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  • Intelman07 - Monday, November 24, 2008 - link

    I most certainly do not regret switching from Nvidia to ATI. Nvidia's drivers were horrid in Vista. I've not had too many issues since. I do not mind bashing ATI as much as I mind praising Nvidia.

    Reply
  • kondor999 - Tuesday, November 25, 2008 - link

    I'm running 3 GTX280's in Tri-SLI under Vista x64 and the 180.xx have made a large difference by greatly increasing the *minimum* framerate in games such as Far Cry 2 and Warhead.

    Of course, be advised that I'm running these at 5040x1050 using a Matrox TH2Go at 4-8x AA.
    Reply
  • Mr Roboto - Wednesday, November 26, 2008 - link

    Good for you, you poser. I know you're type. The kid at school who thought that by lying about his personal possessions he was somehow cool or that he would gain more friends. It turns out those types are just compulsive liars with NO friends. We called them lietokickits. You don't have to lie to kick it. Especially in the Anand Tech comments section. Reply
  • SiliconDoc - Friday, December 26, 2008 - link

    It really doesn't look like you called that one correctly:
    Note the date, Oct. 30th 2007 kondor999 " got a copy of Vista Ultimate OEM on the day it was released, quickly discovered that performance was poor (specifically - graphics, audio, and file copying) and shelved it after struggling with it for 3 months. I'm now back to my old copy of XP Pro and it's just so much nicer. Simply put, everything works as it should. BTW, I have a nice rig: 3ghz Core2, 2gb RAM, 8800GTX, dual 150gb Raptors. If my rig chokes on Vista..."
    http://www.firingsquad.com/matrix/comment_view.asp...">http://www.firingsquad.com/matrix/comment_view.asp...
    Then there's the age match > " http://www.ageod.com/forums/member.php?u=4951">http://www.ageod.com/forums/member.php?u=4951
    Age
    42
    Join Date
    June 18th, 2008
    Total Posts
    5
    " I'm an older gamer (42) and I remember when games like Longbow 2 and F-15 came with big ring-bound manuals that ensured you *wanted* to buy the physical game " (from the first link)
    Then there's this:
    http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2626829">http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2626829
    Looks like the money is there.
    __________________________________

    Oh well, better luck next time.
    Reply
  • george1976 - Monday, November 24, 2008 - link

    Well, talking about stability, i have problems now with NFS Undercover with this new driver, problems i never had with 178.24.... So much for treats... Reply
  • fausto412 - Monday, November 24, 2008 - link

    Every driver after 178.13 breaks AA in Battlefield 2142. I just downloaded 180.48 drivers and they make left 4 dead stutter so much it is unplayable. I try new drivers and go back to 178.13 everytime. what gives Nvidia? Anyways, perhaps Anandtech can question Nvidia on the stability of their drivers. Reply
  • rocky1234 - Sunday, November 23, 2008 - link

    Wow big deal Nvidia releases a driver & everyone goes crazy yay. They add a few small features & make a big stink about it yippy. Have they fixed the Vista issues yet don't know because I gave up waiting 6 months ago & switched to the red team. PhysX is a nice feature but even a Owner of a ATT card & windows XP can go out & buy a cheap Nvidia card slave it & install these magic drivers & get PhysX in the supported games that is if you got a second PCI-E x16 slot. At least that is what I heard people are doing I own a 9800GTX it is sitting on the floor here I may try it to see it it works...lol. Now if MS would come out with a patch for Vista that would allow you to do it there too that would rock. Reply
  • Mr Roboto - Saturday, November 22, 2008 - link

    Am I the only one who seems to see through Nvidia'a bullshit? Why is Anand praising them for un-crppling their drivers after five YEARS! When the only reason they're doing it is because AMD is handing them their ass!

    Nvidia is in a free fall so they finally start to pull out all the stops and release features that they should have given their users years ago. I mean it only took ATI to essentially kill their profit margins on the GTX series for them to release dual monitor SLI.

    I'm a long time Nvidia owner (8800GTX) but even I see the way Anand lays on the bullshit real thick. Quit playing nice for Nvidia. Are you afraid they won't send you review hardware or return your phone calls?

    Well since Anand won't do it I guess the readers must.

    Nvidia's Vista drivers were nothing short of fucking atrocious for YEARS (there's that word again). Only in the last 3-4 months have they gotten a little better, coincidence? (4800 launch). Nvidia even had SLI working on the Quadro setups for YEARS. Now that they're falling fast they decide to un-cripple their desktop drivers. This goes hand in hand with gouging their customers, pushing flaky hardware out into market (G92-94), IMAP bullshit, the fucked up, confuse the noobs naming scheme and broken, buggy and just all around shitty drivers.

    Fuck Nvidia and fuck their shit motherboards. I was a loyal Nvidia owner for as long as I can remember but they have taken greed and screwing their customers to another level. I hope

    Reply
  • Mr Roboto - Saturday, November 22, 2008 - link

    I hope ATI takes them to the brink of bankruptcy but only for the sake of competition. Otherwise I could care less about Nvidia and their busted hardware. Reply
  • JonnyDough - Friday, November 21, 2008 - link

    Is a simple email informing me of new driver release with a link to the page and what it fixes/changes. A VERY simple email. I don't care WHEN they release the driver, but more importantly that it works and that I know it's available for download. Too many releases just gets to be a hassle, not enough means I have to wait forever for my favorite application or game to work properly. Communication between graphic card companies and software companies probably could use some improvement as well. The way I see it, AMD/NVidia/Intel need to get on board with a standardized support of their products using the email method. Software developers should have a single website to access all three in regards to drivers, and end users should have a standardized email platform from all three. When companies get together and provide good support for their products, everyone wins. As long as they don't lie in bed together on making money, hardware and software can advance at a faster and more complete pace than they have previously...and that means smoother computing for all. Reply
  • superkdogg - Friday, November 21, 2008 - link

    Evidently they're were at least to errors with the grammer of the 3 their's in this article....

