Hello everyone, I will do my best to be brief regarding my current observation(rant warning) of SLI support across multiple Linux Distro’s So far I have tested several popular distributions with the following configuration:
CPU: Core i7 email@example.comGHZ(Stock)
Memory: 24GB PC3 1333MHZ DDR3(ADATA, and PNY)
Storage: 1 Intel 520 160 GB SSD(Primary OS/Boot drive)(EXT4)
1 Samsung 840 Pro 250 GB SSD(EXT4)
2x 1TB Western Digital Black(EXT4)
Motherboard: MSI Z97 Gaming 5
Video Cards: 2x EVGA GTX 970’s(SLI)
2x PNY GTX 670’s(SLI)-
For Testing/Comparison purposes, all cards where tested using Windows 8.1, and Windows 10 in the past without any graphical glitches/artifacts/defects/bugs using the most recent drivers as the above hardware configuration.
Let’s get down to the Distro’s Tested:
Linux Mint 17.1(Cinnamon Desktop Environment)
Ubuntu/Lubuntu/Kubuntu/Xubuntu 15.04(Various Desktop Environments Tested)
Fedora 21(Gnome Desktop Environment)(Using Kernel 4.0.X+)
Debian 8.1.0(Various XFCE, GNOME, and KDE)
Arch Linux (Using Kernel 4.0.X+)
SLI Rendering Method’s Used(based on nvidia-xconfig): AUTO, SLI=ON(same as auto) AFR, and SFR.
Note: MultiGPU was set to OFF. While enabling SLI is supported, the observed pattern represents, graphics bugs, glitches, ghosting/trailing, crashing/failing of X-server, and up to a -50 percent performance spec when compared to a single card configuration.
After testing against the listed OS’s above and no matter the system configuration, or even driver installed(testing was also conducted using 2 previous driver versions) SLI is severely broken or incomplete. Either the UI would fail to properly render graphic assets(trailing/ghosting/etc), or performance was degraded to the point of simply having to disable SLI all together(always resulted in fixing the problem). The testing was done on both my 970’s, and 670’s, and all drivers purged prior to the installation of new hardware. One of the main reasons/considerations of switching to Linux was speed, security, flexibility, and reliability, unfortunately at the sacrifice of performance regarding graphics acceleration. Has anyone else been able to successfully use SLI(does not matter the video card) against any distro without experiencing artifacts, drawing, utilization or performance issues? Given the amount of time that has past(sli has been around since 2008), and my past experience with SLI problems in Linux I figured these issues would have been resolved by now(apparently not even by a long shot). Finally, the most alarming part about this issue is the fact steam machines with SLI configuration’s are on the future lineup for consumers to purchase … Given the lack of functional SLI support, people are going to be in for a world of hurt, when there Steam Machines provide far below the expected level of performance when running SteamOS(Ubuntu/Debian derivative). I contend this to be unacceptable, and absolutely terrible given the implementation of SLI started of 7 years ago, yet nothing has been done to fix the well documented issue’s with multi gpu systems running in an SLI configuration.