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Nvidia releases WHQL Windows 7 graphics driver

Nvidia releases WHQL Windows 7 graphics driver

Both Nvidia and AMD have now released WHQL Windows 7 graphics drivers.

AMD might have been the first company to release a WHQL Windows 7 graphics driver yesterday, but Nvidia has already delivered on its promise to us by releasing its own WHQL Windows 7 graphics driver today.

In an attempt to put a positive spin on the fact that AMD got there first, Nvidia said that the release showed that the company “continues to lead Windows 7 readiness.” Meaningless marketing waffle aside, we’re just glad that Nvidia is already on the case with WHQL drivers for the new OS, as the company’s delayed WHQL Windows Vista drivers were an embarrassment to the company.

Nvidia’s vice president of software engineering, Dwight Diercks, was keen to point out that “Windows 7 users now have the absolute latest in performance and support for features including SLI, PhysX, 3D Vision, and DirectX Compute.” As a point of comparison, it took many months for Nvidia to get WHQL certification for its SLI drivers for GeForce 6 and 7-series cards in Windows Vista.

It’s also interesting that the driver supports DirectX Compute, which is Microsoft’s own GPGPU API. Nvidia says that “by taking advantage of the GPU for both graphics rendering and parallel computing, Windows 7 with DirectX Compute will not only ensure that greater clarity and focus are inherent in the look, feel, and functionality of the desktop experience, but it will also provide the speed and responsiveness to delight customers.”

As with AMD’s WHQL driver, the Nvidia driver also supports Microsoft’s display driver model WDDM 1.1 when using a DirectX 10 GPU. This will enable you to use Microsoft’s ClearType technology with full anti-aliasing on fonts, for example.

The WHQL ForceWare 185.85 driver for Windows 7 can be downloaded from here. Are you going to try out Windows 7 Release Candidate 1, and are you pleased that both AMD and Nvidia have already produced WHQL-certified drivers for the OS? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

12 Comments

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Bauul 8th May 2009, 10:20 Quote
I get the impression everyone is taking Win7 far more seriously than Vista. Companies seem to be falling over themselves to get compatiable software out, which is a world away from the sluggish uptake of both Vista and XP when it came out. All points to good things. I'll be trying out the RC as soon as I get myself a new HD.
Denis_iii 8th May 2009, 11:09 Quote
i'm tryin it out as soon as I get my hands on a blank DVD
fingers crossed don't run into any trouble with mobile 7900GTX drivers
p3n 8th May 2009, 11:55 Quote
I tried win7 last night after running out of CSI episodes to watch, anyway I downloaded some drivers from nvidia that said they were WHQL but dxdiag disagreed, wonder if I got the newest ones or not Oo - The OS is nice and seems pretty quick, you still have to turn off so much to get a 'usable' OS though...
_DTM2000_ 8th May 2009, 12:06 Quote
While ATI may have been the first to release WHQL drivers for WIn7, at least Nvidia are supporting older graphics cards with their Win7 drivers. The ATI ones are only useful if you have a card released in the last couple of years. For those of us that have test rigs made up of older hardware, the ATI drivers are useless.
Paradigm Shifter 8th May 2009, 12:21 Quote
I wonder... how can you 'lead in readiness' when you're competitor has already crossed the finish line?

I'm pleased that companies are taking Windows 7 a lot more seriously than they took Vista. Vista driver support (especially x64 driver support) was a complete joke. With WHQL drivers already out for a release candidate... doesn't look like there is going to be a repeat of the driver woes we suffered.

I'm also looking forward to support of heterogenous graphics adaptors again.
Krazeh 8th May 2009, 15:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by p3n
The OS is nice and seems pretty quick, you still have to turn off so much to get a 'usable' OS though...

Like what?
kylew 8th May 2009, 16:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krazeh
Quote:
Originally Posted by p3n
The OS is nice and seems pretty quick, you still have to turn off so much to get a 'usable' OS though...

Like what?

The only thing I can think of is UAC, other than that, p3n is exagerating by quite a bit by implying it's unusable beforehand.

I'm all for turning off unused features and that, but to state an OS is unusable, when it's in fact not is just brown talking in my opinion.
Krazeh 8th May 2009, 16:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kylew
The only thing I can think of is UAC,

Had we been talking about Vista I may have agreed but with the changes made to UAC in Windows 7 I find it now strikes a good balance between security and usability.
Skiddywinks 8th May 2009, 17:13 Quote
I think we need a drivers comparison :P

Bring on the benchmarks!
JyX 8th May 2009, 20:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by _DTM2000_
While ATI may have been the first to release WHQL drivers for WIn7, at least Nvidia are supporting older graphics cards with their Win7 drivers. The ATI ones are only useful if you have a card released in the last couple of years. For those of us that have test rigs made up of older hardware, the ATI drivers are useless.

9.2 are for legacy hardware.
gavomatic57 10th May 2009, 08:49 Quote
It has the same version number as the WHQL Vista driver....funny that. Windows 7 is Vista, there's no getting away from it. The benchmarks so far seem to agree.

On that basis, it's not hard to push out a Win 7 driver - all you have to do is rename the Vista one. ;)
Fod 10th May 2009, 08:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul
I get the impression everyone is taking Win7 far more seriously than Vista. Companies seem to be falling over themselves to get compatiable software out, which is a world away from the sluggish uptake of both Vista and XP when it came out. All points to good things. I'll be trying out the RC as soon as I get myself a new HD.

that's pretty much because the changes needed to software that is already compatible with vista are superficial at worst. at best it will just run out of the box.

under the hood, nothing much is new in win7.
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