NVIDIA 2010 Driver Year In Review
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 17 December 2010. Page 2 of 4. 10 Comments

Beginning with the Lightsmark benchmark there was some fluctuation in the frame-rate between the 12 tested Linux drivers, but its performance ended up not being decisively lower or higher than its performance levels in 2009. This though isn't too relevant since the frame-rates even at 2560 x 1600 for this OpenGL tech demo is at nearly 200 frames per second so any differences would not be visible to the end-user / gamer.

With Nexuiz, there was a small dip in performance between the latest 2009 driver update (195.30) and the first of 2010 (195.36.15). The frame-rate in Nexuiz at 2560 x 1600 had dropped from about 70 FPS to just above 60 FPS and has been above 62 FPS since that point, again still at a playable resolution even at a 2560 x 1600 resolution on a 30-inch LCD panel is more than fine for a GeForce 9800GTX.

While OpenArena is not demanding at all on a modern GPU even at a high resolution, there was a drop in the frame-rate between the 195.30 and 195.36.15 drivers like was experienced in Nexuiz. It was actually a drop of more than 20%, but as this is a CPU-limited game, the frame-rate bottomed out this year at 268 FPS for the 9800GTX at 2560 x 1600. Yes, it is a regression, but at least it is not noticeable to the Linux gamer -- unless it is also reproducible on very lax NVIDIA hardware where it may matter.


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