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Old 05-04-04, 10:15 PM   #1
MNKyDeth
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Post Nvidia linux optimizations?

When will nvidia make more optimizations for us linux users in there drivers? I understand some people have problems with the drivers depending wich distro they are using but I never have.

I ran some benches to see how things were looking performance wise for linux and this is what I found. Using Quake3 and Savage as a comparison with the different drivers and comparing it to a windows OS.

http://www.easylinuxguide.com/index....iewtopic&t=911

This is posted in the www.easylinuxguide.com gaming section.

The main reason I bring this up is I am wondering how far behind are the linux drivers compared to the windows varients? Is there a plan to improve performance in drivers that are soon to be released, instead of having the almost stagnant performance from all drivers. They sem to vary frames per second very little in linux for some reason. Where as in windows they fluctuate a great deal from driver to driver.

I'm just trying to get the most from my linux system and I think the performance in the drivers may need to be looked at a bit closer for us linux users.
If anyone would like to contact me directly please PM me over on the easylinuxguide forums or the easylinuxguide irc.

Last edited by MNKyDeth; 05-05-04 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 05-05-04, 02:51 AM   #2
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Default Re: Nvidia linux optimizations?

Woah there.

Benchmarking games might seem like a good idea to test the differences between two architectures,( hardware/software ), but when you really look at the scores certain information is missing.

On a typical windows benchmarking rig, most people would reinstall windows, update to SP1, and stop the windows update from running. They would then install DX9.1b and run a test. If they were really pedantic, they would clean the machine again and run another test.

Not sure what happens with the Linux guys, though I suspect, they don't reinstall every time they want to play a new game.

Now what does this mean? If someone like HardOCP, TomsHardware, etc were to let an individual test a machine, someone who doesn't know the intricacies of the windows registry, and the little hacks they can add to the system to make the DX runtime that little bit faster, we would get completely different figures. Also it would be a good idea, for a benchmarking, if the test machine had all the updates from windows installed. What would the outcome of this be? Something approaching reality for a start, and 99% similar to most PC users. Of course benchmarks would be lower due to the constant patching of the OS.

So even if we blindly put figures up of FPS scores in games compared to windows, we don't know if that machine was only set up to play that game and do nothing else at all.

Probably makes no sense, tired in the morning.
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Old 05-05-04, 03:28 AM   #3
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Default Re: Nvidia linux optimizations?

If your going to compare then it's quite difficult, Linux dont have the development in it's drivers lIke Windows does. Games like UT2004 run in OpenGL and that is not the optimal developed compared to D3D. Chipset and sound drivers also have a affect on the games, game developes need outside help for linux games and it's thanks to people like Andy mecham of nvidia we have a desent running UT2004 in Linux.

Unfortunatly there do seem to be the same optimizations in the Linux driver as in the Windows one, Anisotropic 8x in the ut2004.ini is much better than when you use it from the nvidia panel 8x. This is relected in Windows as well.
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Old 05-05-04, 03:34 AM   #4
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Default Re: Nvidia linux optimizations?

I think such benchmarks might be a good idea in general, but, like gazza said, pretty hard to do right.
Even if you don't reinstall Linux for every single test, using a self compiled system (eg gentoo), a kernel tweaked for games as much as possible, disabling all unnecessary deamons and drivers (like sshd or cupsd), running X without a DE/ WM and nice-ing the game to the sky (don't forget to run as root), you should be on par with most Windows benchmarks (but you may get better scores on Linux).

But I also think the Nvidia Linux drivers may have some room for improvement...
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Old 05-05-04, 03:40 AM   #5
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Default Re: Nvidia linux optimizations?

Further comparing Linux and Windows game performance is very complicated. Just running the same apps on both OSes isn't fair. The performance on Linux depends a lot on the used distribution. Some distributions are by default quite a bit faster than others even if they contain similar kernel optimizations.

Further for Linux drivers nvidia's drivers are quite good. If you look at drivers before 1.0-53xx with 2.4x performance is acceptable. What do you prefer more in case of Nvidia performance or stability?
Perhaps Nvidia chose for stability in the case of 1.0-5336 as it is the first release with official 2.6x support. Performance will likely become better with 1.0-6xxx.
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Old 05-05-04, 03:48 AM   #6
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Default Re: Nvidia linux optimizations?

AF 8x enabled in the nvidia panel



AF 8x enabled in the ut2004.ini




Explain that.
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Old 05-05-04, 08:27 AM   #7
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Default Re: Nvidia linux optimizations?

The control panel is experimental. To change settings it uses the NV-CONTROL extension but it doesn't seem to be fully ready yet. For my own app (nvclock) I'm playing with this extension too and already had reports of people that aniso didn't work using nvidia-settings or nvclock. Other options like vsync and fsaa seem to work fine.
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Old 05-05-04, 08:31 AM   #8
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Default Re: Nvidia linux optimizations?

