Old Nvidia GPU nouveau vs non-free driver + kernel upgrade


I have Manjaro installed for years on a rather old PC running Manjaro : Core 2 Duo e7500, Nvidia 8800 GTS 512, 4Gb DDR2… which works very fine.

As far as I understand, Nvidia has dropped old hardware support on Linux, hence the absence of non-free driver for my GPU in the 5.8.0-2 kernel.

So I have 2 questions :

1°) For such an old GPU, is the Nouveau driver on par with the non-free driver, especially in the gaming side, consdering my hardware can still run some fine commercial games (+ emulation) ?

2°) If non-free is better than Nouveau, is it OK to not upgrade the kernel to the last version ? I’m currently running under the 5.7.14-1 kernel, with the 5.4.57-1 LTS kernel as backup if ever needed.

Thanks for your answers :wink:

Nvidia drivers ( no free drivers ) stop support in drivers linux older than 340 series
also about to end
[Nvidia] Deprecation of 340xx driver series
any update version Xorg may end older nvidia drivers

sudo mhwd -l

> 0000:01:00.0 (0300:10de:13c2) Display controller nVidia Corporation:
                  NAME               VERSION          FREEDRIVER           TYPE
    video-nvidia-450xx            2019.10.25               false            PCI
    video-nvidia-440xx            2019.10.25               false            PCI
    video-nvidia-435xx            2019.10.25               false            PCI
    video-nvidia-430xx            2019.10.25               false            PCI
    video-nvidia-418xx            2019.10.25               false            PCI
    video-nvidia-390xx            2019.10.25               false            PCI
  1. for gaming to forget ( you have only 10% perf compared to nvidia )
  2. if theses series 5.4 -5.7 do not works good
    you can use 4.9 or 4.14 series