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NVIDIA driver series explained

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mobilenvidia

Been asked quite a bit of late what all these different driver versions mean.

At the moment there are sets getting updated.

195.xx Most likely will be desktop drivers, to introduce DX11 and OpenCL

191.xx Desktop drivers, a continuation of the 190's

190.xx Desktop drivers, a mixture of all sorts of drivers to coincide with release of Windows 7

187.xx Mobile drivers

186.xx Desktop and Mobile drivers

185.xx Desktop drivers

182.xx Mostly Quadro and related OpenCL drivers

181.xx Desktop drivers

180.xx Desktop drivers

179.xx Mobile drivers, there are an Ocean of OEM drivers here

178.xx Desktop drivers but only 1 set so fa, so don't hold me to it.

Drivers still updated

177.xx Desktop drivers

Now gone to 178 Series

176.xx Mobile drivers

Drivers still updated

175.xx Both Mobile and desktop drivers

Last driver back in July

174.xx Both Mobile and desktop drivers

Last driver in June

173.xx Desktop drivers

171.xx Desktop drivers

169.xx Desktop drivers and the 20's are working SLi, gaming improvements and new G9x series GPU's

Last driver in July

167.xx These are Mobile OEM drivers, these look like nVidia send to their OEM's to add support for any new GPU's (ie 8800M GTX)

165.01 These are the original 16x drivers released nearly a year ago, there has always been much confusion with these and lower numbered but newer driver.

These are VERY old driver and any driver above 155+ will be newer, the 165.01 driver can be found at the very end of the 160 series section.

163.xx looks to have been taken over by 169 series same scenario with gaming enhancements.

162.xx looks to have been taken over by 167 series, Notebook OEM drivers.

160.xx Notebook OEM drivers

158.xx Deskop drivers, now taken over by the 160's

156.xx Notebook OEM drivers, now taken over by the 160's, some of these are not too old and might be of interest to non 8x00M GPU's.

101.xx Notebook OEM Drivers, now quite old, and these were to get Vsta support going for OEM's

100.xx Desktop and MS builds for Beta releases of Vista

97.xx these are still used by Microsoft Update for WHQL driver updates (ie when you do a driver search Vista can find these)

Hope this gives a better in site to how nVidia are releasing drivers.

These are just my thoughts and of course there are exceptions to the above.

Feel free to add or comment on the above :)

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anothermike69

Great post. Gives good info and really sets some ground rules for what's what. Thanks, helped me clear up some questions about which driver did what.

One question though, do you recommend 169 series for laptops? Or do you think 167 might be better as it is OEM mobile drivers?

169.28 here and I like em...

Thanks again.

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LSudlow

I was going to raise the same issue. The 167 series was terrible with my FX Go5200, but the 169 series is producing some the finest drivers ever seen for the Inspiron 5150/5160 laptops, including the first working PowerMizer since 71.44.

The 169 series may originally have been intended for desktops, but it's blowing away the 167 series for many laptop users as well.

:)

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whitetigerx7

The 167 series are good if you aren't certain of how the 169 series performs. I use the 169.28s on my laptop without any issues and I have always pointed my INF towards the latest release possible.

The 165.01s were very misleading in fact.

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Darmdorf

Hey Pieter, I'd love to see you sticky the main information from your opening post in the Driver Section, so that everyone can take advantage of this obviously interesting information! How about that.........

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mobilenvidia

I've sticked it here and added 171 and 173 series 1st thoughts

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Darmdorf

Thanks, and bless you sire!! I'm sure lots of our members will feel much more comfortable with that kind of information available. Afterall, Nvidia has seen fit to throw a few smoke grenades our way, and every bit of light helps. :)

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whitetigerx7

The 17x.xx series seems to be mostly SLI drivers for not just desktops but Laptops as well.

The 171s mostly have been aimed at performance issues with SLI while the 173s point more towards quality issues with SLI. The 173s truthfully need to be found and tested. The 171.16s gave some great performance and stability. I'm going to say we'll probably see official drivers in the 175.xx area that combine the best efforts of what the 171 and 173s are addressing.

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Guest Ed_Oscuro

I started to realize that apparently drivers of different "series" were being updated at the same time. It seemed strange (it's certainly confusing) that the driver number wouldn't be a simple progression from lower numbers to higher, but given the different roles nVidia GPUs play it starts to make sense.

