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Nvidia responds to Vista driver dust-up

Nvidia addresses Vista's driver incompatibilities.

If you've followed PC-related Vista transition news, you'll know that Nvidia still doesn't have a fully functional graphics driver for its GeForce 8000-series graphics cards. The best you can do under Windows Vista is run a single GeForce 8800 with only half of its typical option settings available. Running two 8800's in SLI mode in Vista is out entirely. I find it irritating that Nvidia made a bunch of grand Vista-related promises with these next-gen cards when they were released in November, and hasn't delivered yet. My irritation is mild, though, compared to the folks behind, who have found Nvidia's lack of full Vista support to be legally actionable.

Despite branding efforts to the contrary, Nvidia's GeForce 8800 software isn't Vista ready yet. Nvidia

Tech site Ars Technica interviewed Nvidia's director of PR, Derek Perez for a response to the potential lawsuit, which, among other demands, wants Nvidia to publicly apologize. Rather than a mea culpa, Perez instead pointed to the previous generations of Nvidia graphics cards and chips that do have a fully-certified Vista driver. He also emphasized that a final GeForce 8000 Vista driver is Nvidia's "highest priority."

Based on conversations I've had with Nvidia's technical marketing staff, I feel confident that Nvidia is working heads-down on this. I also gave the GeForce 8800 GTX card an Editor's Choice award when we reviewed it in November. I still think it's the best 3D card for the money. There's no current-generation game that even one GeForce 8800GTX can't handle. Still, I understand the frustrations of gamers who, in some cases, have spent many thousands of dollars building what were supposed to have been next-gen gaming PCs, only to find out they're temporarily crippled. If there's a short-term silver lining, it's that no next-gen PC games have come out yet. That means that in terms of game performance and image quality, no one is missing out on anything in Windows Vista that they can't get in Windows XP. Still, Nvidia's Vista branding seems to obscure the fact that that shiny new GeForce 8800 card isn't fully Vista compatible out-of-the-box. I'm no legal expert, so I have no idea if a class-action suit has merit. I can say that if I just found out that my new $600 3D card doesn't do what it says it's supposed to, I'd be angry, too.