NVIDIA Fermi/Kepler GPUs Are The Best Bet For Ubuntu 14.04 Nouveau
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 6 April 2014. Page 2 of 5. 11 Comments

With the Fermi and Kepler GPUs, for the most part it was smooth sailing. With the Ubuntu 14.04 LTS release using only the Linux 3.13 kernel and Mesa 10.1, it doesn't yet have support for some of the newer Kepler GPUs. For more information on the latest support hurdles see my article NVIDIA GeForce 700 Series: Stick To The Binary Linux Drivers. For even newer hardware, with the recent NVIDIA Maxwell launch, the DRM/KMS support is only present with the Linux 3.15 kernel and the Mesa/Gallium3D code for Maxwell is still being baked... It will be a few months before Nouveau's Maxwell support is in good standing.

While six of the tested Fermi and Kepler GPUs from the GeForce 400/500/600/700 series did work with the out-of-the-box Ubuntu 14.04 LTS daily LiveCD installation, Nouveau still lacks re-clocking / dynamic power management support. As a result when using Nouveau, the performance levels are rather limited and the clock frequencies to the NVIDIA GPUs are severely limited. For example, the GeForce GTX 460 ran at a reported 50MHz frequency for its core and 135MHz for its video memory. For the newer GeForce 700 series GPUs, the cards were limited to a 405MHz core frequency and 324MHz on the video memory.

With all of that said, on the following pages are these Nouveau results from Ubuntu 14.04 LTS as will be found when the major Linux distribution update is released in two weeks time. All of this NVIDIA Linux benchmarking was handled in a fully automated and open-source manner using the Phoronix Test Suite software.


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