The new hardware supported in the 256.44 pre-release driver adds support for the Quadro 4000/5000/600 workstation graphics cards that were released earlier this week during the SIGGRAPH conference. The 256.44 driver also now supports the GeForce GTX 460 graphics card, which we will be reviewing at Phoronix soon as NVIDIA has submitted a review sample to the Phoronix test labs.
The 256.44 driver installer now detects the presence of the Nouveau kernel module if it's claiming the NVIDIA GPU already so the nvidia-installer can provide a more accurate error message. The driver's README file has also been updated with details on how to disable the Nouveau driver.
Other changes with this pre-release Linux driver is removing the requirement that in TwinView passive stereo, the MetaModes must have had identical view-ports on each monitor. With active stereo, monitors no longer have to have identical mode-timings when upgrading to this driver. The last two official changes are enhancing VDPAU to better report certain kinds of initialization errors and a regression affecting X-Video on AGP systems when using the AGP GART driver.
The other Linux driver update, NVIDIA 256.38.02, provides initial OpenGL 4.1 preview support. The OpenGL 4.1 specification was just announced earlier this week at the SIGGRAPH graphics conference and now when pairing this newly released driver with a GeForce GTX 400 series graphics card there is this support for the very latest graphics API. OpenGL 4.1 is also joined by version 4.10 of GLSL, the GL Shading Language. For those on older pre-Fermi hardware that isn't OGL4 capable, there still are a few OpenGL extensions that NVIDIA was able to back-port for OpenGL 2.x and OpenGL 3.x users.
The OpenGL 4.1 preview driver can be downloaded from the NVIDIA developer area while the other 256.44 driver can be found at NvNews.net.