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NVIDIA has confirmed a driver bug resulting in a loss of performance on Linux

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It seems there's a performance bug in recent NVIDIA drivers that has been causing a loss of performance across likely all GPUs. Not only that, but it seems to end up using more VRAM than previous drivers too.

User HeavyHDx started a thread on the official NVIDIA forum, to describe quite a big drop in performance since the 375 driver series. So all driver updates since then would have been affected by this.

NVIDIA themselves have now commented to confirm the issue. Here's what the NVIDIA rep said about it:

This likely matches a similar performance drop observed on another Feral game, Total War: WARHAMMER.
We've been tracking it internally as bug 1963500. There was a change, introduced in our r378 branch, to the logic of allocation of certain textures, but it apparently exposed a bug in our memory manager.
Our next release branch, r390, will carry a workaround, and we're still working on finding and fixing the root cause.

So it seems to affect at least Deus Ex Mankind Divided, Total War: WARHAMMER, Company of Hereos 2 and most likely a number of other titles too.

The same NVIDIA rep also said they aim to have the 390 driver series out before the end of the year, let's hope that doesn't come with its own problems! Great to know they are aware of it and that the next driver series will have a workaround to improve it, getting Linux game performance back on track is pretty important.

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42 comments
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wleoncio 30 November 2017 at 9:09 pm UTC
Such good news! I did notice my performance in Deus Ex:MD dropping from 30-60 fps to 5-15 fps after a driver update about a month ago, but I was too lazy to downgrade or to report the bug.
Leopard 30 November 2017 at 9:28 pm UTC
wleoncioSuch good news! I did notice my performance in Deus Ex:MD dropping from 30-60 fps to 5-15 fps after a driver update about a month ago, but I was too lazy to downgrade or to report the bug.

Wow , this sounds massive. I think you should at least comment on there , just get over your laziness this time
saildata 1 December 2017 at 4:21 am UTC
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adomasGreat! Also NVIDIA could fix Xid 31 which happens way too often...

Xid 31 is GPU memory page fault (driver, app issue)

To me happens every single day more than few times!

And they could improve nvidia-smi, as of now I see only one GPU details and my system has two GPUs...

I had this issue for several months this fall starting with 384.59, and it was fixed for me in 387.22. Currently I'm on 387.34. I tried several times to report it to NVIDIA, but their website had all sorts of issues with me logging in.

I was able to reproduce the issue when the nvidia-uvm module was loaded, which was when anything "cuda" related was done. I like to watch YT or Twitch through MPV and use hardware acceleration to do so, so any time I used mpv I would get another error message in the system log. I dug through the g00gs search results along with various forums and docs to try and find out if there was something wrong with the card or if I should be concerned.

Sorry you have this, but I'm glad that I'm not the only one who ever saw it What driver version are you using?
saildata 1 December 2017 at 4:43 am UTC
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emptythevoidThis is interesting because I've suspected a <recent> loss of FPS in Borderlands 2, a game I play regularly. I'll have to check what nvidia driver I'm using at the moment on my 970.

I also haven't noticed any performance drop, and I also have a Pascal card. Looking at the Arch repos, it looks like you could go back to 370.28.. which was released in October. Of 2016.
PieOrCake 1 December 2017 at 4:53 am UTC
Maybe while they're working on Linux drivers, they could add Surround support so that I can game on three monitors.
poisond 1 December 2017 at 9:41 am UTC
PieOrCakeMaybe while they're working on Linux drivers, they could add Surround support so that I can game on three monitors.
I have 4 displays attached, no problems(I never use more than 3 simultaneously though). AFAIK since the GTX 6xx series 4 displays are supported.
Is your HW too old? Are you trying use 3x4k displays?


Last edited by poisond at 1 December 2017 at 9:44 am UTC
PieOrCake 1 December 2017 at 10:18 am UTC
poisond
PieOrCakeMaybe while they're working on Linux drivers, they could add Surround support so that I can game on three monitors.
I have 4 displays attached, no problems(I never use more than 3 simultaneously though). AFAIK since the GTX 6xx series 4 displays are supported.
Is your HW too old? Are you trying use 3x4k displays?

I have three beautiful Dell 1440p monitors (set to 1080p) connected to the NVIDIA 980M on my laptop. The desktop spans nicely across all three, but games only display on one. The same games span all three monitors under Microsoft Windows.

nvidia-settings shows X Screen 0 as having dimensions of 5760x1080, but no game gives me the option to select that resolution.
dubigrasu 1 December 2017 at 10:37 am UTC
PieOrCakeMaybe while they're working on Linux drivers, they could add Surround support so that I can game on three monitors.
Ask Jake about it, he routinely plays on triple screen, ex: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujf-g0JGE2I
Samsai 1 December 2017 at 11:56 am UTC
Leopard
liamdawe
oldgarolmaooo...good time to move away from NVIDIA!
Well, no. Let's not pretend Mesa is perfect. All software has bugs and regressions.

Agreed.

Until Amd Mesa supports compat profiles , Nvidia will be the winner.

Not everybody has to deal with various workarounds to run some games.
How many games even are there that use compatibility profiles or otherwise non-standard OpenGL? I only recall Dying Light but that game has been a mess on the OpenGL side since day one. Everything I've been playing in recent memory from AAA to indie games has been using core profiles.
pete910 1 December 2017 at 12:50 pm UTC
^^^^ This, If a game needs a driver profile that means either the game or the driver is broken/buggy code.

Point of fact is it's a far better experience on AMD now than NV on linux. I purposely swapped from a gtx1080 to a rx64 and my only regret is not doing it sooner! The overall experience needs to be experienced to understand just how quircky to damn right crap the NV driver is.

Before any fanbois start I've had the 1080 for over a year so know first hand how good/bad the drivers are/have been on the whole.

Is mesa perfect? Gawd no! but compared to the NV drivers is's damn site better.
For instance, plasma has not crashed once since the AMD card has been in.

But we'll get the "BUT AMD IS SLOW" To be honest, for the most part the rx matches and even beats the 1080 in some instances.

Trouble is, most people are just regurgitating ATI of old and have more than likely not used a AMD card in Linux for a long time if at all.
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