For many years now I always favored NVIDIA Gfx cards. ATI was said to have good hardware too, but for many years their drivers simply didn't work well enough for me. Acceleration for 3ds max wasn't working well and dual-screen support for accelerated 3D fullscreen content wasn't available for some years neither.
I was a bit disappointed about the usability when Nvidia switched their control panel GUI/System. It improved though over time, but recently I was surprised how bad dual screen management has become. I had a hard time to make the driver do what I wanted and sometimes it totally failed until I reinstalled the driver. Somehow the second output popped back to HD TV and wrong resolution very frequently. Then it somehow worked for a while and sometimes it stopped working again. Not very transparent…
In addition to that we sometimes hit randomly blue screens in a over 50 nodes cluster. I don't know if it's a Virtools issue, because I know that sometimes in the past years Virtools was able to create blue screens. Recently Virtools told me, that they have more people reporting them about unstable Nvidia hard-/software. I also found quite a large number of hits in google with the bluescreen keyword that is referring to the Nvidia driver. Many of them from 2007. This makes me think the following:
Vista and DX10 was important for Microsoft and Nvidia. It was two big and new things: DX10 driver/hardware plus new OS system with significant changes. This combo probably consumed a lot of manpower. I wonder if all this may had an effect on quality/stability? If so, it may mean that if Nvidia goes more and more into other markets (partly forced by INTELs efforts) and grows and grows … quality may suffer (even more)?
I hope not! We will see, it's certainly interesting times ahead … 🙂
If you are using Nvidia cards, do also feel that they become less solid/stable – or is still everything for you like always?