NVIDIA release a heap of drivers. It seems there's one coming out every week lately. Unlike AMD, NVIDIAs betas are really pushed throughout the enthusiast community. If we did the same kind of thing with the NVIDIA ForceWare drivers as we do with AMD and its Catalyst drivers, I would be testing ForceWare drivers 24 / 7.
The ForceWare 266.58 driver set is more important, because unlike a lot of other drivers this is a WHQL one; which for people who prefer to only upgrade when WHQL ones make their way to the market, it could well be time for an upgrade.
With a whole lot of new models recently as well, there's finally a chance to get off those betas and get on some proper WHQL ones. So what are the performance improvements? Let's take a quick look at what's in the release notes before we get stuck into the benchmarks.
Increases performance for GeForce 400 Series and 500 Series GPUs in several PC games vs. the latest Release 260 drivers. The following are examples of some of the most significant improvements measured on Windows 7. Results will vary depending on your GPU and system configuration:
GeForce GTX 580:
Up to 7% in Battlefield Bad Company 2 (1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF)
Up to 12% in Battleforge (SLI 1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF Very High)
Up to 11% in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (SLI 1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF)
Up to 7% in Dirt 2 (SLI 1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF)
Up to 7% in Far Cry 2 (1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF)
Up to 5% in Just Cause 2 (1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF Dark Tower)
Up to 5% in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat (SLI - 1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF)
Up to 9% in Stone Giant (SLI 1920x1200, DOF on)
Up to 8% in Unigine Heaven v2.1 (SLI 1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF)
Improves performance in Final Fantasy XI on GeForce 400 Series and 500 Series GPUs.