NVidia is one of the leading companies in terms of graphic cards. It always strives to provide its customers with the latest technologies and the corresponding support, expressed as downloadable drivers. On 15 June, it released the 257.21 video driver, which produced excellent quality, but not without flaws.

The problem

What users experienced could be described more as a bug, than an error, one that seemed to relate to the games played. In their own words gamers state that after download and install of this particular driver, the custom profiles for 3D settings, regardless of the game they are being applied to, seem to reset on every exit of the panel.

In some cases, the control panel does not even allow changes to the setting or even refuses to add games to the profile. This presents a serious issue to gamers, because most games using 3D rely a lot on user customization.

Possible solutions

One way that users discovered to battle this problem was to use NVidia’s own GeForce SLI Profile tool. This utility lets gamers export their customized settings in a text file and then reimport them back in the control panel. Nevertheless, this only represented a workaround, not a permanent fix, which still left the users discontented.

Last week NVidia eventually responded to its clients’ demands and released a beta driver, GeForce/ION 258.96. So far, the bugs found in the previous version regarding profiles, seems to be missing. One must remember, however, that this still is a beta version. You should carefully choose the correct video card and OS on NVidia’s driver download page.

Benchmark tests

Some of the gamers and internet bloggers have already tested this new beta version with various results. It was tested with two games (F.E.A.R and Lost Planet) and they lack the annoying game experience-deteriorating bug.

As for the specifications of the computer itself, tests were run on 2.80 GHz CPU, MSI P45 motherboard, 2 GB DDR 2 memory and 9800GT video card. Some of the used software included Futuremark, 3dMark06 with their default settings and Nexius on full screen and with enabled GLSL and VBOs.

What the driver actually includes

The 258.96 beta includes added support for GeForce GTX 460 and 3D Vision Surround. It also increases additionally the performance of GTX 400 GPUs in many PC games, some of which include Aliens vs. Predator, Crysis Warhead, H.A.W.X, Just Cause 2, Metro 2033, S.T.A.L.K.E.R Call of Pripyat and World in Conflict. The driver also features upgrades to the PhysX system software and the HD Audio Driver. It can be installed on Windows 7/Vista 32 and 64 bit on both desktops and notebooks.