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Nvidia Open Source Driver – Worth Using?

Until they figure out how to properly install the proprietary driver (which I eat with sugar) they can get upset and even angry at the system, no longer using it again because of the small details.

  • Speaking of installing drivers from NVIDIA easily, we recently made a post explaining better how to do this, worth checking out. =)

From time to time the open source solution for NVIDIA It was not bringing satisfactory results, with loss of performance in games, video rendering and in some cases not even going up the operating system, as happens with notebooks with hybrid cards.

We also did two stories talking about the hybrid system, one commenting on the news coming from Xorg 1.20 and the other about installing the Linux driver (Ubuntu and Mint).

AMD and Intel

AMD and Intel users are usually not bored with these rags, as their video drivers are embedded directly in the kernel and if you need a newer version, just install the latest MESA Driver and get the latest updates. We also made an article on how to receive MESA versions.

That said, it has always been speculated how much the open source driver was losing relative to its owner, as NVIDIA doesn't make life easier for Nouveau developers, for example by releasing firmware with support for the Power Management Unit (PMU). ) among other features.

Testing the Nvidia Open Source Driver

To clear this question, the folks at the Phoronix site decided to test some video cards, first with the NVIDIA proprietary driver version 415 and then with Nouveau using the Linux 4.19 kernel and MESA 19.0-devel.

In the case of nouveau, they had to re-clocked 0f on some cards before the test could be done. The cards used were: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 2GB (1066 / 3004MHz), NVIDIA GTX 750 Ti 2GB (1019 / 2700MHz), NVIDIA GTX 780 Ti 3GB (875 / 3500MHz), NVIDIA GTX 980 4GB (1126 / 3505MHz) and NVIDIA GTX 1080 8GB (1607 / 5005MHz). The test was done on Ubuntu 18.04.

In NVIDIA's proprietary driver, it had VULKAN 1.1 + OpenGL 4.6, while in nouveau it only had OpenGL 4.3.

The games used in the test were limited to those that supported OpenGL, as nouveau does not yet support VULKAN.

The first game to be tested was BioShock Infinite, which when using the GTX 680, GTX 780Ti and GTX 750 Ti GPUs (Kepler and Maxwell1 technologies respectively) the fps average was around 60 fps using nouveau, but when going to The GTX 980 and GTX 1080 were no more than 20 fps (Maxwell and Pascal technologies respectively).

When using the proprietary driver on GPUs, the minimum recorded was 100 fps with the GTX 750 Ti.

Another game that was used was the popular Dota 2 moba. When used nouveau on older GPUs it achieved an average of 30 fps, whereas on newer GPUs it was no more than 12 fps using the proprietary driver. twice the FPS gain on GPUs. The difference is visible on newer GPUs.

Already in open source games, the situation a bit more comfortable for nouveau, the games that it did well were: ET: Legacy v2.75; Xonotic v0.8.2 and The Tesseract v2014-05-12. In these games the open source driver stuck with the proprietary driver, as you can see in the images below, but still losing.

Will play on Linux with Nvidia? Install the Proprietary Driver

With these tests, we can get some ideas about the open source driver, nouveau. If you have a slightly older GPU, such as the 600 and 700 series, gaming performance is unreasonable even though you do not have support for Vulkan, what a big loss for newer games and those running via Proton and DXVK. If you have newer 900 and 1000 series GPUs, performance is close to unplayable.

While the NVIDIA Not working with the Nouveau people, unfortunately he is stuck with old GPUs and basic technologies, a sad reality. At least the company offers a proprietary driver that works properly and delivers good performance.

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