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Best Kepler driver?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Reading the Witcher 3 performance thread and some other threads about how Nvidia is killing Kepler performance in their new drivers (compared to Maxwell), it made me wonder:

Is there a "best driver" for Kepler?
And: how is the development of open-source drivers for GeForce cards going?

Either way, this 780 Ti was the last (high-end) Nvidia card I bought. Even a ~$200 GTX 960 or same-gen R9-285 beats it because of crippling.
We now have an "Electronic Arts" on the hardware market too mad.gif (And AMD seems to be following their example with a $850 flagship.)

Where are the days I bought the top-range cards for 300-350? (HD4870)
   
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post #2 of 13
http://www.overclock.net/t/1556367/wccf-witcher-3-benchmarked-gtx-titan-does-30fps-at-1080p-and-ultra-settings/160_40#post_23931208
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post #3 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by xioros View Post

[...]

And: how is the development of open-source drivers for GeForce cards going?

[...]

There's no hope for Windows drivers, and the situation for Linux drivers is also pretty hopeless (at least for gaming).

I'm putting this here in a spoiler as it's off-topic because it's about Linux OpenGL/Vulkan and not Windows DirectX 10/11/12. It might still be interesting for you to see how NVIDIA is involved in this.

Linux open-source GPU driver situation (Click to show)
On Linux, there are severe problems getting the open-source drivers to work on NVIDIA's cards.

Copying the features of the various OpenGL versions kind of works out alright. A lot of that work can be shared with the open-source drivers for AMD and Intel. In this area, the problem is that it still will take a good amount of time until the work is finished. Intel is the one paying towards this effort. They started employing the programmers that work on this, and this had sped up development in the recent years.

For Vulkan (the future OpenGL alternative that's based on Mantle, just like DirectX 12), Valve has paid for a bunch of experts to do a model implementation for Intel's GPUs. That implementation will be shared when the work on Vulkan is finished and released. This work can then be used as the starting point for the people that will do Vulkan for the normal open-source drivers for Intel, AMD, NVIDIA GPUs.

Now, in practice, the NVIDIA version of the open-source driver effort is completely useless for gaming. The guys working on it have problems changing the clock rates of the GPU and memory chips on the cards. All of this is secret and NVIDIA does not help at all. The people working on this try to debug and watch the proprietary driver talking to the chips on the card, then do guess work about how the chips work.

The main issue currently is that they can't change the clocks of the memory chips. When the PC boots, the memory starts out at a ridiculously low clock rate. Concrete example, on my GTX 680 it is 648 MHz, and the full speed would be 6000 MHz. For the GPU chip, they managed to change its power state in experiments for a lot of the cards, but the very slow memory just sabotages performance completely. It is only good for 2D on the desktop.

As a last point, NVIDIA actually started encrypting a piece of code that has to be loaded into the graphics card by the driver. They started doing this with Maxwell. This completely breaks any attempt to build an open-source driver. This is an even worse secret than the memory clock issue from the last paragraph, because with encryption, you can show with Math that there's no hope to do your own version of the required code. Without NVIDIA's help, it needs to be ripped out of their driver and then it's not really open-source anymore. It also might be illegal to share because copyright and stuff.

The only hope is that Intel was always on the open-source train and AMD is also jumping on it. They share what their hardware wants to see, and for the guys working on those drivers, there is no guess work needed as with NVIDIA's cards. This could in the future force NVIDIA to also start sharing the required information, but this seems to be something for a few years in the future.

If things on Linux ever get to be completely open-source, and if then additionally the Steam-Box console gets moderately popular and causes game developers to routinely release their games for Linux, I bet open-source drivers also showing up for Windows might not be a stupid idea. As you can see, that's a lot of somewhat unlikely things that have to fall into place before you end up at that last step that is Windows open source drivers, so the safe, realistic bet would be to not have any hope for this to happen.
post #4 of 13
People has there minds made up before the game even released. Wait for optimization drivers... Of course the newest cards will get priority.
    
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post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blacklac View Post

People has there minds made up before the game even released. Wait for optimization drivers... Of course the newest cards will get priority.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackops_2 View Post

For Kepler owners. Reverted to 350.12 now getting 48fps rather than 30s

You mean crippling?
Nvidia is crippling Kepler in order to sell Maxwell. On release, the 980 was barely faster than the 780 Ti, now they are worlds apart.
You could state that the Kepler drivers already had time to mature and that the difference is a result of maturing, but in that case, the difference wouldn't be this big.

980 vs 780 Ti on release

Nvidia screws customers, period. They are responsible for the $850 AMD HBM GPU (AMD only looks "cheap" because the competition completely overcharges customers. What if they showed up with a $850 GPU in the GTX 580 era?)
   
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post #6 of 13
Compare an old driver to a newer 35X.XX driver. We'll be here waiting to see this "crippling".
    
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post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by xioros View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blacklac View Post

People has there minds made up before the game even released. Wait for optimization drivers... Of course the newest cards will get priority.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackops_2 View Post

For Kepler owners. Reverted to 350.12 now getting 48fps rather than 30s

You mean crippling?
Nvidia is crippling Kepler in order to sell Maxwell. On release, the 980 was barely faster than the 780 Ti, now they are worlds apart.
You could state that the Kepler drivers already had time to mature and that the difference is a result of maturing, but in that case, the difference wouldn't be this big.

980 vs 780 Ti on release

Nvidia screws customers, period. They are responsible for the $850 AMD HBM GPU (AMD only looks "cheap" because the competition completely overcharges customers. What if they showed up with a $850 GPU in the GTX 580 era?)

that is a horrible review to compared new with old because they don't "update" the already reviewed cards.

780ti on it's release same fps.

btw, you know even with updated drivers crysis 3 has the least amount of difference between kepler and maxwell, right? tomb raider is a bigger difference since release.

kepler isn't getting nerfed, maxwell has more optimation to go than a 3 y/o arch.
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post #8 of 13
I'm just sitting here looking dumb as my 1.36 Ghz 780 Ti can't handle 50 fps with HW off, rofl. Hopefully, Nvidia will rush out an optimization driver for Kepler. I feel like shelving the game at the moment, but I loved what I played so far. It's just hard to play it when the frames are so sporadic and the graphics don't merit the performance.

Funnily enough, I get higher OC results with the newest driver. But just for W3. For other games, it causes freezing. Yay. rolleyes.gif
    
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post #9 of 13
You people need to do more thorough research, it's not about the driver, it is somewhat, but it is game works which is unoptimised for kepler

See a 960 ahead of a titan

Stop being so naive.
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post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by MerkageTurk View Post

You people need to do more thorough research, it's not about the driver, it is somewhat, but it is game works which is unoptimised for kepler

See a 960 ahead of a titan

Stop being so naive.
Eh, no one here is being naive? And in terms of the game being unoptimized, no one is denying it as the graphical fidelity don't merit the performance. However, when I see that most users are seeing upwards of 10fps or more when switching to previous drivers when they have a 700 series card, it makes me think that the newest drivers aren't up to snuff and exempt us Kepler users and there is performance gains to be had with a Kepler optimized driver.
    
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