Nvidia releases WHQL Windows 7 graphics driver

Written by Ben Hardwidge

May 8, 2009 // 10:12 a.m.

Tags: #11 #18585 #7 #compute #diercks #dight #directx #driver #forceware #nvidia #physx #shader #sli #wddm #whql #windows

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.
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