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Benchmarks Of Nouveau's Gallium3D Driver

Feb 19, 2010, 08:03 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Larabel)

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"As we shared a few days ago, Fedora 13 will provide OpenGL acceleration support for NVIDIA graphics cards via the Nouveau driver when installing the Mesa DRI experimental drivers package. There is finally 3D acceleration for NVIDIA graphics cards using an open-source driver on Linux without having to depend upon NVIDIA's official binary driver. What makes this open-source 3D support for NVIDIA GPUs even more interesting is that it is atop the Gallium3D driver architecture rather than classic Mesa. With that said, we are providing early benchmarks of the Nouveau Gallium3D driver in Fedora 13 with two GeForce graphics cards as we compare the performance to NVIDIA's official Linux driver.

"For a few releases Red Hat has been shipping the Nouveau driver in Fedora rather than using the obfuscated xf86-video-nv driver that goes without any 3D support and is crippled with other limitations. Fedora started having the xf86-video-nouveau DDX driver with user-space mode-setting, but that changed over to the kernel mode-setting code-paths where it continues to be the default NVIDIA option with Fedora 12. Fedora 13 will again feature all of the latest bleeding-edge bits for Nouveau and the other parts of the X.Org stack, but with this forthcoming release the Nouveau 3D driver is packaged in the mesa-dri-drivers-experimental RPM package. Simply installing this package via yum will enable the NVIDIA 3D support.

"For years the Nouveau project has been seeking to provide a full open-source driver stack for all current and past NVIDIA graphics processors and finally all of this hard work is coming to fruition. While Fedora was the first to begin shipping Nouveau, other distributions are doing the same and the Nouveau DDX driver has been available in Ubuntu since 9.04 and with Ubuntu 10.04 they too will be ditching xf86-video-nv by default and turning to Nouveau with KMS."

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