1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking Benchmarking Platform
Phoromatic Test Orchestration

NVIDIA Releases 295.33; Kepler Gallium3D Soon

NVIDIA

Published on 22 March 2012 06:36 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA
10 Comments

On the same-day as releasing the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 as the first GeForce graphics card based upon the new Kepler architecture, there's a binary driver update from NVIDIA that ushers in the official Kepler Linux support. There's also more surprising news out of the reverse-engineering Nouveau camp, on top of their surprises earlier today.

The NVIDIA 295.33 driver for x86/x86_64 Linux introduces official support (earlier 295.xx releases should already have pre-released support) for the GeForce GTX 680, GeForce GT 630M, and GeForce GT 620. Besides the new hardware enablement, there's a VDPAU bug-fix for H.264 streams on lower-end GPUs causing poor performance and corruption, a DisplayPort audio fix, improved compatibility with recent kernels (proper Linux 3.3 kernel support), fixed DisplayPort connector behavior, GVO NV-CONTROL attribute changes, a DisplayPort reporting fix for the X log, support for 3D Visions on displays with a built-in NVIDIA 3D Vision infrared emitter, and a few other bug-fixes.

So even if you didn't run out to the store today to buy a GeForce GTX 680 "Kepler", this driver is worth upgrading to if you're a user of NVIDIA's binary driver since there's bug-fixes and more out of the 295.33 release.

The latest NVIDIA Linux drivers can be obtained from NVIDIA.com. NVIDIA has also passed along word that with their next release series after 295.xx (likely to be 298.xx or 300.xx series), their Linux driver will now be enabling OpenGL sync-to-vblank by default. Enabling sync-to-vblank can reduce any tearing issues, but makes for a restricted benchmarking experience. (To the Phoronix Test Suite soon I'll add in support that similar to enforcing vblank_mode=0 for the open-source drivers that for the NVIDIA binary driver it will enforce SyncToBlank=0 with NVIDIA's respective protocol.)

Since the Phoronix article earlier talking about the GeForce GTX 680 Linux support, I've since confirmed with NVIDIA Corp that -- like Fermi -- there is no Kepler overclocking support under Linux at this time. There's no word on any other missing features from the Linux blob.

In other Nouveau news, besides the surprise this morning that Ben Skeggs of Red Hat had an early GeForce GTX 680 for which he was able to bring up mode-setting support already in time for the Linux 3.4 kernel (Kepler mode-setting is similar to the Fermi-based NVD9, etc), there's more related -- and exciting -- news. It turns out at least one other Nouveau developer also ended up with an early Kepler graphics card.

I'm told by Nouveau's Martin Peres that the Nouveau Gallium3D maintainer also has had his hands on a card. Best of all, "it seems 3D is mostly the same", "Kepler isn't disruptive", and "once the new libdrm is merged and the context-switching microcodes are done, we'll be to enjoy 3d accel :)" So we're not actually too far out from seeing Nouveau Gallium3D working for the GeForce 600 Kepler series!

If the community-based Nouveau developers can manage OpenGL acceleration on the GeForce 600 series for the Linux 3.5 kernel and Mesa 8.1 this summer that will certainly be welcome and a huge surprise. It's actually somewhat of an embarrassment for AMD since they only began releasing Radeon HD 7000 series code this week when the hardware has been shipping for months. With AMD's open-source approach, while they have an official open-source strategy, they have a restrictive legal and review process internally that generally holds up new hardware enablement until well after new product launches, etc. (Intel meanwhile has no problems pushing out new hardware support easily a year in advance.)

As far as how Nouveau developers managed to get early access to Kepler to begin their reverse-engineering work, that isn't too clear at the moment. David Airlie of Red Hat mentioned in our forums that the cards weren't sent by NVIDIA itself, so it may have been a NVIDIA AIB partner another source. More information when available.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Linux News
  1. The CompuLab Fitlet Is A Neat Little Linux PC With AMD SoC
  2. AMD & Others Are Working On The LLVM SPIR-V Converter
  3. Linux 4.1-rc5 Kernel Released
  4. Mesa 10.5.6 Brings Fixes All Over The Place
  5. NVIDIA's Proprietary Driver Is Moving Closer With Kernel Mode-Setting
  6. The Latest Linux Kernel Git Code Fixes The EXT4 RAID0 Corruption Problem
  7. Features Added To Mesa 10.6 For Open-Source GPU Drivers
  8. Ubuntu's LXD vs. KVM For The Linux Cloud
  9. Fedora Server 22 Benchmarks With XFS & The Linux 4.0 Kernel
  10. GCC 6 Gets Support For The IBM z13 Mainframe Server
Latest Articles & Reviews
  1. The Latest Features For Linux Performance Management + Benchmark Monitoring
  2. Noctua NH-U12DX i4 + NF-F12
  3. Btrfs RAID 0/1 Benchmarks On The Linux 4.1 Kernel
  4. The State Of Various Firefox Features
Most Viewed News This Week
  1. The Linux 4.0 Kernel Currently Has An EXT4 Corruption Issue
  2. The Linux 4.0 EXT4 RAID Corruption Bug Has Been Uncovered
  3. Microsoft Open-Sources The Windows Communication Foundation
  4. Systemd 220 Has Finally Been Released
  5. Another HTTPS Vulnerability Rattles The Internet
  6. LibreOffice 5.0 Open-Source Office Suite Has Been Branched
  7. LibreOffice 5.0 Beta 1 Released
  8. Will Ubuntu Linux Hit 200 Million Users This Year?