NVIDIA: "We Underestimated Necessary Resources for Vista Driver Development"



I recently read something that the security in Vista was decreasing the
performance of games. Solution : run the game with administrator rights.
Great security ... :)
Blame the game makers for writing software that needs Admin rights.




joey said:
Yes they did, go back and look at google group archives what gamers
were saying when WinXP was released "waaaaI want my 98 back!!" is all
over the place.

Why are you comparing 98->XP, when you should be comparing 2k->XP?

Compared to DOS-based 98, XP certainly required more hardware, but
that's not the same as "sucking". XP was unquestionable superior to

Vista is worse than XP. Vista sucks.

John Cocktosen

chrisv said:
Why are you comparing 98->XP, when you should be comparing 2k->XP?

Sorry to jump in here, but the 98->XP comparison is correct (in his
comment about people whining when XP was released) because very few
people upgraded from 2K to XP because few people ran 2K! 2K was big in
business, but never at the home level. There are diehards who ran it
(and probably still do) and swear by it of course, but the vast majority
of the home users went from 98 to XP without ever touching 2K.


3d rendering is integrated in the operating system so you can have bollocks
3d eye candy on your desktop, you can't even play freecell in vista without
hardware 3d graphics card support.

It's more than eye candy. Do you know how GDI works? When you move
window around the screen, that is smooth because it is bitblt copy
only. When you scroll one window over another, and parts of the window
are revealed, do you know what happens?

A paint message is sent to the window: hey, paint me suckah! This is
because there is no surface (dedicated memory) to store the image that
is generated into the window by application that created the window.
This is why the application has to keep repainting the same images
over and over again.

What if there was mechanism, which did actually *store* the images
generated for the windows somewhere? This way the graphics hardware
would only have to copy the pre-generated image into the parts of the
framebuffer that require update (such as parts of window being
revealed, window being popped to the top from taskbar, what not).

The graphics hardware already have established mechanism to do this;
they are called textures. The graphics hardware is also very fast at
drawing triangles and mapping textures into them. It makes a world of
sense to use hardware that most people already have to begin with in
their contemporary computers to accelerate operation that is fairly
common: rendering of the user interface.

The eye candy on top of this is free lunch. Since you drawing these
triangles you can just aswell choose textures that look nice.
Translucency, glowing buttons and what not are simple alpha blending
which has been on 3D hardware since day one, anyone remembers Voodoo
Graphics? It did alpha blend already, this was nearly a decade ago for
****'s sakes.

Games have done this in their own in-game UI's for years, it's a
logical thing to do same in OS UI.. this is done in Linux, OSX.. and
now on Windows as well.

I don't mind if there is eye candy when it's for free. It doesn't
change the performance of the CPU one iota if you're alpha blending or
not. It just taxes the graphics processors internal memory bandwidth a
notch more, but doesn't affect the main system (CPU, memory, etc) one
bit. If it does, it must be some shitty integrated graphics chip which
uses system memory ("shared memory" aka. "unified memory" aka. "piece
of shit" :)

Now, since the application generated graphics are stored in textures,
it also allows to see "in realtime" what is going on in each
application. You see this done in the taskbar mini preview windows and
in the task switcher (winkey+tab). This is all side-effect of having
the graphics CACHED in the graphics processors local memory. If this
is done correctly (we're talking about Microsoft here so all bets are
off, ofc!), the previews would be again displayed with nearly-zero CPU
utilization, since it's just a simple command for the GPU to render a
few extra triangles into the framebuffer. Big f'ing deal.

All this isn't visible to the end user, because, to be honest, CPU's
are so f'ing fast already these days that all this redundant image
generation for the UI is so well hidden that random customer won't see
any difference if it's fast enough already.

In conclusion my personal *opinion* on all this is that this is just
the infrastructure that is good to have enabled at some point. The
transition to new programming models and API's is going to take a
while.. there is so much inertia from existing applications written
for GDI/GDI+ that are not yet as efficient as the new framework would
allow. The GDI is not "native" anymore on Vista, it is emulated only
and the commands for the underlying infrastructure are generated on-
fly (not so efficient). I heard some rumors that Visual Studio 2007
would have more exposure to the new tools for Windows Vista
application development, apparently .NET platform based.

