Sunday, March 4, 2007

NVIDIA makes some progress

NVIDIA has made a huge mess of the Vista driver support for its G80 video cards. This situation has been exacerbated by its blatantly false advertisements of Vista readiness and support for these video cards, and total disregard for its customers by its lack of communication.

NVIDIA has made some progress recently. With its ForceWare Version 100.65, NVIDIA has managed to return to its "Unified Driver Architecture" for Vista, i.e., it now has a single driver for its entire line of video cards (or at least for its 6, 7 and 8 series.)

I skipped Version 100.65 and stayed with Version 100.64 for my BFG 8800GTS video card on Nighthawk. I have also stayed with Version 97.46 for my BFG 7950GT video card on Blackbird.

NVIDIA released ForceWare Version 101.41 Beta driver a couple of days ago.

I decided to download and install it on Nighthawk for the BFG 8800GTS video card.

The start was ominous.

Internet Explorer died when I attempted to download the driver from the NVIDIA Web site. I restarted Internet Explorer and tried again. The second attempt worked like a charm.

I uninstalled both the NVIDIA nTune and the ForceWare Version 100.64 driver which required a restart. Otherwise, the installation of Beta Version 101.41 completed successfully.

I am happy to report that NVIDIA has resolved the problem of "switched" monitors. Monitor #1 is now in its rightful place on the left with Monitor #2 on the right. I did not have to swap their positions as required with the Version 100.64 driver.

I'm also happy to report that Beta Version 101.41 has resolved the brief video corruption ("Checkerboard pattern") when UAC dialog is displayed.

More importantly, this Beta version has fixed the major problem of the display unable to resume from a S3 or S4 suspend mode.

The "flickering text" problem in the Hold 'em poker game has not been fixed but this is not a big deal.

I have been forced to disable the DreamScene Ultimate Extra because it caused the display driver to crash and recover on a regular basis.

Over all. I am pleased with the progress NVIDIA has made with its Vista driver support for the G80 video cards. However, I am not ready to use this Beta driver with my BFG 7950GT on Blackbird.

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