Driver Update: Nvidia GeForce for Notebooks 186.03 WHQL

Nvidia recently released a new set of drivers for its GeForce products in laptops. The drivers are known as Nvidia GeForce for Notebooks and are versioned with 186.03 WHQL. Support for Windows Vista and Windows 7 in both 32- and 64-bit is present, but support for Windows XP is lacking. The corresponding announcement and list of changes look like this:

GeForce Release 186 for Notebooks

This is a reference driver that can be installed on supported NVIDIA GeForce notebook GPUs. However, please note that your notebook original equipment manufacturer (OEM) provides certified drivers for your specific notebook on their website. NVIDIA recommends that you check with your notebook OEM about recommended software updates for your notebook. OEMs may not provide technical support for issues that arise from the use of this driver.

Release highlights:

  • This driver supports GeForce 8M, 9M, 100M, and 200M-series notebook GPUs.
  • Adds support for CUDA 2.2 for improved performance in GPU Computing applications.
  • Expands GPU hardware acceleration for the NVIDIA Video Encoding library to GPUs with less than 32 cores. Applications using this library include CyberLink PowerDirector 7, Nero Move it 1.5, Loilo SuperLoiloScope MARS, and CyberLink MediaShow Espresso.
  • Adds support for Ambient Occlusion – the newest NVIDIA Control Panel feature to offer enhanced 3D gaming realism exclusively to GeForce GPUs.
  • Accelerates performance in several 3D applications. The following are examples of improvements measured with Release 185 drivers vs. Release 179 drivers (results will vary depending on your GPU, system configuration, and game settings):
    • Up to 25% performance increase in The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena
    • Up to 22% performance increase in Crysis: Warhead with antialiasing enabled
    • Up to 11% performance increase in Fallout 3 with antialiasing enabled
    • Up to 14% performance increase in Far Cry 2
    • Up to 45% performance increase in Mirror’s Edge with antialiasing enabled
  • Includes full support for OpenGL 3.0.
  • Supports NVIDIA PhysX hardware acceleration on GPUs with a minimum of 256MB dedicated graphics memory (this driver package installs NVIDIA PhysX System Software v9.09.0203).
  • Supports GeForce Plus Power Pack #3.
  • Supports single GPU and NVIDIA SLI technology on DirectX 9, DirectX 10, and OpenGL.
  • Supports NVIDIA SLI Multi-monitor support, giving you the ability to use two monitors with your GeForce graphics cards in SLI mode.
  • Includes numerous bug fixes.

Fixed Issues – Windows Vista 32-bit

Single GPU Issues Resolved:

  • GeForce 8800M GTX: The graphics driver installation fails on some GeForce 8800M GTX notebooks. [552077]

Fixed Issues – Windows 7 32-bit:

Multi-GPU Issues:

  • [SLI], GeForce 8700M GT: The internal panel resolution switches from native resolution to 1024×768 after hot‐unplugging the VGA while in Dualview or Clone mode. [519046]

Fixed Issues–Windows 7 64-bit:

Single GPU Issues:

  • GeForce 9800M: Lost Planet: Extreme Condition Colonies Edition (DirectX 10) – there is flickering in the game when played with the default settings. [546599]

Multi-GPU Issues:

  • [SLI], GeForce 8700M GT: The desktop on the external display, when set as the primary display, disappears after enabling SLI mode. [537232]

The drivers are available in the following flavors:
Windows Vista 32-bit
Windows Vista 64-bit
Windows 7 32 bit
Windows 7 64 bit

Version number 186.03 WHQL
Release status Final
Operating systems Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows Vista x64
Website Nvidia
License type Freeware