Print 21 comment(s) - last by cheetah2k.. on Feb 1 at 2:22 AM

NVIDIA still doesn't have final WHQL certified drivers for its flagship DX10 compatible GeForce 8800-series graphics cards

Microsoft’s Windows Vista released into consumer hands today. AMD released the WHQL certified Catalyst 7.1 for Windows Vista 32-bit and 64-bit editions yesterday. NVIDIA, well NVIDIA is doing something because there are still no final WHQL certified drivers for its flagship GeForce 8800-series graphics cards.

While beta drivers are available for GeForce 8800-series users to enjoy Vista, the lack of final drivers is a bit strange. The GeForce 8800-series is the first DirectX 10 compliant add-in graphics card available and with NVIDIA aggressively touting the feature, you would think the drivers would be out of beta by now. Instead of releasing final GeForce 8800-series compatible ForceWare release 100 drivers, users are treated with a new beta released today in time for the Windows Vista launch. The ForceWare release 100 driver arrives the same time as NVIDIA sent out a press release claiming “NVIDIA and Windows Vista Deliver Outstanding New 3D Computing Experience.”

In the same press release, NVIDIA claims:
NVIDIA is the only graphics company with four generations of GPUs and MCPs to be certified by Microsoft to be Windows Vista Premium Ready, and the only graphics company to release Microsoft DirectX 10-capable GPUs. For consumers, this means a stellar out-of-the-box experience with Windows Vista driven by the NVIDIA hardware inside the PC.
This is slightly amusing as the latest generation of NVIDIA GPUs lack final drivers. I do not think users that jumped on the GeForce 8800-series bandwagon will have stellar out-of-the-box experiences with Windows Vista using beta drivers. System manufacturers with GeForce 8800-series Windows Vista systems will not exactly be too pleased either, considering it is not good business practice to sell consumers systems with drivers of questionable stability.

For those lucky enough to own a GeForce 8800-series graphics card and already hopped on the Windows Vista bandwagon, the latest ForceWare release 100 drivers are available for Windows Vista 32-bit and 64-bit releases. Users of other NVIDIA products can grab the final ForceWare release 95 for Windows Vista 32-bit and 64-bit editions.

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By The Boston Dangler on 1/31/2007 2:04:58 AM , Rating: 4
This is all part of Nvidia's year-long nosedive. The excellent 7 series cards may be the last decent product we see from them.

The ultra-cheesey control panel in the vid driver is, well, ultra-cheesey. Most of the settings I see on the internet are not present on my comp. Also among the missing is the free-of-charge Purevideo. I installed the trial version, and viola!, there it is (very disappointing, BTW). The nTune software will kill my machine the moment the exe runs, despite using the latest (likely last) BIOS.

On the hardware side (or would that be the other cheek?) the ultra-expensive 680i chipset is nearly beaten by it's brother at half the cost or less. SLI is a scam, and now I'm to buy 3 vid cards??!!

The 8800 series is a bloated pile of garbage, regardless of how many bungholiomarks it scores. I guess it takes after Vista's lead in that respect. Not having a final driver upon Vista's release is inexcusable. A premier manufacturer hyping their premier product for a premier platform that everyone in the world knows is coming and then, WHOOPS!

People paid $450 - $600+ for the card, and up to $400 for Vista, and are rewarded with a Win2K interface.

By cheetah2k on 1/31/2007 3:03:35 AM , Rating: 5
The GF7xxx series was indeed a good lot, if you can excuse the bad voltage regulators and crashing experienced by many disgruntal users. Me, i had a leadtek 7950GX2, probably the best card i every owned, but just didnt have the texture fill rates required to withstand an orbital strike in 2142 up close.

The ultra cheezy control panel with the 97.xx drivers does indeed suck. However walz over to and pick up a good set of 97.92's with the old coolbits back in style. Ntune was a sorry mistake with mobo incompatibility, and should never have hit the internet. Rivatuner or Ati Tools are much better alternatives!

The 680i, while being expensive, is the only platform currently offering exclusively 3 x full size PCI-e slots. The idea is good, the concept even better for having SLI + physix. No need to babble on about this, no one is scamming you to buy 3 video cards!

