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NVIDIA on an Impulse

NVIDIA and Stardock announce plans for a special NVIDIA-branded version of Impulse, Stardock's "digital download platform." The NVIDIA version of Impulse will offer the online marketplace and other functions of Impulse, along with the ability to automatically detect and update drivers for NVIDIA graphics cards, and they quote Stardock's Brad Wardell saying: "The single biggest issue preventing PC gamers today from having an optimal experience is a failure to update their video card drivers." We're not sure about that, but we are surprised an auto-update function hasn't been part of normal graphics drivers for years now, even if driver updates are not quite as complicated as the CEO and president of Stardock would have us believe: "For many users, updating video drivers has been a complicated and sometimes confusing experience."

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23 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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23. Re: NVIDIA on an Impulse Sep 2, 2009, 12:12 Dev
 
theyarecomingforyou:

Who said that was my only ATI card? I said it was the last one in my main machine. And I've played around with more recent ATI cards and still nothing was changed (for me). I'm not going to get one for my main machine until I see it working well enough on others.

Also, for a long time ATI and nvidia have been fairly close in performance. Typically one will release a new line of cards, grab the performance title by a few percent, then the next one will one up the first and the title will trade.
In general the price/performance ratio has not been radically differant between them.
But of course, if ATI had a card that was $50 that performed better than nvidia's $300 card, then yes, I'd consider ATI again. Or I'd just wait until the next gen of cards came out and it all changed up.
 
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22. Re: NVIDIA on an Impulse Sep 2, 2009, 07:26 Prez
 
I usually alternate from one to the other with each update. (Not intentional; it just seems to work that way) But this time I went from an Nvidia to another Nvidia, an 8800GS to an over-clocked Geforce 260. I was all ready to buy a 4870 until I saw the free Batman Arkham Asylum game with Nvidia cards.  
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21. Re: NVIDIA on an Impulse Sep 2, 2009, 06:44 The PC Warrior
 
I had an ATI card around the time Doom 3 came out

That's fine but just as long as you realize ATI's drivers have been fine for years. Both companies have their share of bugs these days but both are also pretty good about faster releases to fix them now. ATI also forced Nvidia to compete on price for a change, otherwise we'd all still be paying $300+ for our videocards. Brand loyalty is a very stupid thing for consumers. ATI or Nvidia, AMD or Intel, you should always buy the best bang for the buck.

This comment was edited on Sep 2, 2009, 06:45.
 
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20. Re: NVIDIA on an Impulse Sep 2, 2009, 03:13 StingingVelvet
 
I have to agree with those speaking badly of ATI drivers. I had an ATI card around the time Doom 3 came out, and the driver support was just terrible. I have been nVidia ever since and have been very satisfied with the driver support, though you usually have to wait a few versions before updating.

I am sure ATI has had better moments since those days, but when I am satisfied with nVidia, why should I bother testing to find out? Plus nVidia seems to have better performing cards recently, and Physx, and nHancer, which honestly I can't live without at this point.

As for auto-updates, it's a stupid idea. Keep pretty much all automated changes to my PC away from me, thanks. A ton of driver releases have broken old games in a myriad of ways... there was one not long ago that broke Half-Life 2 for god's sake, and the most current nVidia drivers break forced AA in quite a few games.
 
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19. Re: NVIDIA on an Impulse Sep 1, 2009, 23:24 theyarecomingforyou
 
Me, my personal experiance has been that I'll never ever get an ATI card again.
That's a very extreme reaction. Does that mean you really have no interest in price:performance ratio? And are you really basing your current position on a graphics card you had 9 years ago? That's an absolutely retarded stance. ATi have had solid drivers since the 9xxx series. Before that they weren't very good as even installing drivers back then was hit and miss - the number of times I had a bluescreen installing the reference drivers (both ATi and nVidia) was obscene. I'm so glad that the days of Win9x are behind us and soon XP as well - XP was a piece of shit when you look back at it, as I've only managed a handful of bluescreens on Vista versus the hundreds on XP.
 
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18. Re: NVIDIA on an Impulse Sep 1, 2009, 23:03 Creston
 
Oh Goody, I can have my desktop icon layout fucked up automatically, instead of waiting for the MS WHQL-certified fiasco!
(They must have a different idea of 'Quality' driver installs to me)

What would be so damned hard about saving the desktop layout and restoring it after a driver update?


It's weird, I used to have that problem, and then it went away one day, and hasn't returned. I still have no idea what the problem was...

