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New Video Drivers and Software

Discussion in 'Techie Discussion' started by Jonty, Mar 12, 2005.

  1. Jonty

    Jonty Fledgling Freddie

    Hi guys

    nVidia

    Forgive the new thread for this, but nVidia have official released ForceWare 71.84, complete with lots of worthwhile improvements over the 66.93 drivers. Most notably amongst the improvements is full SLI support for over 60 games and the ability to tweak it for non-supported games too (hurray for Danya :D). There are still a fair few open issues, but various improvements have been made, as noted in the release notes. The drivers are perhaps more orientated towards improving nVidia's latest cards, but should be worth getting for all users (expect modified versions soon :)).

    ATI

    Also note that ATI have recently released their March update for their Catalyst 5.3 driver suite. Not only do these come with various fixes but also with various new features:

    • OpenGL 2.0 Support
      CATALYST 5.3 introduces OpenGL version 2.0 support. This version of OpenGL will be in line with the latest GL ARB approved specifications. New to this specification are GLSL, non-power-of-two-textures, separate stencil, multiple render targets, and point sprites (apparently :D).
    • OVERDRIVE 4
      CATALYST 5.3 introduces the latest version of OVERDRIVE which includes a new 3D test and extra safety checks to ensure the best over-clocking experience - allowing manual over-clocking of both engine and memory while keeping the user's graphics card safe from any of the dangers associated with conventional over clocking utilities.
    • eRecord
      CATALYST 5.3 introduces a new feature named eRecord. This is the first error logging system used by the ATI RAEDON Software driver. The eRecord feature provides a mechanism for software components to output error messages. A new Systems Messages (Event Viewer) menu has been added to the CATALYST Control Center system tray. This launches the Event Viewer, providing a mechanism for users to view the error messages.
    • Windows XP Media Center Edition Display Control Panel Extension
      CATALYST 5.3 introduces enhanced capabilities of the display panel through a Windows Media Center Edition look-alike control panel. The control panel includes various fancy options.
    Kind Regards
     
  2. Jonty

    Jonty Fledgling Freddie

    Hi guys

    Just thought I'd post that Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0.2 has been released (there was no 1.0.1). It's primarily a security and stability update, so expect no new features.

    Mozilla Firefox 1.0.2 will be out soon, again with security updates, and is currently in the release candidate stage.

    Kind Regards
     
  3. xane

    xane Fledgling Freddie

    I normally just stick with Windows Update to provide me with drivers (for ATi now), is there any reason I should deviate from this ?
     
  4. Tom

    Tom FH is my second home

    So with my 6800GT, will upgrading to these drivers make stuff faster, or will it crash my computer?
     
  5. Embattle

    Embattle Part of the furniture

    The ones from Windows update are often older, basically these have better support for certain games, they are faster and have some extra features.
     
  6. Gray

    Gray Part of the furniture

    Ive been using the 71.84 Drivers for a few weeks now, although, with my system crashes being frequent i dont know, although i emailed Kingston and they seem to think there may be a "mismatch on the memory modules" which could be causing the system instability.

    I also emailed BFG, they mentioned there was a problem (Well not a problem, more an inaccuracy) where the Drivers are stating the Graphics Card is running much hotter than it actually is. One they hope to fix in the next update/s
     
  7. Cask

    Cask Fledgling Freddie

    Either that or they send you a fire extinguisher.
     
  8. Jonty

    Jonty Fledgling Freddie

    Hi guys

    Xane, as Embattle rightly said, grabbing the latest drivers from your manufacturer is often a better bet than waiting for WindowsUpdate. Both ATI and nVidia have so-called unified driver packages which means there's no hassle in having to choose the right drivers as there is only one set for all their graphics cards* (*not quite true, but for most intents and purposes).

    Tom, the latest 7x.xx drivers should be fine. There were months of betas beforehand and the drivers are Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL) tested which further ensures stability and compatibility.

    Kind Regards
     
  9. Jonty

    Jonty Fledgling Freddie

    Hi guys

    Seems it's the season for updates. Mozilla Firefox 1.0.2 has been released, which like Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0.2 contains mostly security updates and no new features.

