Well starting today, if you have a GeForce 8-series or 9-series or Quadro NVS-based notebook you can access beta drivers from nvidia.com directly, by passing the bureaucracy of hardware vendors. Could this be the first step required to notebook-based gaming finally on par with the desktop experience?
SANTA CLARA, CA—DECEMBER 18, 2008—Users with notebooks equipped with NVIDIA® graphics processing units (GPUs) now have the added flexibility of downloading upgradeable graphics drivers directly from NVIDIA.com so they can immediately take advantage of new features, improved application compatibility, and performance optimizations. The first graphics driver release from NVIDIA will extend the NVIDIA CUDA™ architecture to notebook GPUs, enabling the growing number of consumers moving to a notebook-only lifestyle to immediately experience the wide range of CUDA-based applications—from heart-stopping GPU-accelerated game physics to GPU-accelerated video conversion.
“Epic and NVIDIA invest an incredible amount of time and energy into ensuring that customers get an amazing experience with our software out-of-the-box,” said Mark Rein, vice president of Epic Games. “The only way to ensure that this value-add is realized by customers is for them to have access to timely driver updates. I congratulate NVIDIA for being the first to offer their customers a choice for notebook driver updates.”
“NVIDIA is committed to giving the rapidly growing number of customers using notebook GPUs the same performance optimizations and innovative graphics features that desktop customers have grown accustomed to,” said Dwight Diercks, vice president of software engineering at NVIDIA. “To accomplish this, we have worked diligently over the past year to modularize our driver architecture and develop a unified driver install package that will not only work with notebooks from all manufacturers but also maintain all of their specific model customizations such as hotkeys and suspend and resume functionality.”
GPUs have long been essential platforms for rendering real-time images to computer screens, but software developers and system manufacturers have recently begun using their parallel processing power to deliver a new level of performance for a variety of visual computing applications. The new NVIDIA notebook drivers enable customers to experience the growing number of applications that use the power of NVIDIA GPUs. Video applications such as Badaboom from Elemental Technologies, Power Director 7 from Cyberlink, TMPGEnc from Pegasys Software, and TotalMedia Theaterfrom Arcsoft are all seeing significant performance benefits by transferring the workload from the CPU to the more efficient GPU. Distributing computing applications such as Folding@home, Einstein@home, GPUGRID and SETI@home have also seen performance improve by orders of magnitude through NVIDIA CUDA technology. Recently Adobe Creative Suite 4 became the latest application to speed up performance and enhance features by moving processing to the GPU.
With NVIDIA PhysX™ technology, GeForce® GPUs bring games to life with explosions full of dust and debris, characters that move with lifelike motion, or cloth that drapes and tears naturally. PhysX technology harnesses the power of NVIDIA GeForce 8 Series or higher GPUs, allowing games to deliver 10-20 times more visual complexity on screen. NVIDIA PhysX technology is the development platform of industry leading publishers such as Electronic Arts (EA) and 2K Games and is the physics engine in the blockbuster title Mirror’s Edge from EA.
Starting today, customers with GeForce® 8 and 9-series GPUs or Quadro NVS-equipped notebooks can download a BETA version of the drivers from www.nvidia.com. Customers will be able to download a WHQL-certified version supporting all GeForce 7, 8, and 9 series and Quadro NVS series notebook GPUs early next year.