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alt3rn1ty

NVidia Updates

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The latest WHQL NVidia Driver update, 441.87, has a very nice new feature

Max Frame Rate

BhemUiZ.png

 

It can be set in the Global Settings, or in the individual Program Profiles

Its nice because you do not need any other advanced tools to set this now, just use the NVidia Control Panel. Typical use is when you want to stop stuttering due to the FPS going higher than the monitor / screen refresh rate, I have a laptop monitor which natively has a refresh rate of 60hz, so setting a cap on FPS to 59 means I never get any occasional refresh stutters with games with VSync on.

Release notes in downloadable PDF Format - http://us.download.nvidia.com/Windows/441.87/441.87-win10-win8-win7-release-notes.pdf

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Forgot to mention :

Something else thats new - If you are like me and your laptop machine is restricted to DCH NVidia drivers as opposed to the standard ones, you no longer have to select them specifically on the NVidia Download site ..

https://www.nvidia.co.uk/Download/index.aspx?

In the Download type for Geforce drivers just selecting Game ready drivers, now includes DCH as part of the installer, which are auto used if your machine is detected as needing them

 

I think this went through some teething problems over the last six months, confusing the end users in some cases for a while, and I think it has to do with Microsoft needing signed drivers (or something similar complicating the picture) .. Anyway whatever the underlying issues were, they seem to have been resolved now to make our lives easier keeping on top of the latest graphics drivers.

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Max frame rate is a nice addition, albeit a loooooooooong awaited one. Some games (especially gamebryo games but also other older games like No one lives forever, HoMM5 and SIms 3) need to have the max frame rate set on a number.

I remember Sims 3 refusing to accept the Vsync ON and having some fps numbers to the 600s or more. The game would render everything and anything at excessively high frame rates actually melting your GPU however advanced it was. Only way to cap the max frame rate was with Nvidia Inspector or Nvidia Profile Editor. It's nice that the feature is made standard with this driver update.

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Vulkan API version 1.2 has been released :

https://www.khronos.org/news/press/khronos-group-releases-vulkan-1.2

https://www.khronos.org/vulkan/

 

I believe it will be included in NVidia Drivers version 441.99 and above (not currently available for my machine in the WHQL releases, but is in the beta drivers .. So probably going to be updated soon for WHQL)

https://developer.nvidia.com/vulkan-driver

 

I think its already available for AMD machines ..

https://gpuopen.com/vulkan-1-2-driver-available-latest-radeon-software-adrenalin-2020-edition-20-1-2/

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v451.48 has been released and has now included the updated Vulkan 1.2

Release notes http://us.download.nvidia.com/Windows/451.48/451.48-nvidia-control-panel-quick-start-guide.pdf

Apparently it supports something called ..

"Hardware-accelerated GPU Scheduling when used with the Windows 10 May 2020 Update"

.. which may be better for Vulkan Games (ymmv)

Quote from here https://www.reddit.com/r/nvidia/comments/hf1292/game_ready_studio_driver_45148_faqdiscussion/

Quote

Driver performance testing

There is a lot to chew up here. The driver itself, when compared to the previous one on the same Windows platform (apples-to-apples so to speak), is not bad at all. Except for a slight loss on Wildlands lower Frame Times, the rest of the metrics are either stable or a bit better than with 446.14. No issues here. But still doesn't catch up with 442.59.

The big feature of this new driver is, of course, the support for WDDM 2.7 and the new Hardware Accelerated GPU Scheduling (HAGS for short). This feature allows your graphics card to manage its own video memory (VRAM) instead of the operating system. This should improve latency and response times, but also frees up some CPU computing power, in exchange of a bit higher GPU usage. As such, results of this new feature are very CPU/GPU dependant, along with the tested game itself. On CPU limited configurations, and/or CPU hungry games like Wildlands or FC5 (usually DX11 games) the new feature may squeeze some extra performance from your computer. On Dx12/Vulkan games (which are usually much less CPU limited), the new feature seems not that useful.

Arkham Knigth is the black sheep here. Previous reports of HAGS disliking a lot PhysX games seem true, and nVidia driver team has not been able to fix that incompatibility. This game lose a huge chunk of performance with 451.48, and what is worse, it is choppy as hell with heavy stutters.

 

My recommendation:

If you haven't upgraded your Windows 10 yet to v2004, there are no performance reasons to upgrade. Unless you need some specific bug fixed, 442.59 is still performing a bit better.

If you already have the new Windows 10 v2004 May Update installed, then you should probably upgrade to the new driver (and remember to manually enable HAGS, as it's disabled by default). On DX11 games or if your PC have some CPU bottleneck issues this will probably increase the performance of your games, both in raw framerate and with less stuttering. On the other hand, DX12/Vulkan games won't probably see much improvement though (if any).

Just be aware that HAGS is a new feature, and as such is expected to still have some bugs. If you use this feature, remember to disable as much Gameworks/PhysX options as possible on any game that use them, like Arkham Knight.

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