NVIDIA drivers don't play nicely with Windows Vista

NVIDIA drivers don't play nicely with Windows Vista

Summary: Given the long ramp up to the launch of Windows Vista it's hard to believe that some companies didn't use that time wisely to come up with drivers that performed well under the new OS. Well, it looks like NVIDIA didn't give the task of developing Vista drivers the attention that the project deserved and this has left gamers frustrated.

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TOPICS: Windows
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Given the long ramp up to the launch of Windows Vista it's hard to believe that some companies didn't use that time wisely to come up with drivers that performed well under the new OS.  Well, it looks like NVIDIA didn't give the task of developing Vista drivers the attention that the project deserved and this has left gamers frustrated.

NVIDIA logoThe problem revolves around NVIDIA's current set of Vista compatible drivers, which include the v96.85 drivers for the GeForce FX series, the v97.46 drivers for the GeForce 6 and GeForce 7 series, and the v100.59 beta drivers for the GeForce6, GeForce 7 and GeForce 8800.  Gamers have been reporting that these current series of drivers aren't fully compatible with Microsoft's new operating system and that they cause computer games to lock up and crash.

NVIDIA has acknowledged that these drivers aren't up to the standards it demands.  In a statement NVIDIA spokesman Brian Burke said that the development of robust Vista drivers was now "the highest priority in our company" and that "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."

One anonymous customer has set up a website called NVidiaClassAction.org so that those affected have a place to voice their concerns about Vista compatibility and also to act as a gathering place for those who might be interested in participating in a class action lawsuit against NVIDIA. However, the creator of the site is being clear that they aren't in this to make money - what they want is for NVIDIA to respond publicly and apologize for the issues, provide an anticipated release date for stable drivers and offer some token gesture for the hassle that this has caused gamers.

While I feel for the gamers affected, and feel surprised that NVIDIA spent time of packaging hardware in boxes that declare Vista compatibility before actually making sure that the drivers are effective, it's still early days on the Vista front.  Good drivers do take time to develop and no matter how much beta testing you put anything through, the real test is release.  I've written before about the fact that ATI's drivers for Vista are pretty good but they're nowhere near as good as the XP drivers.  It takes time to refine these drivers for all the games out there.

Any readers having problems with NVIDIA drivers under Vista?  What issues are you finding?  How much of an impact is this having on your Vista experience?

Topic: Windows

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61 comments
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  • What is the basis for the law suit?

    I mean come on people, grow up!
    No_Ax_to_Grind
    • Good question

      I think they are just trying some scare tactics to get nvidia to move faster. I believe nvidia when they say it is top priority, the hardcore gamers are the ones that fuel the $600 video card purchases after all.
      They don't want this class of people moving to ATI ;)
      Joeman57
      • You're right.

        It behoves NVIDIA to attend to business. ATI (now owned by AMD I believe) is a very good video card maker, NVIDIA's prime competition. Of course it's not so easy to just jump to the competition. After all a $600 v-card is an investment, unless one wants to take a loss on eBay to switch to ATI.

        I have both makers cards in my home computers (2 NVIDIA, 1 ATI) and have gone back and forth over the years between them when I only had one PC. I have the latest NVIDIA driver installed in my Vista Ultimate machine and they work fine but I'm not a hard core video gamer with my PC. (I play mostly 1-minute speed chess on the Internet at the ChessClub.com and the current drivers handle that without problem.) I use my Xbox 360 with Xbox Live for hard core gaming.

        So, while NVIDIA needs to take care of business and try not to be found with their collective "pants down" again, I have every confidence in them that they will do the "right thing" and get more robust drivers out there for all those different v-cards! :)
        mustang_z
    • Simple

      1. "While I feel for the gamers affected, and feel surprised that NVIDIA spent time of packaging hardware in boxes that declare Vista compatibility before actually making sure that the drivers are effective, it's still early days on the Vista front."

      2. "However, the creator of the site is being clear that they aren't in this to make money - what they want is for NVIDIA to respond publicly and apologize for the issues, provide an anticipated release date for stable drivers and offer some token gesture for the hassle that this has caused gamers."

      Nuff said or?
      bchesmer
      • That's not really what he's asking

        Those are just comments from the article. No_Ax wants the legal basis of the case, like "mental anquish caused by CTD (crash to desktop) during a big raid in WOW"
        Joeman57
        • Legal basis?

          No sure there is any.

