NVIDIA has made themselves known as a hardware company, and more
recently, an innovation company. The company used to battle with ATI
department, but now they compete with ARM
the microprocessor market. But that's not all. NVIDIA
is also one of
the pioneers in 3D for PCs, and now that they have a solid footing in
the graphics market, they're looking to really pull ahead with software
innovations. You may wonder what software has to do with improved GPUs,
but there's actually a huge link between the two.
GPU performance relies heavily on drivers, and poorly written drivers
lead to poor performance. NVIDIA recently made drivers a top priority,
even going so far as to align their notebook and desktop GPU driver
releases with "Verde." NVIDIA is also releasing new drivers on a regular
basis, which ensures that existing consumers are looked after even as
GPU technology continues on at a breakneck rate. But the July 2010 Verde
driver release is no normal release. In this release, NVIDIA's Optimus
is taking center stage, and the company's GPU switching technology is
seeing improvements all thanks to software.
Optimus is a system that we have grown quite fond of here, as you'll
probably notice in our reviews of Optimus
-enabled laptops. When laptops
ship with a discrete GPU and an integrated graphics set, Optimus allows
the computer to switch between the two on the fly, without a reboot or
system log-off/log-on. The reasons for this are simple: with the IGP,
you can save a lot of battery power, but having the ability to switch on
a discrete GPU means that gamers can get that extra boost where it
wouldn't have been available before. The main issue with Optimus? As a
new technology, the software that shipped with most Optimus machines was
rather spartan, with very few options available to the end user.
Basically, Optimus worked, but end users weren't able to really tell
when it was active, which GPU was active and how Optimus was making
In an effort to add transparency to the Optimus system, NVIDIA's latest
drivers highlights the new customization settings and options made
available to consumers within the latest NVIDIA Control Panel and shows
Optimus in action. It also has a new user interface which provides even
more visibility into how Optimus is working and allows you even more
control over how Optimus operates. There are also a bunch of new
customization options to put the full power of your GPU/IGP into your
own hands. The video below details the new additions, which are waiting
for you to enjoy right now after you update your NVIDIA's GPU drivers.
No need to wait any longer to start that download, right?