Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Today is the day, after months of bringing fourth speculations, and information regarding the 1.0-8168 BETA leak from ASUS, the NVIDIA 1.0-8174 Linux display driver has finally surfaced to the public. To start with, these new NVIDIA Linux 1.0-8174 drivers feature a great deal of improvements from GeForce 6100/6150 support to the new nvidia-xconfig utility. As expected, these driver features are quite similar to what we had shared with our readers over two months ago in our NVIDIA 1.0-8XXX series preview article but unfortunately there are always a few features that didn't make their way into this release. Of course, the major feature is the ability to now run Scalable Link Interface under Linux. This article will focus primarily on the advantages of the 1.0-8174 drivers over that of the 1.0-7XXX series, and more specifically the 1.0-7676 release, but we do have numerous Linux SLI articles planned in addition to our Linux SLI Primer and Tyan Tomcat K8E-SLI review. For those looking for a more thorough comparison of the 1.0-7XXX candidates they can be seen in our Q4-2005 comparison. Below are the release notes pertaining to the new 1.0-8174 drivers.
With our previous article that we published moments ago, demonstrating the performance of the GeForce 7800GTX 256MB under Linux with the 1.0-8174 Rel80 drivers that were finally released today, there's no disputing that the Windows XP NVIDIA ForceWare users can generally see a significantly higher frame-rate with the same hardware components, in addition to other features that aren't yet supported by the proprietary NVIDIA Linux drivers. However, how do NVIDIA's initial Rel80 Linux drivers (1.0-8174) fair in the world of Scalable Link Interface? Today we will be investigating all of these areas of SLI as we measure the level of performance on this Athlon 64 system with Enemy Territory v2.60, Quake 4 v1.0.5, and Doom 3 v1.3.1302. To start with, below is the system setup used during the testing for this article. The basis for this system is Tyan's K8E-SLI, which we recently reviewed here, and it has proved to be an exceptional desktop and workstation motherboard and is based off of the nForce Professional 2200 Chipset rather than the nForce4 SLI.