The new NVIDIA 555.58 Display Driver featuring Explicit Sync Support has arrived.

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After much anticipation, NVIDIA has launched its latest screen controller upgrade, version 555.58, unveiling a variety of solutions and improvements that pledge to lift the Linux computing encounter.

One of the standout inclusions is the explicit sync assistance for Wayland, a feature set to have a significant impact on Linux users who prefer the Wayland display server protocol over the traditional Xorg.

The Significance of Explicit Sync

Wayland strives to be more straightforward and efficient than Xorg, but its unique handling of graphic buffers has called for the development of new synchronization methods.

Wayland fundamentally does not directly manage drawing operations, relying on the client to handle rendering, making synchronization crucial in ensuring seamless, flicker-free graphics.

NVIDIA’s inclusion of explicit sync support via the linux-drm-syncobj-v1 protocol is a game-changer in this aspect. It establishes a mechanism for applications to explicitly control the timing of rendering commands’ execution.

Especially crucial in multi-threaded applications, where overseeing the sequence and timing of graphics rendering can get intricate.

The incorporation of this feature in NVIDIA’s 555.58 screen controller implies that applications operating on Linux systems with NVIDIA graphics can now sync more effectively with Wayland. Consequently, users can anticipate:

  • Decreased Latency: Systems can decrease input lag by regulating when a frame is ready to be transmitted to the display, enhancing the responsiveness of interactive applications and games.
  • Enhanced Frame Pacing: Ensures frames are rendered and displayed consistently, delivering a smoother visual experience. Essentially, no more flickering and artifacts on the screen.
  • Augmented Stability: By managing how and when different system components access graphics resources, the chances of crashes and graphical distortions can be minimized.

Other Highlights of the NVIDIA 555.58 Screen Controller

NVIDIA 555.58 addresses a vital segmentation fault detected in multi-threaded NvFBC applications, notably fortifying the stability of video capture workflows.

To combat graphical distortions, NVIDIA has temporarily deactivated the “GLX_EXT_buffer_age” extension on Xwayland and rectified issues with this extension when employed on with PRIME render offloading.

The release also tackles a potential kernel panic triggered by improper spinlock management under specific scenarios, as well as resolving problems that could crash the X server when applications demand single-buffered drawables.

Additionally, a race condition that could instigate system crashes when simultaneous Xid errors occurred across multiple GPUs has been resolved, enhancing system resilience.

It is noteworthy that the driver now defaults to supporting HDMI 10-bit per component and resolves problems related to color display on some kernels when particular module parameters are utilized, ensuring more precise color replication and display performance.

NVIDIA 555.58 also boosts its integration with Vulkan and Wayland through the immediate presentation mode in Vulkan Wayland WSI. This mode enables applications to update surfaces without waiting for vertical blanking, potentially accelerating display times albeit at the risk of introducing screen tearing.

Finally, to accommodate diverse user requirements and system setups, NVIDIA has introduced an interactive prompt in the nvidia-installer, enabling users to choose between proprietary and open kernel modules based on their system’s capabilities.

The NVIDIA 555.58 screen controller raises the minimum necessary Linux kernel version to 4.15, ensuring compatibility and heightened security. For a comprehensive list of changes, refer to the release notes.

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