Sager 9262 & NVIDIA Quadro FX3700m & NVIDIA Linux Binary Driver performance issue.

Okay, this is probably not only effective for the Sager 9262 and the Quadro FX3700m, but this is the only platform that I have right now where I can identify and reproduce the problem. I hope some other Sager 9262 and/or 9800M GTX users using Linux can also validate this issue.

The problem stems from the feature PowerMizer which allows the graphic card to scale it’s performance. The Quadro FX3700M (1024MB) (550MHz/799MHz) that shipped in my Sager 9262 last week has four Performance Levels with scaling NV Clock and Memory Clock.

  • 0 200MHz & 100MHz
  • 1 275MHz & 301MHz
  • 2 383MHz & 301MHz
  • 3 550MHz & 799MHz

Unfortunately with the latest 177.82 or 180.11 (Beta) Linux (x86-64) Binary Drivers, I cannot get the card running above Performance Level 1. Actually I’m using a script found at the nvnews forums to artificially keep the graphic card running at Higher Performance. There are also multiple posts in the Phoronix forums about this issue.

Here is a screenshot of my nvidia-settings and the performance level of the FX3700m while running OpenGL benchmarks. As you see it’s stuck at Performance Level 1.

So right now, due to the nvidia binary drivers NOT supporting the PowerMizer feature, I’m able to only use less than 50% of the performance of my graphic card. This is a very expensive setback for someone that invested in an expensive nvidia 9800M GTX or FX3700M graphic card.

I’m lucky that I’m not rendering on this laptop, and that I can wait for nvidia to get their act together and supply proper PowerMizer drivers.