NVIDIA Ion LE DirectX 10 hack suggests purposefully crippled features

NVIDIA's Ion LE promises to deliver the same 1080p HD playback as its regular Ion sibling, but at a cheaper price; to do that, it drops DirectX 10 support in favor of solely accommodating DX9.  It turns out that the limitation is, in fact, an arbitrary one and that the Ion LE seems to have been artificially crippled by NVIDIA themselves; MyHPMini forum member runawayprisoner found that by slightly modifying HP's own Ion drivers he could get them to install for the Ion LE.

It seems that the only thing preventing the Ion drivers installing on an Ion LE system is the absence of the latter's device ID in the driver's INF.  Once that's been added, the installation works and you've got DirectX 10 support on what was tipped as a lesser chipset.

In order to see any difference, of course, you'll need to be running Windows 7, as DirectX 10 isn't compatible with Windows XP; it seems likely that the block was part of NVIDIA's concession to Microsoft's XP licensing policies.  The Ion LE, after all, is only meant to be available on Windows XP based netbooks and nettops.  No word from NVIDIA on whether they'll block the driver hack in future releases.

[via Netbook Choice]