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Maximizing Your NVIDIA GPU on Ubuntu: A Guide to Drivers and the System76 Power Extension

NVIDIA Drivers and Nouveau: A Guide for Ubuntu Users

If you’re an Ubuntu user and happen to have an NVIDIA graphics card installed on your computer, you may wish to install the NVIDIA drivers to get the most out of your system. NVIDIA is known for releasing stable and top-performing drivers, which provide an array of benefits, including better performance, more features, and fewer bugs.

However, the default installation comes equipped with open-source drivers from Nouveau. So, choosing between the two becomes a crucial decision for many users.

In this guide, we will discuss the pros and cons of each driver, how to install them, and how to switch between the drivers on Ubuntu. Installing NVIDIA Drivers on Ubuntu 20.04

1.

GUI method

The easiest way to install NVIDIA drivers on Ubuntu is using the Additional Drivers tool, present in the Settings menu. The tool automatically searches for and installs the compatible drivers for your system.

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Go to the Ubuntu Desktop and select the “Activities” button from the top-left corner of the screen. Step 2: Type “Software & Updates” in the search bar and open it.

Step 3: Click on the “Additional Drivers” tab. Step 4: Wait for the tool to display the list of available drivers, and select the one you want to install.

Step 5: Click on the “Apply Changes” button to accept the changes and proceed with driver installation. 2.

Command-line method

For more advanced users, Ubuntu offers the ubuntu-drivers tool, which is a command-line tool to manage and install drivers. Here’s how to install the NVIDIA driver using the ubuntu-drivers tool:

Step 1: Open the terminal by pressing “CTRL + ALT + T”.

Step 2: Install the ubuntu-drivers tool by typing the following command:

sudo apt install ubuntu-drivers-common

Step 3: Scan for available drivers by running the following command:

sudo ubuntu-drivers devices

Step 4: Install the NVIDIA driver by running the following command:

sudo apt install nvidia-driver-440

3. Installing the latest NVIDIA drivers

If you want to install the latest and stable NVIDIA drivers, you can use the Graphics Drivers PPA.

Here’s how to install the latest NVIDIA driver version (nvidia-driver-455) via the PPA:

Step 1: Open the terminal by pressing “CTRL + ALT + T”. Step 2: Add the Graphics Drivers PPA by typing the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa

sudo apt update

Step 3: Install the latest NVIDIA driver by typing the following command:

sudo apt install nvidia-driver-455

Step 4: Activate the newly installed driver by running the following command:

sudo nvidia-smi

Choosing between Nouveau and NVIDIA drivers on Ubuntu

1. Comparison of Nouveau and NVIDIA drivers

Nouveau drivers are open-source and come pre-installed by default on Ubuntu.

The key advantage of Nouveau drivers is the freedom to customize the drivers to your requirements through community-based support and development cycles. It provides basic functionality and support for most NVIDIA graphics cards, making it a good choice for users looking for a self-contained and open-source solution.

On the other hand, NVIDIA drivers are proprietary and provide better performance compared to its counterpart. NVIDIA releases stable driver versions regularly, containing fixes for bugs and patches for security vulnerabilities.

It also provides hardware-accelerated support for rendering-based applications like graphic-intensive games and video editing software. 2.

Default drivers on Ubuntu

Nouveau drivers come pre-installed as the default drivers on Ubuntu. However, if you have an NVIDIA graphics card, it’s recommended that you install the NVIDIA drivers to exploit the hardware’s full potential.

Switching Between Drivers

Switching between Nouveau and NVIDIA drivers on Ubuntu is straightforward. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Open Terminals by pressing “CTRL + ALT + T.”

Step 2: Uninstall your current drivers by typing the following command:

sudo apt remove nvidia*

Step 3: Install your preferred drivers using any of the methods mentioned above.

Step 4: Switch between drivers using the terminal by typing the following command:

sudo prime-select nvidia # Switch to NVIDIA. sudo prime-select intel # Switch to Nouveau.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Ubuntu users have both the Nouveau and NVIDIA drivers to choose from. Before deciding which driver to use, you must consider your intended use of the graphics card and the level of technical expertise you possess.

Nouveau drivers offer an open-source and customizable option, while NVIDIA drivers provide a stable and performance-driven alternative. Hopefully, this guide has given you the necessary information to make an informed decision.