    Also, Opera 8 is due for immanent release. Although this browser, mail client, IRC client, RSS reader and much more contains adverts unless you buy it, it has proven itself to be far more innovative (Firefox's third-party extentions withstanding) and have a more prolific development cycle than Firefox of late (Opera 8 has gone through countless public and internal betas with some advanced new features being created). If you can get past the cost/adverts, it's certainly worth a 3.7MB download considering all you get.

    Kind Regards
     
  10. Jonty

    Jonty Fledgling Freddie

    Hi guys

    nVidia has released Forceware 71.89 for their range of graphics cards. Although it's a fairly minor upgrade, users are recommended to upgrade as per usual (although at 19.4MB I'm guessing if your current setup is faultless the update could wait :)).

    Kind Regards
     
  11. Jonty

    Jonty Fledgling Freddie

    Hi guys

    Mozilla Firefox 1.0.3 has come out of release candidate testing and is officially available to download. As with 1.0.1 and 1.0.2, the primary focus is plug security problems and, in this release, to slightly improve the update process. Mozilla Suite 1.7.7 has also been released offering similar patches.

    Kind Regards

    Jonty

    P.S. For the gamblers amongst you, the National Lottery website now works with Firefox and other non-IE browsers. This was previously known to be one of the larger sites on the net which still insisted on requiring IE (and/or Netscape 7, although not other Mozilla-based browsers for some reason).
     
  12. JingleBells

    JingleBells FH is my second home

    The national lottery site insisted, but did not require firefox :)
    If you have the User Agent Switcher extension for firefox, all you needed to do was set the user agent to IE and the site would work :)
     
  13. Danya

    Danya Fledgling Freddie

    Still no wow+sli fix. :(
    It is fixable as they've fixed it in the leaked 76.44 drivers. Sadly they have severe stability issues (after being installed 24 hours they lock the machine within minutes of boot, a reinstall fixes).
     
  14. Jonty

    Jonty Fledgling Freddie

    Thanks for the heads up, Danya. Here's hoping nVidia continue to release driver updates to fix these problems, perhaps even matching ATI's monthly system (which I'm guessing they could do given the vast array of (usually stable) betas which floated about between the last 60-series release and the first 70-series release).

    Kind Regards
     
  15. Jonty

    Jonty Fledgling Freddie

    Hi guys

    Opera 8 has officially been released after I don't know how long in development. Opera 8 is basically a suite of utilities including a web browser, email client, RSS/ATOM news reader, IRC chat client and much more besides. Opera is premised around simplicty, speed and security with a wealth of integrated features, including the first major browser to support voice commands and SVG (think Macromedia Flash only more sophisticated, but as yet not very commonly used).

    The catch? There are is one banner advert on the standard package which is only removable by purchasing it. Is it worth it? Opera has certainly been far more productive and innovative than Mozilla and IE in the past months, but it really depends on whether you'd use all of Opera's features (although for ~£10-20 it's not too expensive). Anyway, at only 3.6MB it's certainbly a light download :)

    The official site is presently being hammered under the load, but hopefully it should be fully functional again soon.

    Kind Regards

    Jonty

    P.S. I pimp this only because I have a good friend who beta tests for Opera and they don't get as much praise in the news as they probably should :)
     
  16. Jonty

    Jonty Fledgling Freddie

    Hi guys

    Mozilla Firefox 1.04 has been officially released (no British English builds as yet). As with all the other 1.0x builds, this is a security update, but this time to fix two 'extremely critical' vulnerabilities identified, the first of their kind to be found in Firefox. As usual, you are strongly recommended to update your copy of Firefox.

    Version 1.1, the next milestone release, will feature the next round of updates, including 'blazingingly fast' back/forward of pages (now cached), native SVG support (like Flash only based on web standards) and various other nice features.

    Kind Regards
     
  17. Jonty

    Jonty Fledgling Freddie

    Hi guys

    May's ATI Catalyst Display Drivers (5.5) have been officially released. Firingsquad details the changes ...

