Monday, November 28th 2011

NVIDIA GeForce 290.36 Beta Drivers Released

The latest beta drivers and the first in the 290 series have been released by NVIDIA today, supporting all graphics cards since the venerable 6-series. Their main new feature are official support for enabling ambient occlusion settings in the control panel separately for specific games and enabling NVIDIA Surround on the new X79 SLI-certified motherboards. Ambient occlusion (AO) is settable for uber-popular games The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. So, what does AO do? We'll let Andrew Burns of NVIDIA explain:
If you're unfamiliar with Ambient Occlusion, it is most easily described as a way to make in-game shadowing more realistic, and therefore better.
What he doesn't say of course, is how it kills your frame rate, especially on lower end hardware. Anyway, there's all the usual goodies in this release: 3D Vision game profiles for games such as MW3, Diablo 3 & LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (yes really). There's a HD audio update and nine fixes too, including one for random flickering of the Windows boot logo as it's loading or fading away and a fix for the mouse cursor flickering and shaking in games such as Crysis 2 & Deus Ex when SLI is enabled when using 3DTV Play. The NVIDIA product release page is here and they have a snazzy-looking driver selector here. The release notes follow.
NVIDIA Ambient Occlusion

- Adds NVIDIA Control Panel ambient occlusion support for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
- Adds NVIDIA Control Panel ambient occlusion support for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.


- Updates PhysX System Software to version 9.11.1107 for the best PhysX experience in Batman: Arkham City.

NVIDIA Surround

- Enables NVIDIA Surround support for Intel X79 SLI-certified motherboards.


- Added or updated SLI profiles for Crysis 2, Heroes and Generals, Inversion, Stronghold 3, and Syndicate.

3D Vision

- Adds support for 3D Vision over native DisplayPort 1.1 connection - available on BenQ XL2420T and BenQ XL2420TX monitors.

Added or updated the following 3D Vision game profiles:

- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 - Rated Good
- Cang Sheng - Rated Good
- Diablo 3 - Rated Good
- Fei fei - Rated Good
- Final Combat - Rated Good
- L.A. Noire - Updated Rating To 3D Vision Ready
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 - Rated Fair
- Qian Nv You Hun Online - Rated Good
- QQ Xi You - Rated Good
- Sonic Generations - Rated Good
- Xian Tu - Rated Good
- Yong Bing Tian Xia Online - Rated Good

HD Audio

- Updates HD Audio driver to version

Bug Fixes

- Fixes random flickering as Windows boot logo is loading or fading away.
- Fixes corruption in Crysis 2 with SLI and lower quality shadow settings.
- Fixes ability to set Surround resolutions to 5760x1080 using custom resolutions.
- Fixes some random instances of triangular artifacts when playing Battlefield 3.
- Fixes corruption and flickering of some objects in Battlefield 3 in the New York single-player level when anti-aliasing is enabled.
- Fixes corruption seen in Settlers 7 with the NVIDIA 275.33 drivers.
- Fixes playback of videos or live TV using Window Media Center resulting in a black screen.
- Fixes the issue where 1920x1080 @60Hz PC resolution mode switched down to @59Hz.
- Fixes mouse cursor flickering and shaking in Crysis 2, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Deus Ex and Civilization V when SLI is enabled when using 3DTV Play.

DOWNLOAD: Windows Vista, Windows 7 32-bit, Windows Vista, Windows 7 64-bit, Windows XP 32-bit, Windows XP 64-bit
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13 Comments on NVIDIA GeForce 290.36 Beta Drivers Released

i wonder of AO in skyrim performs just the same when its forced compared to older drivers?
Posted on Reply
I think performance is the same. I switched it from quality to high quality and it was the same outside but I took a few fps hit inside.
Posted on Reply
I updated to these, and after the initial restart, my display FREAKED out. It was displaying fuzzy vertical bars which were half my actual screen and half colorful patterns. It was impossible to tell what I was doing, but I managed to restart it, and it looks fine now. Just figured I'd post in case anybody else has the same issue. Running my spec'd rig through a Displayport cable.
Posted on Reply
Semi-Retired Folder
Increasing a graphics setting hurts framerates, especially on low end hardware! OMG, to the Romero copter!
Posted on Reply
wow i am going to try my evga 9800gx2 with this driver .... I hope it works
Posted on Reply
How do I make it find Skyrim after I install this driver so that I can force AO through the Control Panel?
Posted on Reply
Thank You.

I had to uncheck the box for the "Show only programs found on this computer." I do not know why I have to do that, since I do have Skyrim installed :confused:
Posted on Reply
I clean installed these yesterday and after enabling SLI my screen went blank. The display kept trying to power up but didn't find a signal. Had to uninstall them in safe mode to fix it. Latest whql's work just fine.
Posted on Reply
The Watchful Moderator
I had a bsod after trying to enable SLI:( Was forced to re-install windows...
Posted on Reply
HammerONI had a bsod after trying to enable SLI:( Was forced to re-install windows...
Seriously? :twitch: Usually these can be fixed in safe mode, but you had some seriously bad luck. Sometimes the Betas are just fine, but seems like this one isn't one of those.
Posted on Reply
Hope these help with the driver not responding screen blanks/crashing issue. Still happens to me every few days.
Posted on Reply
Here For Good!
Well, managed to install these, and enable sli. Except, my sli profiles got wiped out, and it won't let me re-add a bunch. Did some research around the net, and it seems I'm not the only one. Bad drivers! Rolling back.....
Posted on Reply
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