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Message boards : Number crunching : Nvidia Driver 314.07 - a Warning

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Message 28652 - Posted: 21 Feb 2013 | 15:55:48 UTC

My modest GTX 460 always completes long Noelias in time for the full bonus, until...

Two days ago I upgraded from 310.90 to 341.07. Since then the two WUs I completed went over 24 hours, and the current WU will do the same.

I just went back to 310.90.
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Message 28665 - Posted: 22 Feb 2013 | 2:07:06 UTC - in response to Message 28652.
Last modified: 22 Feb 2013 | 2:08:18 UTC

On my GTX 560 and 650 Ti, I upgraded from 310.90 to 314.70 and saw no change. In fact, I do a lot of Folding work, and have never seen any change in performance due to Nvidia drivers, starting with a GTX 450 and on through a 550 Ti, 560 Ti, and 660 in addition to the ones mentioned above.

That is not to say that I have not seen reduced output, but that has never been due to the new drivers themselves, but to not doing a clean uninstall of the old drivers. To do a clean uninstall, you first remove them from the Control Panel ("Programs and Features" in Win7), NOT from the Device Manager. Then, remove the remaining registry entries using Driver Fusion (successor to Driver Sweeper), rebooting as instructed.

That cleanly removes the old drivers, but you also need to ensure that no other drivers were installed by Windows automatically when you rebooted after removing the old ones. It helps to disconnect from the Internet so that new ones are not downloaded automatically. But even so, old ones might still be on your disk. To check, you can go to Device Manager and see what is there; if they are not the default Microsoft VGA drivers, uninstall them, this time using Device Manager, and delete them from the disk! Then, you can upgrade to the new ones without a problem.

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Message 28674 - Posted: 22 Feb 2013 | 18:04:31 UTC - in response to Message 28665.

On my GTX 560 and 650 Ti, I upgraded from 310.90 to 314.70 and saw no change. In fact, I do a lot of Folding work, and have never seen any change in performance due to Nvidia drivers, starting with a GTX 450 and on through a 550 Ti, 560 Ti, and 660 in addition to the ones mentioned above.

There was a sizable increase in performance not too awfully long ago with the newer NVidia and ATI/AMD drivers in POEM, but that's OpenCL and also has very high CPU requirements. If memory serves, the performance increase was around 15% for NV and a total of about 30% (across 2 performance updates) for the AMD team.

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Message 28706 - Posted: 23 Feb 2013 | 16:50:00 UTC - in response to Message 28674.

On my GTX 560 and 650 Ti, I upgraded from 310.90 to 314.70 and saw no change. In fact, I do a lot of Folding work, and have never seen any change in performance due to Nvidia drivers, starting with a GTX 450 and on through a 550 Ti, 560 Ti, and 660 in addition to the ones mentioned above.

There was a sizable increase in performance not too awfully long ago with the newer NVidia and ATI/AMD drivers in POEM, but that's OpenCL and also has very high CPU requirements. If memory serves, the performance increase was around 15% for NV and a total of about 30% (across 2 performance updates) for the AMD team.

Yes, I have seen the increase in POEM on an HD 7770, and it also helped WCG/HCC too, though not as much. But CUDA is another story, and apparently doesn't change much. I think the new drivers mainly correct problems in 3D games, etc.

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Message 28714 - Posted: 23 Feb 2013 | 20:01:47 UTC

I couldn't surpass the 130 MHz overclock limit with the new drivers, so I reverted back to 310.90.

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Message 28734 - Posted: 24 Feb 2013 | 5:10:31 UTC

Haven't experienced any issues yet with the new driver on a 670.

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Message 28746 - Posted: 24 Feb 2013 | 13:31:57 UTC - in response to Message 28734.

I will reiterate that for GPUGrid 'upgrading' the driver generally yields nothing positive.

In my experience, you typically end up with the exact same performance for crunching or very slightly less (~1%), usually only noticeable on lesser cards.

If you have a stable crunching system, don't touch it. Changing a driver just introduces the chance to encounter problems.

Here the apps have to be built to exploit new code that improves CUDA performance.
While there are many CUDA improvements with time, not all of these benefit this project. Even if they did the researchers could't develop for, test and bring out a new app every month while doing useful research.
In reality it's only once or twice a year that we see significant changes in CUDA that would improve performances for some GPUGrid apps. Often these CUDA improvements are only realized when using the newest cards.

If there is an announcement that GPUGrid will be using a new app, find out if your driver supports this apps CUDA, for example CUDA 4.2, and only upgrade your driver if your card doesn't support it.

While some drivers can also bring stability, if your card isn't unstable, there is no point in upgrading. Even if your GPU is unstable, there is no guarantee that a random new driver will fix your stability problems.

As others have stated, drivers generally just bring improvements to games.
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Message boards : Number crunching : Nvidia Driver 314.07 - a Warning