Nouveau Will Now Sync Buffer-Swaps To VBlanks By Default
Written by Michael Larabel in Nouveau on 21 June 2014 at 12:18 PM EDT. 16 Comments
In trying to reduce tearing and match the behavior of the Intel and Radeon drivers, the Nouveau X.Org driver will now sync buffer-swaps to vblanks by default.

The Nouveau driver has long had the GLXVBlank option for the xorg.conf to synchronize GLX clients to VBlanks. The option is motivated to reduce tearing but can be an issue if your GPU isn't fast enough to keep up to the monitor refresh rate (or you're trying to run benchmarks).

With Nouveau trying to be consistent with the other drivers and providing a better user experience, this option is now being enabled by default. Those wishing to disable this syncing to the vblanks / refresh rate can set Option "GLXVBlank" "Off" within their xorg.conf -- the option is treated similarly to the Radeon driver's SwapBuffersWait option.

The change to the xf86-video-nouveau driver happened this morning with this Git commit.

Other important Nouveau news this week includes support for the PRESENT extension, Maxwell support was added with GLAMOR acceleration, and yesterday I shared the first Nouveau re-clocking results with Linux 3.16.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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