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The Real Need For Nouveau Power Management

Apr 15, 2010, 17:04 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Larabel)

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"We have already published a look at the Fedora 13 Beta, delivered ATI Radeon benchmarks atop Fedora 13 Beta, and have other articles on the way covering this new Fedora release, while in this article we are investigating Nouveau's power performance using this newest Fedora release. If you are a mobile user planning to use the Nouveau stack right now, or you care the least bit about energy savings with your desktop, its power consumption alone may rule this open-source driver out as even a current possibility.

"Fedora has always been at the forefront of pulling in the latest Nouveau driver code as it was first to ditch the xf86-video-nv driver in favor of this community-driven effort. Fedora began by shipping user-space mode-setting support with the Nouveau DDX, and then moved over to providing NVIDIA kernel mode-setting support, and now with Fedora 13 there is even the Nouveau Gallium3D driver available. This all while the Nouveau DRM only entered the mainline Linux kernel a few months back and just now with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and other distributions are they beginning to utilize the Nouveau kernel mode-setting capabilities. It will likely be some months still before the Gallium3D Nouveau driver (and its classic Mesa driver for old NVIDIA ASICs) is picked up by other distributions, but Fedora tends to live on the edge of the open-source Linux graphics stack and Red Hat also happens to employ one of the Nouveau developers (Ben Skeggs) and David Airlie is also involved with the open-source NVIDIA work."

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