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Nvidia's Fermi Architecture Debuts; Nouveau Driver Already Working 70

Posted by timothy
from the those-ndas-must-have-really-hurt-your-backs dept.
crookedvulture writes Nvidia has lifted the curtain on reviews of its latest GPU architecture, which will be available first in the high-end GeForce GTX 680 graphics card. The underlying GK104 processor is much smaller than the equivalent AMD GPU, with fewer transistors, a narrower path to memory, and greatly simplified control logic that relies more heavily on Nvidia's compiler software. Despite the modest chip, Nvidia's new architecture is efficient enough that The Tech Report, PC Perspective, and AnandTech all found the GeForce GTX 680's gaming performance to be largely comparable to AMD's fastest Radeon, which costs $50 more. The GTX 680 also offers other notable perks, like a PCI Express 3.0 interface, dynamic clock scaling, new video encoding tech, and a smarter vsync mechanism. It's rather power-efficient, too, but the decision to focus on graphics workloads means the chip won't be as good a fit for Nvidia's compute-centric Tesla products. A bigger GPU based on the Kepler architecture is expected to serve that market." Read on below for good news (at least if you prefer Free software) from an anonymous reader. Update: 03/22 19:35 GMT by T : Mea culpa -- that headline should say "Kepler," rather than Fermi; HT to Dave from Hot Hardware (here's HH's take on the new GPU).
Our anonymous friend writes "The open-source Nouveau driver project that reverse-engineers the official NVIDIA driver to provide a free software alternative has made some big accomplishments. Nouveau announced today they have same-day Kepler support and are now de-staging on Linux. The GeForce GTX 680 'Kepler' launch just happened hours prior to Nouveau, somehow managing initial mode-setting support with early hardware, from a project that NVIDIA 'officially' does not support. The de-staging in the Linux kernel now means that the driver is at version 1.0 with a stable ABI."
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Nvidia's Fermi Architecture Debuts; Nouveau Driver Already Working

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  • Re:Nouveau (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kryis (947024) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @01:59PM (#39442971)
    It doesn't *officially* get support from Nvidia. That isn't the same as not getting support at all.
  • Re: Nouveau (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @03:14PM (#39443777) Homepage Journal

    Martin Peres, thank you for your hard work. It is no small thing that you do with Nouveau, especially considering the general lack of appreciation shown by some.

    Anybody who uses their time and talent to develop OSS stuff deserves a lot of respect, and at least a little thanks, IMO.

    I'm not an OSS dev, or a dev of any kind, but as a professional music recordist, I have done a lot of work with OSS devs in the audio realm, and although I've been too impatient sometimes with the progress of OSS music production on Linux, there has been some pretty impressive work done in the last couple of years, to the point where I've been able to do my first all-OSS music production project last year and get absolutely first-rate results. There are still rough patches, but today there is finally the possibility of serious creative audio work using all OSS, thanks to a lot of people like you.

    So, salut!

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