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NVIDIA Driver Issue

StarcraftWire.net relates warnings from Blizzard that the just released version 196.75 drivers have faulty fan control software, causing intermittent framerates from overheating. They are recommending reverting to the previous drivers. Here's word:

We're getting reports where users are getting intermittent low FPS after installing these drivers. It seems that it is related to the fan control included in these drivers not working correctly and is causing the video card to overheat on 3D applications. This will affect Warcraft 3, World of Warcraft and StarCraft 2 Beta. Please uninstall the drivers and revert back to the older ones.

Windows XP: http://www.nvidia.com/object/winxp_196.21_whql.html
Windows XP 64-bit: http://www.nvidia.com/object/winxp64_196.21_whql.html
Windows Vista/7 32-bit: http://www.nvidia.com/object/win7_winvista_32bit_196.21_whql.html
Windows Vista/7 64-bit: http://www.nvidia.com/object/win7_winvista_64bit_196.21_whql.html

More information can be found on threads such as these:
http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showtopic=161525
http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showtopic=161503

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29 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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29. Re: NVIDIA Driver Issue Mar 6, 2010, 00:21 KilrathiAce
 
58xx series from ati run pretty cool compared to higher end cards across the board.  
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28. Re: NVIDIA Driver Issue Mar 5, 2010, 17:48 Dev
 
Creston wrote on Mar 5, 2010, 15:25:
a) No, they don't test. At all. Nobody does in the industry anymore, since testing costs money, and why pay money for testing if you can just have the customer pay YOU money for the privilege of testing your game/hardware for you?
That is so true.
 
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27. Re: NVIDIA Driver Issue Mar 5, 2010, 15:25 Creston
 
Dev wrote on Mar 5, 2010, 12:06:
Makes you wonder 2 things.
a) Does nvidia bother to test these much? Come on this kinda problem isn't exactly obscure when testing. They probably don't even have anything in test protocol for temp/fan issues, the testing is probably 99.9% compatability (and even that often fails).
b) MS's WHQL is shown again to be basically worthless (I recall other situations of WHQL drivers killing things software or hardware wise). Kinda like the THX certification was essentially shown to be worthless and being given to crappy non THX standard compliant hardware! I think basically you throw money at these companies and they stamp a label on it.


a) No, they don't test. At all. Nobody does in the industry anymore, since testing costs money, and why pay money for testing if you can just have the customer pay YOU money for the privilege of testing your game/hardware for you?

b) That's not what WHQL is for. It's not there to determine if your hardware still runs properly with this driver. WHQL is a label that basically guarantees that when you install this driver, you're not going to send your entire system into an endless BSoD loop, or something like that.

It's just MS's way of saying "This driver will function properly in Windows."

That nVidia is so retarded that they turn the fan off in their driver is not MS's problem.

Edit : Verno beat me to it.

Creston
 
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26. Re: NVIDIA Driver Issue Mar 5, 2010, 14:12 Dr.EvilZ
 
After using the driver, I cant understand how it could affect the Fan on my Nividia BFG9800GT! I was playing a game with everything on high, then I got some glitches and it froze. Not long after I felt alot of heat coming off my Videocard! I thought It needed to be cleaned! so I took it out off the computer, it was so hot I couldnt touch it with my bare hands! it was just about fried! I put it back it after cleaning it and reading about the Driver isues! It seems to be working fine, if it had of been wrecked lets just say Nvidia would of been getting some nasty phone calls and emails!!!!


 
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25. Re: NVIDIA Driver Issue Mar 5, 2010, 13:53 Verno
 
Its also unlikely that a large percentage of nvidia card owners has already updated to this particular driver since its fairly recent.

Quite the opposite, it might actually be more likely because they advertised this driver revision as having large performance improvements for BC2 and encouraged people to upgrade.

I wonder if MS bothers to test with any games at all with WHQL if they are only looking to see if it works on with the OS. If they do perhaps they only test at lower resolutions just to see if it works.

Anyway I think nvidia's Q&A at the very least should have caught this kinda thing if the Q&A was properly designed.

They do not test games with WHQL. In fact, most of the time vendors use a program given to them by Microsoft to run the tests and send back the log files. WHQL is not used for what you're thinking of and really has nothing to do with gaming in general. It's strictly for ensuring that vendors are following driver guidelines for the operating system so that Microsoft can make sure people aren't bluescreening it like Creative, Via and Nvidia used to do.

Nvidia obviously did no QA on these, I agree. It would have been quickly evident to anyone doing serious QA work instead of just making sure they install and calling it a day.
 
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24. Re: NVIDIA Driver Issue Mar 5, 2010, 13:08 Dev
 
Verno:
At a guess I'd say this fan control affects most people using this driver, rather than a select minority. Nvidia quickly pulled it. Blizzard listed OS's from XP to 7 from 32/64 bit, the posts they linked were a 9800 owner and a 250 owner OP. Its also unlikely that a large percentage of nvidia card owners has already updated to this particular driver since its fairly recent. I think that most people are just not noticing the issue. Partly because they may not stress the video card every day, but also probably because the cards themselves are designed to run at quite a high temperature.
And if someone sees a game slowdown that ran fine before, they may well think its something like a virus scan or some such going on.

I wonder if MS bothers to test with any games at all with WHQL if they are only looking to see if it works on with the OS. If they do perhaps they only test at lower resolutions just to see if it works.

