NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN: Windows 8.1 vs. Ubuntu 13.10 Linux
Written by Michael Larabel in Graphics Cards on 25 November 2013. Page 2 of 11. 17 Comments

Before getting to the Windows vs. Linux results for this $999 graphics card, there are a few words on the Linux support. Overall, like the other recent NVIDIA GPUs we've looked at Phoronix, there have been no real issues to report out of the NVIDIA Linux driver. The only complaint that I have about the NVIDIA Linux driver for any of the Fermi/Kepler GPUs is the lack of overclocking support. NVIDIA offers CoolBits-based overclocking from their binary driver for pre-Fermi hardware, but hasn't implemented any overclocking controls for the Fermi/Kepler GPUs due to greater clocking complexities and not seeing too much demand for GPU overclocking on Linux. Hopefully it will come one day.

NVIDIA's Linux driver has supported the GTX TITAN since its public unveiling. As most Phoronix readers know, while it's binary-only software the Linux driver supplied by NVIDIA is generally top-notch and rated very high among gamers. There are no differences at all with the GTX TITAN. For the testing in this article the latest drivers were used on both Windows and Linux. The latest NVIDIA Linux driver at the time of publishing is 331.20 while the Windows 8 NVIDIA driver is 331.82.

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN reference cooler works out very well; unlike the Radeon R9 290, there were no thermal related issues at all. Later on in the article are more thermal / performance-per-Watt / power consumption results.

The NVIDIA Linux driver has no issues with re-clocking, unlike the open-source Nouveau driver. The main complaint with the community-maintained open-source NVIDIA (Nouveau) driver is its lack of re-clocking support so the clock frequencies are currently limited to whatever the video BIOS set them to at boot time, which is generally quite low for the newer, higher-end graphics processors. At least now NVIDIA is taking some interest in releasing public documentation and helping Nouveau, so hopefully in the coming months we can see proper re-clocking support for Fermi/Kepler GPUs.

NVIDIA's PureVideo HD technology is exposed under Linux via NVIDIA's Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix (VDPAU). The supported codecs for the GK110 GPUs include MPEG1, MPEG2, H.264, VC-1, MPEG-4, DivX4, and DivX5. NVIDIA VDPAU continues to work phenomenally for hardware-accelerated video decoding on Linux and continues to be widely supported by Linux multimedia programs.


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