No, it would allow everybody to see what level of optimization is in the drivers. A large part of the work of making a fast gaming card is figuring out what work you can skip without a human possibly noting it. A large part of this is done in the driver, not the hardware. Opening the drivers would mean that first the competitors can see how you do it and what the result of your research was, and that there will be a huge zealot backslash about all the things that the driver skips and very suddenly people start noticing.
That is all fine.
However, while I did buy NVidia's reasons not to opensource the graphics cards drivers I also think the fact that NForce SATA and GbE are also not documented to driver writers clearly shows that there is a large part of company politics involved here.
While I have no problem buying a complicated graphics card with no opensource drivers when the competitors don't give hardware docs either, I really don't see why I should trust a company which does not document hardware that the competitiors do
document. And since it is the same company the SATA/GbE issue now makes me seriously considering buying other graphics cards in the future, too. I already avoid the mainboards.
Also, lets not forget that while both ATI and NVidia document enough of their modern cards to do 2D, the ATI driver does support TV and dual-head and the NVidia driver does not. The absense of power management in the nv driver also hurts pretty badly, leading to high power consumption while idle in 2D mode.
I bought a pretty good number of $200-$500 cards lately, all NVidia. If NVidia wants my continued business they will have to show some sign of interest in my business, which would be one or more of
- Provide documentation for SATA and GbE and other NF devices
- Straighten up ACPI on NF boards
- Document more of the 2D part of the cards to enable TV out, dual head and power management in the OpenSource "nv" 2D driver
- Fix a bug or two in the Linux driver
- Linux SLI
- Make absolutely sure the drivers are SMP-safe. It's the age of dual-core, dammit
Any one or more of these would put some faith back into me that NVidia is still a cool company. If they want my part of their core business, even while keeping the 3D driver closed, that would come in handy.