When I upgraded my graphics card from a GeForce GTX 470 to a GeForce GTX 690 I was thrilled. I’d designed my computer around making upgrades like that later. I didn’t have the budget to build the “perfect” machine when I built it, but it was at least a solid platform to improve from. So the long-overdue graphics upgrade was on my list of things to do from the beginning.
In fact, the old GeForce GTX 470 was even relegated to being a dedicated PhysX (physics) card.
And you’d think that throwing in a monster of a new video card, a dual-processor card at that, would make my silent PC unbearably loud. After all, the GeForce GTX 690 is hardly designed for silence. But in fact, quite the opposite has been true. With ridiculous SLI performance available, even bumping up the quality settings in all of my games, the GeForce GTX 690 is so under-utilized that it hardly ever has to kick the fan speed up to cope with the heat. Whereas the tiny GeForce GTX 470 had to wind up like a freaking jet engine for some video games.
So the nVidia GeForce GTX 690, I love!
But ever since I upgraded to version 310.90 of nVidia’s display drivers, I’ve had a problem. Every single time that I turn on my computer, I have to start my computer twice! From a cold boot the drivers always fail and Windows throws me into a low-resolution driverless mode. It’s easy to identify as my logon screen is at an extremely low resolution. Fortunately I can just hit restart from there. Thereafter, so long as my computer is rebooting, second boot, every boot until I actually turn it off and cold boot again, the drivers detect the card correctly and all is fine.
It never happened with the older versions of the drivers that I had. It always detected the card correctly the first time, every time.
Only once I “upgraded” to nVidia GeForce display driver 310.90 did this problem occur.
I’ve noticed another bug as well, that may or may not be related. It detects my monitor on the wrong port. In the “NVIDIA Control Panel” software on the “Configure Multi-GPU, Surround, PhysX” configuration screen is shown a representation of my two cards. It even breaks down the GeForce GTX 690 into cards A and B, along side the GeForce GTX 470, for the three cards it technically is. And each card shows which monitors back-end ports have which monitors plugged into them. It correctly identifies which the DVI-I, DVI-D, HDMI, etc. ports are available on which cards. But it always gets it wrong on which one my monitor is plugged into. Not just the wrong port, but the wrong card. I plug it into card A and it shows it as being on card B. I move it to the one and only DVI port on card B to match its idiocy and it then shows it on card A. (And not even the right port type on card A.) It just totally flubs the port my monitor is plugged into.
Now maybe that bug is in no way related. Or maybe that bug is the reason that I have to reboot my PC. Don’t know. Don’t really care. The point is, starting your computer up twice each and every time gets really darned annoying! You think people complain about the long boot time of Windows 7 on a hard drive now, try making them double that! And it’s not automated either. You have to boot it up and then manually restart it yourself! You can’t just walk away and wait.
Now, you might ask, why don’t I just uninstall the bad driver and roll back to a prior version? Oh, right, because the prior version of the drivers had a gaping security hole! Seriously nVidia? My choice is to either boot twice each and every time I start up my PC from cold, or to have a well-known security vulnerability on my PC allowing network attacks to escalate their privileges to super-user level access? That’s a pretty crappy choice there, nVidia! Get your freaking act together already!