    Issues fixed for CATALYST Windows 32-bit edition

    • 3DMark05: Running the application under Windows XP for extended periods of time no longer results in the operating system failing to respond when using an ATI RADEON™ X700 PRO
    • Ashli Viewer sample Wood: Display corruption is no longer noticed when Anisotropic Filtering set to 4x or above
    • AshliViewer v1.6.0: Running the application under Windows 2000 and launching a sample item found in the Programs & Shaders no longer results in corruption being displayed in the sample item
    • City of Heroes: Playing the game under Windows XP with an ATI RADEON™ Xpress 200 series installed no longer results in the characters in the game appearing corrupted
    • Freedom force VS The 3rd Reich: Playing the game under Windows XP with an ATI RADEON™ 8500 installed no longer results in the super hero character attributes appearing blank
    • Imperial Glory Demo: Playing the game under Windows XP with an ATI RADEON™ X800 installed no longer results in the game failing to respond
    • Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 2: Setting the graphic option in the CATALYST™ CONTROL CENTER to Optimal Quality, followed by launching the game and setting the resolution option to 1600x1200, no longer results in a performance drop being noticed
    • Star Wars Knights of the old republic: Loading the Dantooine level of the game under Windows XP no longer results in slow game performance
    • Setting the desktop display to 800x600 or 1600x1200 16/32bpp no longer results in the incorrect display resolution information being provided when checking the video control panel in the CATALYST™ CONTROL CENTER
    • Setting the display device to 1080i no longer results in the text on the custom format being illegible
    • Setting a customized resolution for 720p now works properly when maintaining the aspect ratio
    • Moving the TV to desktop2 and selecting swap device or double up no longer results in the CRT being in panning mode and display corruption being seen on the TV
    • Having a TV connected as the only display device and clicking the OK button in the ATI displays tab found in the Advanced section of the Display Properties results in a flash of the TV image being noticed
    • Connecting and enabling an HDTV and entering the properties page for the HDTV no longer results in the D3/D4 options being available in the D-Connector Control Panel
    • The occasional Windows error messages no longer occurs when booting into extended desktop under Windows XP when using an ATI RADEON™ X300 or X600
    • Corruption is no longer seen when connecting a secondary display device and moving the primary display device to the left of the secondary device, followed by disconnecting the primary display device and then reconnecting it
    • Previewing or launching the aquarium screen saver under Windows XP Media Center Edition no longer results in the operating system failing to respond
    • RF online game compatibility issue with all ATI RADEON™ series
    • Launching the CATALYST™ CONTROL CENTER help files from the Start->All Programs->CATALYST™ CONTROL CENTER now results in the localized version of the help file being displayed
    • CATALYST™ CONTROL CENTER: Running the French custom install no longer results in a NewFeature1 component being listed
    • The link found in the second and third help page for the Change Desktop Settings found in the Japanese version of the CATALYST™ CONTROL CENTER no longer cross-references to an incorrect help page
    • A black screen is no longer displayed when launching AMCap and attempting to view video from the tuner when using either the S-video or composite inputs
    • Display corruption is no longer noticed on the TV when setting the TV format to PAL-B and attempting to adjust the flicker removal in the TV Advanced option
    • Having a TV and CRT connected and clicking on Preview Automatic adjustment in the Optimize Media Center no longer results in both display devices displaying a black screen
    Issues fixed for the CATALYST Windows 64-bit edition

    • All four display devices are now shown on the Display Properties page under Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
    • Blink.exe running the application in stress mode over an extended period of time under Windows XP Professional x64 Edition no longer results in a bugcheck in ati2mtag.sys
    • The ATI Desktop Help window is no longer displayed when rebooting the system after the ATI display driver installation for the ATI RADEON X300 or X600 series under Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
    • Installing the display driver on an AMD Opteron or Athlon64 running Windows XP Professional x64 Edition no longer results in the TV support not appearing in the Display Page of the control panel
    Kind Regards
     
  18. Jonty

    Jonty Fledgling Freddie

    Hi guys

    For those interested (I know of at least one person :)) Netscape 8 has been officially released.

