BlueDrache, 0.972 is compatible with all Nvidia drivers, even the ones that didn't work with 0.971. I also posted a fix for 0.971 for the broken Nvidia drivers, and Nvidia themselves "fixed" the problem as of version 344.65. Both of those things were mentioned in a hard-to-miss sticky thread (which is still there).
(that is a nightmare to search, IMO
There wasn't much to search. The only thing that needs to be read is the OP of that thread, which stated very clearly in colored text that some Nvidia drivers had problems and which drivers they were. Aside from that, people are directed to POST there, not read the whole thread.
The hassle factor of updating drivers, then updating space engine to find it doesn't work, and then back-dating the drivers ... and finding 0971 again to reinstall
Why would you have to re-install? Each version of SE is a separate installation. If you had some concern about whether it would work, just don't delete the old one until you're sure.