Thursday, April 30, 2009


Today NVIDIA posted their Beta version 185.81 driver. This driver supports GeForce 8M, 9M, 100M, and 200M-series notebook GPUs.

View the release notes HERE.

Driver Links:
Vista 64
Vista 32

I have updated the 32/64 bit Vista Driver Pages as well.

With SLI enabled, PowerMizer does in fact downclock the GPUs based on load. I expected this since as of 185.66 NVIDIA seems to have worked this bug out.

Of note, while running the installer, Windows states the driver is not digitally signed. This was unexpected as NVIDIA and most only released signed drivers - no big deal though, just accept the warning and continue with driver install.

PhysX is a bit hosed with this installer (known issue) - IF you have an AGEIA card installed you will need to download and run the installer for 9.09.0408 ( By default the 185.81 installer installs 9.09.0203. Once you download 9.09.0408 run the installer - it will uninstall the 9.09.0203 version. Rerun the 9.09.0408 installer to update PhysX. DO NOT UNINSTALL PHYSX via the Control Panel. If you do you will need to start all over and run the 8.09.04 installer ( then the 9.09.0408 installer.

3DMark06 scores are on par with the 185.66/185.68 drivers (actually with 185.81 I initially scored 200 points higher on the first run with PhysX and the AGEIA disabled - 11468 3DMarks). I haven't OC'd the GPUs yet - may do that later to run 3DMark06. As most will agree, in the end 3DMark06 is nothing more than a number - real world performance is what counts.

Left 4 Dead still exhibits the occasional freeze up with sound loop issue - however with 185.81 it is much less frequent. This bug presented itself right after the DLC/Survival Mode update. I don't count this as a hardware/nvidia issue - Valve needs to get on it and figure out what they did.

This driver is a keeper... If you haven't yet, give it a try!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Dell Diagnostics update - vA1354A01 released

Just a quick update to the 32/64 bit Driver Download lists. Dell has released vA1354A01 of their 32-bit diagnostics app.

Dell Diagnostics are designed to verify proper operation of the hardware in your system outside of a high level operating system environment. The packages in this release are designed to create bootable media from which to run these diagnostics. Both packages are capable of creating bootable USB flash drives, or CDs as well as a hard drive image file capable of being used for PXE booting or as a virtual media image with additional hardware and/or software. These packages are also capable of being used to update an existing diagnostic (utility) partition on a system supported by the package. Use CW1354A0.exe to create bootable media in Windows.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bane-O's Dell Logo and Wing Color Mod for 'The Beast'

Ever wished you picked a different color for your M1730 when you ordered it? Have you wanted to mod the colors but hesitated when you realized you had to take it apart? Well, Bane-O over @ NBR posted a MOD Tutorial back in March and I just now came across it... *tisk*tisk*

Take a look and if you are game, give it a go...

Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Beast and SLI with LV2Go's 185.66 driver

One thing has always bothered me about 'The Beast' since I first received it... When running in SLI mode, the GPU clocks stayed locked at 500Mhz/799Mhz. They would NEVER downclock based on load. I tried so many different drivers. Starting way back with the NVIDIA 175.19 driver, every driver released failed to activate NVIDIA's PowerMizer technology. I eventually gave up and since I am not a heavy gamer, I was resigned to keeping SLI disabled. With SLI disabled, PowerMizer worked. It was nice to see the GPU downclock based on load and the lower temps as a result.

Well, after almost a year and half, I am pleased to say I finally came across a driver where PowerMizer functioned correctly with SLI enabled. This was a surprise to say the least. Amazing to think I could actually keep my laptop in SLI mode and still reap the rewarding lower thermals.

The driver I am talking about is the 185.66 release which posted on April 3rd. This driver is the cream of the crop. Thanks to Pieter and his v3.291 modded .inf - it installs correctly and is nothing but a dream come true.

So here it is - performance:

Temps are amazing. Even with SLI enabled, HWMonitor is reporting a low of 44c and a current of 45c with a max of 60c for the GPUs. CPU temps are a low of 26c, current of 29c and a max of 45c.

GPU-Z is reporting current GPU clocks @ 200Mhz on the core and 100Mhz on the memory. Prior to this driver they were always locked at 500Mhz Core / 799Mhz Memory while in SLI.

Image Quality is EXCELLENT. I have done a few test runs in Left 4 Dead and TF2. No problems found.

With that being said, I have to give this driver thumbs up! Pieter over @ laptopvideo2go is a genius. Granted, this might be a fix NVIDIA finally rolled out - or its in the way Pieter set up the .inf file. I don't know - and quite frankly I don't care. All I know is this driver is the one you should be using if you own 'The Beast' and are running 8800M GTX SLI.

You can grab the necessary files from LV2go (Be sure to download the driver AND the modded .inf file)...

Vista 32

Vista 64

To install, use the following process:

1. Extract driver to the desktop
2. Copy the modded .inf file to the extracted driver folder on desktop. You will be prompted to overwrite – select yes.
3. Uninstall current driver via control panel.
4. Reboot into safe mode
5. Run DriverSweeper and CCleaner (Registry Cleaner), reboot
6. Run 185.66 setup file

Enjoy everyone!

Additional Notes:
Ambient Occlusion is enabled with this driver - for more info on Ambient Occlusion, see this LINK

Apparently this driver has major issues with Counterstrike: Source. So those of you who are CSS fans - you will not be happy with this. From what I've read, you get a complete black screen and thats it... ouch. Wait until the WHQL is released.