Nvidia today made available the first set of WHQL-certified drivers from the 'Release 270' family of drivers (versions 270.xx to 274.xx) for GeForce 6, 7, 8, 9, 100, 200, 300, 400, and 500-series desktop GPUs, as well as Ion desktop GPUs. The release kicks off with version 270.61 and adds support for the newly launched GeForce GTX 590, 560 Ti, and 550 Ti graphics cards.
It looks like Intel isn't the only chip maker looking to out-muscle ARM in the tablet market. According to a recent job listing on AMD's website, the company is looking to hire Android driver development engineers, preferably those with experience in video decode acceleration. Reading between the lines, it appears AMD envisions itself powering an Android tablet sometime in the near future.
There's no reason to go around sulking if you're an AMD videocard owner. While Nvidia just recently dropped its GeForce 270.51 beta drivers into cyberspace, AMD has made available a brand spanking new Catalyst release, and in final form. The new Catalyst 11.3 driver suite supports all of AMD's latest and greatest videocards, including the mighty powerful dual-GPU Radeon HD 6990.
Experimenting with beta drivers isn't for the faint of heart, especially when it comes to videocards. After all, this is your pricey GPU we're talking about, and a poorly coded driver can wreak all kinds of havoc, from instability to artifacting, to even overheating if the fan doesn't kick on when it's supposed to. That said, if you're down for playing with pre-release drivers, Nvidia has made available its GeForce 270.51 driver set in beta form.
Playing with beta drivers comes with certain risks -- like instability -- but can also be rewarding in not always obvious ways. Those who went and snagged Nvidia's 266.7x beta driver for GeForce videocards, for example, uncovered a couple of interesting lines that seem to indicate Nvidia is on the verge of releasing at least two new graphics cards, including a dual-GPU model. More details after the jump.
AMD this week shoveled out its new Catalyst 11.2 software suite with support for Radeon HD 2400 series on up to the HD 6900 series of desktop and mobiltiy GPUs. It also supports several FireStream products (9170, 9250, 9270, 9350) and AMD chipset product families (300 series on up to HD 4290). Catalyst 11.2 is a more fleshed out driver update than usual with a handful of new features a whole bunch of bug fixes.
AMD's latest Catalyst 11.1 driver suite introduces a handful of big performance gains, including up to 17 percent in Left 4 Dead 2 on Radeon HD 6800 series cards in both single and CrossFire configurations with AF and AA disabled, and up to 12 percent in F1 2010 on Radeon HD 6900 cards with the same criteria. The new drivers also eradicate a bunch of known issues, such as:
Aliens vs. Predator game no longer fails to load with quad-CrossFire enabled (Windows 7)
The Protoss Pylon Matrix is now rendered correctly in Starcraft 2 (Windows 7)
System no longer crashes when enabling CrossFire with 2 monitors connected to the primary card and 2 monitors connected to the secondary card (Windows 7)
Video corruption is no longer randomly seen during DVD playback using Windows Media Player (Windows Vista)
Call of Duty: Black Ops no longer randomly hangs on AMD Radeon HD 57xx series products (Windows XP)
There are lots of other fixes applicable to all three Windows operating systems, which you can view in the Release Notes. When you're ready to dive in, you can download the new drivers here.
Nvidia graphics card owners have the option of updating to the newly released GeForce 266.58 WHQL drivers, which add support for the newly released GTX 580 and 570 GPUs.
The latest drivers bring quite a bit to the table, including up to double-digit performance gains in some games (up to 12 percent in Battleforge when running a pair of GTX 580 videocards, for example) and support for ambient occlusion in Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty.
Nvidia administered a heavy dose of 3D medicine to the 266.58 drivers, adding support for a bunch of new 3D Vision projectors, all-in-one PCs, DLP HDTVs, and desktop LCD monitors.
We just got word from Intel that it has new Rapid Storage Technology (RST) drivers available for download, and there's a good reason why you might want to check them out. As we've been told, version 10.1 adds support for hard drives larger than 2TB in AHCI mode.
That's good news, though it isn't a cure-all for the so-called 2TB barrier. Even with the updated drivers, you'll still need a 64-bit OS and a motherboard sporting one of those fancy UEFI BIOSes that support booting to a GPT partition. Failing these requirements, you're still limited to using these drives as secondary storage.
Intel also said it's planning to add RAID mode support for these large capacity hard drives in a future release.
Barring any subsequent hotfixes, AMD graphics card owners have one last driver package to download and install before 2010 comes to a close, Catalyst 10.12.
AMD's newest drivers add support for DivX on the Radeon HD 6800 Series of cards, support for OpenGL 4.1, and includes the AMD Stream 2.3 SDK release. Each one of these comes with their own subset of improvements, particularly OpenGL 4.1, which introduces a bunch of new features and performance improvements.
Installing the Catalyst 10.12 driver suite also stomps out several known issues for Windows 7, Vista, and XP, everything from solving random tearing issues (when playing back XVID files on an extended display) to getting rid of the intermittent hanging issue in Dragon Age Origins.