    "and decided that their never should"
    Reply
  • MarcLeFou - Friday, November 21, 2008 - link

    I've always enjoyed coming here because you're not afraid to say your opinions and slam any wrongdoing/less than perfect situation by a company (such as ATI's notorious paper launches in the last few years and the situation of monthly driver releases that, you feel, are less than ideal).

    On this one however, the author seems to be looking for excuses for why Nvidia is coming up short on its "huge performance increase" promises. I can't imagine Anandtech not slamming somebody hard for unproven/false claims but somehow, this didn't happen here.

    Am I the only one who feels that the author of this article showed a bias toward Nvidia ?
    Reply
  • chizow - Friday, November 21, 2008 - link

    How is it wrong to say one way of doing things is better than the other is when Derek gives clear and concise examples of why? It really comes down to this, if the common solution for a bug or problem with the latest driver is to revert to prior driver revisions, the monthly update program has failed. If a monthly driver needs daily hot fixes and hot fixes for those hot fixes and hot fixes that break one thing that was just fixed the system is clearly flawed. Its a freaking joke and now people are finally seeing how bad the situation really is. The scariest thing is its only going to get worst until they make some fundamental changes.

    Derek did also slam Nvidia (wrongly, imo) over Assassin's Creed losing DX10.1 support, but lets take another look at that situation. Ubisoft also developed Far Cry 2, another DX10.1 title and we ONCE AGAIN have rendering errors, the reason cited for AC's 10.1 removal, with ATI hardware. Now I'm not sure how you can come to the conclusion that Nvidia is somehow conspiring, influencing or causing games to run buggy on ATI hardware without looking at the drivers or the hardware itself. ATI is now 2 for 2 with DX10.1 titles and rendering errors, so I think we can drop the conspiracy theory for now.

    Instead of blaming Nvidia for ATI's problems or defending their broken driver model, you need to look at how ATI can improve support. Nvidia's TWIMTBP program has benefits beyond a sticker on a box. Working with developers and supplying them with free hardware does pay off in helping launch a well supported title with fewer problems at launch. Nvidia owners see this in the form of new drivers that coincide with big game launches or blurbs about how the game was developed on Nvidia hardware or how the game runs best on Nvidia hardware.
    Reply
  • chizow - Friday, November 21, 2008 - link

    They're not covering up for Nvidia, they show clearly the driver does nothing for them in the games they tested. Derek leaves open the possibility that they didn't test the games where improvements were promised, or did not have the proper GPU configuration. If you look at the driver release it shows exactly what games with a possible % dependent on system and GPU configuration. More specifically, improvements might have been for SLI, and AT did not test any of the games that were specifically covered in NV's reviewer package for the 180 driver (the new titles covered in other games like L4D, Fallout3, Dead Space, Far Cry 2 etc.

    Simply put, if Nvidia claims a % increase in certain titles, or better performance than the competition in specific titles and you go and test completely different titles that don't show any increase, what have you really proven?
    Reply
  • GiantPandaMan - Friday, November 21, 2008 - link

    I'd agree. Both ATI and nVidia have problems. I'm actually happy to learn about the regression testing problem, and, given a final full explanation by Derek was enlightening. HOWEVER, to say nVidia's way of doing things is that much better is wrong. After all, didn't it cause the Vista crapup? What about what nVidia did with Assassin's Creed so ATI owners got screwed? This is how a company with a better driver program acts?

    For the record I own both a 4870 and a 8800GT. Honestly? Barely ever had a problem with either company's drivers crashing. However, the 8800GT took ages to be compatible with my GatewayFHD24 in Vista, while it was fine with XP.
    Reply
  • chizow - Friday, November 21, 2008 - link

    How is saying one way of doing things is better than the other is wrong when Derek gives clear and concise examples of why? It really comes down to this, if the common solution for a bug or problem with the latest driver is to revert to prior driver revisions, the monthly update program has failed. If a monthly driver needs daily hot fixes and hot fixes for those hot fixes and hot fixes that break one thing that was just fixed the system is clearly flawed. Its a freaking joke and now people are finally seeing how bad the situation really is. The scariest thing is its only going to get worst until they make some fundamental changes.

    Derek did also slam Nvidia (wrongly, imo) over Assassin's Creed losing DX10.1 support, but lets take another look at that situation. Ubisoft also developed Far Cry 2, another DX10.1 title and we ONCE AGAIN have rendering errors, the reason cited for AC's 10.1 removal, with ATI hardware. Now I'm not sure how you can come to the conclusion that Nvidia is somehow conspiring, influencing or causing games to run buggy on ATI hardware without looking at the drivers or the hardware itself. ATI is now 2 for 2 with DX10.1 titles and rendering errors, so I think we can drop the conspiracy theory for now.

    Instead of blaming Nvidia for ATI's problems or defending their broken driver model, you need to look at how ATI can improve support. Nvidia's TWIMTBP program has benefits beyond a sticker on a box. Working with developers and supplying them with free hardware does pay off in helping launch a well supported title with fewer problems at launch. Nvidia owners see this in the form of new drivers that coincide with big game launches or blurbs about how the game was developed on Nvidia hardware or how the game runs best on Nvidia hardware.
    Reply
  • GiantPandaMan - Friday, November 21, 2008 - link

    Umm, there's far more than 2 DX10.1 games. Other than the two you cited, which ones have problems with ATI drivers?

    The two games you cited with problems are from Ubisoft. Hint, HINT?

    I've acknowledged in a previous post and in the last post that ATI does have problems with their drivers that they need to address. I suggested that ATI move to releasing drivers every other month. Defending their model? That's a serious error in your comprehension if that's what you think I did. I pointed out that their model isn't worse than nVidia's.

