NVIDIA have announced changes to the way their graphics card driver updates will be distributed. Currently new drivers are made available to download on the company's site, and via GeForce Experience. As of December though, regular driver updates will only be made available via GeForce Experience first, and only when you've signed up with an email address.
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Outside of GeForce Experience, NVIDIA will only be making drivers available to download via its site and Windows Update on a quarterly cadence. If that system was in place over the past month, it would mean that anyone not using GeForce Experience would have missed out on the Star Wars Battlefront beta driver, for example, along with other drivers that popped up on the day of their game's launch.
The change in distribution practice comes following research conducted by NVIDIA which indicates that 90% of all driver downloads are recieved via GeForce Experience - so on paper, those findings indicate that most users won't be disturbed by the proposed changes.
However, the new system will also require you to register with GeForce Experience and sign up with an email address, and that's likely to cause stronger feelings. Users who register their email addresse will receive "NVIDIA product news and announcements, and have the chance to win hardware, free game codes, early access to game betas, and other cool stuff."
On the bright side, NVIDIA also announced improvements to their streaming service, GameStream. The latest GeForce Experience beta allows streaming to both YouTube and Twitch at 1920 x 1080 and 60FPS, while PC-to-Shield streaming has been updated to allow up to 4K, 60FPS streaming.
The company's obviously investing big in GeForce Experience with the intention of making it the centre of their software ecosystem, and already it's a handy tool to have on your desktop, alerting you when new drivers are available and letting you click a single button to optimise in-game graphcis settings for your hardware. Still, I'm not over the moon about the changes to driver distribution.
What do you make of the imminent changes? Let us know below. Thanks, Anandtech.