NVIDIA GeForce 7300 LE

Through the recent implementation of a ‘work-at-home’ business venture I came into the possession of a Dell Dimension E521 computer. The Dell is nothing special but it is of recent technology and sports decent speed and memory capacity. It also sports an NVIDIA GeForce 7300 LE video card. The cards hardware indicates that this is a dual monitor card with both S-video TV out and standard VGA output. The display function in the control panel of the XP operating system has the card correctly identified as a 7300 LE but fails to indicated that it is a dual monitor card. The video driver loaded is the standard that Microsoft provides in the XP software.

Turns out you have to go to the NVIDIA website, download the real 7300 LE driver and install it before you can use the full capability of the 7300 LE video card. During the driver installation you are cautioned that the 7300 LE is not a card certified to work with the XP system.

This entire experience raises some significant questions for MicroSoft as well as Dell. Why would MicroSoft recognize the card yet inform the user that it may not be entirely compatible with the XP operating system. They admit to knowing the card exists yet they also admit that they are too lazy to test it on their software.

For Dell the main question is why do you use a video card not approved by Microsoft? And, more to the point, why do you use Microsoft’s crippled driver essentially locking out the user from receiving the full benefit of the NVIDIA card. There are lots of less expensive cards out there that will provide the same performance we can expect to get from an improperly implemented 7300 LE card.

Then it could very well be that the previous owner of this computer was responsible for installing this particular video card.

Sometimes we come to false conclusions based on supposition rather than fact. In this case it really does not matter. The correct driver makes the video card work to full capability and XP has yet to ‘throw up’ because the card is not approved. Makes you wonder what other non-approved stuff would work under XP

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