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3rd party nVidia drivers?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 8, 2002 3:10:08 AM

Check out the 3rd party Omega drivers for nvidia graphics cards, released 7/6/02. nVidia doesn't like 3rd party drivers but here they are: <A HREF="http://www.omegacorner.com" target="_new">http://www.omegacorner.com&lt;/A>

Apparently they enhance Direct3D and OpenGL image quality and disable anisotropic filtering. The image quality is increased but at the cost of speed. The speed decrease is 5% to sometimes 50%.

Here's a link to a <A HREF="http://twg.mikemth.de:1027/modules.php?name=Sections&so..." target="_new">review</A> of the drivers.
People have already installed these drivers. Here is a preliminary <A HREF="http://www.driverheaven.net/thread.php?id=2547" target="_new">post</A> on the DriverHeaven message boards.

Before you try them know that they may not give you what you had hoped for. A guy on the message board makes a comment about the drivers which is interesting.

Warning: you might want to back up your files before installing these drivers as they are unsupported by nvidia.

This little cathode light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine!
July 8, 2002 3:35:28 AM

Okay, I just tested these drivers and the guy in the forum post I linked to who said that there was severe moire and aliasing was probably spreading FUD unknowingly. The only game that has bad moire effects happening right now seems to be neverwinter nights. There is a framerate hit but texture quality is very much increased. Definitely makes games look nicer.

Lost about 100 3d mark 2001 points.

I've been examining 3d quality a lot more closely. There actually are moire effects and aliasing in textures so the poster was right, but it only appears in certain areas, most noticeably objects that are far away from the field of view. Try running the Dragothic test with these drivers and look at the rooftops far away and you'll see what I mean. In games where view distance is shorter I haven't noticed anything, and these drivers certainly improve image quality in those games nicely.<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by cakecake on 07/07/02 11:57 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
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July 8, 2002 7:38:29 PM

Here's what I have found so far, testing these drivers in individual games.

1. In Half-Life Counterstrike the texture quality is improved. There is slight morphing for textures on the ground sometimes but overall image quality is improved.

2. In Medal of Honor Allied Assault image quality is improved, but again, there exists some morphing on the ground.

3. In the Soldier of Fortune II demo I couldn't tell the difference between regular nvidia drivers and Omega in the Jungle level. There aren't many large textures visible here (lots of small polygons) so that is probably why.

4. In the Jedi Knight II demo there appears to be no texture morphing on the ground that I can tell. This may be because the ground is usually flat and the same texture is usually repeated over and over again (square tiles). The weapon models definitely look better. I personally like the change, but it's debatable. One of the proclivities of Jedi Outcast is that its graphics DO appear washed out and are meant to look that way. Imperial bases are supposed to be office-like and almost boring. Also the weapons themselves should look worn out. Because of this it's debatable. Play for at least a while using these drivers before you make a judgment call, because JK II might actually look better to you washed out than with more clear textures. If clearer textures are your thing, the Omega drivers can be nothing but bliss for your in this game as I noticed no errors. Perhaps if you played a level with uneven textures and a ground that is not flat you will notice some morphing, but with repeated square tiling and flat surfaces I noticed no morphing whatsoever.

Well these drivers are interesting. Some say they suck some say they rock. It's a matter of choice mostly. And what do I mean by morphing? I mean that individual frames look nice but the textures on the ground end up having an overly-detailed effect to them. If you use these drivers, all your games will look more like Myst, except in real time. The problem with these super high res pictures is that they don't animate perfectly together, thus getting the morphing, which is noticeable on textures that are on the "ground" in games (this means textures that are just about perpendicular to your LOS +/- 20 degrees, meaning some slopes too). But I think the real question we should be asking is, will it make my games more immersive? Well I just played through the MOH demo again with these drivers and I think that they do! nVidia drivers don't have the texture morphing on the ground textures, but instead opt to give consistency. This consistency causes all the textures to have a more washed-out look, unfortunately. On the other hand the Omega drivers will cause these distortions in games. You really have to look to see. Finally, it seems like these drivers merely change some settings, and not core files themselves. Thus it is safe to say that installing them will not cause your computer to mess up. If they do you can just install regular nvidia drivers over them, simple as that.
July 9, 2002 10:34:16 AM

Just an update: Too many people downloaded the drivers and the hosting server reported that half their allotted bandwidth was used up in just one day. So they had to be taken down. He's looking for a new server and someone's already volunteered so it won't be long before they're back up again.

This little cathode light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine!
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