If you own a GeForce 7800GT or GTX and you haven't yet updated to the new drivers, head over to nZone and go download them NOW - follow this link to grab the driver, it's 17MB to download. These drivers really offer an exceptional performance increase across the board in a normal gaming experience but when we move to AA and AF we see that there is no real performance increase, if anything a small drop in performance.
The release notes we received from nVidia mentioned that the drivers are designed to improve performance on Dual-Core processors and we did see plenty of extra performance using our Athlon X2. This could explain why we see such big improvements in standard gaming but when we enable AA and AF, possibly more of the focus (3D processing power) is put back on the GPU. We can't say for sure but that would make sense.
* BFG Technologies GeForce 7800GTX *
There is more then just performance increases though as we get a few features that can come in handy like on-the-fly SLI along with the mix and matching of different brand graphics cards. For example, you might have a BFG 7800GTX and an XFX 7800GTX, now you'll be able to run them in SLI mode without any problems. Before you couldn't but this is just one thing nVidia has worked on to help SLI remain the dominant force over ATI's Crossfire solution which still isn't available for sale yet.
These drivers have advantage over advantage and you really would be denying yourself if you are the user of a 7800GT or GTX and don't upgrade your drivers. Unlike a lot of other sites, when we receive our R520 sample we will compare it against the latest nVidia drivers and if what other sites are saying is true, we think that the competition will be quite competitive with nVidia's Release 80 ForceWare drivers bringing some impressive performance increases to the table.
With that said we must give thanks to ATI for all these rumors on the R520 because if nVidia weren't worried about the R520 they might have not worked so hard on these drivers. So thanks and until the next driver release - Happy Benchmarking!