When a GPU is released it is followed by numerous driver updates that add new features and/or solve issues. Thanks to nVidia Unified Driver Architechture you are able to use the latest driver to date on some REALLY old GPUs. Using a little trick I can use the latest 91.33 on my really really old TNT2 Ultra or Geforce DDR.
Being an adept of the cult of "Don't fix if it ain't broke"... I tend to keep drivers that work for a while. Unless I run into an issue or a new major feature is released, I keep my good old drivers. On my desktop Geforce 4 upgrading to 60+ drivers broke the special TV mode I was using. So I kept the 50+ driver on my HTPC for a long time.
Is it wise to download a 50Mb driver made for the recent 7900 GTX in SLI when your laptop has a Geforce 2 Go (equivalent to a Geforce SDR)?
2) Optimal drivers per GPU family
Keep in mind the following points:
- The recommended drivers are for Windows 2000/XP 32 bits. The general guidelines can be applied on Windows 98 SE.
- If your OEM has an official driver supporting your GPU, you want to use this driver first. The main reason this driver is the most likely to fully support your hardware. (TV-out, Powermizer,...)
- The GPU families are WIDE. For instance the 7800 GTX is supported since driver 77.72 while the 7900 GTX requires at least the driver 84.63. (check the specifications table below for minimum driver required)
3) Last solved issues by GPU family
In order to chose the "optimal" driver for each GPU family, I needed a list of the lastest issues solved for each desktop GPU family. You see that Geforce 1, 2, 3 and 4 haven't recieved a lot of issues fixing in a long while.
4) Drivers feature history
I also listed the new features for each official driver.
5) Mobile GPU specifications
The last thing that is useful when comparing GPUs is a list of their major features.
ps: I'll update this thread soon... Real life keeps calling me.
Edited by sn0wl, 02 April 2008 - 05:08 AM.