. Benchmarks coming up for the selected configurations where I have the GTX 700 series running well on Nouveau.

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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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