Anisotropic Filtering works fine in the 4620 driver as other games AF is on, quake3 didnot show that amount of optimization.
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Old 05-05-04, 09:36 AM   #9
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Default Re: Nvidia linux optimizations?

I did not mean to be offensive in any way with my post and am sorry if it came off that way. There are not to many game benchmark results on the web for linux and was just trying to fill a need was all. I am by no means an expert writer either.

But, to fill in some details that may have been left out both OS's I used were freshly installed. Windows 2k had all the windows updates applied to it while running a firewall and Anti-virus software so I could get a real result. Arch Linux was updated with the most current packages from there repository and using a custom kernel.

Savage and Quake3 both use opengl on windows and linux hance the reason I didn't use a benchmark like UT2k3 or UT2k4. As UT games use DX in windows and opengl in linux.

Maybe it is the grafx card I use. As it was not as popular as other cards so it may not have recieved much attention in the drivers like other more popular cards from nvidia.

Again, like I said, both OS's were fresh installs and were not tweaked in the registry for windows and not tweaked AF or AA wise in linux. I used straight default driver installs. Only thing I changed was to make sure that the v-sync was disabled. Both games were patched with the most current patches for each game. Both were running the same patch on either OS.

Even if I was running a slightly more optimized linux distro like gentoo I doubt the results would increase much for linux. My kernel had all extra's taken out of it. It is highly tailored to my machine. I never use modules for anything except the nvidia driver itself. I always use the * like a good little linux user.

I feel as though if anyone else did a simialr compare they would get about the same results with the same hardware as me. I do like nvidia for the easy driver installs on linux compared to ATI and I appreciate that, hance the reason why I only use nvidia cards. Plus the nvidia cards perform waaay better on linux than ATI cards do.

Linux is growing, and a spot in linux that is not tested as much as other aspects like serving apache or mysql needs to be brought into the spot light. Like how are the games performing on the OS. Many people I know that use linux still dual boot into windows to play there games. It's the one thing holding them back from using linux only.

If the nvidia drivers performed the same or better under linux and there was better game support under linux (ie, more games) I know a lot more people would use linux exclusively.

Last time I ran a poll on a windows based site (futuremark) most people voted that they would use linux only as there OS if the games were available for it. In order for us to get more or better games we need to have two things. Better driver support and more linux users. The whole chicken and egg aspect and we need to start someplace imo.

I also only run my games in linux. I won't play or use MS OS anymore. It is to much of a hassle for me. So even though I get less performance in my games I still choose to use linux exclusively. I only loaded up my old win2k so I could see how my game performance was stacking up. I try to support gaming on linux as best I can. And for proof just check out the easylinuxguide forum on the gaming section.

Wine and wineX are trash imo also. Why spend the money on it when I could run a dual boot and have complete compatability for my games if I so desired. I will only run linux native games on my linux system. I stand strong in my beliefs and only want to support and help support something I like in linux and that is gaming. But, from my results, it clearly shows that win2k atleast with the nvidia drivers I used for both OS's that win2k outperforms linux in games. Is it because of better optimizations? Is it because of better support? Is it because win2k is truely a faster OS?

This is all I am looking for. An answer, and to help push linux development to reach the glory it deserves.

Well, enough for my rant, thanks for taking the time to read and post your thoughts, it is much appreciated for me to know what people think.
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Old 05-06-04, 04:41 PM   #10
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Default Re: Nvidia linux optimizations?

Quite apart from the fact that nvidia will tweak framerates more heavily on windows since that's where all the big-publicity benchmarks are run, I think OpenGL on linux/unix is on the whole lagging behind windows. For example, I think you still can't render to a texture in linux/GLX - you have to do a slow copy call instead - whereas the corresponding WGL (windows-only) extension was out in 2001.

Plus, I guess in linux OpenGL doesn't have to compete with DirectX, and we all know what great things a lack of competition does to innovation. . .
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Old 05-27-04, 01:20 AM   #11
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Default Re: Nvidia linux optimizations?

MNky,

I agree with you on a lot of points. I am really reaching for a way to use Linux exclusively but there are so many great games that only run on Windows. Can you help me out and point me to a good list or website about Linux native games? I really want to see what popular games, if any have been ported to run on linux. I would think Warcraft 3 could be run natively on linux, for example. My aim is to use windows, wine, and wine x as little as possible.

Thanks,
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Old 05-27-04, 02:18 AM   #12
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Default Re: Nvidia linux optimizations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kahnmark
MNky,

I agree with you on a lot of points. I am really reaching for a way to use Linux exclusively but there are so many great games that only run on Windows. Can you help me out and point me to a good list or website about Linux native games? I really want to see what popular games, if any have been ported to run on linux. I would think Warcraft 3 could be run natively on linux, for example. My aim is to use windows, wine, and wine x as little as possible.

Thanks,
Kahnmark
You can get native game installers for linux HERE , have a look around there for other goodies.
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