That was true for NFSv2, but NFSv3 and later allow you to do UNSTABLE writes. Those don't need to be written to stable storage until the client issues a COMMIT (though the server is free to write them out earlier if it needs to). Most clients (Linux' included) will use UNSTABLE writes for the bulk of the writes that it does. STABLE (NFSv2-ish) writes are still used in some cases, but that's only where we deem that it's more efficient to do it that way.
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