WHQL-certified GeForce release 256 drivers go live

Three weeks after offering a public beta of its release-256 graphics drivers, Nvidia has gotten the stamp of approval from Microsoft's Windows Hardware Quality Labs and put up a completed version. The WHQL-certified GeForce 257.21 drivers are available now for Windows 7 and Vista x86, Windows 7 and Vista x64, Windows XP x86, and Windows XP x64.

Just like the betas, these drivers promise a whole host of performance improvements for GeForce GTX 400-series graphics cards, not to mention new triple-way SLI antialiasing modes, Blu-ray 3D support, and new sections in the Nvidia Control Panel for SLI, PhysX, and CUDA controls (including the ability to pick which GPUs run which CUDA applications). OpenGL 4.0 support has also made it in for GeForce GTX 400-series GPUs—not that any games use the updated API yet.

Alongside the extra functionality, the 257.21 release includes "numerous bug fixes," Nvidia says. You can find out more about those in the official release notes, which Nvidia offers in two editions: one for Windows 7 or Vista and another for Windows XP.

Folks with mobile GeForce graphics processors can also grab the Verde 257.21 drivers, which are available for Win7 and Vista x86 and Win7 and Vista x64, but not Windows XP. Highlights of the 257.21 notebook release are pretty much the same as for the desktop update, except here, Nvidia talks of Optimus support and "a new 'Quality' mode for NVIDIA’s Ambient Occlusion control panel feature." (Thanks to TR reader SH SOTN for the heads up.)

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