Nvidia churns out 306.23 WHQL drivers, urges users to upgrade

Looks like Nvidia’s new GeForce GTX 660 and 650 graphics cards have arrived hand-in-hand with a fresh driver release. The GeForce 306.23 drivers are downloadable now from Nvidia’s GeForce.com website, but they add more than just support for the newcomers. In the accompanying blog post, Nvidia calls the drivers an "essential upgrade for every GeForce GTX user." And it’s no wonder why:

[T]he GeForce 306.23 WHQL drivers enable high-quality TXAA anti-aliasing on GTX 600 Series GPUs, improve game performance by up to 17% on all GeForce 400, 500, and 600 Series GPUs, enhance seven top titles with NVIDIA Control Panel MSAA and Ambient Occlusion profiles, improve the overall user experience for all GPU users, and add SLI and 3D Vision profiles for new releases and upcoming titles, including Borderlands 2, Darksiders 2, Dishonored, End of Nations, F1 2012, Guild Wars 2, Max Payne 3, Orcs Must Die! 2, PlanetSide 2, Sleeping Dogs, The Secret World, The Walking Dead, Torchlight II, and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria.

TXAA already made an appearance in Nvidia’s GeForce 304.79 beta drivers back in July, so it’s not entirely new, strictly speaking. Still, the 306.23 release is the first non-beta driver (one with Windows Hardware Quality Labs certification) to include the feature. Be sure to check out Scott’s writeup on TXAA for more details.

Oh, and according to Nvidia, the GeForce 306.23 drivers also deliver "maximum compatiblity" with Borderlands 2 and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria. You’ll find a more complete list of additions, bug fixes, and outstanding issues in the official release notes.

Comments closed
    • Donkadawn
    • 7 years ago

    Ok I arrived here because I googled this driver and reviews. I am totally clueless about updates and even what I have and all the “tech” stuffs you all refer to. I play WOW and use my pc for other personal things.

    I did not do the update previous to this one. Everything I read said not to.

    Now I am wanting to know if I need to do this one. I know this might seem like a stupid question to some, especially since I know squat about what I am doing… my pc is 6 yrs old… I cannot afford a new one. So this one has to run at its best for me. I cannot deal with any sort of problems with my PC, with out going crazy. I have no one to help me with anything that goes wrong.

    Do I do this update or not ?

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      If your graphics card is six years old, this will likely change nothing. Driver updates of this nature usually only affect the last 2-3 years of graphics cards. After that point, they “legacy” them. It

    • d0g_p00p
    • 7 years ago

    Right in time for Borderlands 2. Yippy Kia yay …..!!!!

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    “up to 17%” includes “0.0000000000000000000000%”

    • Meadows
    • 7 years ago

    What remains to optimise in World of Warcraft, honestly?

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      World of Warcraft: [u<]Mists of Pandaria[/u<] <-- just about to be released. Maybe the engine has some updates.

        • Meadows
        • 7 years ago

        I seriously doubt it.

    • Arclight
    • 7 years ago

    TDRs? Will check the new driver this weekend.

    • indeego
    • 7 years ago

    17% is nothing to scoff at. Why isn’t this getting bigger press?

    TR should test these claims. How often do we see driver updates push old cards anything close to this?

      • JohnC
      • 7 years ago

      I agree, the 17% is a large increase… However, it’s only for a single game, which is rather old now (Batman: Arkham City), using the specific settings (Tessellation and PhysX disabled, according to Nvidia’s blog). They haven’t done anything similar (in terms of similar performance increase) for more modern games, like for example GW2.

        • Meadows
        • 7 years ago

        GW2 is not a modern game, just newer.

      • Airmantharp
      • 7 years ago

      I just want drivers for my GTX675m… it’s still running on 290’s. Though that isn’t really a bad thing.

      • GTVic
      • 7 years ago

      Because it is mostly BS. One of these hardware websites ran some tests over a long period and found that these “gains” were finely grained and largely clawed back with subsequent driver releases.

      The article’s conclusion was that driver updates will not improve your graphics card’s performance long term, compared with its performance at launch. Specifically they recommended not counting on future performance improvements as a factor in your purchase decision.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 7 years ago

      It should be tested.

        • bitcat70
        • 7 years ago

        Yeah, yeah!!! Let’s put fire to their feet and see if they’re telling the truth.

    • JohnC
    • 7 years ago

    They took a pretty long “break” between WHQL releases… And they still haven’t fixed official forums… Something might be really wrong at Nvidia.

      • Airmantharp
      • 7 years ago

      They’re doing great? Forums don’t generate revenue…

        • JohnC
        • 7 years ago

        I know that “forums don’t generate revenue”, it’s just been a pretty long time since they went down, without proper updates on whole situation for also a long time (they haven’t said a word during whole August), which kinda coincided with this huge WHQL driver release “break”… I’m most likely over-thinking whole situation, but it just felt strange…

          • Ryu Connor
          • 7 years ago

          There is a Sep 12 update about the forum.

