NVIDIA Releases the Highly Anticipated DirectX 11 Performance Drivers Along with GeForce Experience 2.0
Two weeks ago, NVIDIA announced that a brand new driver would be arriving in April that would dramatically improve performance across all DirectX 11 (DX11) games. The major selling point was that NVIDIA's flagship card running DX11 would beat AMD's flagship card running Mantle. According to NVIDIA, "by remaining laser-focused on DirectX 11 (and the forthcoming DirectX 12), we have dramatically enhanced the efficiency of our DirectX 11 driver, enabling performance games of up to 71% in DirectX 11 games, and additional benefits in games with multi-GPU SLI support. Unlike changes tailored around custom graphics APIs, our new optimizations can benefit all DirectX 11 titles the second they go on sale, regardless of developer or publisher, and apply to all DirectX 11-capable NVIDIA GPUs."
The driver released today is the 337.50 Beta driver, so your system won't be asking you to upgrade to it automatically. But if you're running an NVIDIA DX11 card and playing some of today's hottest AAA titles, you may want to give it a shot. NVIDIA has provided benchmark results for every GTX 700 series card, both as a single-card configuration and an SLI configuration (see images below). While I won't list every single result for every game, if you're a Total War: Rome II player, you'll definitely want to upgrade, as a single GTX 700 series card can see gains up to 64%, while an SLI configuration can see gains up to 71%, according to NVIDIA's release notes. Other big single-GPU gainers are Skyrim, Sleeping Dogs, Star Swarm, Batman: Arkham Origins, and Metro: Last Light, while other big SLI gainers are Sniper Elite V2, Aliens vs. Predator, Sleeping Dogs, Black Ops 2, and Hitman Absolution.
The other big news is that GeForce Experience (GFE) 2.0 has officially arrived. One of the biggest new additions is Desktop Capture for ShadowPlay, allowing users to capture everything from windowed games, browser games, OpenGL games, and even just Windows use itself. Desktop Capture requires the 337.50 Beta driver and is disabled by default. GFE 2.0 has also added beta versions of ShadowPlay and GameStream for Notebooks, along with the beta of Remote GameStream. Remote GameStream is part of the NVIDIA SHIELD April 2014 Update, which has also officially gone live today.