NVIDIA To Replace Dated GeForce 6/7/8 WHQL Drivers Next Week


A reader recently contacted us asking about 3DMarkVantage and NVIDIA WHQL drivers for his GeForce 8800 GTS 640 MB. He told us that he wanted to run 3DMarkVantage with WHQL drivers, because he did not want to run teh etst with beta drivers and described NVIDIA’s latest WHQL drivers as "old dinos".

We did some research and found that the most recent WHQL drivers for the GeForce 6/7/8 series of cards in fact are a bit dated and were released back on December 19 and 20 of last year 2007. As of today, these are the current drivers offered by NVIDIA:

GeForce 6/7/8 Series
32-bit Windows XP: ForceWare Release 169.21, December 19, 2007
32-bit Windows Vista: ForceWare Release 169.25, December 20, 2007
64-bit Windows XP: ForceWare Release 169.21, December 19, 2007
64-bit Windows Vista: ForceWare Release 169.25, December 20, 2007

GeForce 9 Series

32-bit Windows XP: GeForce Release 174.74, April 1st, 2008
32-bit Windows Vista: GeForce Release 174.74, April 1st, 2008
64-bit Windows XP: GeForce Release 174.74, April 1st, 2008
64-bit Windows Vista: GeForce Release 174.74, April 1st, 2008

The 6/7/8 series are in fact already 18 weeks old, which is quite substantial in this industry segment, especially if you consider that ATI releases new driver packages each month.

However, NVIDIA told us that new drivers are on the way: NVIDIA’s Chris Daniel told us that "the drivers are going through WHQL as we speak. ETA is sometime next week."

NVIDIA seriously dropped the ball here, but the situation is getting fixed. We wonder why NVIDIA does not step up to the table and offer monthly or at least quarterly driver updates for its products.

  • ur31337
    You think the delay had anything to due with the acquisition of Aegia and the incorporation of the PhysX into the drivers?
  • scooterlibby
    Tom's Hardware, will you hire me to proofread your news blurbs?
  • escrotumus
    Because they = the suck is why.
  • far327
    Nvidia has been completely unreliable in the driver department for as long as I can remember. I noticed the severe drop in frequent updates right after the 8 series cards were released. Fine DX10 tuning took center stage afterward. Next was Vista and the scramble to conform to the Microsoft's giant belly flop. Now PhysX and CPU interests have completely stolen the focus of the company... That and the hard pressed need to change GPU's every 3 months in response to ATi's heated pressure. Nvidia either is understaffed, or is severely disorganized. Either way, I wish I would of held out for the resurrection of success that ATi is experiencing.

  • Alternator
    Why does Nvidia need to constantly update drivers?
    Update them when it is needed would be a better approach imo.
  • htoonthura
    Are you out of your fucking mind? Why would NVIDIA need to update drivers monthly? You have just wasted my time.
  • SpinachEater
    NV is top dawg, they don't need to support their customers to keep in business these days.
  • esmith7075
  • caskachan
  • JPForums
    nVidia NEEDS to update drivers on a monthly basis. If you don't use nVidia cards extensively or are a fanboy, then I can see where you might not think that they need them. (24/7 on only two or three games still doesn't give a feel for the rest of the rather large game industry)
    However, I would be remiss not to mention the industry wide driver update policy: "Only update your drivers if you have a problem with the current ones".
    So while you may not need driver updates personally, nVidia needs to supply them.

    Any time a new game comes out, optimizations can be made.
    Any time a new game comes out, there is a high probability that at least one card in the three generations supported by the same driver release will have a bug that needs to be fixed.
    Finally, any time a new game comes out, there is a chance that nVidia's overaggressive performance focused drivers will drop the ball in the quality department and customers will see the trade off.
    Of course they blame it on a driver bug, but the fact of the matter is, if they didn't optimize so aggressively, it wouldn't be a problem in the first place.

    Don't think ATI is off the hook either.
    nVidia may have led the way with shader replacements, but ATI is just as guilty for stepping down and following suit.
    (Shader replacements weren't the first thing nVidia did, just the one that got ATI to take the bait)

    I give ATI a slight advantage, though, as they realized that they needed frequent driver updates to make sure the aggressive optimizations didn't get out of hand.

    Before someone starts crying fanboy, I should mention that I currently use 3 nVidia based computers and 2 ATI based computers.

    Geforce 8800GTS 512Mb
    Radeon X1900XT
    Quadro FX4500
    Geforce 6800 Ultra
    AIW Radeon 9700Pro

    The Quadro is in an Intel Xeon based system w/Intel chipset.
    The rest are in Athlon 64 754/AM2 based systems with nVidia chipsets.