50% performance improvement from Detonator XP?

NVIDIA claim record-breaking performance figures, although apparently they're not fast enough to get the drivers up first

Source - press release

As promised at ECTS, NVIDIA have released their latest Detonator unified driver for its family of 3D graphics processing units (GPUs), or so a press release today claims. The latest Detonator driver provides performance enhancements for Windows 98, Millennium, 2000 and now Windows XP. Of course, the new Detonator drivers arrive amidst rumours that NVIDIA has been holding back the true potential of its GeForce 3 to beat back the ATI Radeon 8500 with. When we spoke to Andrew Humber, NVIDIA's European PR Manager at ECTS though, he admitted to being quietly annoyed by the rumours, which he feels reflect badly on the NVIDIA driver development team. That said, it doesn't appear that they have arrived at all. When we arrived at www.nvidia.com in search of a download link, we were met with links to the Detonator3 v12.41 drivers, which we could have sworn we downloaded last week. The other link provided in the press release - www.nvidia.com/windowsxp - is curiously inactive. We can only assume that NVIDIA's press relations gurus Bastion were a bit quick off the mark and the drivers have yet to be posted. No matter, the performance claims are definitely interesting regardless, and testing the Detonators out on our dismantled GeForce testbed would be tedious at best, so we're not complaining! The Detonator XP will be available free of charge as usual the press release boasts, and contains the newly-patented Detonator XPress Link technology, apparently utilising the patented Direct Memory Access (DMA) found on all NVIDIA hardware. Detonator XPress Link provides a direct connection from the hardware to the operating system, and assists in accelerating the new optimisations made in the I/O Subsystem and Memory Management portions of Windows XP's core. NVIDIA believes this makes Detonator XP the fastest NVIDIA driver for the Windows XP platforms. Sounds a trifle contrived to us, this process of renaming old features for the purpose of press releases, but if Detonator XP produces the sort of performance benefits NVIDIA go on to claim, we'll let it slide. Detonator XP also features a complete OpenGL 1.3 ICD with NVIDIA extensions, they reveal, as well as custom DirectX pipelines. Detonator XP apparently delivers up to a 50% performance gain in Microsoft DirectX and SGI OpenGL applications. We'll bring you more on that when the drivers actually appear - needless to say it's an extraordinary claim. Detonator XP supports everything from the TNT2 to the GeForce 3 to the Quadro DCC and is based on NVIDIA's patented Unified Driver Architecture (UDA). When NVIDIA's techs get their act together, it will be available from here. Related Feature - GeForce 3 review

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About the author

Tom Bramwell

Tom Bramwell

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Tom worked at Eurogamer from early 2000 to late 2014, including seven years as Editor-in-Chief.

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