Tuesday, May 22nd 2012

NVIDIA Delivers the GeForce 301.42 WHQL Driver

Santa Clara-based GPU designer NVIDIA Corp. has now made available the first WHQL-certified unified driver from the R300 family, the GeForce 301.42. This latest release includes the PhysX System Software v9.12.0213, the HD Audio v1.3.16.0 driver, and features support for the GeForce 6, 7, 8, 9, 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 and 600 Series desktop cards (including the recently-launched GeForce GTX 690 and GTX 670).

Windows 7/Vista 32-bit | Windows 7/Vista 64-bit | Windows XP 32-bit | Windows XP 64-bit


Release Highlights:

● Performance Boost - Increases performance for GeForce 400 Series and 500 Series GPUs in several PC games vs. GeForce 296.10 WHQL-certified drivers. Results will vary depending on your GPU and system configuration:
GeForce GTX 570/580:
- Up to 23% in Just Cause 2 with SLI
- Up to 21% in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Up to 17% in StarCraft II with SLI
- Up to 14% in Far Cry 2 with SLI
- Up to 9% in Bulletstorm
- Up to 7% in Civilization V
- Up to 6% in Deus Ex: Human Revolution with SLI
- Up to 6% in Dragon Age 2 with SLI
- Up to 5% in Metro 2033 with SLI
- Up to 5% in Total War: Shogun 2
GeForce GTX 560/560 Ti:
- Up to 20% in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Up to 15% in Just Cause 2 with SLI
- Up to 13% in Far Cry 2 with SLI
- Up to 12% in Bulletstorm
- Up to 11% in Civilization V
- Up to 10% in StarCraft II with SLI
- Up to 9% in Batman: Arkham City
- Up to 4% in Deus Ex: Human Revolution with SLI
- Up to 4% in Dragon Age 2 with SLI
- Up to 4% in Metro 2033 with SLI
- Up to 4% in Total War: Shogun 2
● NVIDIA FXAA Technology - shader-based anti-aliasing technology available from the NVIDIA Control Panel that enables ultra-fast anti-aliasing in hundreds of PC games. FXAA delivers similar quality to 4x multi-sample antialiasing (MSAA) but is up to 60% faster, enabling substantially higher performance in games. FXAA is supported on all GeForce 8-series and later GPUs. Note: This feature is disabled for games that already have built-in support for FXAA.
● NVIDIA Adaptive Vertical Sync - dynamically enables vertical sync based on your current frame rates for the smoothest gaming experience. Adaptive VSync is supported on all GeForce 8-series and later GPUs.
● NVIDIA Frame Rate Target - dynamically adjusts frame rate to a user specified target. Support for this feature is enabled via third party applications via NVAPI.
● NVIDIA Surround Technology - Adds the following new Surround capabilities.
- Add in a fourth accessory display with GeForce GTX 600-series to get access to your email, web, or other applications while you game.
- Maximize an application to a single physical display when in Surround mode (enabled by default).
- Confine the Windows Taskbar to the center display (enabled by default).
- Enable bezel peeking - a feature which enables users to temporarily peek behind the monitor bezels using a hotkey (Ctrl + Alt + B). This feature is designed to be used in conjunction with bezel corrected resolutions.
- Add or remove resolutions from the list of Surround resolutions (only those selected will be available to applications).
- Full center display acceleration for single wide display modes (center display must be connected to the master GPU).
● NVIDIA SLI Technology - Adds or updates the following SLI profiles:
- Alan Wake
- Call of Juarez: The Cartel
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution - The Missing Link
- Left 4 Dead
- Orcs Must Die!
- Portal 2
- Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
- Risen 2: Dark Waters
- The Darkness II
- Battlefield: Bad Company 2
- Crusader Kings II
- Max Payne 3
- Sniper Elite V2
- Street Fighter X Tekken
● NVIDIA 3D Vision - Adds or updates the following 3D Vision profiles:
- All Zombies Must Die! – rated Fair
- Ghosts 'n Goblins Online – rated Good
- Oil Rush – rated 3D Vision Ready
- Postal III – rated Good
- Rayman Origins – rated Good
- SevenCore – rated Fair
- Stacking – rated Good
- Unigine Heaven Benchmark v3.0 – rated 3D Vision Ready
- Wargame: European Escalation – rated Good
- Warp – rated Good
- Wings of Prey – rated Fair
- Krater – rated Poor
- Adam's Venture Episode 1- rated Poor
- Blacklight: Retribution – rated Poor
- The Darkness II – updated in-game recommended settings
- Depth Hunter – updated profile
- Dirt: Showdown – rated Good
- Passion Leads Army Benchmark – rated 3D Vision Ready
- Resident Evil: Operating Raccoon City – Rated Fair
- rFactor 2 – changed rating to 3D Vision Ready
- Trackmania 2: Canyon – rated Fair
- Unigine 3.0 Heaven Benchmark – updated profile
- World of Tanks – changed rating to Excellent.
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25 Comments on NVIDIA Delivers the GeForce 301.42 WHQL Driver

