Speculation and criticism about NVIDIA's approach to Vista drivers just won't die down, it seems.
The problem: that GeForce 8800 owners are so far yet to receive a stable driver that will run their games in Windows Vista. Having just spend hundreds of dollars/quids on their new cards, 8800 owners clearly aren't too chuffed.
The situation is made more complex by the conflicting information coming out of various places. There is
an NVIDIA driver out for GeForce 8800 on Vista, version 100.59, but it's only in beta and SLI support is shaky at best. Gamers are reporting a lot of issues getting games running with this driver, including desktop crashes and random reboots. Not exactly the kind of thing you're after in a gaming machine.
So when can we expect drivers that will allow 8800 owners to get to grips with Vista? Well, Ars Technica
spoke to NVIDIA's Derek Perez and reported that:
"While saying that driver development is "the highest priority" for NVIDIA, Perez refused to commit to a specific timeframe for shipping new drivers.
"We are working diligently to make sure we achieve and maintain the level of driver quality and reliability that NVIDIA is known for," said Perez. "Over the coming weeks NVIDIA and our partners, along with the industry will continue to update Windows Vista drivers to ensure maximum performance on 3D applications and add feature support."
All of which makes it sound like full, stable Vista support for GeForce 8800 owners is months, rather than days, away. This is a fact further compounded by some observations on the Inquirer
, which points out that Dell's pre-built systems with GeForce 8800's aren't shipping with Windows Vista at all, and don't even have an availability date, suggesting that NVIDIA hasn't been forthcoming to even its biggest commercial partners with an expected timeframe for a stable driver release.
The flipside is that ExtremeTech
was able to run a majority of 25 games on 8800/Vista without too many issues, reporting that performance was a bit slow but otherwise acceptable. The guys there concluded that "The only thing holding up the OS is a month or two worth of patches and driver improvements."
This, again, seems to suggest that support isn't going to be immediately forthcoming.
This seems to be a pretty sorry state of affairs. It's not like we haven't known Vista was coming for months and months now, and it's not like NVIDIA hasn't had the final code and final GeForce 8800 cards to work on. What has happened to the driver? Is there some show stopping problem that is unexpected? Why hasn't it appeared on time, given that the time frame has been so widely known? We can only speculate, since it appears NVIDIA won't be more forthcoming than the limited information it gave to Ars Technica. It seems that, for 8800 users, a good upgrade experience to Vista is a way off.
Have you had problems? Or is everything running fine on your Vista / 8800 combo? Let us know over in the forums.