ASUS Releases Graphics Card That Could Actually Be Great For Open-Source NVIDIA Fans
Written by Michael Larabel in Nouveau on 13 April 2020 at 08:24 AM EDT. 75 Comments
NOUVEAU --
ASUS has released a new budget graphics card that could actually be great for those wanting to use the open-source NVIDIA (Nouveau) driver stack on Linux.

ASUS' newest offering is the GT710-4H-SL-2GD5, yes, a NVIDIA GeForce GT 710 based graphics card... The GT 710 debuted back in January 2016 and based on the Kepler architecture. While several generations old, this low-end, low-priced graphics card actually is a win for those Nouveau users with Kepler currently being the last NVIDIA GPU generation with good open-source support: no firmware binaries are needed for hardware initialization and Kepler GPUs can re-clock to their optimal clock frequencies, albeit re-clocking to the optimal performance state needs to be done manually via the command-line. But Kepler (and GTX 750 Maxwell) are currently the "best" supported open-source NVIDIA GPUs by the Nouveau driver and the last of the graphics cards not requiring any proprietary firmware/microcode (AMD graphics cards on their open-source driver also require closed-source microcode).


So having a revived Kepler-based graphics card is actually interesting for open-source purists... But the other updates to the ASUS GT710-4H-SL-2GD5 also make it nice: it's passively cooled and there are four HDMI outputs for the card. Sure, some may prefer DisplayPort, but having four outputs on such a low-end card is nice.


Or for those wanting to use the NVIDIA proprietary Linux driver, this could make for a nice HTPC type graphics card with VDPAU and NVENC/NVDEC support.

At ~$50 USD, this isn't a bad low-end graphics card for those wanting something actually quite open-source friendly while being passively cooled and four HDMI outputs. All the specs on this card at ASUS.com.
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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 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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