Just using the standard driver that came with the card 6.11 I beleive, does the job but its not amazing and my vid card crashes if I try and play movies in PowerDVD 7 yet works fine in WinDVD 7, Also crashes if I put I put on Antialiasing in certain games, I tried using some modded drivers but had troubles installing and getting shit to work at all.
C2D 6400 @ 3ghz
1gig Transcend 677mhz
Asus P5B deluxe
I believe in having the latest drivers to avoid problems with games that are new, if any.
As for performance: a driver rarely increases performance to the point where you clutch your desk (pillow or whatever) and get whiplash.
Some instances, like Xfire and the OpenGL driver enhancements, you'll notice some change - but that's like a commet flying past in the northern hemisphere with you sitting in the southern hemisphere - alot of people claim to see it, some don't and some don't care as long as the commet missed earth. In other words, it's trivial except for the guy working with fractions as a measurement tool for performance.
As for stalls and crashes, I doubt whether the driver is to blame, as Nv and Ati have pretty secure drivers even with the driver in Kernel mode - most likely it's somewhere else in one of your pc's subsystems where something goes wrong.
BUT, giving exact details of stalls and freezes once again will help you alot more in getting answers...
I didn't have crashes, but my screen often went black and didn't recover, (with 1950xt from MSI). Or it was not black but kinda striped, like corduroy pants close-up. Go figure. Always happened in windows only. Ran BIOS for an hour out of spite - everything just fine.
Tried the 7.1 and 7.2 drivers, as well as modded drivers.
What else...oh yeah - sometimes it did switch between 2d/3d, sometimes it'd be stuck in one of them. All of that made me say bye bye to ati, and I've been a happy owner of 8800GTS 320mb for about 2 days now )))