    You need to take a closer examination about what is being said, also, it's pretty clear that you're heavily biased to nVidia. Neither you nor I know the exact dealings with TWIMTP, but the facts are the facts. AC worked great on ATI hardware, and then it didn't. Ubisoft and Ubisoft alone out of current game publishers has done a poor job getting their game to work properly on a significant portion of the computer gaming population. I've bought about 6 games-L4D, Fallout3, Supreme Commander, Witcher:EE, etc.-in the past few months, none of them have had problems with my ATI video card.

    That fact leads me to believe that it's fairly likely that Ubisoft is incompetent when coming to properly ensure their games work with the ATI hardware. Either that or they have a sweetheart deal with nVidia, take your pick.
    Reply
  • chizow - Friday, November 21, 2008 - link

    quote:

    Umm, there's far more than 2 DX10.1 games. Other than the two you cited, which ones have problems with ATI drivers?

    Name them. Oh right you can't. That's because there's only 2 DX10.1 titles, actually just 1 since AC no longer applies.

    quote:

    The two games you cited with problems are from Ubisoft. Hint, HINT?

    Yes, the only dev that actually bothers implementing DX10.1 can't seem to get it working on ATI hardware, so they just patch it out instead. The FC2 render errors were fixed by ATI in one of the myriad Hot Fixes btw, but I've heard the stuttering issue in DX10 is still around. Time to patch out DX10.1 support again?

    quote:

    I've acknowledged in a previous post and in the last post that ATI does have problems with their drivers that they need to address. I suggested that ATI move to releasing drivers every other month. Defending their model? That's a serious error in your comprehension if that's what you think I did. I pointed out that their model isn't worse than nVidia's.

    Saying its "wrong to say Nvidia's driver model is better than ATI" is defending ATI's driver model when it was so clearly detailed why Nvidia's driver model was better. If someone claims Nvidia's driver model is better and you say ATI's driver model isn't worst than Nvidia's, its pretty clear you are defending ATI's driver model, just as you did again here.

    quote:

    You need to take a closer examination about what is being said, also, it's pretty clear that you're heavily biased to nVidia.

    No, I think you do, as its clear you're willing to work off half-truths and rumors alone. I do prefer Nvidia cards but that doesn't mean I wouldn't buy an ATI card tomorrow if it suited my needs.

    quote:

    Neither you nor I know the exact dealings with TWIMTP, but the facts are the facts.

    Not the exact dealings but the basics are in the public domain and easily referenced. Nvidia has said numerous times they supply hardware, engineering resources and driver support for TWIMTBP titles. This is easily verified when you open up the game manual and it says:

    AN IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING GRAPHICS AND HAVING THE BEST POSSIBLE EXPERIENCE

    ....The game was developed and tested using NVIDIA GeForce 8,9, and GTX 200 Series graphics cards and the intended experience can be more fully realized....etc etc.

    Or when there's a blurb by the developers accompanying a driver update for a high profile title like Far Cry 2 about how the game was developed on NV hardware......

    Getting hardware in the hands of devs during development to me is the most important difference, as its clear NV is more proactive in their driver development and why their drivers are consistently better than ATI's for new games.

    quote:

    AC worked great on ATI hardware, and then it didn't. Ubisoft and Ubisoft alone out of current game publishers has done a poor job getting their game to work properly on a significant portion of the computer gaming population.

    Worked great? Hardly.

    http://techreport.com/discussions.x/14707">http://techreport.com/discussions.x/14707

    That's about the best summary of events you'll find. The render errors were reproduced independently by numerous review sites. If you own an ATI card and want DX10.1 support that badly and the errors don't bother you, its as simple as not patching the game.

    quote:

    I've bought about 6 games-L4D, Fallout3, Supreme Commander, Witcher:EE, etc.-in the past few months, none of them have had problems with my ATI video card.

    But no Assassin's Creed....and no Far Cry 2 and certainly no other DX10.1 games (since there are none).

    quote:

    That fact leads me to believe that it's fairly likely that Ubisoft is incompetent when coming to properly ensure their games work with the ATI hardware. Either that or they have a sweetheart deal with nVidia, take your pick.

    Or maybe ATI needs to take a hard look at their driver program and make some changes instead of hoping for the best and playing whack-a-mole when problems start popping up.
    Reply
  • piroroadkill - Friday, November 21, 2008 - link

    "This means that AMD users will be able to see what their missing."

    Oh lawd
    Reply
  • rocky1234 - Friday, November 21, 2008 - link

    To the one who said about ever owning a ATI card you know what I own Both Nvidia & ATI & I must say the ATI card & drivers have been way better
    than what I have had with novidia this far. I spent 4 months waiting for Nvidia to fix the Vista problems they were having & finally gave up
    on them. I moved that card to a Windows XP machine & now only have a BSOD maybe once a week & yes its always Novidia related their WIndows support simply sucks. They focus to much on the games or paying the game dev's for a few more frames than they do about having their drivers work with Windows itself.

    With AMD/ATI I have not had a BSOD from their drivers yet & I have had this card for awhile now. Yes I have had some random game crashes here & there & yes they could have been caused by video drivers or just a crappy game code. My point here is all of my games work fine with the ATI card & drivers & I have just over 86 games installed & all work fine. Would I ever go back to Novida frak no if its took them this long to fix the Vista issues & some lingering XP problems I hate to be a Novidia owner when Windows 7 comes out..to funny even funnier is now Appple owners are gonna see just how good Novida drivers are as well.

    Don;t get me wrong Novida hardware is great very well designed its just to bad all they care about is getting those 3 extra frames per second in any given game that they will pretty much do anything or pay any body to get those frames & they forget about the things like overall system compatibility.

