NVIDIA's Detonator 4 Drivers: Free Performanceby Anand Lal Shimpi on August 13, 2001 3:02 AM EST
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One of the reasons that NVIDIA has been able to execute their product launches so well over these past couple of years has been because of their excellent driver development team. As numerous companies in the past have proven, it is the drivers that can make or break a product. Remember the original Savage3D from S3? On paper it was a great chip but poor driver support from virtually all companies except for the Hercules lead to its premature demise. What about its eventual successor, the Savage 2000? The same story applies there. The launch of the Matrox G200 was haunted by a missing OpenGL ICD; a ghost that remained as such for many months after its launch. The bottom line is that drivers are key to the success or failure of a product, especially when dealing with 3D graphics cards.
Ever since the first set of Detonator drivers was released, NVIDIA has made it a ritual to offer performance enhancing drivers with every product release. Because of NVIDIA’s self-imposed 6-month product cycle, this translates into new drivers that offer increased performance for the majority of available cards at no cost to the end user. The most recent example would be the release of the Detonator3 drivers back in August of 2000. The Detonator3 drivers offered a 10 – 30% performance boost at 1024 x 768 x 32 for the GeForce SDR/DDR, GeForce2 MX and GeForce2 GTS/Ultra. This increased performance came at no extra cost to owners of the aforementioned NVIDIA products. The performance increase was the result of numerous tweaks and optimizations that NVIDIA had been working on prior to the release of the drivers.
In spite of the seemingly endless stream of NVIDIA driver leaks, NVIDIA was able to keep one little trick under raps. While originally intended to be released alongside NVIDIA’s fall product line, increasing pressure from their chief competitor forced NVIDIA to push the release of their Detonator 4 drivers earlier than expected. The drivers will be released this week by NVIDIA and carry a version number of 20.xx, we tested with 20.80. Do not ask us to send you the drivers, you will have to wait for NVIDIA’s release later this week.