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NVIDIA 436.02 Installer Buggy, Always Installs GeForce Experience, No GDPR Consent

NVIDIA today released its GeForce 436.02 WHQL Gamescom Special graphics drivers. You can read all about them here. The installer of these drivers appears to have a major bug that forces the installation of GeForce Experience without obtaining GDPR-compliant consent from the user. With the ratification of GDPR, NVIDIA driver installers present a selection screen right at the start of the installation, which lets users opt to install GeForce Experience (and give their GDPR consent in doing so), but a second option lets users decline GDPR consent, forcing the installer to install GeForce drivers without GeForce Experience. A bug with the installer of GeForce 436.02 WHQL disregards the user's choice at this screen, and installs GeForce Experience without the GDPR-mandated user-consent.

Making matters far worse is the fact that you cannot deselect GeForce Experience from the list of components in the Custom Install screen. The Custom Install list lets you make the installer skip installation of optional components that are otherwise installed by default in Express Install (GeForce Experience features in this list only if a user gives GDPR consent in the previous screen). We're hoping that this is a simple installer bug by NVIDIA, because anything worse would put the company in violation of EU privacy laws. We at TechPowerUp are in the final stages of developing a free utility that lets users take complete control over their NVIDIA graphics driver installation, called NVCleanstall. Using this software you may skip lot more optional components than what the NVIDIA Installer allows, such as Telemetry. Grab a beta version of NVCleanstall from here.

Update 16:27 UTC: NVIDIA has removed the 436.02 drivers from their website, and confirmed that this is a bug.

Update Aug 21st: The 436.02 drivers are available again, and the GeForce Experience install problem is fixed. Look for the suffix "-rp" in the file name to identify the fixed version.

Anthem Gets NVIDIA DLSS and Highlights Support in Latest Update

Saying Anthem has had a rough start would be an understatement, but things can only get better with time (hopefully, anyway). This week saw an update to the PC version that brought along with it support for NVIDIA's new DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) technology to be used with their new Turing-microarchitecture GeForce RTX cards. NVIDIA's internal testing shows as much as 40% improvement in average FPS with DLSS on relative to off, as seen in the image below, and there is also a video to help show graphical changes, or lack thereof in this case. DLSS on Anthem is available on all RTX cards at 3840x2160 resolution gameplay, and on the RTX 2060, 2070, and 2080 at 2560x1440. No word on equivalent resolutions at a non-16:9 aspect ratio, and presumably 1080p is a no-go as first discussed by us last month.

Note that we will NOT be able to test DLSS on Anthem, which is a result of the five activations limit as far as hardware configurations go. This prevented us from doing a full graphics card performance test, but our article on the VIP demo is still worth checking into if you were curious. In addition to DLSS, Anthem also has NVIDIA Highlights support for GeForce Experience users to automatically capture and save "best gameplay moments", with a toggle option to enable this setting in the driver. A highlight is generated for an apex kill, boss kill, legendary kill, multi kill, overlook interaction, or a tomb discovery. More on this in the source linked below in the full story.

Intel Graphics Teases a New Gamer-Friendly Control Panel

Intel Graphics switched gears from being integrated graphics solutions for basic 2D desktop and video, to something that could appeal to gamers. The change appears to have been brought about by hiring of Raja Koduri, who led graphics teams at AMD and Apple. Intel discovered that its iGPUs can play many e-Sports games such as PUBG, World of Tanks, Warhammer: Vermitide 2, etc., and so, the company decided to do more for this segment of PC gamers that still games on iGPUs, beginning with regular driver updates that pack game-optimizations, the switch to the new DCH driver model for Windows 10, and apparently, a new Control Panel app designed for gamers.

Teased in a YouTube presentation by Intel Graphics, the Control Panel appears to show a game launcher and settings optimization tool modeled along the lines of GeForce Experience. Intel has also made big changes to the functional bits of the Control Panel, which deal with global display settings, monitor setup, etc. The new Control Panel gives us a direction of where Intel Graphics is headed: it doesn't want to leave behind gamers. The Gen11 iGPU which will be part of the company's 10 nm "Ice Lake" processors already spark rumors of massive 3D performance improvements over current Gen9.5, and reportedly have over 1 TFLOP/s of raw compute power. The company is also working on a discrete GPU lineup under the Xe brand, targeting a variety of market segments, including gamers.
The video presentation by Intel Graphics follows.