    So I will take the once a month driver updates just because I know that if there is a problem with a new game that it may be addressed & I willnot have to wait5 or 6 months for a fix from Nvidia.

    Just my thoughts on this & having owned both companies cards I have seen problems on both sides I just think that AMD/ATI is the lesser of the 2 evils at the moment.
    Reply
  • Finally - Friday, November 21, 2008 - link

    I could have taken you seriously if it wasn't for your child-like pronounciation of that green firm's name.

    Do you also write about "Micro$oft"?
    Reply
  • Paratus - Thursday, November 20, 2008 - link

    I always see both camps complaining about the state of each companies drivers.

    IMHO I'll take AMDs bad drivers every month instead of NVs bad drivers every whenever they decide to release them.

    Sorry
    Reply
  • ggathagan - Thursday, November 20, 2008 - link

    We would like to have seen the performance gains NVIDIA talked about. While we don't doubt that they are in there, it is likely we just didn't look at the right settings or hardware.

    If NVIDIA claims "Up to 38% performance increase in Far Cry 2", they should be able to tell you the exact circumstances where that 38% increase can be seen. If it's reproducible, great. If not, they're lying and should be called on it.

    As for PhysX: I'm all for realizing its potential, but Mirror's Edge strikes me as having PhysX simply for the sake of having Physx.
    Granted, it's just a trailer, but I wasn't that impressed with the look of the game. It looked as if they spent their time on the Physx and ignored the character modeling. The arm/body movement looks rather bizarre.
    Reply
  • Kode - Thursday, November 20, 2008 - link

    Although I agree that some ATI/AMD driver updates aren't that good, the good thing about a monthly release is that when you have a small bug/glitch in a certain game, this can be updated in a month. If you have the same thing on a NVIDIA card, you don't know when to expect a new driver, and so you are stuck with it untill the next driverrelease unless they release a hotfix or perhaps beta. But installing hotfixes/beta's isn't done often by regular people. Reply
  • Casper42 - Thursday, November 20, 2008 - link

    Title says it all. Driver enhancements and TELSA are great and all, but where are the darn die shrinks?

    I was really hoping nVidia would have their stuff together and have released the GTX 279/290 or whatever they decide to call the 55nm parts when Intel released the i7 processors. When gamers are blowing $1000+ on a new Board/Chip/RAM, whats another $600 for that top of the line nVidia card?

    After all, wasnt the point of allowing SLI on x58 to sell more cards?
    Reply
  • Casper42 - Thursday, November 20, 2008 - link

    The HPC Market seems to be going more and more toward Blade servers these days as you can cram an awful lot of computer power into a 10U space with hardware from 2 or 3 different vendors.

    I am curious if nVidia is working with HP or Dell or IBM on making a special Blade version of their TESLA cards. The expansion cards in the HP c series are very small which may prohibit TESLA from physically even fitting into the Blade server. BUT, they also have a way of channelling PCI Express lanes into an adjacent blade slot (for instance, to support their "Storage Blade") so if TESLA won't fit inside the blade itself, why not put together a TESLA blade that contains 2/3/4 Cards and connects to the adjacent blade server.

    This would allow you (for instance) to take an HP c7000 chassis and put 8 BL460c Blades with up to 2 Xeon 54xx chips, 64GB of RAM (assuming 8GB DIMMs), and then have 2-4 TESLA cards attached to each, and cram all that into a 10U space. At a minimum that would be 16 Processors, 256GB of RAM (32GB/node) and 16 TESLA Cards.

    You even get your choice of 10GB Ethernet or Infiniband to connect all the nodes.
    Reply
  • Spoelie - Thursday, November 20, 2008 - link

    This is the first time I've seen someone complain about AMD's driver mantra.

    AMD provides a constant evolution in their drivers, it's the users choice to update the driver or not. You can not fault them for providing lots of updates. Their readme is also very clear and concise in what is fixed and what is not.

    The possible sacrifices do not outweigh the advantages IMO. That comment was a bit of a potshot
    Reply
  • kilkennycat - Thursday, November 20, 2008 - link

    For at least the last 5 years, ATi's drivers have periodically had the spotty reputation that the next update fixes a bunch of problems with the latest games, but then has newly introduced brand-new problems with earlier "legacy" games. Seemed as if they rushed QC, with only a handful of the latest titles. And for an obvious reason.... the burden of a monthly release cycle is no help in enabling thorough QC at all !!! Much better if the offical releases were at least 3 months apart, with beta updates for the "brave" to try out. The 'next driver breaks something not previously broken' problem was particularly bad when ATi transititioned their architecture with the introduction of the X1800 series. Recently, this ATi legacy problem has got much, much better, but they seem to have slid backwards recently. Reply
  • DerekWilson - Thursday, November 20, 2008 - link

    We have complained about AMD's driver development issues in the past. But we always try and keep it as fair and neutral as possible.

    If all things were equal, I would agree that "you can not fault them for providing lots of updates" ... but that is not what they do.

    NVIDIA regression tests with hundreds of games for every driver release. In fact, comprehensive regression testing was one of the major reasons NVIDIA acquired 3dfx back in the day.

    AMD only regression tests with 25 games. These 25 games change with driver versions so that over time they'll cover many games. The problem is that this doesn't work well. for example ...

    Let's say some x.y driver is regression tested with ... let's pick bioshock. The next month, bioshock falls off the list and x.(y+1) breaks crossfire with bioshock. crossfire isn't as popular as single card performance so there aren't as many users to complain and it will either take them adding bioshock back to their regression test list (which could be never or 6 months or a year), or a large hardware review site will need to go test it an publish an article on how broken it is only to get a hotfix driver 2 days later that fixes the issue.

    that happened by the way. and not only with bioshock. it has happened with other games as well, and most of the time it is an issue that affects crossfire. sometimes its other bugs, but multi-GPU support is the thing that seems to be at highest risk in our experience.

    this is not an infrequent problem.

    and lets say you find a bug in the recently released 8.11 -- no lets say AMD finds a bug in 8.11 ... It will not be fixed until at least 9.1 as they can't push 8.12 back to include more fixes. until then, if its a big name title that has a fix, AMD will put out a hotfix. But then you've got to use a non-WHQL version of 8.11 for upwards of two months, even if there are features in 8.12 you want/need.

