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I am fairly uninformed about the world of accelerated graphics driver, especially in linux. More informed than the average person, but anybody who actually cares about the subject I'm sure knows much more than I do, so give me a break if I seem like a moron.
On my personal machine, I have an nvidia graphics card. I have been using the nvidia proprietary drivers for most of my laptop's life. I have no problem with using proprietary drivers or software on my personal machine. However, now I'm having some trouble. Basically the problem is that I like to build my own kernels. However, recent kernels have been having trouble building and running the nvidia drivers. recent kernels won't display anything on the console outside of X unless I run in recovery mode, which I don't like to do because I am super afraid of fs damage (because I ruin my file system all the time). Plus, there are other problems, I had to remove DKMS because the drivers wouldn't build properly with DKMS enabled, and then something changed in the kernel so I had to modify something in the Nvidia driver source code to get it to build, blah blah blah. I just want good performance on my machine. I'm writing a game currently and although it is 2D, it can use accelerated graphics if available, so I would like for that to be available while I'm working on it. As well as some other things like dreamchess (the only chess game that I can beat).
Currently I am using the nouveau driver because I haven't taken the time to install the nvidia driver yet because that requires rebooting into recovery mode and then remounting all my file systems and then doing the build and install process and then safely unmounting everything, working as root the whole time. So, what I want is to use accelerated graphics with the nouveau driver. Shouldn't this work? I read an article which said the nouveau's performace was as good or better than the proprietary one, but I remember back when I ran ubuntu that it always told me I have to install the nvidia driver in order to use compiz or any accelerated graphics, and none of my opengl programs work now, and my game that I am working on now reports that it falls back to software rendering every time.
What is the problem with my nouveau driver (if any)? What can I do to solve the problem.
Distribution: Slint64-14.2 on Lenovo Thinkpad W520
According to this page your chipset has the NV98 (G98) codename, thus it belongs to the NV50 series with Nvidia 3D object codename Tesla.
According to that page it has one of the best supports from the nouveau driver in the 3D regard.
If you want to get the best results, always use the latest mesa, libdrm, nouveau kernel driver and nouveau X module. How to get it may depends on which distribution you use.
If you want to update theses components, go there first.
But if you are a 3D gamer, the performance you will get won't probably be on par with the one the proprietary driver would give you. I am not a gamer, have a NV50 card as well and nouveau works well enough to fulfill my needs.
Long story short, YMMV.
Last edited by Didier Spaier; 12-11-2012 at 04:16 AM.