PSA: "NVIDIA Installer cannot continue" on Windows October 2018 Update and How To Fix It

For those doing a fresh install of Microsoft's latest Windows 10 operating system (version 1809 October 2018 Update), you may encounter an issue with NVIDIA graphics drivers. Namely, a message may pop up when you install the graphics driver, telling you "The standard NVIDIA graphics driver is not compatible with this version of Windows". The issue is caused by the operating system automatically installing the GeForce 398.36 DCH graphics driver through Windows Update, immediately after first log-on. DCH drivers are also known as "Universal Windows Driver", "UWD", "DCHU", and "Declarative, Componentized, Hardware Support App", and leverage the Windows UWP platform for driver control panels while promising simpler updates and maintainability.

If networking is available during the Windows 10 installation, the operating system will automatically look for a graphics driver on Windows Update, which is a good thing, as it simplifies the setup process for the majority of users. At this point, everything will appear to be fine, however, once you attempt to update from that driver to the newest version from NVIDIA's driver download page, the error will appear. This is highly frustrating for some users, who have been reporting the issue on several online forums, including NVIDIA's own, with little attention paid thus far from their developers. We encountered the problem ourselves today, during the setup of our 2019 SSD review benchmarking install and got motivated to investigate this further.

NVIDIA Announces New GeForce Experience Features Ahead of RTX Push

NVIDIA today announced new GeForce experience features to be integrated and expanded in wake of its RTX platform push. The new features include increased number of Ansel-supporting titles (including already released Prey and Vampyr, as well as the upcoming Metro Exodus and Shadow of the Tomb Raider), as well as RTX-exclusive features that are being implemented into the company's gaming system companion.

There are also some features being implemented that gamers will be able to take advantage of without explicit Ansel SDK integration done by the games developer - which NVIDIA says will bring Ansel support (in any shape or form) to over 200 titles (150 more than the over 50 titles already supported via SDK). And capitalizing on Battlefield V's relevance to the gaming crowd, NVIDIA also announced support for Ansel and its Highlights feature for the upcoming title.

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 391.35 WHQL Game Ready Drivers

NVIDIA today released the latest version of its GeForce software suite. Version 391.35 WHQL drivers are game-ready for "Far Cry 5," the week's biggest AAA game release. This includes game optimization, an SLI profile, and GeForce Experience optimal settings. The drivers also add SLI profiles for "WRC 7" and GRIP.

The drivers also introduce security updates for a staggering seven CVEs, mostly relating vulnerabilities discovered in the kernel-mode layers of the driver, and user-mode drivers for DirectX and OpenGL. NVIDIA discovered that certain specially crafted pixel shaders can cause infinite loops and denial of service (system hang), or escalation of privileges. Besides these, the drivers patch a memory leak found in NVIDIA Freestyle (custom shader tool), bugs with 3D Profile Manager, and a game freeze noticed on "Diablo III" when rapidly switching tasks on SLI machines. Grab the drivers from the links below.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 391.35 WHQL

The change-log follows.

GeForce Experience Gets New Freestyle Feature and More at CES 2018

We're bringing more new features to more of the games you love. NVIDIA Freestyle, a new feature that allows you to customize your gameplay, and an updated user interface for NVIDIA Ansel, our powerful photo mode for games, are among the enhancements to GeForce Experience we are announcing at CES in Las Vegas this week. We are also announcing that Fortnite Battle Royale is among three new games that support NVIDIA ShadowPlay Highlights, which automatically captures your gaming achievements in videos and screenshots.

GeForce Experience is our companion application for GeForce GTX GPUs that helps keep your drivers up to date, optimize your game settings, and capture and share videos, screenshots and livestreams with friends. It turns a great PC into a great gaming PC with innovative features that are only available with GeForce GPUs.

NVIDIA Announces the TITAN Xp Star Wars Collectable Editions

NVIDIA has announced two new collector's edition NVIDIA TITAN Xp GPUs created for the ultimate Star Wars fan. The new Jedi Order and Galactic Empire editions of the NVIDIA TITAN Xp have been crafted to reflect the look and feel of the Star Wars galaxy.
These new Star Wars collector's edition GPUs pay homage to the light side/dark side dichotomy, and contain hints of the Star Wars galaxy, such as the hilt of Luke Skywalker's lightsaber and light panels reminiscent of the Death Star.

The Jedi Order GPU simulates the wear and tear and battle-worn finish of many items used by the Rebel Alliance, resulting from its diecast aluminum cover being subjected to an extensive, corrosive salt spray. Conversely, the Galactic Empire GPU's finish features simple, clean lines, emulating the high-end, orderly nature of the resource-rich Empire. Both versions have multiple windowed areas to showcase internals and lighting, evoking each faction's lightsabers, green and red, respectively. The finishes of both versions took over a year to perfect.