    We are currently in a situation where we have to stick with an 8.10 + hotfix until 8.12 comes out.

    I am very conservative in my articles about mentioning problems with driver teams. Driver work is tough, and reviewers tend to hit many more problems than the average gamer. We test much more software on a wide variety of hardware and are more prone to running into issues. While the problems do exist for end users, it's always just a subset of users at a time. It has to be that way to some extent no matter what (there will always be tradeoffs made), but AMDs trade offs do impact us quite a bit. And I also feel like they cut too many corners and make too many tradeoffs to the point where it negatively impacts too many end users. If we hit more problems with one vendor than another, that is a very relevant bit of information for every consumer. Even if it isn't of the same magnitude it is for us, it's still an issue.

    Thus, I am aware that my view of AMD driver development will be more negative than most users out there. But it does still negatively impact end users in a bigger way than NVIDIA's approach in general (though NVIDIA's execution isn't always spot on either).

    Here's the best way I can put it.

    If you find an AMD driver that works, stick with it. Don't change drivers unless something is broken that got fixed that you need. Upgrading when not necessary will likely break something else that you might find you needed.

    On the contrary, I would never recommend against upgrading to an NVIDIA WHQL driver. They are much better about not breaking things that have previously been fixed and are much more hardened by the extensive regression testing. All the fixes that go into one driver (beta or WHQL) will be included in the next beta or WHQL driver, unlike with AMD and their multiple trunk or overlapping branch system or whatever you want to call it.

    There are simply few to no real advantages (other than for marketing purposes) with AMD's driver development approach, so if there are negatives at all they've already outweighed everything else.
    Reply
  • JonnyDough - Friday, November 21, 2008 - link

    Care to explain to me what happened to Neverwinter Nights 2 and Nvidia then? It doesn't work. Reply
  • Finally - Friday, November 21, 2008 - link

    Thank you Derek for your insightful posting, clarity and all.
    The only lesson I can extract from your writing is the common man's knowledge that you shouldn't mess around with SLI/Crossfire, ever.

    @Tejas:
    [quote]As a 3870X2 quadfire and 4870 Crossfire owner I can say without doubt that AMD driver support is lousy and bordering on scandalous... I still do not have a Crossfire profile for Fallout 3 and it has been almost a month."[/quote]

    Stop bitching. You called for your personal grief and you got it delivered alright. If you got too much time on your hands and want to spend them on ridiculous hobbies, so be it - but don't bitch for the common man.
    Reply
  • Finally - Friday, November 21, 2008 - link

    To clarify the meaning of "calling for personal grief":
    Putting too many graphics cards in your rig is like hiring a motorcycle gang to beat you up with sticks and chains and all and then running around the town, showing your bruises and bloodpouring to everyone complaining how bad you are feeling after that paid-for encounter...
    Reply
  • tejas84 - Thursday, November 20, 2008 - link

    Derek Wilson is 100% right. As a 3870X2 quadfire and 4870 Crossfire owner I can say without doubt that AMD driver support is lousy and bordering on scandalous... I still do not have a Crossfire profile for Fallout 3 and it has been almost a month.

    I had to wait for TWO catalyst revisions until Crysis Warhead and Stalker CS had profiles as well as GRID, Assassins Creed, World in Conflict etc etc....

    Nvidia put the effort to work with developers to ensure the games work with their hardware and integrate SLI profiles. AMD are arrogant and I remember an AMD moderator say that the TWIMTBP program was simply paying for a logo. For a company betting everything on multi GPU isnt it strange that AMD doesnt work with devs to get Crossfire profiles into game.

    Well actually they pay so that their games work well with the latest games. AMD are lazy and cut corners just like with their CPUs and frankly I am going to sell up my AMD cards and go exclusively Nvidia from now on...

    Bottom line... anyone who thinks that Derek is being harsh has NEVER OWNED AN ATI CROSSFIRE SETUP BEFORE....

    Regards

    Reply
  • Griswold - Friday, November 21, 2008 - link

    Point and case why multi-GPU solution suck donkey nuts, no matter what team you depend on - you depend on them twice as much as everyone else (one for the raw driver and its bugs or lack thereof and one for the profiles). No thanks to that.

    Tough luck, I say. And with nvidia on, what seems to be a financial downward slope, it remains to be seen if they're willing and capable to deliver in the future. Good luck, I say.
    Reply
  • Goty - Thursday, November 20, 2008 - link

    So wait, I think you're forgetting the whole "Call of Juarez" deal. ATI had a deal with the developer there in the same manner that NVIDIA has a deal with all the developers that participate in the TWIMTBP program. NVIDIA's hardware performed like crap in the game when it was first released and everyone cried foul, saying that it was "unfair" and "anti-competitive" for AMD to do something like that.

    Now, if we want to talk about anti-competitive, what about NVIDIA's dubious dealings with Ubisoft and Assassin's Creed and DirectX 10.1 support? Hmmm...
    Reply
  • tejas84 - Thursday, November 20, 2008 - link

    addendum,

    Well actually they pay so that their games work well with the latest games- this refers to Nvidia
    Reply
  • chizow - Thursday, November 20, 2008 - link

    Its not the first, Anand recently ripped into ATI drivers in his Core i7 launch review:

    quote:

    We have often had trouble with AMD drivers, especially when looking at CrossFire performance. The method that AMD uses to maintain and test their drivers necessitates eliminating some games from testing for extended periods of time. This can sometimes result in games that used to work well with AMD hardware or scale well with CrossFire to stop performing up to par or to stop scaling as well as they should.

