Nvidia plans to unify desktop, mobile drivers


— 2:49 PM on April 26, 2010

Less than a year and a half ago, Nvidia offered its first set of mobile graphics drivers to the public in beta form. Users with mobile Nvidia GPUs have since gotten regular updates, but as HotHardware reports, Nvidia is now planning a bolder move: the complete unification of mobile and desktop drivers.

This unification will happen with upcoming release-256 drivers "in a few months." Nvidia will still offer separate downloads for mobile and desktop users, but the same drivers versions will be available on the same dates in both cases. Right now, mobile GeForce driver updates seem to come out at longer intervals than their desktop brethren.

Users shouldn't expect universal support for every single system with an Nvidia GPU, though. HotHardware explains:

While NVIDIA's Verde drivers aim to unify mobile and desktop GPU drivers, they will not be universally compatible. Notebooks with discrete GPUs, hybrid solutions that feature NVIDIA IGPs, and Optimus enabled notebooks will be compatible. Notebooks with multi-vendor hybrid solutions, i.e. those with integrated Intel graphics and discrete NVIDIA graphics, will not be supported.

Thankfully, Optimus seems to be showing up in an increasing number of systems, like the Asus U30Jc we reviewed last week. Folks with older laptops that don't have the intelligent graphics switching scheme might not get updates in as timely a fashion, however.

Nvidia's unification move sounds quite a lot like what AMD did with its Catalyst 10.3 update. The 10.3 Catalysts introduced support for Mobility Radeon HD graphics processors, and going forward, AMD intends to continue releasing simultaneous, monthly updates for both its desktop and mobile offerings.

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