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 388.13 WHQL Game Ready Drivers

NVIDIA today released GeForce 388.13 WHQL software. These drivers are game-ready for the week's hottest AAA game releases, "Call of Duty: WWII," "Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus," and "Need for Speed: Payback." This includes performance optimization, and GeForce Experience optimal settings. The drivers also add official support for the new GeForce GTX 1070 Ti graphics card, which makes its market debut on the 2nd of November.

The drivers also address a few bugs, including a rare issue with secondary displays blanking out on some systems, "Yellow bang appearing by the graphics entry in Device Manager," and momentary display corruption on notebooks with hybrid GPUs, in which the display is switching between the CPU-integrated and NVIDIA discrete GPUs. Grab the drivers from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 388.13 WHQL

"Not So Fast": Bungie Automatically Bans Destiny 2 PC Players With Overlays

Urgent message to all would-be Destiny 2 PC players: Bungie has enabled an extremely strict, no holds-barred permanent account-banning system with Destiny 2, which activates so long as you have any kind of application with process hooks / overlay features. This is true for Twitch, Discord, MSI Afterburner, OBS, XSplit, Skype, TeamSpeak, HWMon, AIDA, as well as some hardware vendor overlays such as ASUS Tweak and Corsair Link software, GeForce Experience's FPS counter... The message screen, "Not so Fast", indicates that players have been banned, without forewarning or any further explanation.

There's a meltdown going on in Bungie's official PC Support forums, where most of the threads have been started - and then added to - by banned users. In some cases, users are banned even before entering the character creation screen; some more fortunate ones can even get to thew first three minutes of the intro video. A post from a Bungie Forum moderator didn't do much to instill confidence: "In Destiny there are account restriction and bans,", Bungie moderator "Kellogs" writes. "Restrictions are only temporary but must be waiting out while bans are permanent. Please note that Bungie will not discuss or overturn account restrictions or bans."

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 388.00 Game Ready Drivers

NVIDIA today released the GeForce 388.00 WHQL software suite. These drivers are "game-ready" for the week's hottest two game releases, "Destiny 2," and "Assassin's Creed: Origins." This includes optimization, and GeForce Experience optimal settings. The drivers also address stuttering issues with G-Sync on certain displays plugged into gaming notebooks, while running "The Witcher 3," "Doom" or "CS: GO." Grab the drivers from the links below.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 388.00 WHQL

NVIDIA Bundles Middle Earth: Shadow of War with GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1080 Ti

Middle Earth: Shadow of War, the long-awaited sequel to 2014's Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, is scheduled to be released on October 10, 2017. In honor of the title's release, NVIDIA is bringing us the new "Forge Your Army" bundle. You're eligible for a free Steam copy of the game, if you purchase a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti or 1080 graphics card during the period of September 26th through October 16th. The offer also extends to systems or notebook containing the participating models. You can consult the list of authorized E-tail and Retail partners in the source link below.

Monolith Productions have been working hand-in-hand with NVIDIA throughout the game's entire development process. For that reason alone, it doesn't come as a surprise to find so many NVIDIA exclusive features in Middle Earth: Shadow of War. The game will make use of NVIDIA's Ansel technology to allow gamers to capture in-game screenshots and view them in 360°. Middle Earth: Shadow of War will support the High Dynamic Range (HDR) feature to produce more realistic images. NVIDIA is also delivering Scalable Link Interface (SLI) support for the game.

Tiny App Checks NVIDIA Driver Updates

A tiny open-source app named simply "TinyNvidiaUpdateChecker" by "ElPumpo" could make GeForce Experience look bulky and redundant, if all you use it for is keep up with driver updates. With practically each new AAA game release, NVIDIA and AMD tend to put out graphics driver updates. Among several useful features such as optimizing your game settings or making them portable, the GeForce Experience app keeps your GeForce drivers up to date. On the downside, it has drawn criticism over its user privacy, the need to register as a user and log-on at each system startup; and for its unnecessarily big memory footprint as the app keeps running in the background.

