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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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!

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs

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