As many laptop owners will know, finding drivers for notebook graphics can be, to put it mildly, a bit of a chore. Praise be to nVidia which, as manufacturer of a large number of those chips, is set to put an end to such frustrations with the launch of its quarterly notebook driver release schedule.
As the name suggests, the programme will see a new nVidia notebook GPU driver every three months. nVidia has apparently spent the last year putting together a modularised driver architecture allowing a unified installer which will work on any laptop with any nVidia graphics card. More importantly, vendor-specific tweaks will still be preserved when updating.
Gaming notebooks should see a particular benefit from this update. Driver updates can have a huge effect on both stability and performance, especially in new titles. Traditionally, notebook users can often end up waiting months for driver updates to bring performance boosts, or bug fixes. Notebooks with SLI are particularly affected, as game-specific profiles can make a huge difference to performance. Guaranteed regular updates should instil confidence in would be nVidia-sporting performance notebook buyers.
nVidia is also, as ever, evangelising CUDA and "Graphics Plus" as a big part of this platform but, let's face it, we've heard it all before so there's little point reiterating what we already know. Not that the benefits aren't still there, of course.
The initial driver release offers support for just about every nVidia 8M-series and 9M-series GPU, although there are a few exceptions, namely Dell Vostro, Lenovo ThinkPad and Sony Vaio laptops. A few Hybrid SLI notebooks are also unsupported as yet, but will be in a subsequent driver release.
Not as exciting an announcement as the ION platform or GeForce GTX 295, but interesting nonetheless.