About leaving GDI behind: good riddance! What a pain in the ass, even
compared to X.

In summary; saying that Vista is only eye-candy is extremely short-
sighted and ignorant, but *very* pragmatic, because that's all you
going to get at this time. =)


John said:
Sorry to jump in here, but the 98->XP comparison is correct (in his
comment about people whining when XP was released) because very few
people upgraded from 2K to XP because few people ran 2K! 2K was big in
business, but never at the home level.

Whatever, it's irrelevant to my point.

If someone whined "waahh I want 98 back" after trying XP, it was NOT
because XP "sucked", because XP was UNQUESTIONABLY superior to 98.
It's only drawback vs. 98 is it needed stronger hardware.

Vista is worse than XP. Vista really does "suck".


FoolsGold said:
joey wrote:
There are important operating system changes that facilitate DX10. I
don't know how much the audience here knows about operating system
design, but it is fair to say it is substantial. To make it brief, I
do not think DX10 is possible on XP without a HUGE service pack that
would effectively replace the operating system kernel (making it a
completely new OS version). Such an effort is extremely costly for
MS, and its unlikely in my opinion that they will ever make such a
dramatic "patch" for XP, because a patch implies they are providing a
huge amount of development dollars (millions) to the general public
for free. Not a smart move for any company -- best to make it a
feature of the next version of the OS which includes some other
things users might be willing to pay for -- and, if they aren't
willing to pay for an upgrade to their current PC, they are sure to
get it installed for them on their next new PC purchase.

It's still a "lock-in" feature no matter which way you cut it. MS
could get DX10 to work in XP if they wanted to (shit, they MADE
DirectX, they can get it to work wherever they want), but of course
their business model requires people to get forced onto another OS
just for one little feature, otherwise they won't move willingly.

DX10 is closely tied to Vista's new driver model which is radically
different to XP's. As joey correctly noted, retrofitting DX10 would require
a massive rewrite of XP, which MS are obviously unwilling to do since
they've made it clear it has no future. Separating the driver model into
admin and user components is an important step forward, with consequences
for stability and security that go way beyond just being able to run DX10
games. In five years time anyone silly enough to be reading these archives
will be wondering what the fuss was about.




My observation, having tried beta testing Vista, was that drivers that
worked in the beta did not always work in the final version. For some of my
hardware I tried to install the beta drivers and they didn't work at all.
However, in some cases I could install Windows 2003 x64 drivers that worked
perfectly. Obviously there were numerous changes made to the final release
of Vista which necessitated overhauls of the drivers.

Walter Mitty said:
Stephan Rose said:
Frank said:
AirRaid wrote:

Nvidia Names Stability as Top Priority for Windows Vista Drivers

[ 04/12/2007 | 10:42 PM ]

An official from Nvidia, a leading designer of system chipsets and
graphics processors, admitted that the company had underestimated
resources it needed to develop proper drivers for Windows Vista, but
said the issues would be shortly resolved. Besides, the company has
outlined its priorities when developing drivers for the new operating
system (OS).

Several days after Microsoft Windows Vista operating system was
released, hundreds of end-users reported complaints about
instabilities, erratic behaviour, driver bugs and other kind of issues
that they faced because of Nvidia's ForceWare drivers designed for the
new OS. End-users with various graphics cards, including the latest
top-of-the-range GeForce 8800-series, criticized Nvidia ForceWare for
poor performance and stability, something, which logotype "Vista
Ready" is not meant to say.

One person, who wanted to remain fully anonymous, even launched a web-
site called NvidiaClassAction.org in early February to collect the
information about ForceWare issues with Windows Vista, however, in
early March the web-site has been taken down due to an unknown reason.

Nearly two months have passed since the last WHQL-certified release of
Windows Vista ForceWare drivers and there is a number of end-users who
still experience issues with their machines and the GeForce graphics
cards. But Nvidia's Keita Iada, who is responsible for content
development at the company, said in an interview with IGN web-site
that the new drivers are near.

