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Краткое содержание статьи: With the launch of NVIDIA's latest 3D chipset, the GeForce2 Ultra, came the Detonator 3 series of driver. Incredible gains are being claimed with this driver over the previous generation of Detonator driver. We explore where these magical gains come from and just how much they help. Is the new driver a true engineering accomplishment or just marketing hype?

NVIDIA's Detonator 3 Drivers

Редакция THG,  14 августа 2000
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Today the masses will rush to read about NVIDIA new flagship chipset, the GeForce2 Ultra, but that should not be the only thing everyone is interested in. Shipping along with the new powerhouse is a performance-enhanced Detonator 3 driver. NVIDIA is claiming this unified driver boosts performance across all its existing family of chipsets on the market by up to 50%. These are large claims for merely an updated driver so we've decided to investigate. My main goal was to see how much performance was gained by this driver (if any) over the previous one, how it was done and what else was changed with in this driver.

What's New?

I couldn't believe the claims NVIDIA was making so I immediately contacted the folks there and asked for details. Initially I was met with mostly marketing jargon but after a bit of probing, I had found what I wanted and then some. Unfortunately full details of what NVIDIA has done within this driver won't be released for another week or two but until then, this is what we know.

NVIDIA said that it initially releases with a functional driver that provides a properly working product and follows up shortly after with a performance-geared driver. This is something we've seen in the past as early as the TNT2 to TNT2 Ultra. Apparently the extremely talented NVIDIA driver team was doing major enhancements to the driver after the launch of the GeForce2 and the product of their work is just now being released.

Performance gains were seen from optimizing the use of the system platforms (memory, caches, new CPU instructions) to resources on the video cards themselves. Most folks will probably be reporting the general marketing list of enhancements to the driver but what it comes down to was the software engineers enhancing the driver specifically for each card and having the driver allocate resources optimally for the given tasks. These optimizations will benefit the card's performance in situations where the hardware was being pushed hardest such as high resolution and high color scenarios. Technical details on how this was all done should be released in a couple of weeks so stay tuned.
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