The open-source app, along with its source-code and a pre-compiled binary, are available on GitHub. It's a little rough on the edges, but could be worth it for its tiny memory footprint. On the flip-side, this app doesn't run on in the background, and you have to manually run it to look up updates, something you might as well look up online in your browser. The API that makes this app work could be pulled by NVIDIA any time, as it looks to promote GeForce Experience. Alternatively, you can subscribe to E-Mail notifications by TechPowerUp by clicking on the "Get Notified" button in our download pages, for your favorite driver updates. We're completely web-based and you won't need to trust apps to look up your driver updates.
DOWNLOAD: TinyNvidiaUpdateChecker by ElPumpo

NVIDIA at Gamescom 2017: ShadowPlay Highlights, Ansel AI Style Transfer and More

Yes, Gamescom 2017 is done already and it would be fair to say that Microsoft took a lot of press time with their Age of Empires IV announcement. This does not mean others were quiet, and indeed we missed what NVIDIA was up to until recently. They held a pre-event show where developers from the most popular games today- PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, Destiny 2, Middle Earth: Shadow of War, and Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition- presented new feature trailers (in 4K, of course) supporting NVIDIA's GameWorks technology.

In addition, there were hands-on sessions available with some other upcoming game releases including Pro Evolution Soccer 2018, Forza Motorsport 7, Need for Speed Payback, Project Cars 2 and the recently released Lawbreakers. These games came with some GameWorks announcements as applicable as well.

NVIDIA Releases the GeForce 385.28 Game Ready WHQL Drivers

NVIDIA today released the latest version of their GeForce drivers, which enable your green-powered card to run smoothly and without issues. This latest driver release is a Game-Ready WHQL one, which aims to enable the smoothest possible experience on recently-released game titles. The focus for this 38.28 version of NVIDIA's GeForce drivers was on Agents of Mayhem, Crossout and Killing Floor: Incursion, while also introducing a number of fixes. You can grab the drivers from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 385.28 WHQL Game-Ready Drivers

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 384.76 WHQL Drivers

NVIDIA today released GeForce 384.76 WHQL drivers. These drivers come game-ready for "Rise Up" open-beta of "Lawbreakers," which includes game-optimization and GeForce Experience optimal settings. The "Rise Up" open-beta is live from June 30 to July 3, the game itself releases on August 8. In addition, the drivers come with optimization for "Spiderman: Homecoming - a VR Experience." Grab the driver from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 384.76 WHQL

The change-log follows.

NVIDIA Releases the GeForce 382.19 Hotfix Driver - Absent from GFE

NVIDIA has silently made available a new hotfix driver which improves (you read that right: doesn't fix) stuttering issues on the new Arkane immersive-sim Prey. NVIDIA's previous "Game Ready" drivers, version 382.05, have been reported as being somewhat jerky, and considering NVIDIA has released a hotfix whose notes specifically refer a "stutter issue" with Prey, all NVIDIA users who are playing this game should update their drivers to this new hotfix version, which isn't available through NVIDIA's GeForce Experience app.

You can grab the drivers right here from NVIDIA.

NVIDIA Releases GeForce Experience 3.6; Support for Vulkan, OpenGL

NVIDIA has released an update to its GeForce Experience application that is sure to be loved by streamers and gamers alike who previously found ShadowPlay support on Vulkan and OpenGL games to be lacking. Version 3.6 of the program adds official support to games that make use of these renderers. Screenshot, video, and broadcast functions that Shadowplay enables are enhanced by the addition of support for these APIs, which means you can now use ShadowPlay with a press of a hotkey to record and stream your Doom and Minecraft gameplay at 4K 60fps.

Other improvements include a unified Broadcast screen and a newly revamped Video and Screenshot upload interface: YouTube and Twitch streamers can now control broadcast options from a unified screen, and log in to all services from there as well. NVIDIA has also worked some improvements to its GeForce Experience Gallery, by adding an upload history screen that displays all prior uploads and locations. You now also have the option of instantly jumping to the file location of a screenshot or video in Windows Explorer through a new button.

NVIDIA Releases the GeForce 378.92 Game Ready Drivers

NVIDIA today released the GeForce 378.92 WHQL drivers. These drivers are game-ready for "Mass Effect: Andromeda," which includes optimization, GeForce Experience optimal settings, and an SLI profile. NVIDIA is recommending SLI configurations as the game engine can take advantage of it. In addition, the drivers are also game-ready for "Rockband VR." Grab the drivers from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 378.92 WHQL

NVIDIA Makes it Tougher to Trade Bundled Games

NVIDIA and AMD have, over the past five years, innovated giving away AAA game releases with their graphics cards, through game codes that can be redeemed on DRM platforms such as Steam. The two have their own internal pricing with game publishers, which makes giving away $60 (retail value) games with $400 graphics cards tolerable to their bean counters. To consumers, these games made for great tradable commodities, a sort of "discount coupons," even. Say you don't want to play the included games, already have them, or bought two graphics cards and have one game to spare; you had the ability to give away, trade, or even sell those game codes. NVIDIA is about to change that.