          [url<]http://www.nvidia.com/content/forums/index.html[/url<]

            • JohnC
            • 7 years ago

            I know that, please re-read what I’ve said above…

            • indeego
            • 7 years ago

            The very first thing you said makes no sense in the context of a security breach. In a security breach, you stop *everything* until you are in a secure environment. Your card development doesn’t mean jack shiiiiii until you fix your issues.

            NVIDIA is doing right here. Forums can wait, they are a noncritical revenue source.

          • entropy13
          • 7 years ago

          Who uses the Nvidia forums anyway?

          I’ve had Nvidia cards but their forums isn’t exactly the first I go to. I don’t exactly go to it at any time to begin with. LOL

            • JohnC
            • 7 years ago

            Well, you don’t, but I did. It was nice place to keep up with all the issues and read the replies of official Nvidia representatives there. Just a personal preference of forums, that’s all.

    • Parallax
    • 7 years ago

    Looks like nVidia lowered the pixel clock limits permanently now, which means the 120Hz 1440p displays are no longer compatible with new drivers. Some people at [url=http://120hz.net/<]120Hz.net[/url<] may have usable, if awkward, workarounds soon though.

      • indeego
      • 7 years ago

      Today I learned this was a website! Thanks!

    • ALiLPinkMonster
    • 7 years ago

    650? Did I miss something?

      • TravelMug
      • 7 years ago

      [url<]https://techreport.com/review/23527/nvidia-geforce-gtx-660-graphics-card/2[/url<] [quote<]Anyway, we may have to take a look at a GTX 650 at some point soon. Like the GTX 660, they're supposed to begin selling at online retailers today, but unlike the GTX 660, Nvidia chose not to supply advance review units to the press—so you know it's gonna be compelling. Eh, works for me, since I can pawn off that review on Cyril.[/quote<]

        • ALiLPinkMonster
        • 7 years ago

        Ah. I need to stop skimming the articles. It wasn’t mentioned on the first page (that I saw) so I assumed it wasn’t mentioned at all.

        Good thing though. The 650 is the Kepler card I’ve been most excited about, and the price is right for a 7770 killer.

          • alwayssts
          • 7 years ago

          Both use a power connector, have a 128-bit bus, 16 ROPs, use 5gbps memory, and have an msrp of $110.

          The problem for hoping that it is a 7770 killer is that while 7770 has 640sp, the 650 has the equivalent of 448.

          While 7770 1ghz(initial) has a pretty low stock voltages in some cases and didn’t always clock to or above 1100mhz, AMD updated the official spec last month or so to 1100mhz; most now clock to the 1150+ish range (as some initially did anyway). Either way, even with nvidia probably hitting ~1300mhz (the max on 28nm) on these chips overclocked by giving them all kinds relative overclocking tdp headroom, they are not going to make up the more than 30% needed to pass 7700 at stock.

          There is quite literally nothing to see here…hence the ‘We’ll get you a review sample eventually…maybe’ mentality.

            • ALiLPinkMonster
            • 7 years ago

            Ah. I did find the Tom’s Hardware review, and it doesn’t look good. The 550 Ti beats it in some cases. So much for that.

            • Star Brood
            • 7 years ago

            A 64 watt TDP and still a dependency on six-pin. Lower memory bandwidth than 550 Ti. Can’t do SLI. This is definitely bringing nothing new to the table at all.

            They are abstaining from powerful and useful low-end on purpose, just like AMD. If people can get enough power from a 7790 or a 650 Ti at the ~150 price point, it will dramatically reduce sales of their precious 7850/660.

            • rrr
            • 7 years ago

            Except 77xx just got a price cut again and look very good for what they cost. In fact, with 6850 all but gone, they are the best option for the price.

      • ALiLPinkMonster
      • 7 years ago

      Omg. I started two comments in a row with “ah”. How tacky.

    • drfish
    • 7 years ago

    Finally some love for my 650M. I’ve only been waiting since [i<]MAY[/i<].

      • sherlock
      • 7 years ago

      Did a clean install and upgraded from my 301.42 WHQL:
      GPU: Gigabyte N670-OC-2GD(1150Mhz max boost, no OC yet)
      3D Mark11 8896(previous max 8835) Graphic Driver not recognized by FM? WTF?
      Heaven 3.0(Max everything) 1139(previous max 1155), what?

        • Airmantharp
        • 7 years ago

        You just compared drivers with synthetic benchmarks. You’re doing it wrong :).

    • Ryu Connor
    • 7 years ago

    Non-beta support for my 680M, whoo.

    [quote<] [b<]Legacy Support Notification[/b<] GeForce 6-series and GeForce 7-series GPUs will be moved to legacy support after GeForce R304 drivers. GeForce R310 drivers (the next major family of drivers) will not support these products.[/quote<] GeForce 6 series debuted in April of 2004. Eight years of support is rather impressive.

      • drfish
      • 7 years ago

      Lol, great minds…

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 7 years ago

      Regarding the eight years of support, I agree. Impressive. Most impressive.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 7 years ago

        [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GF99USKdsgk[/url<]

        • indeego
        • 7 years ago

        Microsoft does it for every single business and developer product, for a minimum of ten years, since 2004!

        THAT is pretty impressive.

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