"We're ramping up the frequency of our Vista driver releases. Users
will probably understand that we release a number of beta drivers on
our site, so we're making incremental progress. We believe that, in a
very short time we will have addressed the vast majority, if not all
of the issues. We've had teams who were working on other projects who
have mobilised to make sure that as quickly as possible we have the
drivers fixed. I'm not going to give you an exact timeframe, but it's
going to be very soon," said Mr. Iada.

The director of content management at Nvidia also explained the
reasons why the ForceWare drivers appear to have issues with the new
operating system by Microsoft. According to him, the first priority
for the company was to enable content developers with ability to
create titles for DirectX 10, which is strategically important for the
company. As a consequence, the firm underestimated resources it needed
to design drivers for end-users.

"On a high level, we had to prioritise. In our case, we have DX9,
DX10, multiple APIs, Vista and XP - the driver models are completely
different, and the DX9 and 10 drivers are completely different. Then
you have single- and multi-card SLI - there are many variables to
consider. Given that we were so far ahead with DX10 hardware, we've
had to make sure that the drivers, although not necessarily available
to a wide degree, or not stable, were good enough from a development
standpoint," Mr. Iada said.

But even though the initial priority of Nvidia when developing drivers
were content developers, right now the company has the priority of
delivering stable drivers for Vista to end-users. It is remarkable
that Nvidia even put performance of its drivers on the second place.

"We've had to balance our priorities between making sure we have
proper DX10 feature-supported drivers to facilitate development of
DX10 content, but also make sure that the end user will have a good
experience on Vista. To some degree, I think that we may have
underestimated how many resources were necessary to have a stable
Vista driver off the bat. I can assure you and your readers that our
first priority right now is not performance, not anything else; it is
stability and all the features supported on Vista," the director of
content management at Nvidia added.


Glad to hear this is not a Vista problem as some here said it was and
hoped it was. It's also amazing nvidia couldn't get a proper driver
since beta's of Vista have been available for over a year!
Thankfully I use only ATI and Matrox cards.

Actually it's not very amazing Frank. Developers generally don't devote
resources to beta-applications. Especially not when it's called windows
released by Microsoft considering their history of constantly delaying
final release.

The nature of beta-software is that *anything* can change *anywhere* at
*anytime*. The result of this is, and this is not MS specific, is that if
the company who owns the beta product decides to make a change somewhere
because it needs to for their own reasons, that all of a sudden days,
weeks, or more worth of work can be lost by work from other companies
dependant on what was changed.

This is not entirely true. There can, of course, be changes but the fact
that it is in Beta usually indicates a functionality freeze and the
alpha version has been past. It is very, very rare to see major changes
from a beta to a major release.
On top of that, in this particular scenario...you have to add in that the
drivers work completely different and a completely new and differently
working API was in the mix as well. Any of it subject to change at any
moment during the beta phase.

Very unlikely. The fact it is beta almost guarantees a relatively
concreate API suite.
So basically the bottom line is this. Until a product gets out of beta
is released, developers cannot with confidence base their work on the

Nothing is ideal. But developers ALWAYS work with beta and pre-releases
in order to get there product compatible with the new version.
And in case of MS, I've even seen them drop beta's entirely in the middle
it! Managed DirectX 2.0 comes to mind which was dropped out of the clear
blue sky for the XNA Framework. Now imagine what something like that
do to a developer creating work based on MDX2.0. It would be disastrous
that's why developers don't do it.

Developers do it all the time. Sure this is an example of something
begin dropped - it happens. Such is life.
Being a software developer for a living myself I can't say I can blame

I disagree wholeheartedly with your general comments. SW Development
companies are always working with betas and pre-releases of products in
order to familiarise themselves and get their related SW
integrated. Yes, there can be upsets - it is, after all, SW. When the
company changes the API in the beat because of otherwise unsolvable bugs
one just has to bite the bullet. It is the nature of SW development.




Somewhere in all the above it says the problem Nvidia is having writing
drivers for Vista is not because of Vista.
What a hoot.
That's like saying the problem with earthquakes isn't all the shaking

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