How to Overclock Nvidia Video Cards in Linux

Nvidia Logo

Need to squeeze some extra juice out of your Nvidia video card? Want that extra FPS in your favourite shooter to secure your rank? The process is extremely simple and all you need to do is enable Coolbits which is popular in Windows. This tutorial can be done by any user who has some simple knowledge of the terminal and this should work with nearly any release of the nvidia’s unix drivers for the past year or so.

To start off be sure to have Nvidia’s drivers installed and working properly. Next go into terminal and make sure you are root (and for Ubuntu users simply follow the commands I do as I am using Ubuntu Gutsy). Open your favourite text editor, for me it is Nano due to its simplicity.

sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Look for a section of code named “Device.” It should resemble something similar to this.

Section “Device”
Identifier “Videocard0”
Driver “nvidia”
VendorName “Videocard vendorname”
BoardName “nVidia Corporation Unknown device 0000”
EndSection

Now all you need to do is add this piece of code towards the end of the section.

Option “Coolbits” “1”

Now your xorg.conf should look like this.

Section “Device”
Identifier “Videocard0”
Driver “nvidia”
VendorName “Videocard vendorname”
BoardName “nVidia Corporation Unknown device 0000”
Option “Coolbits” “1”
EndSection

Save the file and exit out of terminal. Now you are all done, all you must do is restart X by restarting your machine or entering the following code in the terminal.

init 3 && init 5

Coolbits will now be located within the Nvidia Display Settings application. Good luck and if you have any questions or comments, please leave them below with your email address included (it will not be displayed, it is just for me to reply to your question).

*Disclaimer: This tutorial is only for demonstrational purposes only. This tutorial is distributed in the hope that it will useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. Use at your own risk.

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Nvidia Linux Drivers Updated (169.09)

 

Recent fixes in the latest release of Nvidia Display Drivers Include:

  • Fixed a bug that caused the X driver to crash if the X.Org GLX extension module was loaded instead of NVIDIAs
  • Fixed a problem causing the fan on some GPUs to always run at full speed.
  • Improved the X drivers awareness of the current notebook docking status.
  • Fixed a bug in the Linux/i2c algorithm driver implementation that prevented core transfer types from succeeding.
  • Fixed brightness control on HP Compaq notebooks.

You can find the drivers over at Nvidia’s Unix Drivers Portal Page.

Easily Install Nvidia Drivers Using Envy in Ubuntu

Installing Nvidia drivers may be a pain in the butt at first for some. Here I will provide a quick and alternative way to installing Nvidia drivers using a well-known tool Envy.To start off, let us download Envy from the following webpage.

http://albertomilone.com/nvidia_scripts1.html

If you want to get done with this quickly and you have a fairly new GeForce card, just download the following file (latest release as of 1/24/08).

http://albertomilone.com/ubuntu/nvidia/scripts/ubuntu/envy_0.9.10-0ubuntu2_all.deb

Now simple run the program using the Debian package installer, GDebi. Once installation is done, go to the following folder found in your main menu.

Applications > System Tools > Envy

Finally click on ‘Install Nvidia Drivers’ and you are good to go. To finish things off, when it asks to configure the xorg.conf file, let it.Reboot your system and everything should be good to go. You should see an Nvidia logo when your system reboots.If not and you had corrupted the xorg.conf file, run the following command in shell:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg

*BE SURE TO SELECT THE VESA DRIVER then repeat the steps mentioned above and you should be all set.

And there you go, the drivers are installed and you are ready to play your top 3D games in linux. If you are having performance issues, try to overclock the card!