Trying Nouveau With HITMAN On Linux Doesn't Get Too Far
Written by Michael Larabel in Nouveau on 24 February 2017 at 10:45 AM EST. 14 Comments
Chances are if you are using a NVIDIA GeForce graphics card and planning to game on Linux you are using NVIDIA's official Linux driver, but in case you are trying to use the free software Nouveau driver stack, I tried running Feral's recent HITMAN game release with this open-source NVIDIA driver.

The HITMAN Linux testing has been fun thanks to the game's working benchmark capabilities on Linux. After the recent NVIDIA binary driver and RadeonSI Gallium3D tests, for kicks I tried out a GeForce GTX 780 Ti graphics card with the game. The GTX 780 Ti was chosen since it's the highest-end Kepler GPU, which is important since that's the last generation (aside from the GTX 750 / Maxwell 1) that doesn't need signed firmware images for hardware acceleration. Additionally, there is working re-clocking support for Kepler GPUs. So the GeForce GTX 780 Ti is pretty much the best off GPU currently for Nouveau 3D performance. I was using the Linux 4.10 kernel plus Mesa 17.1-devel for this brief round of testing.

With the GeForce GTX 780 Ti I had re-clocked the card to its 0f performance state and NvBoost was also enabled as one of the Nouveau changes of Linux 4.10 (nouveau.config=NvBoost=2).

For the first few seconds of running the benchmark, the game on Nouveau was promising... But what felt like just a few seconds after the game was running, HITMAN kept consistently crashing. At least the initial few seconds were positive and hopefully won't be much of a struggle for Nouveau to workaround the crashing problem. Once NVC0 Gallium3D is playing nicely with HITMAN, I'll run some Kepler benchmarks for those interested.
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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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