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GeForce Driver Comparison (updated 4-2-00) If you would like to support this site, visit Crucial today Elsa Erazor X2 Review

GeForce Driver Comparison (page 1)

Whether they are official or "leaked", rarely has there been a lack of new drivers for nVidia video cards. With all these releases floating around, it's difficult to know which version to use. The old adage the newer the better doesn't always hold true.

It's been awhile since I've updated my Driver Comparison. The reason is pretty tragic, er I mean simple...I traded my Elsa Erazor X in for an Erazor X2, but it got delayed. While I was waiting for the new GeForce DDR card to grace my ol' desktop, some newly "leaked" drivers appeared that created quite a buzz.

First there were the 5.08 drivers that stunned many people. Not only were there reports of improved performance, but these drivers added two new features: support for S3TC texture compression and Full Screen Anti-Aliasing (FSAA) in OpenGL. Unfortunately, many users found these drivers to be very unstable. Just as the talk was beginning to die down about these drivers, the 5.13 drivers burst on to the scene. From most reports, these drivers were more stable than the 5.08's. Additionally, the 5.13 drivers included FSAA for Direct3D. From reviews I've read, while the FSAA looks great, it comes at a major performance hit. It looks like much of the FSAA processing is done in software. The S3TC seems to work well and is a nice treat in games that support it (i.e. Quake 3).

For this round of benchmarks I've retired Dagoth Moor Zoological Gardens. With the proliferation of DVD drives, PC's are being used for all types of entertainment including DVD movies. Consequently, in DMZG's place I've added Mad Onion's Video 2000. The drivers tested are version 3.68 (last official release of the reference drivers from nVidia), version 3.77 (last leaked 3.XX drivers) and version 5.13 (latest leaked drivers).

The Testbed

Elsa Erazor X2 (GeForce DDR)

Pentium 3-600E

256MB Crucial PC133 memory

Abit BF6 motherboard

Maxtor 15GB (7200RPM)

Windows 98 SE

Also, I have "high" image quality selected in Display Properties. The Erazor X2 is not overclocked. Sidebanding was enabled (checked using PCI List).

         
         
    Introduction    
   

3D Mark 2000

   
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    Tirtanium    
    Quake 3    
   

Conclusion