Keeping your laptop’s GPU drivers up to date has always been a tricky task, with laptop makers often only coming up with the goods several months after the equivalent desktop drivers.
However, Nvidia says it’s going to put a stop to this by synchronising its own driver releases for both desktop and mobile GPUs.
The move follows the launch of Nvidia’s Verde scheme for laptop GPU drivers in 2008, which was designed to enable gamers to update their laptop drivers without having to wait for an OEM driver release from the manufacturer.
The company has kept these drivers relatively up to date, bringing support for Windows 7, GPU-accelerated PhysX, multi-monitor SLI and DirectCompute with the 195.62 release last year, all of which aren’t supported by the standard 179.32 OEM driver.
The current driver is release 197.16, which enables 3D Vision in the driver, which you can use via an external display if your laptop screen doesn’t have the refresh rate for it. However, this is still behind the latest desktop driver releases, and this all changes with the release of Nvidia’s 256-series Verde drivers.
According to Nvidia, this means that the same driver version will now be released simultaneously for both mobile and desktop GPUs. What’s more, Nvidia says that the drivers will work on all current Nvidia GPUs across all laptop categories.
It looks as though owners of GeForce-equipped laptops are now becoming much more driver-savvy, and are seeking to keep their drivers as up to date as possible. According to Nvidia, its Verde laptop GPU drivers racked up over a million downloads a month in the first quarter of this year, showing that there is indeed rampant demand for current laptop GPU drivers.
There’s no official release date for the 256-series Verde drivers, but an Nvidia spokesperson told us that we should expect to see them arrive at some time during May this year.