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If you thought Nvidia Me II drivers really worked....

Memowatch: ....think again
Sun May 06 2007, 09:00
EVERY ONCE IN in a while, you get one of those documents that make companies really cringe when it gets out.

In this case, the reviewers guide for the NV 8600GTS. Check out the part entitled "Vista Driver Install Process - Please Read - VERY IMPORTANT", it is priceless.

Working drivers my ass.

On a related note, the 7-series XP drivers have now celebrated the six month milestone without an update. I guess those past customers no longer matter.

In any case, take it away Nvidia, only names and contact info has been cut. µ

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Dear GeForce 8600 GTS Reviewer:

This letter is accompanying the GeForce 8600 GTS/GT review kit on the press Extranet.

You will also be able to obtain the GeForce 8600 GTS/GT Reviewer's Guide, driver, Release Notes, InterVideo WinDVD 8 for PureVideo HD testing under Vista, and a “BenchmarkFiles zip” file on the Extranet.

Please be sure to use these new drivers for your GeForce 8600 GTS reviews.

Here are the proper drivers to use for different GeForce boards:

Windows Vista Drivers
We recommend v158.14 for all GPUs (GeForce 6, 7, and 8 series)

Windows XP Drivers
We recommend v158.16 for GeForce 8600/8500 GPUs
We recommend v97.94 for GeForce 8800 GPUs
We recommend v93.71 for GeForce 6 and 7 series GPUs

We have made many improvements in the new Vista driver compared to our prior drivers -- 100.65 and 101.41 -- and even compared a beta driver version 101.70, which unfortunately was leaked on the Web a few weeks ago.

Vista Driver Install Process - Please Read - VERY IMPORTANT

1) You MUST first manually uninstall your older driver before installing the new drivers listed above.
2) To perform uninstall under Vista, please use the Vista Control Panel/Programs and Features/NVIDIA Drivers/Remove NVIDIA Display Driver method.
3) Install 158.14 driver.
4) Uninstall 158.14 driver.
5) Reinstall 158.14 driver.

We apologize for these redundant steps, but we must ensure a clean driver install, and the uninstall processes of older drivers may leave driver remnants that can cause problems if you just uninstall the old driver and install 158.14. By running the 158.14 uninstall process in step 4, you are ensuring a proper uninstall before installing 158.14 in step 5, which is a final clean install. During installation of 158.14 in step 3 and in step 5 you may experience some monitor flickering, display going black, or pauses in the installer progress bar. These occur as the driver is loading and detecting the connected displays. Do not hit cancel during the driver install.

If you do not first uninstall your older driver using step 1, and you install the 158.14 driver over the top an existing driver, you may experience various blackscreen flashes that could last up to a minute or more before the driver installs, or you could experience a blackscreen that does not recover, especially under Vista, and you must boot into Safe Mode to remove the older driver, and then install the new driver. Again, we expect these issues to be fixed in the final end user driver.

NVIDIA is working to improve this installation process on Windows Vista and we expect to have a fix for the end user driver to properly uninstall older driver remnants during the FIRST install of the Vista driver (a revision newer than 158.14).

We plan to ship you a new driver with installation procedure fixes before your reviews are posted on April 17, 2007.

SLI Performance under Vista
While we have increased the number of applications that scale with SLI under Vista, we are still working on providing higher performance scaling between single and SLI configurations, and we expect better scaling in future drivers. You should see some applications scaling well.
We do have SLI problems with some applications, and you should refer to the Release Notes for details.

Please be careful when benchmarking the following games with 4xAA:
• Battlefield 2
• Battlefield 2142
• Half-Life 2
• Half-Life 2 Lost Coast
• Sin Episodes

Our Rel-100 series drivers added CSAA support to DirectX by exposing all antialiasing modes up to 16xQ to the game developer. This has caused the above applications to select 16xAA when 4xAA is set in the game.

To obtain correct performance results for 4xAA in these games, select “Enhance the application setting” and “4xAA” in the NVIDIA Control Panel. Go into the game, select “4xAA” then run the benchmark.

Thanks and please do not hesitate to contact [cut] or [cut] if any technical problems or questions.

[Contact info cut]

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