"Another annual tradition of ours besides running a
Linux Graphics Survey is to provide a "year in review" analysis of
the ATI and NVIDIA Linux drivers with their respective graphics
driver releases from the past year in terms of both feature
improvements and how their quantitative performance has changed. We
have been doing these annual ATI and NVIDIA yearly reviews going
back to 2005, but now it's time to share our thoughts and numbers
for 2009. We are beginning with our NVIDIA Linux 2009 Year In
Review. NVIDIA delivered a horde of Linux driver updates in 2009.
"AMD puts out twelve driver releases per year (sometimes 13 or
14 though if there is a hot-fix release) as they deliver a new
driver monthly and that is that, but this year for NVIDIA and Linux
they delivered a stunning 46 driver releases! There in fact might
be even more than 46, but that is what our count for them is at in
2009. In fact, if you count their OpenCL driver releases they made
available separately or the Linux drivers from their registered
developer area, the count should exceed 50. In comparison, for 2008
there were just about 29 driver releases. This count of 46 drivers
for the year is largely made up of NVIDIA beta driver releases,
which they have been providing quite frequently to the Linux
community, along with a few updates to the three legacy graphics
drivers for their vintage hardware.
"NVIDIA had ended out 2008 with the NVIDIA 180.xx driver series
while in 2009 we saw a few updates to this release stream followed
by the introduction of the 185.xx and 190.xx drivers, which were
the major release cycles to introduce new prominent features. The
NVIDIA 195.xx driver series is currently in public beta but it will
likely not exit beta before the end of this year."
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