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nVidia TNT/GF 3D driver
Alpha 4.1
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 Published by Rudolf Cornelissen
   Click here for more information about this publisher...
 Date Posted:   May 5th, 2005
 Last Updated:   April 13th, 2006
 License: BSD/MIT
 Downloads: 21,384 total; 2,406 recently
 Page Views: 96,000 total
 User Rating: Give this application a rating
8.93 / 10, with 29 votes
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About nVidia TNT/GF 3D driver:
This unified driver supports all TNT and GeForce series cards upto and including GeForce 4MX (NV18). It's known to work on BeOS R5, Dano, Zeta and Max.

Note please:
This driver is still Alpha quality. Use with care.

Current nVidia driver features:
  • Works on TNT1 (NV04) upto/including GeForce 4MX (NV18);
  • Works with Mesa 3.4.2 (included);
  • Supports basic openGL 3D acceleration;
  • Supports forced screen retrace synchronisation.
Supported cards (as far as is known):
  • TNT 1/2;
  • TNT 2-M64;
  • Vanta/Aladdin TNT2;
  • GeForce 256;
  • GeForce 2 MX/Ti/GTS/Go;
  • GeForce 2 Integrated GPU (Nforce);
  • GeForce 4 MX/Go;
  • GeForce 4 Integrated GPU (Nforce 2);
  • GeForce 4 MX4000;
  • GeForce (4 MX) PCX 4300;
  • Quadro (2/4/Go).
Known limitations:
  • Only works in 16 and 32 bit color at the moment;
  • Only works for one application at a time;
  • There are other limitations: a more extensive list is included in the downloads.

Latest Version
Details about this version:
This version should be considered a stable release. However, if you first try it, you'd better not run anything crucial as it might hang your screen and app_server..

Status since Alpha 3.5:
  • Alpha 4.x versions use Mesa 3.4.2 again. Alpha 4.0 contains numerous bugfixes compared to all older versions. Alpha 4.1 is, on top of that, the fastest version upto now:
    • on a P4@2.8Ghz with NV18, GeForce4-MX440 the teapot now spins at 800fps using default settings;
    • on the same system Quake2 timedemo1 runs at 140fps in 640x480x16 fullscreen mode using default settings;
    • on that same system using a NV15, GeForce2 Ti, Quake2 timedemo1 runs at 150fps: NV15 is currently the fastest supported card.
  • The driver still only works on NV04 (TNT1) upto/including NV18 (GeForce 4 MX). Although I spent a lot of time to overcome this, that didn't happen yet.
  • The driver is still slow compared to Windows and Linux closed-source drivers. This is partly because we're using such an old version of Mesa, and partly because of lacking info on enabling some nice features (like compressed Z-buffering and a higher level GPU interface).
  • The driver still only supports one 3D app at a time, and only works 'completely' in 16- and 32bit desktops.
  • Still, this driver outperforms the original UtahGLX driver a lot (both speed and quality wise), and gives us some interesting options on BeOS. So enjoy it if you can. :-)
  • Added features (require reboots to take effect currently):
    • Force retrace synced swapbuffer execution: enable this option via the driver's nv.settings file option: force_sync true. This option is nice to use, it improves output quality considerably (removes tearing), although it slows the fps down;
    • Force GPU speed: enable and set this option via the driver's nv.settings file option: gpu_clk. The number is the clock frequency in Mhz. Personally, I wouldn't use this one though: it's dangerous if used incorrectly while currently not improving speed much;
    • Force RAM speed: enable and set this option via the driver's nv.settings file option: ram_clk. The number is the clock frequency in Mhz. Although I recommend not using this option either, it potentially speeds up rendering some more, since currently RAM access is the biggest bottleneck in the hardware for us. Still: dangerous option.
  • Note please: the 'primary' nv.setting is not compatible with the 3D add-on currently. Therefore you shouldn't enable it when you want to use accelerated 3D.

Fixes for Alpha 4.1:
  • 3D speed is (much) higher now depending on the card you use (thanks to improvements in the 2D driver):
    • TNT cards run at the same speed as Alpha 4.0 did;
    • TNT2 style cards run at upto 104% of the previous release;
    • Most supported GeForce style cards now run at upto 140%;
    • GeForce2Ti cards now run at upto 200% speed compared to Alpha 4.0.
  • Fixed lacking synchronisation between GPU and driver managing textures: this (at least) fixes texturing errors on setups that require texture deletion/loading on-the-fly during rendering because of (relative) low graphics memory;
  • Driver now reports info about the graphicscard in use, along with the driver's own version number.
I want to thank BeOS Mr.X explicitly for his help and extensive testing during development of Alpha 4. Without him this release would have contained a lot less bug-fixes. So, thanks Mr.X!!
(Mr. X is a real 'BeOS-based' hardcore gamer I'd say! :-)

Intel Version - requires Zeta   (1.81 MB) 5,452 downloads
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Rudolf's site: Dano and Zeta binary
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Intel Version - requires R5   (1.71 MB) 2,622 downloads
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Rudolf's site: R5 and max binary
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Intel Version   (2.55 MB) 5,110 downloads
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Rudolf's site: Full sources
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Recent Talkback comments:
  • lol ^^ - teathief
  • NVidia & SMP - ArDrakho
  • vote :) - rudolfc

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