• Nouveau or nVidia Driver?

    Here is the output from lshw -C video on my family PC (just converted from Ubuntu to Antergos today with zero issues)

    [[email protected] ~]$ sudo lshw -C video
    description: VGA compatible controller
    product: GK107 [GeForce GTX 650]
    vendor: NVIDIA Corporation
    physical id: 0
    bus info: [email protected]:01:00.0
    version: a1
    width: 64 bits
    clock: 33MHz
    capabilities: pm msi pciexpress vga_controller bus_master cap_list rom
    configuration: driver=nouveau latency=0
    resources: irq:29 memory:fd000000-fdffffff memory:c0000000-cfffffff memory:d0000000-d1ffffff ioport:e000(size=128) memory:fe000000-fe07ffff

    This PC is used for basic tasks, primary school work and internet browsing.

    that said, is there any real benefit of the proprietary nVidia driver over the Nouveau driver? Typically, I’m an “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” kind of guy, but at the same time, I want the best performance possible out of my system, even if it is just for the kids school work.

    If the nVidia driver would do better overall, how do I install it in Antergos?


  • Nvidia driver. It has major performance boosts compared to Nouveau.

    sudo pacman -Syy nvidia, remove Nouveau first.

  • @Myk-Robinson

    if it ain’t broke don’t fix it

    Wise words. There could be some program or game that works better (or even it only works) with nvidia driver. To tell you the truth, nouveau has improved a lot lately and you will be more than fine with it.


  • @karasu

    It’s a good saying…but people abuse it then wonder why something bad happens.

  • @Wyn regarding the “remove Nouveanu first” portion, would it be sufficient to just blacklist the driver? Or does nVidia do this automatically? Thinking I read it somewhere, but I’ve been wrong before.

  • Me again. got a minor issue. I removed nouveau and installed nvidia. I did this from virtual terminal.
    I rebooted and I got to the desktop, but I have “Running in software rendering mode” on screen. How do I properly activate the nvidia driver?

  • I think I got it. Had to also install


    which removed another conflicting package.

  • I have to say, the nVidia drivers seems much better for watching videos. The Nouveau was fine, but there was a slight amount of tearing or some sort of artifacts in videos played on YouTube (primary purpose, if we’re honest).
    But everything is much clearer with the nVidia driver.


  • With nvidia driver many programs can take advantage of opencl and also VDPAU means full hardware acceleration for your video.

  • As shown by various tests (for example, here), on single-GPU nVidia cards Nouveau drivers performance is from 3 to 34 times slower than those of native nVidia ones.

    In my own tests on three different double-GPU nVidia cards (GeForce GT 555M, GT 650M, GT750M) Nouveau is 10 times slower than nVidia.


    On double-GPU cards Nouveau doesn’t support nVidia-Optimus power-saving capability. Resulting in elevated power consumption, overheated computer, constantly spinning at max speed roaring coolers’ fans.

  • If you want to use only OpenSource software when possible, Nouveau is the way to go.
    If you want to gain maximum performance, nvidia driver is the way to go.

  • When installing nvidia drivers, no need to remove nouveau as Arch script blackists it during installation. Removing it causes issues if you revert back to nouveau in future. The new nouveau is quite good in latest kernels so unless you need stuff like CUDA, opencl and latest games, nouveau works quite well.

    Used PRIME with nouveau on my hybrid laptop and it worked well keeping temps low and battery consumption low as well. Inintially TLP had an issue with the command but after informing the dev, all was fixed.

    Here is how to do PRIME with nouveau. https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/PRIME

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