Hot on the heels of NVIDIA's leaked 5.08 drivers that sprung across the Internet just a few weeks ago comes newer 5.13 drivers for Windows 9x, NT, and 2000. If you haven't heard of the Detonator 5.08 drivers, chances are you haven't had an Internet connection the past few weeks. Since Reactor Critical
posted the 5.08 drivers three weeks ago, they've sprung like wildfire across NVIDIA fan sites and newsgroups. For more information on 5.08, take a look at our original article
Once we learned leaked 5.13 drivers were available we immediately got our hands on them for testing!
So what new features do the 5.13 drivers add? Most notable is the addition of full-screen anti-aliasing (FSAA) in Direct3D mode. Detonator 5.08 only supported FSAA in OpenGL. What else does 5.13 add?
The readme file included with the 5.13 drivers adds a new video card to the list of supported adapters: "NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS." Could this be the name of NVIDIA's successor to GeForce 256, codenamed "NV15"? In a search for more answers, we inspected the INF file included with 5.13 and found four references to NV15:
"NV15": We assume this refers to the basic NV15 graphics accelerator with conventional SDRAM. Countless rumors related to NV15 have been leaked, but to date NVIDIA has kept its lips sealed when it comes to the details.
"NV15DDR": Like NV10, it appears NV15 will be available with both single data rate and double data rate memory. 32MB and 64MB configurations are expected.
"NV15BR": We assume the "BR" refers to Bladerunner, a variant of NV15 mentioned in previous 5.x driver releases. So what is Bladerunner? We wish we knew, perhaps it's a souped-up version of NV15 intended for gamers with large wallets? Or maybe Bladerunner is intended for the notebook market? Your guess is as good as ours!
"NV15GL": It looks like NVIDIA will offer a variant of NV15 for the high-end workstation/CAD market. Like Quadro, this card won't be aimed at gamers, and will probably be offered exclusively by Elsa.
Other than that, there's nothing new in 5.13. We've read claims of improved stability with 5.13, but we've also heard the horror stories some have experienced with 5.13.
Keep in mind that like 5.08 (and any other unofficial driver release for that matter) these drivers may not work properly with your system. Don't expect your card manufacturer or NVIDIA to provide support for you if you experience problems, these drivers were leaked after all!