The 8800 is indeed NOT a pile of garbage. While I have 2 of 8800GTX's curtesy of XFX (and modded with XXX bios) only 1 of these babies creamed any benchmarks i ran with Quad 7950GX2's. If you can afford it, get it, if not stick with the 79xx series until you need to jump to DX10 (don't expect this will happen too soon - at least for games anyways)

And lastly, my initial thoughts on Vista Ultimate have been quite negative. I hope M$ gets their act together with driver partnering and support (and maybe more useability in SP1) so that slack a$$es like Nvidia get their products ready for OS launches!

Oh, and a parting word. Who wants to sue Nvidia first, for claiming their 8800 series is Vista ready??? I got dibbs on 1st place in the line!

By The Boston Dangler on 1/31/2007 9:31:55 AM , Rating: 1
Release Highlights:
WHQL Certified.
NVIDIA PureVideo™ HD driver with support for the following features:
Blah blah blah.

Hmmm, looks like it says it's included. As for installation, I've got a this technique I call "double-click the .exe" Works every time. Enjoy your Dell.

By fil6786 on 1/31/2007 10:22:00 AM , Rating: 2
this just goes to show that nvidia jumped into direct x10 first due to some intimidation from the r600. Its been out for 3 months and not having the final drivers seems kind of weird to me.

By Aikouka on 1/31/2007 1:21:51 PM , Rating: 2
The drivers containing PureVideo does not mean you have PureVideo available. The drivers containing it means that you'll have the ability to use PureVideo. As there were PureVideo capable cards at one point but the drivers did not support PureVideo. There were also cards that were touted as PureVideo capable, but their implementation ended up being broken, according to nVidia. I believe the 6800 Ultra was one of those cards.

So, essentially, the driver translates the PureVideo calls for the video card to use, but you still need to buy PureVideo itself. I can see how the text would be confusing.

I think everyone has forgotten something...
By Ice9 on 1/31/2007 11:02:39 AM , Rating: 2
...How about the fact that the 8800 series is a radical departure from their regular architecture? (Unified shader design).

...and how about the fact that Vista's driver model is vastly different than that of XP's?

So let's see. The team writing drivers for the 7900-series and below cards had the luxury of knowing the hardware fully, and only having to adapt to Vista's new driver model. They don't have to care about DirectX 10 since the 7900 and below don't support it...

The team writing drivers for the 8800 in XP had the luxury of knowing the driver model, and only having to adapt to the new unified shader design. XP Doesn't support DirectX 10, so they didn't have to do anything there... They only had to support DirectX 9...

But how about the poor saps who have to code for a new driver model, a new unified shader design *AND* DirectX 10 at the same time?

You people with Vista and 8800 cards are lucky to have drivers at all, given the fact they have only had a month or two to come up with them.

RE: I think everyone has forgotten something...
By Anh Huynh on 1/31/2007 11:16:48 AM , Rating: 2
Vista has been in development for years and released as a public beta a few months ago. The developers should be fairly familiar with it by now.

As for the older cards, they may not support DX10 features but the drivers still have to be coded for DX10 compliance.

RE: I think everyone has forgotten something...
By Ice9 on 1/31/2007 11:18:47 AM , Rating: 2
Right, the 7900 series cards had drivers from the get-go.

The 8800 architecture is brand new, as is Vista's driver model, as is DirectX 10. That basically means a LOT of new code.

By cheetah2k on 2/1/2007 2:22:43 AM , Rating: 2
While the 8800's are new tech, and the drivers have the same number lines of code as Win NT4, Nvidia's lack of performance here in driver support is a slap in the face for consumers.

Whats worse, is that sites such NGOhq and Laptopvideo2go who originally posted the "leaked" 100.30 driver got slapped with threats of legal action by M$ and Nvidia to remove the driver off their websites!


Again, this is very poor form.

After all, Nvidia has had more than plenty of time to develop drivers from the get go of the beta release of Vista...

Shame, Shame, Shame!

