Hardware stub

New nVidia Drivers "Boost Skyrim Performance by 20%"

Posted on May 22, 2012

Skyrim hasn't been known to be the most optimized game for PC gamers, but it is quite flexible in its requirements; after installing our graphics mod overhaul, though, even those of us with powerful PCs could use an extra FPS and performance kick.

nvidia-skyrim-updateImage courtesy of Rendermaxx from Skyrim Nexus.


The nVidia 301.42 WHQL drivers can be snagged here, for those running modern GPUs by the company, and expand on FXAA, Adaptive VSync (reducing tearing and increasing FPS), and other new features (read about what these mean in our GPU dictionary). 301.42 enables FXAA (shader-based anti-aliasing technology to increase performance) in "hundreds of games" and can be manually-applied via nVidia's control panel. Nvidia claims: "This technique is up to 60% faster than 4xMSAA, and can produce results equal to or better than the aging anti-aliasing solution. Furthermore, FXAA is able to anti-alias increasingly-popular transparent textures."

Nvidia's newest drivers show the biggest improvement in Skyrim's performance, which nVidia dubs "the world's most popular role-playing game" (I'm sure Wizards of the Coast won't have a problem with that statement), revealing a 17%-20% performance boost at 2560x1600 resolution with ultra settings and "similar gains" in 1920x1080.


560 Ti and 550 Ti users will be most grateful for this boost, which now pushes them into the 35-40FPS range, rather than teetering on the borderline 25-30FPS.

Other performance increases were also seen in additional games, though many of those listed in this chart are more CPU-intensive than anything, so bear that in mind if making any decisions.


301.42 also sees updated 3D Vision profiles (reviewed here), including GN-loved Warp and Trackmania 2: Canyon. The full list is below:

  • Adam’s Venture Episode 1- Rated Poor
  • All Zombies Must Die! – Rated Fair
  • Blacklight: Retribution – Rated Poor
  • Depth Hunter – Updated profile
  • Dirt: Showdown – Rated Good
  • Ghosts 'n Goblins Online – Rated Good
  • Krater – Rated Poor
  • Oil Rush – Rated 3D Vision Ready
  • Passion Leads Army Benchmark – Rated 3D Vision Ready
  • Postal III – Rated Good
  • Rayman Origins – Rated Good
  • Resident Evil: Operating Raccoon City – Rated Fair
  • rFactor 2 – Changed rating to 3D Vision Ready
  • SevenCore – Rated Fair
  • Stacking – Rated Good
  • The Darkness II – Updated in-game recommended settings
  • Trackmania 2: Canyon – Rated Fair
  • Unigine 3.0 Heaven Benchmark – Updated profile
  • Unigine Heaven Benchmark v3.0 – Rated 3D Vision Ready
  • Wargame: European Escalation – Rated Good
  • Warp – Rated Good
  • Wings of Prey – Rated Fair
  • World of Tanks – Changed rating to Excellent


More details can be obtained from nVidia's official patch notes: http://www.geforce.com/whats-new/articles/nvidia-geforce-301.42-whql-drivers-released/

As always, please ask any tweaking or performance questions in our comments section below - we're here to help. Our forums also provide a solid in-depth discussion area.

-Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke.