Starting from OptiX 6.0, a part of its runtime libs are shipped with NVIDA Graphics Driver (e.g., nvoptix.dll). A few questions bellow:
How do I know there is a new version of nvoptix.dll before installing a new NVIDIA Graphics Driver?
The graphics driver seems updated much more often than OptiX driver. Keep updating the graphics driver may not be very friendly to a OptiX user.
Should I download GAME READY DRIVER or CREATOR READY DRIVER ? If there were a new nvoptix.dll, which category it would belong to?
We are updating nvoptix.dll on every single driver release. It’s getting bug fixes, performance improvements, feature improvements, and occasionally non-breaking API changes too. A good rule of thumb would be to only upgrade if you’re having problems or need a feature or fix you already know about.
We unfortunately don’t have a process yet for release notes of all the changes to OptiX for every driver release. (The driver release notes intentionally do not list all changes because the list is much too long for most people.) If there is interest here, I would consider posting some OptiX release notes to the forum until we have a better mechanism.
Between Game Ready and Creator Ready, they both get the same OptiX changes. Creator Ready is released less often, and is tested against some specific creative content applications like After Effects and Arnold and Unreal. The idea is if you are working on a production team the Creator Ready driver should be slightly more stable for those apps. If you want the latest OptiX fixes and you don’t use any of the “Creator” apps, then you could pick Game Ready drivers.
Definitely we need a way to find out about updates to the OptiX driver. Currently, the pinned message on this board still lists OptiX 6.0 as the latest, but new drivers are shipping with OptiX 6.1.0. That means I have users working with the updated driver before I get to test my software with it.
I hear you @nljones. We’ll look into posting release notes here.
Having OptiX in the driver is definitely a major change from downloading separate OptiX libaries, and even posting release notes won’t necessarily fix the problem of users updating their driver before you get a chance to test them. We’re getting updates out basically every 2-4 weeks for the foreseeable future, which is more frequent than OptiX has been released before.
Considering that, would it reasonable to suggest publishing the driver versions that you test yourself for your users to see, so they know that when they get ahead of you, they’re working on a beta configuration? The added advantage of you explicitly green-lighting specific driver versions for your software is you could then hold back temporarily if we ever do release bugs or breaking changes accidentally, until we can get the fix released. (We try really hard not to release bugs, but you know I’d be lying if I said it never happens. ;))
Currently, I publish the OptiX version that the software was compiled with in my release notes, not that I expect users to read that. It would certainly be possible to have the software show a message if the driver version is higher than the one the software was compiled with. There is a bit of risk here because some small percentage of first-time users will cease to trust the software if they see anything that looks like a potential error message.
I’m not arguing with the logic of including OptiX in the driver. It has a huge benefit in allowing early adopters of new hardware versions to use my software right away, instead of waiting for me to download the new OptiX version and publish a new release, which could lag several months behind. The point is just that developers should be aware when users’ libraries change. This forum seems like a good place to make those announcements (at least for me).