Geforce 175.16 WHQL driver in Hands-On review
Users had to wait half a year before a new WHQL driver for graphics cards of the Geforce 8 series was released. We checked the newcomer 175.16 for its capabilities.
Whereas owners of Geforce 9600 GT and 9800 GX2 could use fresh drivers of the 174 series, Nvidia, until recently, offered the Forceware 169.21 as the only WHQL driver for the Geforce 8 series.
Observant users do know, actually every driver can be installed, as long as the .inf file is modified. For a short time there were rumors that using a 174.xx driver with an "old” G80 chip, would result in lower performance. We already proved this to be untrue with our review of the 174.74 Beta. Now we take a closer look at the Geforce 175.16.
Geforce 175.16 WHQL: What's new?
Not much if you used Beta versions over the last months. Users of the old Forceware 169.xx will see some new features, since the control center got a little facelift. The most useful improvement is a button which restores the default settings.
For our benchmarks we used a system with an Intel Core 2 Duo (3.4 GHz) and a Geforce 8800 Ultra (768 MiByte) running Windows XP x86 incl. Service Pack 3. The performance of the driver was really good. Crysis, made even more power hungry via the mster Config file, was running about 5 percent faster than with Forceware 169.21. Unreal Tournament experienced a performance boost of about 18 percent and Anti Aliasing is working well if forced in the driver settings. In contrast we didn't see any more fps when running Half-Life 2 (dt.) with the Fakefactory-Mod installed. The demo version of Race Driver Grid was slightly faster.
Open GL filtering is still inferior!
But nevertheless we have to criticize something. As we reported at the end of 2007, drivers at that time ignored high-quality texture filtering, although it was activated in the driver panel. Unfortunately this hasn't changed over the last five months and the driver is still skipping the workload.
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