    The consistent fix, unfortunately, has been for review sites to randomly stumble upon these problems. We usually see resolutions very quickly to issues like this, but that doesn't change the fact that it shouldn't happen in the first place.


    Its a problem that has been gaining momentum lately and has drawn a LOT of attention with the recent Farcry 2 driver debacle. First there was the issue of render errors, hitching in DX10 and overall poor performance without FPS caps. Then there were hot fixes, fixes for hot fixes and further hot fixes. Then there were CF problems with newer drivers that necessitated using drivers that had the render errors or DX10 stuttering or both. But it comes down to this, if the recommended fix for a problem is to revert to prior drivers, its pretty clear the monthly WHQL program isn't working.

    ATI gets more heat because their drivers tend to be more reactive than Nvidia, who tends to be more proactive with their TWIMTBP program and driver updates that come in advance or arrive in tandem with hot launch titles. This latest round of reviews and performance in top 5 titles would confirm this.

    ATI has also made multi-GPU their solution for high-end performance, which means their products rely heavily CF scaling and compatibility. A big problem here is that ATI does not have user-defined profiles for games like Nvidia, which means there is no recourse if you have poor CF scaling or performance short of workarounds like renaming game .exes.
    Reply
  • giantpandaman2 - Thursday, November 20, 2008 - link

    Where's the blame on Ubisoft Montreal? Can't a game company release a game that works with a large portion of video cards?

    That said, I think AMD should go to once every other month. Less overhead, more things fixed with the same amount of man hours. nVidia drivers simply take too damn long. They go to the opposite extreme if you ask me. I owned an 8800GT and it took them 9 months to get their video card fully compatible with my monitor in Vista64. That's ridiculous.

    But, seriously, why do people only blame driver makers and not the fricken game makers who have easy access to the hardware?
    Reply
  • DerekWilson - Thursday, November 20, 2008 - link

    game developers are hitting a moving target as well. they don't have the drivers that will be out when their game launches until their game launches ... and it would have been final for month(s) before that.

    in contrast, AMD and NVIDIA can get their hands on those games months before hand and make sure that drivers work they way they should with the software.

    there is developer responsibility to be sure, but a driver issue is a driver issue ... game devs can't shoulder that burden.
    Reply
  • JonnyDough - Friday, November 21, 2008 - link

    Hence, MORE STANDARDS! Reply
  • chizow - Thursday, November 20, 2008 - link

    quote:

    We'll certainly see after we run all the tests, but stay tuned for an update on that area.


    When are we going to see an updated, comprehensive review? You mentioned something about a huge review with the new Core i7 test bed over a month ago and the NDA on i7 was lifted over two weeks ago. Still no update or comprehensive GPU review.

    You guys have been making a lot of half-assertions and assumptions promising follow-ups but have consistently failed to follow through on them.
    Reply
  • CPUGuy - Thursday, November 20, 2008 - link

    I find it odd that someone can admit that both camps have their driver problem yet so asphyxiated on camp's problems more so then the other. When both camps are examined in a petri dish under a microscope it becomes apparent that both camps have their share of problems that effects everyone. Not just the consumers from one camp vs another.

    In all that's why we love to read articles & reviews that are fair and equitable. Which seeks the truth in a unbiased fashion that provides not only truth from just one side but from "both sides" of the coin. Not to be vague:
    -if a driver improves performance, provide picks to show IQ
    -if one card is faster then another, let it do so from it's original standard clock rate.
    -if one card is faster then another overclocked, let both opposing cards show the same percentage of overclock
    -etc

    Reply
  • CPUGuy - Thursday, November 20, 2008 - link

    ...so asphyxiated on one camp's problems more so then the other...
    -if a driver improves performance, provide photos to show IQ
    Reply
  • GaryJohnson - Saturday, November 22, 2008 - link

    ...asphyxiated ...

    I think the word you were looking for is fixated.
    Reply
  • poohbear - Thursday, November 20, 2008 - link

    you guys looked at crysis and oblivion and other games that were'nt even mentioned by Nvidia when downloading the drivers. The games nvidia mentions are:

    Up to 10% performance increase in 3DMark Vantage (performance preset)
    Up to 13% performance increase in Assassin's Creed
    Up to 13% performance increase in BioShock
    Up to 15% performance increase in Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts
    Up to 10% performance increase in Crysis Warhead
    Up to 25% performance increase in Devil May Cry 4
    Up to 38% performance increase in Far Cry 2
    Up to 18% performance increase in Race Driver: GRID
    Up to 80% performance increase in Lost Planet: Colonies
    Up to 18% performance increase in World of Conflict

    I personally noticed a smoother framerate in World in Conflict & Crysis warhead on my 8800gt. Company of Heroes opposing fronts didnt seem to play any different, but the others were definetly smoother. Just my 2 cents.
    Reply
  • Spacecomber - Thursday, November 20, 2008 - link

    Download and install a new video driver? If the games you are playing are supported, as well as any extra features that you need, I don't see any advantage to jumping on-board with every new driver release.

    I usually wait until I've picked up a new game that reveals some limitation in the driver or until I've upgraded to a new graphics card. Driver releases primarily seem to focus on better supporting the latest games and providing drivers for the latest generation GPUs. Occasionally, you'll see new features introduced, like better support for running two video cards while using one for PhysX acceleration, as in this driver release. However, that seems to be the exception, rather than the rule, which perhaps justifies Anandtech's write-up on this particular driver release.
    Reply
  • The0ne - Thursday, November 20, 2008 - link

    For what you're saying people should then head over to guru3d.com or use omega drivers that other users have tested on specific games. I'm running 174/175 on mine right now simply because it doesn't choke on the dual display output to my TV, doesn't lag it and is pretty stable with general tasks. I can't say much in terms of games because the only one I play is FFXI and it really on suffers under Vista.

