NVIDIA has definitely proven that it has a seriously talented software team that was capable of producing some dramatic performance boosts from this major driver revision. The claims of up to 50% boosts in performance were not seen in my testing but the generous gains across the board are more than welcome. The performance of NVIDIA boards in their weakest areas of high resolution and color are now given some breathing room to provide a boost up to around 20% in some cases.
Aside from this release pleasing the many current and future NVIDIA customers, I must say that it isn't looking very good for NVIDIA's competition right now. Coupled with the new driver, the older NVIDIA solutions as well as the newer low-cost solutions will boast some respectable numbers that the competition can only beat with their flagship offerings while not offering much of a challenge to NVIDIA's high-end equivalents.
The GeForce2 Ultra might be retailing soon for some $499 and thus be above most people's budgets, but with the release of Detonator 3, older NVIDIA card owners will be happy to take a nice performance boost without any charge.