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May 13, 2007

Vista Gem #3

Filed under Computers, Software

First, some background.

I wanted a graphics card that would let me play around with DirectX 10 programming *and* be quiet (i.e. no fans). I picked up a Gigabyte GV-NX86T256D from Newegg.com for $150, which comes with the new Nvidia 8600 chip.

I downloaded Nvidia's SDK 10, which features demos and sample code for DirectX 10. While playing with one of the demos, the graphics driver crashed.

In Windows XP, a graphics driver crash would show a blue screen and you have to reboot and lose all your work you had loaded.

Vista works differently. When a graphics driver crashes, you get a pop-up message that says "Display driver stopped responding and has recovered." Then you continue as if nothing happened. No reboot!

In the case of the above screen shot, the application that caused the graphic driver to die ("Smoke") no longer works. I'm wondering if you could write your graphics application in such a way that it could survive a driver crash. It seems like you should be able to, but I haven't seen it in practice yet. If you could, then people wouldn't lose their work because of buggy graphics drivers.

Bugs in graphics drivers are the main reason Windows XP would blue screen. With Vista, graphics drivers won't be able to do that anymore.

For more details on the new Vista graphics driver model WDDM (Windows Display Driver Model), see this article


Comments (3)

I read about that card's Silent-Pipe II "heatsink." It's really strange looking, but seems like it works.

John Mark Roquemore:

I have been doing test with a 8800 at work and DirectX 10 is really very cool. You might want to download the 3 demos from NVidia, they are pretty cool, the best is adrianne but the other two cascades and froggy are good too. But man adrianne really shows off the direction that we can go into the future. We are so close to photo-real!! You can get them from NZone.

Check them out and let me know what you think.


I tried out the 4 Nvidia demos for the 8800 series from nZone.

They all run, but very slowly...even with all the image quality settings set to the lowest.

Since I bought this card to do DirectX programming, having a slow card is actually a good thing. It will force me to optimize my code so it runs smoothly on my system, which means it will scream on faster GeForce 8 series cards.

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