With its latest game bundle that lets you choose from "For Honor" and Tom Clancy's "Ghost Recon: Wildlands," on purchase of new GeForce GTX 1070 or GTX 1080 graphics cards, NVIDIA changed the game redemption method. You first need NVIDIA's GeForce Experience app installed and logged in. The app then one-time redeems the game of your choice on verifying that you have the graphics card participating in the offer (i.e. a GTX 1070 or GTX 1080). The app doesn't appear to be checking serial-numbers of the cards, but rather if the right GPU is installed in the machine. After redeeming the game, however, you are free to uninstall GeForce Experience, or even change your graphics card. The game is handled by the DRM platform its developers intended (Steam, UPlay, Origin, etc.). We tested how game code trading works under the new system.

NVIDIA Announces New Game Bundle, Requires GeForce Experience to Activate

A graphics card-game bundle is always a reason to cheer, though not this time, if you loathe GeForce Experience. The company's latest "Prepare for Battle" game bundle lets you choose between two of the season's hottest game releases - "For Honor," and Tom Clancy's "Ghost Recon: Wildlands" on purchase of new GeForce GTX 1080 or GTX 1070 graphics cards. The only catch here is that you need GeForce Experience to redeem or activate your free game. This further requires you to create a GeForce Experience login, which adds to the list of startup apps, as GeForce Experience dials home to sign-in and sync your game settings.

GeForce Experience Mandatory Registration, Login and Game Scanning Can Be Disabled

YouTube user TechMax has uploaded a video in which he shows a way to circumvent GeForce Experience's most wanted feature of all time: the mandatory login. One of the least popular features of NVIDIA's most recent GeForce Experience 3.0 update was the introduction of the mandatory logins, meaning that if you didn't, you wouldn't have access to GeForce Experience features, and even the in-app driver update wouldn't be available to you. In case you don't want the green genies to know when you're online, for how long, what hardware you use, and which games you play, and want to make use of the features embedded in NVIDIA's app, watch the video below and follow its steps. You'll need to copy and paste some lines of code, but it shouldn't prove too difficult. You can find the YouTube video below, and a transcript of the steps after the break.

NVIDIA to Launch "Club GeForce Elite" Subscription-based Service for $10 a Month

The same job post that brought us confirmation about an eventual GeForce GTX 1080 Ti release, as well as the likely introduction of a step-up program for GTX 980 Ti owners, also brought to light the most recent monetization effort from the green company: a subscription-based service for their elite supporters. This subscription service will, for a mere $10 monthly deduction on their bank account, grant subscriptors an "Elite" status amongst their NVIDIA peers, as well as access to a "rotating bundle of free games from our GFE app store (4x games per quarter)", a "Free GeForce PC in the cloud subscription", as well as "exclusive skins, in-game items, and GeForce Gear".

NVIDIA Releases the GeForce 376.09 WHQL Drivers

NVIDIA today released its latest GeForce "Game Ready" drivers. Version 376.09 WHQL comes game-ready for "Watch_Dogs 2," the week's big AAA open-world third-person RPG by Ubisoft. This includes game-optimization, GeForce Experience optimal settings, and SLI support (if the game supports it). The company is also running a promotion, in which it's giving away UPlay keys to the game with purchases of new GeForce GTX 1070 and GeForce GTX 1080 graphics cards, and notebooks with factory-fitted GeForce GTX 1080 Mobile and GTX 1070 Mobile graphics. Grab the drivers from the links below.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 376.09 WHQL for Windows 10 64-bit | Windows 10 32-bit | Windows 8/7/Vista 64-bit | Windows 8/7/Vista 32-bit

NVIDIA Issues the GeForce Hotfix Driver Version 375.76

NVIDIA has issued a Hotfix driver, version number 375.76, which deals with some issues identified in their previous WHQL driver version, 375.70. Namely, the hotfix drivers fix occasional flickers on high refresh-rate monitors, as well as GIF artifacting.

The hotfix also includes all of the previous updates from NVIDIA's WHQL driver release, such as driver optimization, SLI support (provided the game engine supports multi-GPU), and GeForce Experience optimal settings for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Dishonored 2, and Titanfall 2, and include optimization for "The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition" and "Obduction VR." Grab the drivers from the links below.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 375.76 Hotfix Driver for Windows 10 64-bit | Windows 10 32-bit | Windows 8/7/Vista 64-bit | Windows 8/7/Vista 32-bit
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