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NVidia Detonator 29.42 Drivers.

It's nearly the Summer of 2002, and NVidia has released their newest Detonator drivers for GeForce cards. The new version, 29.42, was released today with very little fan-fare, indicating this is an incremental upgrade to the Detonator 4 drivers. Indeed, the description of the "Detonator XP" drivers on the NVidia driver page remains unchanged. So I didn't expect much in the way of a speed boost. But I had to check, and here are the 3D Mark 2001se results (default settings) for Direct X 8 performance.

System 1: Athlon 1.2GHz/Abit KG7/512MB DDR/GF3 Ti200, Windows 98SE:

3D Marks with 28.32: 5974
3D Marks with 29.42: 5959

System 2: Athlon 1800+/Abit KG7/256MB DDR/GF3 Ti200, Windows 2000 SP2:

3D Marks with 28.32: 6459
3D Marks with 29.42: 6523

System 1: Athlon XP 1700+/Abit KR7/512MB DDR/GF4 Ti4400, Windows 98SE:

3D Marks with 28.32: 9079
3D Marks with 29.42: 9186

System 1: Athlon XP 1800+/Asus A7N266/256MB DDR/GF3 Ti500, Windows 2000:

3D Marks with 28.32: 7997
3D Marks with 29.42: 8017

The take home conclusion is that there is virtually no performance increase. The increases seen in 3 out of 4 systems are 1% or less, and therefore don't amount to anything noticeable. The other system showed a tiny (insignificant) drop in the benchmark. 

What I didn't like in the drivers is the fact that it resets your desktop to 800 x 600 x 16 automatically.  This is a major annoyance, obviously a safety measure gone awry. Also, when installed on the system with an nForce motherboard, the system (Windows 2000) did not correctly recognize the Ti200 when it rebooted.  It would not let me update the driver. I was forced to remove the device from the device manager, and reboot. Then it recognized the Ti200 correctly.

This driver release is probably a bug fix with a meek attempt at a speed boost.  Only time will tell if the new drivers are more stable than the 28.32 version. But it's the latest version, so what the heck, go get it!

NVidia driver page 

Dr. John

Copyright, June 11th, 2002 KickAss Gear