Yesterday ATI proudly rolled out the first WHQL certified drivers for Windows 7, but today NVIDIA claims to lead Windows 7 readiness by publishing Windows 7 WHQL certified drivers for all PC platforms, including Ion, GeForce and Quadro.
Windows 7 will mark a dramatic improvement in the way the Windows operating system takes advantage of the graphics processing unit (GPU) to provide a more compelling user experience. And so, in conjunction with the release candidate of Windows 7, NVIDIA announced that it is the first hardware vendor to release a new Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL)-certified graphics driver for PC desktops and notebooks, offering all of the latest NVIDIA exclusive performance, features, and technology for its ION(R), GeForce(R) and Quadro(R) products.
Anandtech's Ryan Smith and Gary Key put the new driver through a full test and reported that "NVIDIA promised performance gains with Windows 7 over Vista and they delivered." They went on to add "...performance was rock solid and the compatibility/stability aspects of the driver far exceeded our expectations...they pretty much nailed their first full driver set for Windows 7 with all features working." As a result, Anandtech asserted that "Windows 7 will be a very solid gaming platform.(i)"
By taking advantage of the GPU for both graphics rendering and parallel computing, Windows 7 with DirectX Compute will not only ensure that greater clarity and focus are inherent in the look, feel, and functionality of the desktop experience, but it will also provide the speed and responsiveness to delight customers.
"Windows 7 users now have the absolute latest in performance and support for features including SLI, PhysX, 3D Vision, and DirectX Compute," said Dwight Diercks, vice president of software engineering at NVIDIA. "For gaming, video transcoding, and an overall better computing experience on Windows 7, users now have the peace of mind knowing that we have the official Microsoft WHQL stamp of approval."
Version 185.85 WHQL drivers support Microsoft's new Windows 7 display driver model WDDM v1.1. Powered by NVIDIA's DirectX 10 GPUs, WDDM v1.1 drivers provide a premium visual experience in Windows 7.