What we know about nVidia’s 52.16 drivers is that the build 340 patch for FutureMark’s 3DMark03 disabled the cheats present in this driver. This is just like when FutureMark released the build 330 patch to disable cheats found in nVidia’s 44.03 driver. So build 340 is FutureMark’s second attempt to keep their product’s results consistent and optimization-free.
Since build 340 was released, no other drivers from nVidia have been approved. Granted, only the 53.03’s have been released since the 52.16’s, but this means that nVidia has already figured out how to implement their optimizations in build 340 of 3DMark2003 in their drivers.
Now let’s look into why the most recent nVidia Driver has not been approved.
The Forceware 53.03 driver is currently nVidia’s most recent WHQL certified driver. This driver fixes a list of known bugs that overall improve the customer’s experience with an nVidia graphics card. A list of those fixes can be found in the Release Notes for the 53.03 driver.
Now what I thought was interesting in this document is that under the heading "Issues Resolved in Version 53.03," nVidia states very clearly the following:
"Re-enabled NVIDIA’s compiler technology for 3DMark03 Patch 340 performance."
Well, there is not much to argue about here. nVidia clearly states that they re-enabled their optimized code for 3DMark03 for build 340. This is why FutureMark’s 3DMark03 is having so much trouble giving valid results. This is just a repeat of what happened right after build 330 was released.
So what should FutureMark do next? I will touch on that in my conclusion.
But next, let’s see what, exactly, the difference is between nVidia’s 52.16 and 53.03 drivers. In this recent revival of the FutureMark vs. nVidia debate, numerous users have posted results showing no difference between the 52.16 and 53.03 drivers. Our results will help explain why.