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At a pace faster than a drunk stumbling to his porcelain abode, once again we’ve been caught in a barrage of NVIDIA drivers. This tends to happen every time a certain someone starts getting antsy about their position in the world – that and the NV30 is waiting to crack out of its little NDA covered shell.
The main difference between the 30 and 40 series of drivers is the inclusion of a refresh rate fix. Lord knows how long this has been needed, but it is through no fault of NVIDIA that this issue even exists in the first place. Microsoft generally caters to the lowest common denominator, and in doing so figured that everybody likes to run monitors at a migraine-inducing 60Hz. There are those amongst us who couldn’t tell the difference, but the vast majority in this community could tell the difference between 60Hz and 100Hz - even with their Coke bottle bottom glasses behind their backs.
For kicks we decided to include the third-party Omega drivers. Mind you these drivers are not tuned for straight performance, the creator had only image quality in mind. Without causing too much of a loss in performance, he’s managed to surpass NVIDIA’s reference drivers in that end. Mind you, he isn’t just turning on anisotropic filtering and FSAA. Through some hocus pocus on the backend settings, he has managed to achieve some pretty good results. These drivers can be found at: Omega Corner.
His method of improving on the NVIDIA drivers is not done through actual recoding, as he does not have the source to enable him to do so. Instead, he tweaks the settings a bit. The drivers also seem to have some more added options. If you take a peek at the pictures, you can see that the Coolbits hack is enabled out of the box, as well as some extra D3D settings. The drivers also come with their own refresh rate fix as well as some extra toys.
More D3D options
At the moment he is basing his latest Omega driver off of v30.82. Apparently the author has qualms with v40.xx, as he has found that they tend to cause more problems, despite the performance increases.
We took some pictures in Giants: Citizen Kabuto to show the differences between the various drivers. The results were that the Omega drivers were considerably more detailed than any of the NVIDIA driver revisions. In fact, most of the NVIDIA drivers looked pretty much the same, regardless of revision. The main differences arose in texture quality and how far back the high quality textures were being implemented. Provided are the main pictures, compressed for obvious size constraints, and then following them are zoomed and cropped versions of the scenes on both sets of drivers. What’s really amazing is that even though we converted the bitmaps to jpegs, the differences are still readily noticeable even in the main pictures. Omega man certainly did his homework when he made these drivers.
The key thing to look for in these pictures is the texture detail way in the back of the scene. On the Omega drivers the detail is readily noticeable, whereas the NVIDIA drivers pretty much just have colored walls with almost no discernable texture pattern.