    However, not a single driver package is perfect as their will always be some issue waiting to surface. Just take that to heart when trying different versions.
    Reply
  • StillPimpin - Thursday, November 20, 2008 - link

    I am very interested to know if dual monitor SLI support is/will be enabled on the next round of Quadro drivers or is this only related to the Geforce line? Reply
  • pmonti80 - Thursday, November 20, 2008 - link

    A little bit off topic, but:
    In what kind of motherboards will you be able to use PhysX SLI? Will there be the same limitations than with normal SLI? (only half of Nvidia chipsets support it; on x58 boards SLI only is available on 9800 GTX or more)
    Which card is the minimum for Physx SLI?
    Reply
  • chizow - Thursday, November 20, 2008 - link

    PhysX SLI can be enabled on any chipset with multiple PCIE x16 slots, even ones that don't support native GPU SLI. I believe all cards beginning with the 8800 series supports GPU-accelerated PhysX. Reply
  • sandman74 - Thursday, November 20, 2008 - link


    despite what you stated about the 4870 1GB being a better choice than the 260++ edition, there is one factor which Ive noticed which goes significantly in the favour of NVidia...

    When browsing through the likes of HardOCP's forums (be it gaming areas or video card areas) one thing is certain.. more people are complaining about ATI driver issues than there are complaining about Nvidia driver issues.

    Im sure (goes without saying) that most people dont have any issues with their ATI Catalyst drivers, or the .net framework that also needs to be installed.... but there is no denying that a heck of a lot of people do has issues.

    Nvidia drivers also seem to work out of the box with more games upon release without delays, and there are less stories about 'heating and noise issues'.. certainly with the 260.

    I just dont need the hassle, so am leaning (heavily) towards an overclocked 260 at the moment ,despite the fact that the 4870 may offer a small improvement in FPS for certain games.

    Reply
  • SiliconDoc - Friday, December 26, 2008 - link

    Don't sweat it Sandman, we all know the real score, and only here are ALL the posters with their massive ATI rigs never encumbered by an ATI driver crash.
    Just ignore their corporate sponsorship like you probably already have.
    (we techs who have to deal with multiple end users systems all the time know the real score)
    I shower undue praise upon those masterous parts selectros who have found the ultimate ATI combinations.
    ( I note NONE of them listed their rig setups, though, so they aren't very helpful, are they ? LOL )
    Reply
  • kr7400 - Tuesday, December 02, 2008 - link



    Can you please fucking die? Preferably by getting crushed to death in a garbage compactor, by getting your face cut to ribbons with a pocketknife, your head cracked open with a baseball bat, your stomach sliced open and your entrails spilled out, and your eyeballs ripped out of their sockets. *beep* bitch


    I would love to kick you hard in the face, breaking it. Then I'd cut your stomach open with a chainsaw, exposing your intestines. Then I'd cut your windpipe in two with a boxcutter. Then I'd tie you to the back of a pickup truck, and drag you, until your useless *beep* corpse was torn to a million *beep* useless, bloody, and gory pieces.

    Hopefully you'll get what's coming to you. *beep* bitch


    I really hope that you get curb-stomped. It'd be hilarious to see you begging for help, and then someone stomps on the back of your head, leaving you to die in horrible, agonizing pain. *beep*

    Shut the *beep* up f aggot, before you get your face bashed in and cut to ribbons, and your throat slit.

    You're dead if I ever meet you in real life, f ucker. I'll f ucking kill you.

    I would love to f ucking send your f ucking useless ass to the hospital in intensive care, fighting for your worthless life.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Po0j4ONZRGY">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Po0j4ONZRGY

    I wish you a truly painful, bloody, gory, and agonizing death, *beep*
    Reply
  • SiliconDoc - Saturday, November 22, 2008 - link

    There's a big review on hardwarecanucks with sli and tri sli and a couple with single 260's and the 4870 DOES NOT WIN in the benchmarks.
    It loses badly in one, and a bit in a lot, and in single wins in only devil may cry 4.
    Yes, it is close, but unless you do specific 1920x1200 at such and such settings it's not beating the 260. ( I don't count 3dmark as a gaming test - since by the results it is not correctly assessing - and vantage has a different gap- the already small miniscule.
    Also, if you look at the power useage 260/192 vs 4870/512 - although the claim is made the 4870 is better so often, the 260 is only 1-3 watts higher in full 3d mode, yet in idle is a 30 watts lower. So the 260 wins power consumption.
    Then the overclocking - the 260 wins.
    By no means is the 4870 a bad card, but the results of the very tests comparing it to the 260 I've seen so skewed by commenters and even reviewers - that I feel it neccessary to straighten out the record a bit.
    If you are a fan or whatever of either brand, they are so close I couldn't argue going with either accordingly - but I think being honest about results is also fair and just.
    The X58 chipsets give a clear view - and the newest drivers some claim have boosted both cards 7-10 percent in some setups. ( I've also seen other test systems show a decrease - so it does depend on quite a lot on what the test rig is apparently - perhaps chipset is very important )
    Anyway, I hate to be such a stickler - but now the X58 has made it possible to have an equivalent head to head - and unless driver improvements change greatly, the 260/192/216 is beating the 4879/512/1024 respectively - yes by a small margin, but then claming it is the other way around does not cut it.
    Overclocking results settle it well in the 260's favor.
    That's just the way it is. It would be nice to see people fairly face the facts.
    Reply
  • kr7400 - Tuesday, December 02, 2008 - link



    Can you please fucking die? Preferably by getting crushed to death in a garbage compactor, by getting your face cut to ribbons with a pocketknife, your head cracked open with a baseball bat, your stomach sliced open and your entrails spilled out, and your eyeballs ripped out of their sockets. *beep* bitch


    I would love to kick you hard in the face, breaking it. Then I'd cut your stomach open with a chainsaw, exposing your intestines. Then I'd cut your windpipe in two with a boxcutter. Then I'd tie you to the back of a pickup truck, and drag you, until your useless *beep* corpse was torn to a million *beep* useless, bloody, and gory pieces.

