With the much anticipated release of Watch Dogs, nVidia is ensuring that users are getting the best-looking game they possibly can by releasing their newest 337.88 driver. The driver, by the way, is up for download here. It is no secret that nVidia has been working with developers, such as Ubisoft, to provide more realistic effects in games through their GameWorks program. Technology like TXAA, PhysX, and HBAO+ are some. But the partnership between Ubisoft and nVidia also leads to nVidia having ample time to optimize their drivers. In fact, nVidia claims that these drivers will boost framerates up to 75% in certain configurations and games, and although I am skeptical of this and will wait until our own benchmarks to draw conclusions, it is promising to see nVidia putting effort into their drivers like this.
Update: We’ve benchmarked Watch_Dogs on multiple GPUs and two CPUs. See the results here.
NVidia also has 15 new and updated SLI profiles, providing better performance for enthusiasts with multiple GPUs. The list of games includes:
- Battlefield 4 – updated profile to support test client
- Bound by Flame – updated profile
- Call of Duty: Online – added profile
- Dark Souls II – added profile, added NVCPL anti-aliasing support
- Daylight - added profile
- Diablo III – updated profile
- Everquest: Landmark – updated profile
- Icarus – added profile
- Smite – added profile
- Sniper Elite 3 – added profile
- Total War: Rome 2 – added profile
- War Thunder – updated profile
- Watch Dogs – updated profile
- Wildstar – added profile
- Windborne – added profile
- World of Tanks – updated profile
Watch Dogs still seems to have microstutter issues to some degree, but they have been alleviated with the new drivers.
In addition to that, nVidia added and updated existing 3D vision profiles for the following games:
- Assassin’s Creed Liberation – previously “Not Recommended”, now rated as “Excellent”
- Call of Duty: Online – rated “Good”
- Dark Souls II – rated “Good”
- DayZ – rated “Good”
- Goat Simulator – rated “Excellent”
- Halo: Spartan Assault – rated “Good”
- KickBeat – rated “Excellent”
- Loadout – rated “Fair”
- MXGP – rated “Good”
- Path of Exile – rated “Good”
- Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army – previously “Good”, now rated as “Excellent”
- Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army 2 – previously “Good”, now rated as “Excellent”
- Strike Suit Zero – previously “Not Recommended”, now rated as “Good”
- Watch Dogs – rated as “Good”
Say what you will about 3D gaming, but if simulating a goat terrorizing a small neighborhood in 3D doesn’t sound fun, I don’t know what does. I have to respect nVidia for giving us the option to do that in Goat Simulator.
NVidia has really been proactive in adding features to and preparing for the Watch Dogs release. The fact that nVidia drivers already support 3D and SLI is quite promising, but our initial benchmarks indicate optimization concerns on behalf of Ubisoft.
NVidia has created a guide to performance tweaking for Watch Dogs, which you can read here. And with nVidia putting this much effort into optimizing Watch Dogs, I expect AMD to release newly optimized drivers for Watch Dogs in the very near future. We are presently awaiting an official 14.6 download.
To read more about the new 337.88 drivers go here.
- Michael "The Bear" Kerns.