NVIDIA CoolBits For Linux Guide
A few months ago here at Phoronix we published an article entitled "The State of Linux NVIDIA Overclocking", which expressed our views of the overclocking options available, or there the lack of, to Linux NVIDIA users. Up until this time, NVClock has been one of the only utilities available to overclock your NVIDIA based graphics card under Linux, without using a BIOS editor. However, when we last tested the NVClock 0.8 CVS we still experienced several problems when paired up with some of our latest NVIDIA 6XXX and FX graphics cards. Although Thunderbird has done a phenomenal job, and continues to do a magnificent job developing NVClock, there still is a lack of overclocking options available for NVIDIA Linux users. NVIDIA, however, has released its new drivers that include some interesting features. In addition to Xinerama and OpenGL 2.0 support, CoolBits also accompanies this latest package. For those who haven't heard of or never used CoolBits, this is a NVIDIA overclocking utility for Microsoft Windows (until now) which could be enabled by a simple registry tweak and allows the user to substantially increase their VPU and memory speeds. However, does this CoolBits Linux port offer the reliability of its Windows counterpart and fix the issues that NVClock has yet to address? Today we have a short guide on how to enable CoolBits with these new NVIDIA drivers (1.0-7664), how to change your core and memory speeds, and the results we obtained when using the CoolBits utility.
Disclaimer: As this article will discuss increasing your VPU and memory frequencies, this can potentially damage or destroy your graphics card and void the warranty with the manufacturer. Phoronix and its staff take absolutely no responsibility for any damage or harm that can potentially occur from the methods discussed in this article.
The first step in setting up CoolBits for Linux, is well acquiring the latest drivers. At the time of publication, the latest available 32-bit and 64-bit NVIDIA display driver is version 1.0-7664. These drivers weigh in at 11.0MB and are available here. After we ran and installed NVIDIA-Linux-x 86-1.0-7664-pkg1.run, we adjusted the xorg.conf, and performed the final steps to properly setup the NVIDIA drivers on the FedoraCore3 systems we were using today for testing.