Holy Crap, Nvidia's Vista drivers really do suck

Wow, I went from an ATI to an Nvidia 8800 in my Vista machine this weekend. It’s not even been 12 hours and what a disaster. ATI’s drivers were rock solid and flawless. Nvidia’s can’t do anything right. My BeyondTV PVR shows a black screen and is unusable. SupCom can’t go 15 minutes without the video card crashing. Etc, etc.

I’ve tried the official (Feb. 20) drivers, as well as the beta drivers, and no difference whatsoever. It’s an awesome board when it works, my benchmark scores are sky high, but I can’t believe Nvidia has fumbled this so badly. Vista was in beta for years, and it’s been gold since early November. In other words, we’re coming up on six months since Vista went official and these drivers are nowhere close to ready.

The contrast between ATI and Nvidia is so black and white right now. Things I liked about the ATI drivers (aside from the fact that they worked) was how ATI handles driver updates. Remember the old hassle of uninstalling previous drivers to install new ones? ATI’s Vista drivers are just damn slick. It recongizes when you’re updating drivers and there are options to let it handle the updating process. It’s so well done and seamless that it should be the standard. Nvidia’s Vista drivers? It’s the same old dready task of uninstall, reboot, install, reboot.

What happened to Nvidia’s drivers team? They were once the gold standard, but they’re getting totally lapped right now by ATI.

I don’t know, but it does make things diificult for end-users. Buy the fastest video card with decent power requirements (right now), but terrible drivers and horrid support? Or the vacuum cleaner, nuclear reactor with good drivers and great support?

Oddly, I have the exact opposite of your problem.

Then again, I don’t have Vista on my main machine yet

Woolen, Beyond TV Link, and SupCom issues were exactly the two straws that broke the camel’s back for me. Back to XP for now. I was also generally disappointed in gaming perfomance dropoff in Vista across the board compared to XP. I would have lived with it if not for the constant little nagging problems in those, and a few other apps. The 8800GTX is too good of a card to cripple it with the Vista/Nvidia driver team-up.

The 8800 is the first brand new from-scratch NVIDIA architecture in 5+ years, and that’s why the drivers are all new. Still doesn’t explain why they couldn’t have gotten their act together on Vista by now, but for what it’s worth.

Personally, I’m glad the 8800 series drivers suck on Vista. That’s saving me $300+ bucks right now.

I think I’ll wait until May and see what ATI has up their sleeve. I wonder if we’ll have the same driver problems, if the ATI card is also a completely new architecture and thus needs new, totally different drivers?

Yeah, It’s disappointing, but unsurprising. Personally, I find the 8800’s DX9 performance more compelling than Vista’s new features, but I hope Nvidia’s March driver release (if they stick to schedule) provides some decent improvements. I’m not that optimistic, as the Beta drivers released earlier in the month don’t fix any of my pet problems.

I’m doing okay. I had one initial bug that’s been seen by a lot of folks–the 8800 drivers disabled the Vista control panel–but when I emailed them about it, they linked me to a beta driver that’s currently not in general release. It’s been rock-solid. Complain, and you might get access too.

One reason why I have stuck with XP for my primary machine and just put my 8800GTX in my old machine until these drivers mature a bit. Hopefully are right about the March release. The point about the ATI and their drivers being written to old architecture is a good one that I don’t see many places. And the X2800XTX or whatever will be a great test to see if the companies have swapped places on who has the most reliable drivers.

Actually now that I think about it, there is one thing that has been a pain with ATI drivers, and that is shadow rendering and shadow performance. Battlefront has already pre-warned people the smoke/dust in Combat Mission 2 won’t look right on ATI hardware with FSAA enabled.

Have you gotten any of the “nvldmkm has stopped responding” errors? That plagues the hell out of me.

I even swapped my 8800 out and put my 6800 in and still get the same problems.

Stop using Vista.

It’s true Vista will be a somewhat painful experience for gamers who have chosen the NVIDIA route.

But it’s irrational to blame MS for this. The blame lies squarely on NVIDIA’s shoudlers.

Thank God my home machine is ATI, or I’d be a hurtin’ pup.

working fine on my 8800 GTS. Cant do 4x antialiasing in COD2, otherwise, it r0xx0rz.

It just hit me while I was testing out Rise of Nations. Come on, Nvidia, this is hardly a envelope-pushing game here.

nVidia Vista drivers are pretty sour for both DX9 (6x00 and 7x00 cards) as well as the 8x00 DirectX 10 cards. In both cases, my WoW frame rate has been reduced by 2/3rds, and some games that were glassy smooth are chopfests (SupCom, Rise of Legends, and Titan Quest). Popped in an old Radeon X850XT PE, and it was like night and day – frame rates DOUBLED, and this is on a last-gen card!

I’m very happy people are upgrading to Vista already. It’s those people who are smoothing the way for my upgrade in at least 12 to 18 more months.

Personally, I’d NEVER EVER upgrade to a new Microsoft OS any less than 15 months after its first release. But THANK GOD NOT EVERYONE FEELS THIS WAY. Otherwise, the bugs would never get fixed!

When I think back… I do believe I waited about a year before upgrading to Win XP. I think I may be forced to do the same this time around.

Yup, I’m waiting too.

Maybe I’ll upgrade for Halo 2… if Nvidia has decent drivers out by then.

So Vista is the PS3 of operating systems?