Laptop dream come true: NVIDIA direct drivers
Subject: Graphics Cards | December 18, 2008 - 05:42 PM | Ryan Shrout
Long the bane of mobile gaming's existence, NVIDIA has taken the first step in allowing all users of notebook computers that want to the best possible gaming performance access to NVIDIA updated drivers. Why is this news? Since the beginning of time, users that wanted an updated graphics driver for their laptop had to wait for their hardware vendor to update it on its own support site. This happened fairly infrequently and often times not at all.
Well starting today, if you have a GeForce 8-series or 9-series or Quadro NVS-based notebook you can access beta drivers from nvidia.com directly, by passing the bureaucracy of hardware vendors. Could this be the first step required to notebook-based gaming finally on par with the desktop experience?
SANTA CLARA, CA—DECEMBER 18, 2008—Users with notebooks
equipped with NVIDIA® graphics processing units (GPUs) now have the
added flexibility of downloading upgradeable graphics drivers directly
from NVIDIA.com so they can immediately take advantage of new features,
improved application compatibility, and performance optimizations. The
first graphics driver release from NVIDIA will extend the NVIDIA CUDA™
architecture to notebook GPUs, enabling the growing number of consumers
moving to a notebook-only lifestyle to immediately experience the wide
range of CUDA-based applications—from heart-stopping GPU-accelerated
game physics to GPU-accelerated video conversion.
“Epic and NVIDIA invest an incredible amount of time and energy into
ensuring that customers get an amazing experience with our software
out-of-the-box,” said Mark Rein, vice president of Epic Games. “The
only way to ensure that this value-add is realized by customers is for
them to have access to timely driver updates. I congratulate NVIDIA for
being the first to offer their customers a choice for notebook driver
“NVIDIA is committed to giving the rapidly growing number of
customers using notebook GPUs the same performance optimizations and
innovative graphics features that desktop customers have grown
accustomed to,” said Dwight Diercks, vice president of software
engineering at NVIDIA. “To accomplish this, we have worked diligently
over the past year to modularize our driver architecture and develop a
unified driver install package that will not only work with notebooks
from all manufacturers but also maintain all of their specific model
customizations such as hotkeys and suspend and resume functionality.”
GPUs have long been essential platforms for rendering real-time
images to computer screens, but software developers and system
manufacturers have recently begun using their parallel processing power
to deliver a new level of performance for a variety of visual computing
applications. The new NVIDIA notebook drivers enable customers to
experience the growing number of applications that use the power of
NVIDIA GPUs. Video applications such as Badaboom from Elemental Technologies, Power Director 7 from Cyberlink, TMPGEnc from Pegasys Software, and TotalMedia Theaterfrom Arcsoft are all seeing significant performance benefits by
transferring the workload from the CPU to the more efficient GPU.
Distributing computing applications such as Folding@home, Einstein@home, GPUGRID and SETI@home have also seen performance improve by orders of magnitude through NVIDIA CUDA technology. Recently Adobe Creative Suite 4 became the latest application to speed up performance and enhance features by moving processing to the GPU.
With NVIDIA PhysX™ technology, GeForce® GPUs bring games to life
with explosions full of dust and debris, characters that move with
lifelike motion, or cloth that drapes and tears naturally. PhysX
technology harnesses the power of NVIDIA GeForce 8 Series or higher
GPUs, allowing games to deliver 10-20 times more visual complexity on
screen. NVIDIA PhysX technology is the development platform of industry
leading publishers such as Electronic Arts (EA) and 2K Games and is the
physics engine in the blockbuster title Mirror’s Edge from EA.
Starting today, customers with GeForce® 8 and 9-series GPUs or
Quadro NVS-equipped notebooks can download a BETA version of the
drivers from www.nvidia.com.
Customers will be able to download a WHQL-certified version supporting
all GeForce 7, 8, and 9 series and Quadro NVS series notebook GPUs
early next year.