News Bits: NVidia DX10 Card for Notebooks, NVidia Vista Driver Problems, The Reason for Junk Software

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Nvidia 8-series graphics cards confirmed for laptops

Nvidia stated that they will be shipping their 8-series GPUs in laptops in time for the launch of Intel’s next-generation Santa Rosa Centrino Pro platform, which is scheduled to come out in Q2.

The Nvidia 8-series is likely to be the first DirectX 10-compatible notebook graphics hardware unless ATI has a hidden surprise. There is no word on the pricing.

Read More (Engadget)

Lenovo ThinkPad is strongest notebook PC brand according to TBR

Lenovo announced that it has received top rankings in notebook brand awareness and customer satisfaction for Q4 2006 according to TBR (Technology Business Research). Lenovo’s rankings increased in that quarter and overshadowed some of its largest competitors in reliability and product design.

Lenovo has now dominated the area of hardware reliability for the eighth year in a row. The company was noted for making significant progress in the areas of notebook value, ease of doing business, repair time, and overall satisfaction. They were also noted for being the only PC company in TBR’s report that maintained their position for hardware reliability for an extended period of time.

Read More (Business Wire)

Nvidia Vista drivers not ready for gaming

According to a group of gamers, Nvidia’s Windows Vista drivers for GeForce video cards are not ready for prime time. They have set up a web site dedicated to the cause, and there is discussion about a possible class-action lawsuit against the company.

The main issue is the performance of the Nvidia drivers under gaming scenarios in Vista. One poster on Nvidia’s forums made the following comment:

I have Vista Ultimate 32-bit edition and an 8800GTX. I installed 4 games (UT2004, Dreamfall, Oblivion and NFS Most Wanted) and not a single one of them works. Even with Forceware 100.30, 100.54 and 100.59.

If I am lucky I can play for a couple of seconds, but then the game crashes to the desktop with the error message "Your display driver crashed and has been recovered" …or something.

Many Nvidia owners are reporting problems with the latest official drivers. Complaints range from games not running to seeing significant performance decreases compared to XP. Director of PR at Nvidia, Derek Perez, told Ars Technica the following in a statement:

"We are working diligently to make sure we achieve and maintain the level of driver quality and reliability that NVIDIA is known for. Over the coming weeks NVIDIA and our partners, along with the industry will continue to update Windows Vista drivers to ensure maximum performance on 3D applications and add feature support."

Note that all of the reported problems users are experiencing with Nvidia drivers under Vista are gaming-related; standard users should have no issues.

Forum Discussion

Read More (Ars Technica)

Why vendors load junk software onto PCs

"Tuning up" a system used to mean defragmenting the hard drive, optimizing files, cleaning the registry, deleting old programs and useless data, as well as installing little utilities that supposedly would help performance. However, "tuning up" has taken on a different meaning in today’s world – the removal of spyware and preloaded junk software. Many vendors, such as Dell and HP, preload junk software onto PCs before they are shipped to the customer.

Why do vendors load that software? Simple – they are paid to do so buy the software makers because consumers are more likely to buy the full version of the software if it is already preinstalled.

Usually, it is a tedious process to uninstall the preloaded junk and then optimize a system. However, a utility loaded onto Lenovo laptops makes the entire process far easier. The ThinkVantage Base Software Administrator is designed for people who want to customize their preloads. The tool allows the user to see the preload recovery area on Lenovo PCs (both laptops and desktops) and select which programs, patches, and utilities to have installed and which ones to not install. It is an automated tool and will recover a system according to what you told it to do. Lenovo is proud to be the only vendor that offers this option.

However, support has only been added to recent systems from Lenovo, starting this past summer. If you have a newer Lenovo system, this software utility is well worth a try.

Read More (Lenovo Blogs)

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