Edit : I dunno why MS makes some of these neat tweaks and programs so hard to get.

So they can charge you for it.

Creston

This comment was edited on Sep 1, 2009, 23:04.
 
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17. Re: NVIDIA on an Impulse Sep 1, 2009, 20:41 Geico Caveman
 
"For many users, updating video drivers has been a complicated and sometimes confusing experience."

In my experience, that is because nearly as often as you get performance gains, you get performance losses. I find driver releases focus on the latest model, sometimes at the expense of the previous generation.

Well then do what I do - always have the latest model. Problem solved.
 
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16. Re: NVIDIA on an Impulse Sep 1, 2009, 20:28 Dev
 
UnderLord:
Yeah I know!
But I found a secret weapon not too long ago. There's this icon restore dll thing that MS released:
http://users.rcn.com/taylotr/icon_restore.html
Basically its the layout.dll file that adds a right click option to My Computer icon that saves and restores icon file layout. Good for driver upgrades, and the random game crash that screws your screen resolution and messes up icon order.
That guy in the link made an install for it, or you can hunt down the "Windows NT Resource Kit" from MS and find that one particular dll and add in the registry entries.

I dunno why MS makes some of these neat tweaks and programs so hard to get.

DG:
I've tried others since then and they haven't impressed me enough to use them. Like the ATI control center thing, OMG I had so much trouble getting that installed onto one computer, then trying to uninstall it so I could reinstall it so it might have a chance to work.
Plus it needed several MS things installed at the time (I think .net framework and updates) and since they weren't installed it failed, but it didn't bother to check for the presense of them in the installer so it failed in running, but claimed to install fine.

Its kinda like hard drive stories. Everyone has stories of experiances (some personal some anecdotal from other people) that steer them clear or towards a brand. Me, my personal experiance has been that I'll never ever get an ATI card again.

As long as there continues to be competition in the marketplace, then I'm happy that we have choices on what to use.

Oh and I beg to differ about driver quality.

Creative drivers sucked then and they still suck to this day. I've used lots of generations of creative cards, and aside from a brief alternative of nvidia's nforce soundstorm (WHY did they stop doing sound??) that was far superior, there's really nothing to compete with creative aside from the generally inferior onboard sound.
Ironically it took creative something like 7 years after soundstorm to finally add in a realtime dolby digital 5.1 surround sound encoding feature that soundstorm had way back when.
Currently I'm using x-fi platinum and I'm afraid to upgrade to creatives new "unified" drivers, I've read nasty things about them, and who knows what features will be disabled that I currently enjoy.

You are right about the 1996 thing though, which puzzled me. Because I remember using a geforce and the ultra tnt 2 before getting that card. Turns out it was an all in wonder RADEON, which was circa 2000.

This comment was edited on Sep 1, 2009, 20:53.
 
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15. Re: NVIDIA on an Impulse Sep 1, 2009, 20:26 DG
 
Dev, driver quality from 1996 doesn't bear any resemblance to today. Nvidia didn't even get their first "real" card out until the year after that.

This comment was edited on Sep 1, 2009, 20:27.
 
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14. Re: NVIDIA on an Impulse Sep 1, 2009, 20:22 DG
 
4850 user here, never had a problem with the driver, nor did I when I had the 9800Pro (so far I've had 2 ATI cards and 0 driver problems).

I have had plenty problems with Nvidia drivers, from Nvidia disabling DVD playback because I was using a non-Macrovision chip (which even Macrovision complained about) which meant I had to use one driver which was necessary for games I was playing at the time, and another for DVD playback. Then similar scenario of one driver for the Far Cry beta and then another for playing ET.

Not that I'm saying ATI are better than Nvidia. Taking another perspective I could say that every card I had prior to the 9800pro had driver issues, while every card from 9800pro onwards I've not had any (not counting both of them having appalling control centres) and it just so happens that's two good experiences with ATI to one good experience with Nvidia.
 
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13. Re: NVIDIA on an Impulse Sep 1, 2009, 20:22 Dev
 
Flatline:

The one that was called "All in Wonder"
The one at the bottom of this list:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_In_Wonder

Edit:
My bad it was all in wonder RADEON

This comment was edited on Sep 1, 2009, 20:52.
 