    Hopefully you'll get what's coming to you. *beep* bitch


    I really hope that you get curb-stomped. It'd be hilarious to see you begging for help, and then someone stomps on the back of your head, leaving you to die in horrible, agonizing pain. *beep*

    Shut the *beep* up f aggot, before you get your face bashed in and cut to ribbons, and your throat slit.

    You're dead if I ever meet you in real life, f ucker. I'll f ucking kill you.

    I would love to f ucking send your f ucking useless ass to the hospital in intensive care, fighting for your worthless life.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Po0j4ONZRGY">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Po0j4ONZRGY

    I wish you a truly painful, bloody, gory, and agonizing death, *beep*
    Reply
  • SiliconDoc - Friday, December 26, 2008 - link

    There's a red rage sticker on your forehead, have you noticed that ?
    rofl
    Reply
  • kr7400 - Tuesday, December 02, 2008 - link

    http://proxyboxonline.com/browse.php?u=Oi8vd3d3LmF...">http://proxyboxonline.com/browse.php?u=...hc3B4P2k... Reply
  • Griswold - Friday, November 21, 2008 - link

    I switched from nvidia to ATI due to all too frequent driver crashing under vista64. Sure, it also happens once in a while (especially when video playback happens on the second screen) but nowhere near as much as with nvidia. And as far as .NET goes, you do not need to install anything when using vista. It comes with .NET 3.0 integrated. And frankly, I stopped using CCC anyway. The driver alone is just fine for me. I do not need to fumble around with the settings all the time... Reply
  • Einy0 - Thursday, November 20, 2008 - link

    I've seen just the opposite. People I know in real life complaining about Nvidia drivers mostly with Vista/Vista 64 but a few with XP. I personally can't stand how nvidia deal with their mobility parts. I can never seem to find a solid all around 8600M GT driver. One will work great in games but cause Power DVD to crash. One is unstable. One refuses to work with some games. Many have features missing that the previous had working perfectly such as aspect ratio correct scaling. I upgraded my 7800GT desktop to the HD3870 some time ago. I update drivers on odd releases just for the sake of updating. I haven't had one graphics related issue yet with the ATI/AMD card. That's my only issue with ATI/AMD choose a frickin' name. When they bought ATI rename it AMD or leave it alone. Don't use both names it's annoying. Reply
  • SirKronan - Tuesday, November 25, 2008 - link

    I've had similarly good experiences with AMD drivers of late. You know, I've really been one of the lucky ones, I guess. My old 7600GT was really stable for several years, albeit slow by today's standards. I finally upgraded when the 8800GT came out, and also made the switch to Vista 64 bit. Never regretted it. GPU crashes never happened under normal use and heavy gaming. If my system crashed, it was usually due to something I was overclocking or otherwise tweaking, and the change that I - the user - made was the source. The 8800GT was replaced by a GTS, which was also stable, and even faster. Then I sold the GTS and purchased a 4850. Boy did that thing get hot, but it was also very very stable in Vista 64, with pretty much every revision of drivers I used. And the 3450 in hybrid crossfire I was using at the same time in my HTPC also worked fine and stable. I was impressed that I actually noticed performance gains versus using just the dedicated by itself. It also got a little toasty, but I have a much better HTPC case now. No heat issues anymore.

    I just sold my 4850 and upgraded to the 260 Maxcore. I definitely notice performance gains with the extra ram in many games. I also have way better temps now, and this thing overclocks like you wouldn't believe. But guess what? It's also extremely stable in Vista. When I first installed it, I ran UT3 to test it, and things locked up and stuttered, making gameplay impossible. It ended up being a memory error! I tweaked voltages and installed a memory cooler and the stuttering and freezing disappeared. Had nothing to do with the 260, and the 180 drivers are GREAT.

    I know real people out there are having real problems with drivers, but I bet a lot of us don't want to admit user error, and even possibly attribute lockups to the GFX card when it might be something else. At least my experience in the last few years with both ATI and nVidia has yielded no real driver issues, and each card has brought a good experience to the table. My two cents.

    I'm excited about the whole SLI w/multi monitor thing. Will be nice if I ever get a second 260, but I run Farcry 2 Ultra high with 4x AA at 1920x1200 .... why the crap would I need SLI??
    Reply
  • Makaveli - Thursday, November 20, 2008 - link

    As others have stated there is quite alot of bias in Sandman74's post. One can easily point out that NV has had more vista related drivers issues then Ati. I however i'm not gonna touch that doesn't matter to me where you loyalty is.

    And from the article....

    "What this shows is that they changed their minds after the 4870 was released and decided that their never should have been a 192 core version to begin with."

    Nv got caught with their pants down plain and simple. The competition had a better product and they had to do something. the way that is said makes it sound like they made a product figured out it was a mistake and then fixed it which is not true.
    Reply
  • AnnihilatorX - Thursday, November 20, 2008 - link

    I had been having nv4disp crashes with Vista x64 with my 8800GT card once in a while. After switching to HD4850, I've never had a single graphical driver crash. Reply
  • Capt Caveman - Thursday, November 20, 2008 - link

    Well, as a Nvidia owner, I'm hoping these drivers resolve the nv4disp system crashes that the last couple of drivers have caused. At least, my prior ATI CCC crashed occurred while gaming while my current Nvidia crashes occur while just browsing a website.

    Note - I've performed a complete driver uninstall, registry cleaning, etc prior to installing.
    Reply

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