          Perhaps if NVIDIA did market their v-cards as being Vista compatible and the consumer had, from past experiences with NVIDIA, a set level of expectations about what Vista compatible meant, and NVIDIA failed to fulfill that "normal" and "reasonable" expectation. Then perhaps a class action suite could have merit. :)
          mustang_z
          • Sure there is (well, sorta)

            Spend $900 on a water-cooled 8800GTX that purportedly is Vista-compatible only to find out it's really not? Sounds like justified motivation for making nVidia pay dearly to me...
            flatliner
    • (nt)False Advertising

      ...
      toadlife
    • It really does not matter if it works or not..

      It's called greed. Always wanting something for free.
      lenohere
    • They Can't Grow UP

      After all, they are gamers. Never grew up, never got a life... LOL
      fordomatic69@...
      • ....

        Wow... yes, thank you for this awesome post. You really added to the conversation. (Sarcasm)
        xxn1927
      • Never a life?! :)

        Hey, we all have lives - just NOT the same ones!

        Without gamers we wouldn't get better v-cards for all that 3D rendering that will be coming in the future. Don't knock if you haven?t walked in their shoes. It's easy to criticize but harder to think and look beyond the surface of an issue.

        There are pros and cons to everything. Besides, it's nice to let someone push the "limits". That way you and I can do our thing and benifit from their struggles! :)
        mustang_z
    • Basis for the law suit

      The basis for a class action suit probably relies on an implied warranty of merchantability. The principle of merchantability is that an item being purchased for a specific function or feature can in fact be used that way. It is based on common sense. For example, an electronic shop would probably not be able to convince an average techie that a screwdriver is really a Vista-ready video adaptor.

      The implication works to make the merchant responsible for any claims related to a device's usage. So, if Nvidia was claiming that the video card inside the box could be used with Vista as an adaptor, the implied warranty is enforceable in that way. Nvidia is legally responsible for making the transaction complete, either by finishing the drivers, or refunding purchases for any machinery that sought to use the card in a Vista environment, or offering to pay for an upgrade to Vista after the Vista drivers are completed.

      Threatening a class action might not be the smartest thing to do though. If word gets around that Nvidia cards are not really supported in Vista, that might cause Nvidia some losses in new sales (or partnerships with OEM's); but it might also cause Microsoft a headache because it won't be able to ship Vista in a significant number of machines.

      Better to wait for the real story. It might well be that the release Vista is dramatically different from the last beta candidates, which would necessarily have been the development platform for Nvidia.
      gjsherr
      • How far must NVIDIA go?

        I believe the NVIDIA cards do work with Vista for everyone with the current available drivers, except in some hard core gamers games. Must their drivers be perfect? Must they forsee all issues? I don't think so, but I'm sure they are working to make their drivers better. After all, their v-card market is large. Makes good business sense. Not sure they a legally bond to perfections, however. :)
        mustang_z
    • You Grow up

      If they say it will work and it doesn't, then they need to make it Right, Nvidia and all the other company's had Five years to do it Right and didn't. But, I do Believe Vista is a Joke, This OS should Never Have come out for at least another year, It's all about Money, Don't get me wrong i like Vista but it just is not ready for the consumer, anyway Lets just hope they get all this Crap straight soon, PS My wife is buying me Vista so i get to pull out my hair with the rest of you all. Allmost forgot your Vista fire walls are all off for outgoing just try to turn that on LOL! have a good day
      jake37
    • Hunh?!

      I don't want to, and you can't make me! :)
      mustang_z
  • ATI is no better.

    I hate the fact that I have a Radeon X1900 XTX and that i can only ise teh windows drivers. When I install the "bets" drivers on, it fracks up the system. Well, not the whole system, but I can't see anything clear. It's a shame that these essential drivers haven't been fleshed out completely. Another reason to go Mac.
    Kenster2076
    • have you tried catalyst 7.1?

      see http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/windows_vista_performance_amd_catalyst_7.1/ for benchmarks and details.

      Mac, LOL!
      Joeman57
    • ATI works great in Vista

      Not sure what you base your knowledge on Kenster, but ATI's drivers have been rock solid under Vista since both were in Beta months ago. nVidia rushed their DX10 cards to market so fast, they forgot to take care of all the requirements. ATI will release a DX10 product when DX10 is due, and it will be much more mature than nVidia, as has been the story for the past few years between these companies. nVidia produces some fast cards, but ATI always seems to produce better engineered products in the long run. Evidence is abound everywhere by this too, in projects like the Folding@Home and that ATI can do HDR and FSAA at the same time. nVidia tends to spend their money on game advertisments, not engineering, and it shows.
      Narg
      • From the point of reliability ...

        I have to agree ... ATI drivers have been great under Vista.
        Adrian Kingsley-Hughes