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Graphics Games Linux

Nvidia Doubles Linux Driver Performance, Slips Steam Release Date 363

leppi writes "Nvidia has announced a huge increase in Linux gaming performance for their GeForce R310 drivers after almost a year of development alongside Valve and other game developer partners. Nvidia's announcement also indicated the Steam beta for Linux should be out today. Quoting: 'Available for download at www.geforce.com, the new R310 drivers were also thoroughly tested with Steam for Linux, the extension of Valve's phenomenally popular Steam gaming platform that officially opened to gamers starting today. ... Comparing 304.51 driver performance of 142.7 fps versus 310.14 driver performance of 301.4 fps in beta build of Left for Dead 2. All tests run on the same system using Intel Core i7-3930K CPU @ 3.20GHz with 8 GB memory, GeForce GTX 680 and Ubuntu 12.04 32-bit.'" Update: 11/06 21:00 GMT by S : Valve has gone ahead and announced the Steam for Linux Beta. They've sent invites to a number of people who filled out the application, and they'll be inviting more as the test goes along. The beta test is available for installation on Ubuntu 12.04, with support for other distros to come: "We intend to support additional popular distros in the future; we’ll prioritize development for these based on user feedback."
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Nvidia Doubles Linux Driver Performance, Slips Steam Release Date

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  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @04:11PM (#41898363)

    Nothing just like the last decade.

    For many people the YOTLD was a long time ago.

    I just hope I got selected for this beta.

  • Re:Steam Programs (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jonah Hex ( 651948 ) <hexdotms@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @04:21PM (#41898529) Homepage Journal
    Same way it does on Windows, asks to install the updated driver and get elevated for that task. Personally I wasn't thinking of Linux, as I game (and mostly work) on Windows. - HEX
  • by G3ckoG33k ( 647276 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @04:56PM (#41899091)

    10 % better than Windows if the numbers at

    http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/graphics/display/geforce-gtx-670_4.html [xbitlabs.com]

    can be used straight away (which they possibly can to some extent as Left for Dead 2 probably isn't CPU bound) for GTX 680

    Windows - 276 fps

    Linux - 301.4 fps

    Quite an improvement anyhow!

    Congratulations to all involved!!!

  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @04:59PM (#41899153)

    RPM is not one of the better package managers. Yum uses RPM, but even that sucks.

    Drivers are easy, its a checkbox in Ubuntu.

    You are blaming an OS for a company shutting down? Is it Microsofts fault when a windows software company dies?

  • Ubuntu 32-bit? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Milharis ( 2523940 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @05:02PM (#41899213)

    "All tests run on the same system using Intel Core i7-3930K CPU @ 3.20GHz with 8 GB memory, GeForce GTX 680 and Ubuntu 12.04 32-bit."
    8 GB of RAM, and they're using the 32 bit version of Ubuntu ?
    I know it's what Ubuntu is recommending by default, but come on, with the rig they have, why go for 32 bit?

  • How? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Chemisor ( 97276 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @05:11PM (#41899327)

    Can any driver developers comment on how this was achieved? I know I haven't been programming OpenGL for very long, but all I see it doing is writing the data to the card and running the shaders on that data. Data transfers should already be going at full speed, so I don't see much possible improvement there. I also can't see how shader compiler improvements could result in doubled performance. Typically, compiler changes speed things up by a few percent and I don't believe that nVidia's compiler was that bad before. So what was sped up exactly? And frankly, aside from compiling the shaders and memcpying data to the card, I'm puzzled what the driver is doing anyway?

  • Why you would want the non-linux users opinion on linux I don't know.

    Perhaps they think that if they ask "When you tried Linux, why did you abandon it?", they can squeeze some insights out of the answers about how to improve the Linux user experience.

  • by dpidcoe ( 2606549 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @05:37PM (#41899681)

    The centralized software database is great... until you need a program that's not in it.

