NVIDIA GeForce WHQL vs GeForce Forceware. Difference?

Discussion in 'Videocards - NVIDIA GeForce Drivers Section' started by Spixe, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. Spixe

    Spixe New Member

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    Forgive me if this is a stupid question, as I know next to nothing about video drivers, other than I generally need what version from what card manufacturer.

    Whats the difference between:
    NVIDIA GeForce 285.62 WHQL 64-bit (http://downloads.guru3d.com/download.php?det=2802#download)
    &
    GeForce Forceware 285.79 Win 7 Vista x64 (http://downloads.guru3d.com/download.php?det=2808)

    ? There's a very slight version # difference and about a month release date wise, but aside from that, which one should I install, and why? They both say GeForce, but one says NVIDIA + WHQL, and the other says Forceware, does this make a difference? Sorry again if this is a stupid question, I couldn't find any FAQ about driver versions, etc.
     
  2. cricket bones

    cricket bones Master Guru

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    285.79 is a beta release and a newer version than 285.62.
     
  3. Spixe

    Spixe New Member

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    So, aside from the version number, the two files are of the same exact driver? The whole "Forceware" "WHQL" etc in one and not the other means nothing in regards to the difference? Just want to make sure, they are named differently after all so I would have assumed they have different purposes.
     
  4. Spets

    Spets Ancient Guru

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    WHQL just means Microsoft hasn't found a problem with it and gave it their little "seal of approval". Usually they're meant to be more stable than a beta, personally you're better off trying newer betas and seeing what works good for you, if it doesn't do you justice, just rollback.
     

  5. pimp_gimp

    pimp_gimp Ancient Guru

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    They are not the same driver as 285.79 has fixes and optimizations that the 285.62's do not. The release notes for each driver will give a list of the optimizations and fixes related to the particular driver. WHQL just means they've gone through Microsoft quality testing and have a stamp from them.
     
  6. TheDeeGee

    TheDeeGee Ancient Guru

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    Fixes or not, there isn't a driver that you MUST have because it's the best.

    Either it works for you or it doesn't. Testing testing testing, welcome to the world of PC Gaming :)
     
  7. Pill Monster

    Pill Monster Banned

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    No, they aren't the same. WHQL shows they passed Windows Hardware Quality Laboratories testing.
    In theory this ensures the drivers will be bug-free and won't screw up your OS, but in reality it doesn't mean jack shlt...

    Beta drivers haven't been fully tested and aren't guaranteed to be stable..

    The only things that matter are the release notes and version number, this indicates how old the drivers are, but just to confuse things sometimes older drivers have a newer number.
    Home users don't care that one set might be 10 days older than another, but as this is an enthusiast site most people here are anal about having the latest drivers and will check the release date in the .inf file.

    Geforce/Forceware are just two different names for the same thing, Nvidia's Graphics drivers used to be called Forceware, but that has since become Geforce.

    Hope this helps. :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2011
  8. Spixe

    Spixe New Member

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    Ah, now that's the info I was looking for! So they are pretty much the same thing (not to under state one is newer and has more up date to fixes, etc), just two different names. Well now, ain't that confusing to a n00b like me, ha. But OK, got it, so in the future I'll probably just take the latest driver version without regard to if it says WHQL or Forceware and silly naming schemes like that. Thanks a bunch all, extremely helpful :)
     
  9. Darren Hodgson

    Darren Hodgson Ancient Guru

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    Ignore the word 'ForceWare' as that's what NVIDIA used to called their driver packages but now they're the more sensible "Graphics Driver".

    WHQL certified drivers (WHQL = Windows Hardware Qualification Lab) have been tested by Microsoft for basic compatibility with Windows so you should always install the latest version. Higher version numbers generally mean they're newer (but not always).

    If you're more adventurous then you can also install beta drivers which have not been tested and certified by Microsoft but are generally fine in my experience. More often than not beta drivers with a higher version number than the WHQL version (such as the 285.79 betas vs. 285.62 WHQL) are better simply because they contain additional bug fixes and improvements for the latest games.

    Neither WHQL-certified or beta drivers are guaranteed to be 100% error-free on your system though but I'd still suggest always installing the latest driver, beta or WHQL, especially if you play games. If you don't play games or are happy playing older ones then there really isn't any need to update regularly.

    Hope that helps.
     
  10. spine

    spine Member Guru

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    Solid advice.

    And I'd add further that whilst nvidia may release 'beta' drivers, it's not as if these drivers haven't undergone some decent testing by nvidia themselves before release.

    Releasing a buggy driver inevitably costs them time and money in the long run, so rest assured, they do test this stuff to some extent before release. More so for the WHQL candidate drivers.
     

  11. Pill Monster

    Pill Monster Banned

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    @Darren - what was the point in reposting what I had already said not 2 posts above yours, almost word for word?

    Really dude.... wtf? :stewpid:
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011
  12. Spixe

    Spixe New Member

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    Lol, pretty funny stuff. I was also just sorta thinking, "didn't somebody just say this?" No worries though, a very friendly community here. I actually came here just to update (and thus found 2 drivers and posted this question) my video drivers for Battlefield 3, which I read in both driver notes that they contain lots of fixes for it, so now I realize the importance in updating drivers if you're a gamer. I'll be doing it much more often now. Is there a way to get an update when a new version is released, or do you guys check check the site daily? I think the nvidia tool has "check for online updates" built in, but I imagine that doesn't include betas.
     
  13. Pill Monster

    Pill Monster Banned

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    ^Keep an eye on the Nvidia driver section of the forum.

    Or you can check out the front page of this website - the latest drivers are posted there as soon as we get them - usually once every 2 weeks or so.

    http://downloads.guru3d.com/
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011
  14. Spets

    Spets Ancient Guru

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    You can set the updater to include betas as well, but the forum members here are a lot faster :p
     
  15. sykozis

    sykozis Ancient Guru

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    Half the time the new drivers are posted here before nVidia even gets them posted....lol
     

  16. Spets

    Spets Ancient Guru

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    Lol so true, it's annoying when you're waiting for the release notes to be uploaded to the site.
     

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