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The 196.75 GeForce drivers are dangerous so dangerous.

Nvidia's whole entire software suite is dangerous. There. That is the first and last time that I will parody a Busta Ryhmes song on this site.

Now to business. If you have the 196.75 GeForce drivers installed please uninstall them and revert back to the previous release (196.21) right away. 196.75 is so dangerous that Nvidia has pulled them from their site until they can be fixed. Here is a quote from Nvidia's driver download page:

196.75 Alert!
We are aware that some customers have reported fan speed issues with the latest 196.75 WHQL drivers on NVIDIA.com. Until we can verify and root cause this issue, we recommend that customers stay with, or return to 196.21 WHQL drivers. Release 196.75 drivers have been temporarily removed from our website.

AMD and Nvidia tell us about their 3D junk.

Nvidia has released details about how they plan to bring 3D content from your Nvidia powered PC to your 3D capable HDTV using their exisiting 3D Vision kit. Current 3D Vision kit owners will get a free copy of the 3DTV Play software which will allow your PC (with a 3D Blu-ray disc player and GeForce graphics) to output 3D data to your 3D ready HDTV through a HDMI 1.4 cable. What I am wondering is if the 3D Vision emitter will be used in this setup or if the emitter on the 3D HDTV (or either) will be used. I am also wondering if this means that I can use my 3D Vision glasses with my PlayStation 3. I will make sure to ask Nvidia these questions when I talk to them at PAX East.

On the flip side, AMD has released a slide that says they are planning on developing active and passive shutter glasses and emitters. They are championing an 'open stereoscopic 3D initiative'. We should all hope they come up with something that will create some good competition in the 3D PC/HDTV space.

UPDATE 3-18-10

I just talked to Nvidia on the phone about something and while I had their attention I asked them some things about their 3DTV Play stuff. The emitter on the 3D HDTV is always the emitter being used. Right now the only 3D glasses that work with a Panasonic 3D HDTV are made by Panasonic (so Nvidia glasses will not work). These two facts combined mean that Nvidia glasses cannot be used with the PlayStation 3.


3d tv

The GeForce GTX 480 and GTX 470 launch at PAX East.

This afternoon I was fortunate to be in attendance at Nvidia's GTX 480 launch (btw our review will be on the site fairly soon) in the main theatre here at PAX East. During the event I was live blogging using my @stevemcbarnes Twitter account, so you can read those tweets, or you can read the following.

Nvidia's presenter was none other than Drew Henry the General Manager of GeForce and Nvidia. He let us know that they decided to launch their new product here at PAX because of the support, passion and honest of the PAX attendees. He thanked us for being so patient with them and he says the reason that the development of their new cards took so long is because they wanted to take their time to do it right in order to make a product that would really impress us.



Drew flat out said that the GTX 480 is the fastest graphic card in the world and then he showed us a graph that compared the performance of the GTX 285 to the performance of the GTX 480. According to the graph the GTX 480 is close to or more than twice as fast as the GTX 285. The crowd was actually impressed which means that he did a pretty good job of presenting the information.

The theme for the new product is 'Crank that shit up!' (they spell it S#!T). They have it printed on shirts and on several banners hanging around the convention center. During the various 3D Vision Surround they often revisted this theme before actually cranking the shit up. The first game we are shown is Battlefield Bad Company 2 from EA. First they show us it on the center of three screens in 3D, then they 'crank that shit up' and display it on all three screens. Next was World of Warcraft. The scene they show is of a charater riding a flying dragon through the world. The frame rate looked really terrible, but it could be the fact that WoW is very old.


Jesse from EA takes the stage to show us a car from Need for Speed created with interative ray tracing. It is very shiny and looks very real. The Nvidia Design Garage features dozens of these ultra-realistic super cars which you can manipulate. Nvidia then mentioned a little 'game' that they developed called Supersonic Sled which is meant to display Physx, 3D, and tessellation. Basically it is a very controllable and interactive demo featuring a poor fellow on a very fast rocket sled. You can sabotage his sled before the rocket fires (by firing a chicken gun at it), you can place crates full of feathers on the track, you can dictate the quantity of fragments that the bridge can break into and you can even display the Physx vectors. One of the most impressive tweaks was when they increased the bridge particles from 10,000 to 1,000,000 and then they viewed them as the fell from below. The Design Garage and Supersonic Sled will be included free of charge with every GTX 480.

The final piece of eye candy that we received was a 3D Vision Surround demo of Metro 2033 from THQ. They chose to show of the beginning of the game where you venture outside into the ashy wasteland before you and 3 other men find themselves way too close to a stampede of mutated monsters. It is a very exciting scene indeed.

Nvidia then closed out the presentation by awarding GTX 480s to two random attendees (congratulations you guys!) and let us know that we would be able to find GTX 480s in stores in about two weeks. Then they threw some more 'Crank that shit up!' shirts at us. All in all, it was a pretty impressive and appropriate way to christen their new product offering.

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