Nvidia 196.75 Drivers Recalled

The More You KnowPicked up on this via Stropp (who got it from Engadget). If you are using the latest Nvidia drivers, 196.75, you’ll want to roll them back. Apparently there’s a problem related to the fan controllers which can cause the card to overheat and possibly kill your GPU.

I looked at Nvidia’s support site, and you can’t even download the 75’s now. The current driver release for the 200 series cards for Windows 7 64-bit is 196.21, which is what I’ve been using since the end of January with no problems.

Nvidia Stutter is Gone

So back in October, I mentioned a problem I was having with my GeForce GTX 275 in Champions Online after updating to the (then) current drivers of 191.07 from 190.62. Since then I have kept an occasional eye on the Champions forums and gone to the Nvidia site once or twice to see if there were new drivers, but I’ve stayed at 190.62. At least until I caught this twitter status from Daeke. Even though I wasn’t having problems with the 190.62 version, I do like to stay up-to-date, and I’d had no problems rolling back the drivers before. So….

I downloaded the new 196.21 drivers, which were released on the 19th, and did an install. I haven’t had a chance to play Star Trek Online’s beta with them yet, but I did get into Champions Online and did some very informal testing (I’m a developer after all, not QA). So far, I’ve noticed none of the stuttering I’d been having with the old drivers and performance seemed just as good for me as always. We’ll see how it holds up this weekend when I get a chance to play more.

Xfire and Steam in Win7

As a former XP user who skipped Vista, the UAC functionality is something new that I’m learning to deal with.

I’m sure a lot of people just turn it off, but I’m trying to find ways to work within the security setup.  I’m happy to click on a UAC prompt when I’m installing a program, that’s not something I do daily, but I don’t want to click on a prompt every time I launch Xfire or Steam.  Xfire requires it be run in admin mode.  Steam doesn’t have to be run that way, but Fallen Earth (which I bought through Steam) does.  If you run a game in Steam that requires it be in admin mode, but Steam is not, then you get this very unhelpful message.

Fallen Earth Steam ErrorOf course the game is actually available but you either have to run the program directly from the SteamApps folder in admin mode or you have to launch Steam in admin mode.  Either way you’ll get a UAC prompt.  Every time.


Nvidia Stutter

I recently updated the drivers for my Geforce GTX 275 from 190.62 to 191.07.  I was not having any performance problems.  I just updated because they were there.  Unfortunately there’s a problem with the 191.07 drivers and Champions Online.  Before the update, I was getting 45-50 FPS with all the settings maxed out.  After the update, I was seeing stutters where the FPS would drop to 10-12 for a few seconds at a time.  A few times the stuttering completely went away and a few times it was severe enough that I logged out of the game, but mostly it was just an annoyance.

After doing a few Google searches and checking the Champion forums, I decided to re-install the 190.62 drivers and hope that whatever was causing the problem rolled-back correctly.  I’ve been churning drivers so much recently with my new machine, that I even had the driver installation file still in my downloads folder.  There are a lot of detailed directions on the forums that include things like rebooting in safe mode and cleaner scans, but I didn’t do anything nearly so complicated.  All I did was rerun the 190.62 installation file and then go to the Nvidia control panel to verify the version number.  No reboot, no registry scan, and no uninstall of current drivers.  I’ve done a short play session in the same area of Canada where I was seeing fairly consistent stutters, and the problem appears gone.

So going forward, I’ll be holding off on any more driver updates, unless I find that I need them.