Linux driver 313 has issues with opengl apps (and steam client) when sli and composite are enabled

I have been able to duplicate an issue on Linux distributions (Ubuntu 12.04, Fedora 18, etc) where opengl applications and the Steam Client will hang and require forced shutdown. I have to run:
nvidia-xconfig --no-composite --sli=on

in order for the application to behave normally. This was not observed on Ubuntu 10.04 with the same hardware configuration. I am trying to isolate if this is an issue with the GPU family I am using or any currently supported GPU using drivers from as far back as Ubuntu 12.04’s previous default driver (296 I believe). Here are my stats:

AMD Athlon™ II X3 450 Processor × 3
GeForce 8500 GT/PCIe/SSE2


I realize I posted this on April Fool’s, but it is a legitimate concern.

After further testing, this issue does not occur in situations where the Desktop Environment has Compositing disabled or when sli is turned off. Compositing in most cases, breaks the Desktop Environment window dressing and/or login mode (fallback) when --no-composite is specified. I have read other posts both here and on the web that state SLI does not apply to situations where there is no profile support in the application. There have also been several posts about Geforce 8 chipset being lousy for SLI. I don’t have problems with these cards other than I am limited which desktop environment I can run because of the behavior resulting from the interaction between the environment and the driver. Perhaps someone from nVidia can clarify at what level SLI interacts with the system and put that issue to rest.

Given I have tried this on several distributions and desktop environments and seen similar results I’m still wondering if this is a hardware problem or a software problem. I am leaning more towards the driver. Of the distributions I have tried these are the ones that exhibit the issue:

openSUSE 12.3 - gnome3
Fedora 18 - gnome3
Ubuntu 12.04 - unity

These are the distros that do not exhibit the issue:

Peppermint OS 3
Lubuntu 12.04
Ubuntu 10.04
Xubuntu 12.04
Linux Mint 13 - MATE

This, in my opinion, further illustrates that the interaction between the compositing and the driver has issues somewhere and it pertains to SLI. If that is the case, this should be fixed.

Linux distributions have more than made a name for themselves in the development and gaming community. There is really no reason that the internet should still be littered with statements from your consumers about how lacking SLI is for Linux distributions. SLI sells video cards. The practicality and economics are quite simple. I sincerely hope someone from the driver development team takes this seriously and researches these findings further.

Thank you,