Saturday, August 29, 2009

186.82 - So far, the best...

Well, yesterday was fairly eventful in the M17x realm. We had a 186.81 driver release direct from NVIDIA. 186.81 installed without issues and was quite stable from a 2D perspective. HybridSLI was functional as well. After finally being able to get in-game and test this release I found what a lot of people had also reported... horrible performance. I encountered quite a bit of stuttering in Valve Source Engine based games. This killed it for me.

Shortly after the 186.81 driver was released, LV2Go posted a news post confirming that 186.82 had been located on the Windows Update site. I have always disregarded Windows Update GPU drivers in the past as I have typically found they were more of a compatibility driver than a performance driver. Not this time...

This evening I finally had a chance to download the 186.82 from LV2Go. As with 186.81, typical everyday tasks were quite stable with no issues. Temps were well within the normal M17x range (ice cold) ;). HybridSLI also had no issues and for the first time, pulling out the AC adapter automatically placed me into Save Power Mode. No more manual switching when going on DC power. Another plus! In-game performance was right on the money and I did not encounter any stuttering as I did before with 186.81.

I also cannot confirm this but the 'wake to a black screen issue' seems to be gone. This may have had something to do with the updates Dell posted (A02 BIOS and OSD update). It doesn't really matter I guess - as long as its fixed. :)

If you haven't already given 186.82 a test drive, I encourage you to do so. Download links appear below.

From -

Vista 32-bit

Vista 64-bit

NOTE: You will need to run the executable to extract it. Once the driver is extracted, look inside the directory for the 'Additional INFs' .zip archive. Extract this and copy/paste the 'nv_whql.inf' into the top level of the 186.82 directory. Once this is done, run the setup.exe app to install. This is required for the driver to recognize the hardware in the M17x. The default INF (nvfu.inf) does not support the M17x GPUs.