Usually, a new graphics card launch is followed almost immediately by a fresh driver release supporting the new product. Nvidia perpetuated the tradition today, but with a twist. The new GeForce 258.96 "WHQL-candidate" drivers don't just add support for the GeForce GTX 460; they also bring performance improvements for all GTX 400-series cards and "WHQL support" for 3D Vision Surround.
Let's start with the performance improvements. Nvidia quotes the following speedups:
- Up to 11% in Aliens vs. Predator (1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF – Tessellation on)
- Up to 7% in Crysis: Warhead (SLI – 1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF – Gamer)
- Up to 4% in H.A.W.X (SLI – 1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF – Very High)
- Up to 10% in Just Cause 2 (SLI – 1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF - Concrete Jungle)
- Up to 6% in Metro 2033 (1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF – Tessellation on)
- Up to 7% in Metro 2033 (SLI – 1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF – Tessellation on)
- Up to 10% in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat (1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF)
- Up to 12% in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat (SLI – 1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF)
- Up to 4% in World in Conflict (SLI – 1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF)
As always, keep in mind that these are best-case scenarios that apply only to some configurations. So, don't fire up Alien vs. Predator expecting 11% higher frame rates across the board.
What about 3D Vision Surround? We told you all about that feature when the first beta driver came out two weeks back. Nvidia suggests that 3D Vision Surround has now gotten the nod from Microsoft's Windows Hardware Quality Labs, although the complete driver package is still going through certification. I'm not sure how that works, exactly, but Nvidia says you can expect a fully certified set of drivers "within a week."