Anyway I think nvidia's Q&A at the very least should have caught this kinda thing if the Q&A was properly designed.

This comment was edited on Mar 5, 2010, 13:16.
 
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23. Re: NVIDIA Driver Issue Mar 5, 2010, 12:20 Verno
 
b) MS's WHQL is shown again to be basically worthless (I recall other situations of WHQL drivers killing things software or hardware wise). Kinda like the THX certification was essentially shown to be worthless and being given to crappy non THX standard compliant hardware! I think basically you throw money at these companies and they stamp a label on it.

You're misunderstanding the purpose of WHQL. WHQL is mainly used for compatibility purposes in the context of the operating system. WHQL is not supposed to catch things like problems with specific hardware configurations and driver revisions that could cause hardware faults. That's like asking Microsoft to do production QA for every third party peripheral and component made which is patently ridiculous. This one is entirely on Nvidia.

This comment was edited on Mar 5, 2010, 12:27.
 
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22. Re: NVIDIA Driver Issue Mar 5, 2010, 12:19 Mashiki Amiketo
 
Since this has been going on for awhile, I wonder if they're going to do anything for those of us who had cards go up in smoke from it.  
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21. Re: NVIDIA Driver Issue Mar 5, 2010, 12:06 Dev
 
Wow, thanks blue for this info!!

I just installed win 7 on a SSD (nice as fast upgrade on my older computer until I get around to building a i7/i5 system). The date I chose to do this and clicking on nvidia site gave me the bad 196.75

I went back to nvidia and grabbed 196.21 and am now using that.

Makes you wonder 2 things.
a) Does nvidia bother to test these much? Come on this kinda problem isn't exactly obscure when testing. They probably don't even have anything in test protocol for temp/fan issues, the testing is probably 99.9% compatability (and even that often fails).
b) MS's WHQL is shown again to be basically worthless (I recall other situations of WHQL drivers killing things software or hardware wise). Kinda like the THX certification was essentially shown to be worthless and being given to crappy non THX standard compliant hardware! I think basically you throw money at these companies and they stamp a label on it.
 
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20. Re: NVIDIA Driver Issue Mar 5, 2010, 10:49 RenownWolf
 
Wow... this explains a lot, just the other night the video card overheated while playing CS:Source... and that game is hardly demanding on my card.

I was wondering why I never heard the fan speed up, and then noticed the game started acting dodgey. Felt the side of the case and it was much warmer than I've ever had it be. So I opened it up to make sure it was clean etc... It was very low on dust but the video card was too hot to touch =\

Opened it up and cleaned out... next to nothing, it's only 4 months old and I keep my case clean.

*shakes in fear* Off to install Rivatuner and setup the cooling myself, this is crazy insane =\
 
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19. Re: NVIDIA Driver Issue Mar 5, 2010, 10:11 Tom
 
Funny, it was an ATI card (X1900XT) that melted itself for me that made me start getting all paranoid about temperatures and fan control.

I think both ATI and NVIDIA are equally guilty when it comes to crazy temperatures and meltdowns. Sadly, it only seems like it's going to get worse.
 
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18. Re: NVIDIA Driver Issue Mar 5, 2010, 09:48 Verno
 
And yet AMD/ATI gets more crap for their drivers, amazing what fanboyism and "The Way its meant to be played" do to people.  
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17. Re: NVIDIA Driver Issue Mar 5, 2010, 09:22 Donkey_Punch
 
Ever since I had a video card melt itself have I been aware of Nvidia's insane fan control (or lack of). I have used Rivatuner for years since I don't like having to buy new video cards every 6 months.

Thanks Nvidia for trying to make your video cards self destruct and cause your customers to buy a new one.
 
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16. Re: NVIDIA Driver Issue Mar 5, 2010, 09:04 Bludd
 
Bludd wrote on Mar 5, 2010, 08:53:
Seems like it is a problem with older cards.
I chickened out and reverted to 196.34 beta (was very stable for me). I compared idle core temps before and after.

196.75: idle at 51 Celsius
196.34: idle at 41 Celsius

My GPU is a 285 GTX so I guess all GPUs are affected to a certain degree (pun intended).
 
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15. Re: NVIDIA Driver Issue Mar 5, 2010, 08:53 Bludd
 
Seems like it is a problem with older cards.  
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14. Re: NVIDIA Driver Issue Mar 5, 2010, 07:00 The PC Warrior
 
at least ati doesnt kill your fucking card when its drivers have a problem, holy fuck. this has happened twice before, you would think nvidia would get a clue by now.  
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13. Re: NVIDIA Driver Issue Mar 5, 2010, 02:19 xXBatmanXx
 
I wouldn't give a shit, if they let me play StarCraft 2 Beta.  
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12. Re: NVIDIA Driver Issue Mar 5, 2010, 01:21 nullability
 
Nvidia must've taken these drivers down because I can't find them on the site. Latest version says 196.34 beta.  
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11. Re: Game Reviews Mar 5, 2010, 01:13 The Half Elf
 
Yeah because mobile computers didn't have any other issues with melting before the GPU was an issue?  
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10. Re: Game Reviews Mar 5, 2010, 00:55 BobBob
 
Typical. Ever since nVidia's historic failure of melting mobile GPUs I've been an ATI person all the way.  
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29 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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