No big deal?
By oTAL on 1/31/2007 6:51:46 AM , Rating: 5
Am I the only one who thinks this is no big deal for consumers? I mean... if you want vista you can use the beta drivers. I hear they're not bad... pretty stable. The developers don't believe they deserve final status yet and opted to keep them beta for a little while. They should be praised by not naming a product final when it's not... many companies sell us betas, but don't call them that.... if they just changed the name would you guys be happy with that?
I think at least this way they are being coherent and telling costumers "We're not absolutely sure on stability yet, so if you run important stuff don't jump on this wagon just yet. We will tell you when we're 100% sure."

This does harm computer manufacturers and THEY should be upset for not being able to deliver final high quality products on launch day. THEY should be angry at nVidia, a business partner that came up short... which probably translates into less 8800 equipped Vista computers on launch....

For consumers... no biggy... just names and demagogy...

Funny... works in Linux
By Saist on 1/31/2007 11:48:01 AM , Rating: 1
*looks up from using Beryl*

Vista, what's that? Why would I want to use something that's months late and useless? Sorry, but Linux support for 8800 is already here, for both i386 and x86-64. Try using a real Operating system, one where the kernel team itself stands behind the drivers :

RE: Funny... works in Linux
By Ice9 on 1/31/2007 12:24:08 PM , Rating: 2
How is the DirectX 10 support in Linsux?

RE: Funny... works in Linux
By AndreasM on 1/31/2007 7:09:10 PM , Rating: 2
Man, I hate it when people start jabbering about switching to a real OS. It's akin to suggesting that people in famine-stricken areas go and buy some food instead of starving. I'm shackled to Windows for better or worse, and until something drastic happens to Linux game support, things won't be changing. And don't even get me started on the useless windows emulation solutions or virtual machines, if I wanted a slower machine I'd buy one.

That said, hopefully GPU/CPU hybrids will bring new extensions to x86 that would replace the driver-centric graphics model. This would allow GPUs to be used without drivers, and would allow a platform- and driver-independent graphics API. That, or OpenGL finally getting it's act together (not holding my breath on that one).

nViida = poorly managed. Same on nVidia!
By Enoch2001 on 1/30/2007 10:52:43 PM , Rating: 1
It's simple to answer: nVidia is a poorly managed company. That is the *ONLY* reason why there aren't WHQL'd drivers for Vista on the eve of its release. Shame on nVidia, shame.

Would it have been so hard to pay some overtime to the dev's to get the job done on time? Would it have harmed nVidia's business to hire some more dev's to get the job done on time?


And that's why your typical McDonald's is managed better than nVidia right now. WTF happened to those guys?

By Enoch2001 on 1/30/2007 11:08:21 PM , Rating: 2
LOL - "SAME" was supposed to be 'Shame'... heh...

By Schadenfroh on 1/31/2007 12:21:06 PM , Rating: 1
Isnt nvidia also the most profitable discrete graphics manufacturer?

That really sounds like poor management to me.

By Chillin1248 on 1/30/2007 10:51:26 PM , Rating: 2
According to a Nvidia spokesperson over by, a fully Vist driver will be availible Monday.


My First Experience with Vista on 8800 card
By Senju on 1/30/07, Rating: 0
By Aikouka on 1/31/2007 8:27:19 AM , Rating: 2
It's called install the drivers...

I installed Vista on my 8800GTX this past Saturday and was met with a Default VGA device, yet the Aero interface on my installation of Vista functioned just fine. Then I installed the drivers, re-ran the performance tool and we were in business.

Lacking WOW factor with no SLI
By cheetah2k on 1/31/2007 2:47:51 AM , Rating: 2
Good stuff from Nvidia. They're slack on the Geforce mobile GO driver releases, and also the 8800 series cards. I have Vista Ultimate... I also have 2 x 8800GTX's. Vista is great if you want Dual monitors at the moment, but useless if you want your hard earned Rig to perform SLi.

After 2 hrs of usage, I re-ghosted my XP Pro os back, and left wondering why the hell i spent more $ on more M$ crap

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner

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