System76 Power Extension: A Must-Have for Ubuntu Users with NVIDIA GPUs

When it comes to getting the most out of your NVIDIA graphics card, System76’s Power extension can help elevate your Ubuntu experience to the next level. System76 is a Linux hardware manufacturer known for its focus on user experience and outstanding customer support.

In this article, we’ll dive into what the System76 Power extension is, its features, and why it’s relevant to NVIDIA GPU users on Ubuntu. What is the System76 Power extension?

The System76 Power extension is a graphical interface that provides users with a hassle-free way to manage their NVIDIA graphics card’s settings. The extension supports a range of NVIDIA GPUs, making it ideal for gamers, content creators, and anyone who requires advanced graphics processing capabilities.

The Power extension is compatible with Ubuntu and works seamlessly within the operating system, allowing users to customize their NVIDIA graphics card’s power usage and fan speed with a few clicks. The extension provides valuable insights on GPU usage and temperature, allowing users to optimize their graphics card’s performance with ease.

Features of the System76 Power extension

1. Optimized Performance

The System76 Power extension provides users with complete control over their NVIDIA graphics card’s power usage and fan speed.

Users can optimize their graphics card’s performance by tweaking these settings to reflect their usage pattern. For instance, if you’re a gamer who needs maximum performance, you can increase your graphics card’s power usage to improve FPS, while content creators can set their graphics card to high-performance mode to render videos quickly.

2. Real-time monitoring

The Power extension provides real-time monitoring for your NVIDIA GPU, letting you keep track of GPU temperature, power usage, and fan speed.

The extension also gives you a graph over the past hours so you can see if you need to tweak any settings to optimize performance better. 3.

Modes

The extension has three modes: Power saver, Balanced mode, and High-performance mode. The Power saver mode is best used when you’re not doing anything that requires your GPU’s full potential.

In contrast, the High-performance mode sets your graphics card to the highest power setting possible, making it a great option for gaming and video rendering. 4.

Easy to use

The System76 Power extension presents a user-friendly interface that’s easy to use, even for beginners. You don’t need to have advanced technical knowledge to use the extension, as everything is self-explanatory.

Why is the System76 Power extension relevant to NVIDIA GPU users on Ubuntu? The NVIDIA driver is proprietary software that requires the NVIDIA Control Panel to manage the GPU’s settings on Windows.

However, on Linux, there’s no official application to manage the NVIDIA GPU’s settings. This changes with the System76 Power extension, which gives Ubuntu users a way to manage their NVIDIA GPU’s settings visually without resorting to command-line interfaces.

The Power extension’s relevance stems from its ease of use, as it provides a much-needed graphical interface for managing NVIDIA graphics cards on Ubuntu. This interface allows users to optimize their graphics card’s settings and performance further while ensuring their card doesn’t overheat or consume too much power.

Additionally, the System76 Power extension is critical for users who require their NVIDIA GPU to perform at its best. For instance, gamers and video editors need their GPU to perform optimally to ensure smooth gameplay and speedy video rendering.

With the Power extension, users can tweak their graphics card’s settings according to their usage patterns, ensuring they get optimal performance and efficiency from their GPU.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the System76 Power extension is an essential tool for Ubuntu users who have an NVIDIA graphics card. The extension provides users with much-needed control over their graphics card’s settings, power usage, and fan speed.

Plus, it’s easy to use, even for beginners, so anyone can get started with it without any technical knowledge. With the System76 Power extension, Ubuntu users can get the most out of their NVIDIA graphics card and elevate their computing experience to the next level.

In summary, Ubuntu users who have an NVIDIA graphics card face a choice between using either the open-source Nouveau drivers or the proprietary NVIDIA drivers. NVIDIA drivers provide better performance, while Nouveau drivers are open-source and customizable.

However, to get the most out of your NVIDIA graphics card, the System76 Power extension is a must-have tool for Ubuntu users. It provides users with complete control over their graphics card’s power usage and fan speed to optimize performance and efficiency.

With its user-friendly interface, real-time monitoring, and modes, the System76 Power extension is invaluable for gamers and content creators looking to get the most out of their NVIDIA GPU on Ubuntu.

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