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Nvidia display driver has reportedly damaged GPUs


When John Carmack said that Nvidia’s drivers were “consistently superior” to those of their competitors, this probably wasn’t what he was thinking of. The company’s 320.18 WHQL display driver has been responsible for damaged and even destroyed graphics cards in a small number of cases, according to user reports.

The driver was released earlier this year on May 23. A day later, one user reported that his system failed to boot unless he removed his GPU. Two days later, another reported a BSOD, and found that reverting back to 314.22 still left them with unreadable text and horizontal lines across their screen.

A log of the driver’s first few days has been handily collated over at ModCrash. Although the driver has since been superceded, the official feedback thread has seen users complain of “toasted” graphics cards as recently as last Monday.

Others have pointed out less lethal but nonetheless notable issues with the update. Here’s a Battlefield 3 player attempting to fly a plane while under the influence of 320.18:

You’re apparently safe if you’re using the more recent, certified 320.49 driver, which came out of beta last week. But our Nick notes that he had the offending driver installed for the best part of a month, so we thought we’d better warn you lot too.

Let us know if you’re among the unlucky few affected, won’t you?