    Also, finding and downloading something with a search engine is done every day by pretty much anyone who uses a PC (regardless of OS), so it's not really accurate to include that when measuring complexity of installing software. Having to type a bunch of things into a command line (and then finding out TFM was out of date and everything you types was wrong) is definitely not something that non-linux PC users are familiar with.

    oh, and have fun trying to actually find where the program is with the unity interface (though to be fair, that could just be because I'm not that familiar with it yet)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @05:56PM (#41900023)

    That's classic. That means every hardcore gamer out there that would sell their grandmother for another 10% increase in frame rate will be forced to move to Linux.
    This should be interesting.

  • Optimus? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Yvanhoe ( 564877 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @07:21PM (#41901133) Journal
    Have they changed their stance on their Optimus feature that they infamously said "would never be supported under linux"? For those unaware of it, laptops now ship with 2 GPUs : a small one, low performance and low conso, usually an Intel one, and a high-end one, that is started when GPU intensive tasks are started. Optimus is the undocumented feature that allows to switch between these two.

    It is not supported in the linux nVidia driver, it was said by nvidia official they would never support it and they didn't even give the OSS developers the little hints they need to make a workaround.

    Unless this silliness (that made Linus call them many names) is solved, I am unlikely to buy any laptop with a nVidia board.
  • by Nerdfest ( 867930 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @07:28PM (#41901197)

    The difference in drive access is amazing. In windows it's constant, where on a Linux machine running the same software it never even flickers. I'd swear the drive manufacturers pay them to reduce their life expectancy.

  • by Tough Love ( 215404 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @08:10PM (#41901613)

    That was true in the Windows 7 era. PCs that come with Windows 8, on the other hand, ship with UEFI secure boot turned on, and users may need to figure out how to disable secure boot first.

    Microsoft will no doubt get dragged into court over that. Count on the EU if no one else. In the mean time if I have to boot to the bios to switch it off I will, and Linux vendors have various workarounds. Another alternative is to buy Linux pre-installed. Endpcnoise has some fine machines with Ubuntu preinstalled. [endpcnoise.com] Their discount for choosing LInux instead of Windows is quite attractive. I call this dying gasp time for Microsoft. They haven't hit the really steep part of the cliff yet, but they will and they know it.

  • Re:Consumption (Score:4, Interesting)

    by symbolset ( 646467 ) * on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @09:54PM (#41902491) Journal

    I bought the TF101 on launch day over a year ago. It has HDMI output and can drive the same monitors you and I are looking at. I have acquired three Windows cloud desktops through services like OnLive. Through Citrix and VMWare View I have access to an unlimited number of desktops with this tablet. Because my support crew is first rate they support every version of every Windows OS back to DOS 5.1 - and prior versions I can run or simulate locally. Anything your PC can do, my tablet can do. I use it to administer 100+ servers.

    My phone has LTE and hotspot, so I can do this anywhere I happen to be by tethering this old tablet to my phone's wifi.

    My tablet has the dock, so I can attach Wacom tablets, keyboards, mice, trackballs, and even Microsoft's Kinect if I want to. Bluetooth too. Connecting a peripheral to a device is becoming a network problem and the network software guys make short work of that.

    Microsoft's Surface tablet has encryption to prevent loading of alternate operating systems. That would be protective of their OS franchise if Nexus 10 didn't have more storage, a 300 DPI screen, and cost less. Nobody in their right mind would pay more for a Surface intending to defang the prevention of choice implicit in it when they could just buy a Nexus 10 and do what they want without the uncrippling step instead, and also have resolution beyond the limit of their visual acuity.

  • by RaceProUK ( 1137575 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @08:09AM (#41906005)

    The difference in drive access is amazing. In windows it's constant, where on a Linux machine running the same software it never even flickers. I'd swear the drive manufacturers pay them to reduce their life expectancy.

    that's most likely related to indexing for full-text search

    More likely the continuous defrag (when idling) that started in Vista.

"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts most subtly on the human will." -- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"