A new set of GeForce graphics drivers quietly crept onto Nvidia's website late yesterday. This 266.58 driver release promises performance improvements for GeForce 400- and 500-series graphics cards, a plethora of 3D Vision-related enhancements, improved Nvidia Surround performance, and some fresh SLI profiles to boot. Now that's a graphics driver update.
Nvidia doesn't go into per-card performance increases, but the release highlights page quotes "examples of some of the most significant improvements measured on Windows 7." Apparently, with a GeForce GTX 580, Nvidia recorded performance gains ranging from 5% to 12% depending on the title. 4x antialiasing and 16x anisotropic filtering were enabled in all cases, it looks like.
On the eye candy side of things, Nvidia says GeForce owners can now enjoy ambient occlusion in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. 3D Vision support has been added for a number of games, as well, including Gothic 4, Medal of Honor, Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, and some foreign-sounding games I've never heard of. On top of that, folks can now enjoy windowed 3D Vision graphics in the latest World of Wacraft expansions, EverQuest 2, Guild Wars 2, and Google Earth.
Enjoying 3D vision should now be easier from a hardware standpoint, by the way. The release highlights name a decent number of new 3D monitors and projectors, support for which has been added in the 266.58 drivers.
Last, but not least, Nvidia has chucked in some fresh SLI profiles and improved ones for titles like Gothic 4, Civilization V, Lost Planet 2, and World of Warcraft.