The snow cone-ometer indicates we're gurgling at approximately 3,674.56 Belgiums per Connery!

,or, Fun With Benchmarks, Part #5,468.

That fine and most reliable periodical WorksWithU decided to take a look at the nouveau driver. After a fairly innocuous introduction, they decided it'd be a great idea to do a performance test.

It's worth pointing out that they are, at least on some level, aware of a rather important fact: "To solve this problem, the cleverly named nouveau project was launched a few years ago to develop a full-featured, open-source video driver for nVidia chips. As its feature status chart demonstrates, it’s still maturing and doesn’t yet offer any real 3D functionality, but 2D support is implemented." So, yes, to recap, that's quite correct: nouveau offers no 3D acceleration.

So, after (one presumes) careful consideration, how did they decide it would be best to thoroughly benchmark the performance of nouveau? Why, let's hear it in their own words:

"I used glxgears (yes, it’s not a good tool for benchmarking overall video performance, but it’s a useful basis for standardized comparison of FPS rates under different video drivers) to measure video frames per second under the nouveau, nv and nvidia (closed-source) drivers."

(No, I am not quoting selectively to misrepresent. The single test, the sole rigorous examination of driver capabilities which was chosen as the basis on which this plucky little driver would stand or fall, was glxgears).

You used glxgears.

You...used glxgears.

Really? glxgears? Really? That tool which, insofar as it measures anything at all, measures...3D rendering performance?

It's just...I mean...guh. As the fine television football show puts it, "c'mon, man". If there's a moral here, it's...well, it's that epic fial is prevalent on the intarwebs, obviously. Also, that, as you really ought to know already, it's really easy to get into trouble with benchmarks. Though it does take some ingenuity to get it that wrong...


mjl wrote on 2009-11-07 08:32:
wow... that's possibly the dumbest thing I've seen from a so-called technical rag for weeks. Perhaps I should start reading it for it's entertainment value...