#2
RejZoR
Cool. I thought Adaptive V-Sync was limited to GTX 6xx series only, but i see it's not. Old users also benefit a lot from the new series. I mean the FXAA and Adaptive V-Sync are rather big deal even if you only own 9800 GTX+ or the GTX 470...
Posted on Reply
#3
SIGSEGV
ok, i will try to install it to my system, because 296.10 keep getting me BSOD (nvlddmkm.sys) while playing sniper elite v2 game and batman AC :wtf:
Posted on Reply
#4
johnnyfiive
Maybe this will fix the terrible screen tearing & vsync issues in Diablo 3?
I hope so.
Posted on Reply
#5
TheMailMan78
Banstick Dummy
by: johnnyfiive
Maybe this will fix the terrible screen tearing & vsync issues in Diablo 3?
I hope so.
I don't have that issue. Just turn V-Sync on in the game. Fixed that issue instantly for me.
Posted on Reply
#6
Isenstaedt
Dat adaptive vsync... they never added nice features like it when I had a Nvidia card...
Posted on Reply
#7
Finners
no performance increase for 6 series then?
Posted on Reply
#8
MicroUnC
Hmm..

It's been a while since i downloaded driver for my 580.
Posted on Reply
#9
Ikaruga
I have a Fermi only, but this runs my card in P1 mode all the time, and never let it fall back into P0 or go up to P2:( rolling back...
Posted on Reply
#10
Katanai
Is that adaptive vsync enabled by default? Cause the first thing I noticed with this driver is that screen tearing in TF2 is 0 now. The game runs much better than before. I have Vsync disabled in the game settings and in the panel it's on application controlled. I'm guessing that this adaptive vsync has a separate option somewhere but I can't find it. Is it turned on by default with no way to remove it? Not that I want to, like I've said the game runs great but maybe it will be needed for other games...
Posted on Reply
#11
Xzibit
by: Katanai
Is that adaptive vsync enabled by default? Cause the first thing I noticed with this driver is that screen tearing in TF2 is 0 now. The game runs much better than before. I have Vsync disabled in the game settings and in the panel it's on application controlled. I'm guessing that this adaptive vsync has a separate option somewhere but I can't find it. Is it turned on by default with no way to remove it? Not that I want to, like I've said the game runs great but maybe it will be needed for other games...
Its in the Manage 3D Settings

Last option is V-Sync with a drop box of 5 options

Use the 3d application settings
Off
On
Adaptive
Adaptive (Half refresh rate)

Dont know if its on by default. Will check later but Adaptive V-Sync is giving me fluxuations on Frames 60-62-58-59-60 then repeats occassionally it will shoot up to 70 which I dont get. Works better for me atleast with it on regular V-Sync less fluxuation 60-59 then the occational 58 drop.

Checked. Its not on by default. You have to active it with On / Adaptive / Adaptive HRR using OFF or 3D application doesnt turn it on.
Posted on Reply
#12
MxPhenom 216
Corsair Fanboy
I went from using older 29x.72 drivers to these new ones for my GTX470 and fps in skyrim went from 20-22 to 35-40!
Posted on Reply
#13
mauriek
Finally..i'm having lot of random BSOD (driver stop responding/or recovered) with 296.10 while playing game (world of tanks, supreme commander series, Anno series, etc), hope this driver will eliminate those BSOD..
Posted on Reply
#14
racedaemon
by: mauriek
Finally..i'm having lot of random BSOD (driver stop responding/or recovered) with 296.10 while playing game (world of tanks, supreme commander series, Anno series, etc), hope this driver will eliminate those BSOD..
The only way i found to prevent BSODs is to switch to Win 7 for gaming and then the BSODs convert to "driver stop responding..." prompts. If you switched to Win 7 and still get BSODs, then maybe it's hardware.

As i understand Microsoft changed the way video hardware is handled from Vista upward. In XP the game/app has direct access to the graphics card, in Vista and up, the OS manages the talking between game/app and hardware.

