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Here is my Windows 7 Experience Index using the stock graphics driver:

Stock driver

And after installing the newest driver Forceware 197.45, it becomes:

Forceware 197.45

The only change is that the "Gaming graphics" subscore drops from 6.4 to 5.2.

Is the stock graphic driver more optimized for Windows 7? Or is Forceware 197.45 buggy? Should I revert back to the stock driver?

My configuration:

  • Athlon 64 X2 5000+
  • Asus M2A-VM (AMD 690G, SB600)
  • 6 GB DDR2-800 RAM (only 3.25 GB usable under Windows)
  • GeForce 8600 GT (256 MB)
  • Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit
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up vote 4 down vote accepted

I wouldn't trust Windows Experience Index "rater" to be any sort of benchmarking tool. Get your hands on 3D Mark '06 / 3D Mark Vantage, run the benchmarks for couple of times and compare the scores to see which one is better.

For the record, based on my previous experiences, Nvidia's latest Forceware drivers are always better than Windows' stock drivers.

(PS: Not sure why you're using 32-bit edition of Windows, with as much as 6GB of RAM. You should move on to 64-bit edition to make use of all available RAM).

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use the 64 bit version of windows! – Roy Rico Apr 15 '10 at 21:34
The Index is never an accurate measure of performance, but a drop from 6.4 to 5.2 most probably means something is wrong, be it the driver or the Index itself. 3D Mark is definitely a better tool; if I have time I'll see what it tells me. BTW, I do make use of the unaddressable RAM with a 2.75GB ramdrive (check out if you don't think it can be done:) – netvope Apr 15 '10 at 22:15
@netvope - Nice use of RAMdisks. – Sathya Apr 20 '10 at 20:39

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