The community will receive an open source driver from Nvidia for the first time with the release of the R515 driver, which should make it easier for Linux users to use Nvidia graphics cards in their computers. It is advantageous for Nvidia to support more open source technological standards. Unfortunately, Nvidia has not consistently embraced open sourcing software, which has led to some controversy in their user group. However, this might be improving with the new R515 driver.
People have been pleading for Nvidia to make their driver software more accessible, like firms like Intel and AMD that offer open source drivers for their goods. But up until now, Nvidia’s drivers have been closed-source, which doesn’t present too many problems for Windows users but makes utilising Nvidia GPUs more difficult to optimise for the Linux community. Unlike AMD drivers, which are open source and enable developers to fully see how the drivers were coded, Nvidia drivers are closed-source, making it impossible for developers to examine the source code of a driver and create their software with a complete understanding of how the drivers were created.
So how will Linux gaming be impacted by Nvidia’s new R515 drive? Most likely, it won’t have a significant impact right away. Nvidia GPUs can be used for gaming on Linux because the company offers Linux drivers, despite the fact that they are proprietary. Numerous Linux distributions, including PopOS, will automatically install Nvidia drivers for the user. However, if Nvidia keeps releasing its drivers as open source software over time, Linux developers will be able to benefit from the advantages that open sourcing drivers has provided for AMD, such as increased compatibility and a variety of driver options, either proprietary or open source, depending on what the user requires. In the same way that AMD and Intel are the most dependable choices on Linux in comparison to Nvidia, being open source can also aid in the development of drivers and boost dependability for Linux.
Because of how amazing Nvidia’s proprietary drivers have always been on Windows and how great they are generally on Linux, many gamers and Linux users continue to utilise Nvidia GPUs rather than exclusively AMD. Before the R515 driver, there was also a free and open-source Nvidia driver named Nouveau. The official Nvidia proprietary drivers were generally faster and more dependable than this driver. This is most likely caused by Nouveau not being the official open source driver from Nvidia and instead being a product of Nvidia driver reverse engineering. Another drawback of Nouveau is that it does not enable GPU reclocking, which is a major obstacle for customers who want to overclock their Nvidia GPU.
Overall, the news that Nvidia will now officially offer open source drivers is a significant plus. Since the drivers are now open source, the community will be able to assist in the development of new drivers, giving developers far more information about the drivers they are creating applications and games for. Over time, Linux will also gain since it has a high chance of being just as dependable and compatible with Nvidia GPUs as it is with AMD and Intel, which will improve gaming performance and efficiency. Nvidia’s decision to make its software open source may continue to increase pressure on other tech companies to disclose more information about their products, which will support a more liberal and open future for technology.