Nvidia unifies mobile, desktop drivers

April 27, 2010 // 10:07 a.m.

Tags: #drivers #nvidia #nvidia-256 #nvidia-drivers #nvidia-optimus #nvidia-verde #optimus #verde

Graphics manufacturer Nvidia has announced that it is to simplify its driver structure by unifying the software for both its desktop and mobile graphics chipsets.

As reported over on HotHardware, the company is hoping to bring the frequent updates that desktop users enjoy to the mobile market - no matter the manufacturer of your device.

Traditionally, laptop GPUs have relied on specialised drivers only available direct from the laptop manufacturer - with updates coming slowly, if at all. Nvidia's Verde programme aims to change all that, with promised feature parity between desktop and mobile GPU drivers.

As well as functionality improvements, newer drivers often bring performance enhancements - with Nvidia claiming that the Verde programme will improve frame rates on many modern games by an average of 30 percent compared to the stock drivers that OEMs ship with their laptops.

Verde is also set to include 3D TV Play, which allows users of compatible laptops to hook their systems up to a 3DTV for truly immersive gaming - along with support for Nvidia's 3D Vision if your laptop has a suitable display.

The move will be welcomed by those laptop users who have grown sick of the typically poor after-sales service offered by many manufacturers which has seen them running severely out-of-date driver versions - or hacking their own mobile variant from the desktop driver bundles.

By the time Nvidia releases the 256 driver series, it hopes to have full convergence between the desktop and mobile driver bundles - although they will still be offered as separate downloads to save bandwidth. Strangely, while mobile devices featuring embedded Nvidia GPUs and dedicated graphics cards will be supported along with Optimus-based systems, hybrid systems that do not use Nvidia's Optimus will not be able to take advantage of the unified drivers.

Do you think Nvidia is making the right move with Verde, or should it leave mobile drivers up to the OEMs and ODMs as it has traditionally done? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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