Nvidia has released the latest update to its Forceware driver package into Beta. Version 260 delivers some respectable performance gains in high-end gaming scenarios.
Right now, says Nvidia, you can squeeze your Fermi GPUs for all they're worth by using the 260.63 Beta drivers. They'll squeal - but they'll also dole out the frame rate increase on cue.
From 260.63 onwards, Nvidia adds support for the GTS 450 graphics card, Blu-ray 3D and some serious lossless audio (DTS-HD and Dolby TruHD).
A full list of improvements in various games looks like this:
GeForce GTX 480:
- Up to 10% in StarCraft II (2560x1600 4xAA/16xAF Ultra)
- Up to 14% in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat (1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF)
- Up to 16% in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat (SLI - 2560x1600 4xAA/16xAF)
- Up to 6% in Aliens vs. Predator (SLI - 1920x1200 noAA - Tessellation on)
GeForce GTX 460:
- Up to 19% in StarCraft II (SLI - 1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF Ultra)
- Up to 15% in Battlefield Bad Company 2 (SLI - 2560x1600 4xAA/16xAF)
- Up to 12% in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat (2560x1600 noAA)
- Up to 9% in Aliens vs. Predator (1680x1050 4xAA/16xAF - Tessellation on)
- Up to 7% in Metro 2033 (1680x1050 noAA - Tessellation on)
- Up to 11% in Dirt 2 (SLI - 2560x1600 4xAA/16xAF)
- Up to 12% in Crysis:Warhead (SLI - 1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF Gamer)
- Up to 13% in Far Cry 2 (2560x1600 4xAA/16xAF)
- Up to 12% in H.A.W.X (SLI - 1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF SSAO Very High)
- Up to 5% in Just Cause 2 (1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF)
- Up to 22% in Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena (1920x1200 noAA)
- Up to 5% in 3DMark Vantage (Extreme Preset)
As you can see, the real performance tweaks are reserved for the ultra-high-end of the graphics spectrum, so if you're running a measly 200-series or lower card, there is only so much the new drivers will do for you.
There's also some news on the installer front. The new package allows users to pick which components they want to install. It all looks eerily like Nvidia's own chipset driver package installer, as you get to do a custom install and pick what you need and what you don't.
You also see which versions of the driver are currently installed, and pick whether you want the system to clear out the closet and do a fresh install.
Another new feature is the addition of 3D Profiles if you are using 3D Vision in-game, in titles such as FIFA 11 and Fallout: New Vegas.
If you're in need, Nvidia's site is the place to go.