    Based primarily on Firefox 1.0.3 it adds its own unique features, some of which are available to Firefox as extensions, others of which are unique. What is interesting is that Netscape 8 can switch between the Internet Explorer rendering engine for trusted sites which require IE for maximum compatibility, and utilise the Gecko rendering engine for other sites, potentially quite useful :) It also has other fancy security and content features which users may like.

    Kind Regards
     
  19. Jonty

    Jonty Fledgling Freddie

    Hi guys

    This month's Catalyst drivers are out, now up to v5.6. This month's updates offer bug fixes and performance upgrades, notably in Doom 3, Riddick, Halo and 3D Mark '05. Make sure you get the right release because as well as the Catalyst Control Centre and 'traditional' versions, there is no a 'Mobility' option for those few with a x700 or x800 Mobility Radeon card (although this seems somewhat of a gimmick given that you have long been able to patch ATI's normal drivers to work with Mobility Radeons).

    Kind Regards
     
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  20. Jonty

    Jonty Fledgling Freddie

    Hi guys

    In what is undoubtedly an embarrassing move, the Mozilla Foundation have just released Firefox 1.0.6 and Thunderbird 1.0.6. It turns out that the 1.0.5 releases were flawed, despite the time spent in testing, so all users are encouraged to upgrade. Hopefully version 1.1 of both products will bring improvements in the way the program updates, thus hopefully preventing us all from having to download the entire install file every time.

    Also ATI Catalyst 5.7 display drivers were released a few days back, with nVidia Forceware 77.76 expected today or very soon, bringing with them a few improvements for SLI users.

    Kind Regards
     
  21. Jonty

    Jonty Fledgling Freddie

    Hi guys

    ATI Catalyst 5.8 Drivers have been released, fixing various problems. This may well be one of the last releases before the control panel is dumped and a revised .NET Catalyst Control Centre used for all its drivers.

    nVidia Forceware 77.77 Drivers were also released last week, although this is of lesser importance unless you own a GeForce 7 series card (stand up TdC :D) or are running an SLI machine (go Danya :D).

    Kind Regards
     
  22. TdC

    TdC Trem's hunky sex love muffin Staff member Moderator

    or own a GF7 in sli! soooo close! sooooo close my pretties! sooooon you will be mine!!! :eek7:
     
  23. Danya

    Danya Fledgling Freddie

    Already running 77.76, nothing changed for me in 77.77. Hopefully a new set will come out soon as 77.76 are a little unstable compared to the previous version I was running.
     
  24. Mazling

    Mazling Fledgling Freddie

    Just so you all know, catalyst control center is still cack. It is slow, ugly, and half the info doesn't fit in the dialog boxes. Why get rid of desktop properties panel, why ...
     
  25. Jonty

    Jonty Fledgling Freddie

    My apologies, Danya, I thought more had changed :) I believe the next major revision will be the 80 series drivers which are destined to support multi-threaded CPUs and a few other major enhancements.

    As for the Catalyst Control Centre, Mazling, I agree that at present it's far from great. ATI do however believe the revised CCC shows promise, especially because it's supposedly more 'friendly' than the control panel and is less 'bulky' than previous CCC versions. To keep things simple they're going to go with just that one option in the future. No doubt a modified control panel version will be made available by third-parties, though, so I wouldn't worry too much.

    Kind Regards
     
  26. Danya

    Danya Fledgling Freddie

    Be nice if they made SLI work with multiple monitors TBH. :p
     
  27. Jonty

    Jonty Fledgling Freddie

    Rumour has it that the 80 series Forceware drivers will add a great many new features, including "seamless SLI switching", support for more than two cards/cores, independent overclocking support for each card, and SLI working on cards different vendors. That sounds like an awful lot for a driver upgrade, especially when SLI2 has been rumoured, but if they can pull all that off then maybe we'll get multiple monitor support thrown in too :)

    Kind Regards
     
  28. Danya

    Danya Fledgling Freddie

    Bump!
    Forceware 81.84 are up on nzone. Just installed them and they do allow sli to be switched on the fly along with many other features. :)
     

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