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I saw a computer for 3D modeling (Autocad, 3DsMax, Sketchup, etc) which has an NVIDIA graphics card on it. The computer had several "NVIDIA Performance Drivers" installed on it, including one specifically for Autocad.

What are these for? Does the graphics card not handle this well enough by default? Does this mean each and every program could potentially require a performance driver??!!!

...and for multiple systems with different graphics cards, potentially a separate performance driver, for each card, for each program!?!

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Sometimes larger pieces of software will include patches or extra drivers to extend the capabilities of the card in the software. I have seen this more on autodesk products than anywhere else. So yes, potentialy every piece of software could have it, but no on for each card because normally nvidia developes drivers that will apply to a series of their cards so most likely you will not need a driver per card. –  a sandwhich Mar 30 '11 at 3:27
    
Also, often times tgise performance drivers can apply to multiple programs so it may be that that computer doesnt need some of those, it is just that the user has failed to clean old ones off. –  a sandwhich Mar 30 '11 at 3:29
    
@sandwhich - that's pretty much the answers I'm looking for, worth at least a +1 if you put as an answer (not a comment) :) –  Steve Mar 30 '11 at 5:28
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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

nVidia says-

The NVIDIA Graphics Driver is technically a more stable driver. It will likely have been sent to ISVs for qual but since they are older, they may not have some performance optimizations of newer drivers or may not have some optimizations for newer recently released software. The Performance version is not as heavily tested by our ISVs but may perform better with a new workstation title just released or perform faster than older drivers.

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