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12. Re: NVIDIA on an Impulse Sep 1, 2009, 19:54 UnderLord
 
Oh Goody, I can have my desktop icon layout fucked up automatically, instead of waiting for the MS WHQL-certified fiasco!
(They must have a different idea of 'Quality' driver installs to me)

What would be so damned hard about saving the desktop layout and restoring it after a driver update?
 
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11. Re: NVIDIA on an Impulse Sep 1, 2009, 19:50 starmonkey
 
4870 user, no real problems that I haven't had before with nvidia.

The control center is fine on both my laptop + desktop.. I use it to manage multiple displays (TV via svideo) and tweak the gamma.
 
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10. Re: NVIDIA on an Impulse Sep 1, 2009, 19:44 Flatline
 
I'm an ATI card owner as well. And the very few times I used them in my main machine I've always regretted it.
The last ATI card I used in my main machine was the ATI all in wonder. The drivers on that thing were a piece of crap.
But I've used ATI cards in other machines and they still haven't convinced me to buy ATI for my main machine again.

Which all-in-wonder?

I picked up the 4850 when it came out, and the drivers were/are rock solid. Works perfectly fine for me.

In fact, besides lagging behind nvidia in performance usually (at the time the 4850 was a bombshell in performance vs cost), ATI over the years never gave me issues in computers I used it in. And I've used ATI in a LOT of computers. Probably hundreds if you count my clients.

Then again, I never installed the control center, just the driver.
 
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9. Re: NVIDIA on an Impulse Sep 1, 2009, 19:38 Zyrxil
 
If you are for stability why are you installing modded driver versions?

Because they've been better to me.
 
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8. Re: NVIDIA on an Impulse Sep 1, 2009, 19:26 ASJD
 
Yea, in the last few years the driver excuse has gotten way overblown. It is an excuse. An excuse for poor performance when a user complains, and excuse for buggy games, an excuse for poor sales.

I have seen the rare game that has some critical bug fixed in a new driver set, but even more often I see new drivers breaking features in previous games. 1 year of drivers probably causes graphical glitches in a good 10% of games year on year.

I almost wish like consoles, PC games had the video drivers right on the disk edit - by this I mean the drivers would be loaded up automatically for that game only. Those drivers would work for that game forever... The changing nature of PC hardware prevents this.

This comment was edited on Sep 1, 2009, 19:27.
 
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7. Re: NVIDIA on an Impulse Sep 1, 2009, 19:16 Creston
 
I'd rather Stardock focus on new games getting on Impulse, as opposed to a feature few people need or want.

Automatically updating drivers would be awesome if you were guaranteed to get new drivers that actually worked. But because all these "performance gains" are just shortcuts that the devs hack in there, they tend to break several of your older games.

It always takes fucking ages to find a driver that's stable with most/all of my games, and once I've found one, I stick with that driver until I finally buy a new game that doesn't work with it anymore. Then I go through the whole process again.

Updating to every new driver out there is fucking ASKING for grief.

As for which drivers are better, eh, both Nvidia and ATI are shitty, imo, but ATI really fucking bugged me with their LOUSY OpenGL support.

Creston
 
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6. Re: NVIDIA on an Impulse Sep 1, 2009, 18:59 Dev
 
theyarecomingforyou:
I'm an ATI card owner as well. And the very few times I used them in my main machine I've always regretted it.
The last ATI card I used in my main machine was the ATI all in wonder. The drivers on that thing were a piece of crap.
But I've used ATI cards in other machines and they still haven't convinced me to buy ATI for my main machine again.
 
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5. Re: NVIDIA on an Impulse Sep 1, 2009, 18:51 theyarecomingforyou
 
And all this is just nvidia drivers... the better ones IMHO.

ATI drivers are FAR FAR worse in my experiance.
How do you figure? I update my drivers every month when new ones are released and have never had any problems. Even the pre-release Win7 drivers have been rock solid for me. Certainly I haven't had the sort of issues you describe with nVidia drivers. And with over 180 games on my Steam account it's not like I only play a handful - I'm talking everything from the latest releases to games from a decade or more back... and I'm on a 64bit operating system.

Slander away all you like but your opinion certainly doesn't reflect that of all the ATi owners I know and talk to.

Personally I think we need to move towards auto-updating drivers but both ATi and nVidia need to really up their game to make that a possibility. Users should be prompted to update their drivers every couple of months and when running newly released games.
 
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4. Re: NVIDIA on an Impulse Sep 1, 2009, 18:39 Dev
 
Zyrxil:
If you are for stability why are you installing modded driver versions?
 
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