So i guess it's a hardware problem if BSOD occurs on XP and "driver stop responding..." occurs on Win 7 x64.
I, having a very old socket 939 AMD, would kinda' figure there would be compatibility problems, but on a Bulldozer...
Posted on Reply
#15
The Von Matrices
I'm so happy they've actually implemented some features for Surround users like me. They've lagged behind AMD for so long that I'm happy to get things like centering the taskbar in Surround.
Posted on Reply
#16
Ikaruga
by: racedaemon
As i understand Microsoft changed the way video hardware is handled from Vista upward. In XP the game/app has direct access to the graphics card, in Vista and up, the OS manages the talking between game/app and hardware
It's called WDDM ("Enhanced fault-tolerance" paragraph).
Posted on Reply
#17
LAN_deRf_HA
Not sure where this Skyrim gain is supposed to be. I get identical frame rates.
Posted on Reply
#18
Ikaruga
by: Ikaruga
I have a Fermi only, but this runs my card in P1 mode all the time, and never let it fall back into P0 or go up to P2:( rolling back...
I found the solution. If you have such problem, you need to disable any overclock (e.g.: MSI Afterburner) prior to installation of the driver. It's ok to re-enable any OC after the installation is complete.
Posted on Reply
#21
The Von Matrices
After using it for a few hours, this release seems really unstable. I'm getting BSODs when I change from surround to standard mode, and I get occasional BSODs in SCII. Both cite the driver as the cause of the crash.
Posted on Reply
#23
Benetanegia
by: LAN_deRf_HA
Not sure where this Skyrim gain is supposed to be. I get identical frame rates.
Hmm sorry to hear that. This driver IS miraculous on my GTX460 and Skyrim. I am getting 10% better fps on average, more than that on lower frames, which is pure win and better yet, at similar fps it feels a lot smoother than before. I don't know what it's doing but it works.

Before this one I was using the Skyrim specific drivers that Nvidia released some time ago. I'm using dozens of model and texture mods (Bethsoft HD pack included) and a few graphics enhancing mods, ENBseries shader package being the most notable one. With previous drivers I had to mod the hell out of the ENBseries (read substantially lower settings) in order to make it work at acceptable frames on my card, while still looking nice. That means tweaking until frames are 45+ fps in 99% of cases, and 60+ in 90% of cases, because Skyrim runs like real crap below certain fps due to the way that mouse input works (old engine). Of course there is still places where I would get lower frames and I know/remember those places very well (probably because I spent several minutes if not a couple hours tweaking ENB in those places), so I've tried those places after the driver update and miracle, not only do I get 3-5 extra frames but lower than 50 fps now feels a lot smoother, where it would previously feel like a slideshow.

So that is my experience with these drivers. It's the best driver improvement I've ever seen, at least game specific. I can only talk about Skyrim because I don't currently play anything else, but I would recommend this one to those with a GTX460 and playing Skyrim and I guess people with similar cards will get similar results. Or not because it's maybe specific to my mod selction and settings, who knows. At least give it a try.
Posted on Reply
#24
Katanai
by: Xzibit
Its in the Manage 3D Settings

Last option is V-Sync with a drop box of 5 options

Use the 3d application settings
Off
On
Adaptive
Adaptive (Half refresh rate)

Dont know if its on by default. Will check later but Adaptive V-Sync is giving me fluxuations on Frames 60-62-58-59-60 then repeats occassionally it will shoot up to 70 which I dont get. Works better for me atleast with it on regular V-Sync less fluxuation 60-59 then the occational 58 drop.

Checked. Its not on by default. You have to active it with On / Adaptive / Adaptive HRR using OFF or 3D application doesnt turn it on.
Ah ok, I guess the game just works better with this driver. There wasn't much tearing but you could see some when using the flamethrower. Now it works really smooth. Street Fighter X Tekken works a bit better too imo, although it was running pretty well already on max settings. No crashes so far for me...
Posted on Reply
#25
LAN_deRf_HA
by: Benetanegia
Hmm sorry to hear that. This driver IS miraculous on my GTX460 and Skyrim. I am getting 10% better fps on average, more than that on lower frames, which is pure win and better yet, at similar fps it feels a lot smoother than before. I don't know what it's doing but it works.

Before this one I was using the Skyrim specific drivers that Nvidia released some time ago. I'm using dozens of model and texture mods (Bethsoft HD pack included) and a few graphics enhancing mods, ENBseries shader package being the most notable one. With previous drivers I had to mod the hell out of the ENBseries (read substantially lower settings) in order to make it work at acceptable frames on my card, while still looking nice. That means tweaking until frames are 45+ fps in 99% of cases, and 60+ in 90% of cases, because Skyrim runs like real crap below certain fps due to the way that mouse input works (old engine). Of course there is still places where I would get lower frames and I know/remember those places very well (probably because I spent several minutes if not a couple hours tweaking ENB in those places), so I've tried those places after the driver update and miracle, not only do I get 3-5 extra frames but lower than 50 fps now feels a lot smoother, where it would previously feel like a slideshow.

So that is my experience with these drivers. It's the best driver improvement I've ever seen, at least game specific. I can only talk about Skyrim because I don't currently play anything else, but I would recommend this one to those with a GTX460 and playing Skyrim and I guess people with similar cards will get similar results. Or not because it's maybe specific to my mod selction and settings, who knows. At least give it a try.
Similar mod situation, but 27.7 FPS both before and after on the same scene with my 580. Maybe it's more certain areas? Idk. Between my extensive mods and further nvidia inspector settings I'm doubtful anything will really get it to run smoother at this point. Looks fantastic though.
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