GeForce GT 1030 Will Work With NVIDIA 381 Linux Driver, Good Luck With Nouveau
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 19 May 2017 at 10:29 AM EDT. 16 Comments
HARDWARE --
This week NVIDIA released the GeForce GT 1030 as their newest low-end Pascal card. The GT 1030 cards retail for around $70 USD and you can find them in a low-profile version with some cards even being passively cooled.

The GT 1030 is interesting if you need a modern low-profile card, mostly are after good accelerated video decoding/encoding (via VDPAU and NVENC, respectively) for an HTPC box or so, or just need a new PCI-E card for normal Linux desktop use-cases. With the GT 1030 being Pascal based and having just a 30 Watt TDP, some of these low-profile GT 1030 cards are passively-cooled while the others have a small fan. For Linux benchmarking and some fresh video encode/decode testing, I'm looking at picking up a passively-cooled GT 1030 as I am sure many other readers would be interested in that version too. Unfortunately, the passively-cooled models remain out-of-stock while there are several other options at Amazon and NewEgg for those needing a budget card right now.

In terms of Linux driver coverage, with the NVIDIA 381.22 Linux driver released earlier this month, its change-log has been updated this week to reflect GeForce GT 1030 support. So if you plan to get this card for a Linux system, this latest proprietary driver release will get you going with OpenGL / Vulkan / NVENC / VDPAU support.

If you are wanting open-source support, unfortunately, I have yet to see any Nouveau work or any new firmware drops from NVIDIA. The GT 1030 uses the "GP108" Pascal GPU and I have yet to see the needed signed firmware images for allowing hardware acceleration via the open-source driver stack while with Linux 4.12 is where there is finally initial accelerated support for the other desktop Pascal GPUs. But like Maxwell, there isn't yet any re-clocking support so the Pascal Nouveau support isn't too worthwhile. If you are buying the GT 1030, hopefully you are just comfortable using the performant and feature-rich proprietary driver.

Anyhow, as soon as I find a passive GT 1030 in stock for around $70, I intend to pick it up for some low-end Linux graphics card benchmarking. Meanwhile, coming up this weekend are Radeon RX 560 Linux tests.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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