So thanks for bringing out this analysis of the different versions; that said it'd be nice if nVidia had an official explanation available :)

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suryad

Wow thanks for this post...it only took me a few days to find this post and get all my questions answered. Once again thanks for posting that really useful information!

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Tex-Twil

Hello,

this answers a lot of mine question but there is still one left. Is this version numbering specific to one OS ? vista ? XP ? same for both ?

Thanks.

regards,

Tex

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LSudlow

Version numbers are the same for both OSs.

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Dox

seems like the 174.xx series are for the desktop Geforce 9 gpu and seems to be experimental for the 5/6/7/8/mobile cards.

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undertoad
Version numbers are the same for both OSs.

I'm confused by this. I generally see any particular driver version only listed under Vista or XP; and I've had a couple of recommendations of versions to use, which turn out to (at least appear to) be Vista drivers, which I can't use with XP 32bit.

Is this just because not every driver version appears here, because of the work involved in munging the INF to make it work? So if someone tells me to use e.g. 174.xx, and I only see that as a Vista driver, that means 174.xx for XP does exist, but isn't here yet?

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®®®
Is this just because not every driver version appears here, because of the work involved in munging the INF to make it work?
No, it has nothing to do with the INF. Those drivers just haven't been released, that#s why we don#t offer them for download or have a dedicated driver thread for them.

If somebody recommends a driver version and it is only for VISTA, then just use a higher version number which comes for XP :)

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JoaoVr

Is there any chance to update this topic?

Thank you

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XtomJames

what about Geforce 7000m series?

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Andrew55

The 7 series were released in tandem with the 101.xx through 158.xx series although better performance is/ may be attainable with newer drivers.

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Scramasax

Got a bit confused here... I got an Aspire 7730 laptop with a GeForce 9600GT card. When I go to the Nvidia site, it advice me to install a 175.19 driver. But from this sticky, it seems that I should look for a 167 or 169 driver? Or is there something I have missed now? Have some really bad experiences with drivers, so I would like to be absolute sure I download the "right" driver this time. No need to be the last thing out, much more important is it that it is stable and reliable.

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Michael Marley

This thread is a little bit outdated, the 177.xx's are not in here yet. I recommend using 177.89.

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Guest ioriyk

Hey guys, right now I have 177.79 driver on compaq presafior f700 with the very crappy nvidia7000m integraded. I had the most success with 177.79, but I havne't tried the 160's yet.

I'm basically asking for which driver is the best for nvidia 7000m??? I know it sucks for gaming and everything, but I'd like to astleast have the best working driver on it.

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Patricko

Hey there guys.

Anyone know when will be drivers for GF 9650M GT?

Because I was trying to find something on laptopvideo2go, but I didnt find anything.

If someone could help me it would be really nice :)

Cheers :)

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Guest Guest

I have tested some drivers here and i have the problem that my 8600M always downclock when i play pes2009. Which driver should i use? I have the same downclock when i take the dell one. I have a dell inspiron 1720. Perhaps a problem about the game?

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Guest rumbero

hi folks, i'm using WinXPproSP3 on a Samsung R510 notebook with NVidia GeForce 9200m GS (512 MB). i downloaded the latest graphics chipset driver. the problem: the os doesn't recognize OTF-fonts. doubleclicking an otf font file i get an error message. programs which use otf-fonts for their program specific purposes come up with error messages as well. everything seems to indicate, that the mentioned problems result from incompatibilities between "something in XP" and the graphics driver. btw: its the same under SP2, i tried to resolve it installing SP3 but the problem persisted.

maybe anybody here could recommend me a specific driver i could check out, to see if it resolves the otf-font-problem.

Thanx so far

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Guest MaKe

Good news. Nvidia has identified the problem and provided a fix. The way it was explained to me, Windows expects the device driver to be a certain size (maximum). In this case, the nvidia driver is slightly larger than expected. A simply registry entry will resolve the issue in WinXP (the issue doesn't occur in Vista).

To resolve the problem, do the following:

Open the registry editor (regedit)

Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management

Add a new REG_DWORD entry called SessionImageSize with a value (decimal) of 20

Reboot

The Type 1 fonts should now open/install without any problems.

Greets

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