A year of GeForce drivers reviewed

Subject: Graphics Cards | March 5, 2013 - 02:28 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, geforce, graphics drivers

After evaluating the evolution of AMD's drivers over 2012, [H]ard|OCP has now finalized their look at NVIDIA's offerings over the past year.  They chose a half dozen drivers spanning March to December, tested on both the GTX680 and GTX 670.  As you can see throughout the review, NVIDIA's performance was mostly stable apart from the final driver of 2012 which provided noticeably improved performance in several games.  [H] compared the frame rates from both companies on the same chart and it makes the steady improvement of AMD's drivers over the year even more obvious.  That does imply that AMD's initial drivers for this year needed improvement and that perhaps the driver team at AMD has a lot of work cut out for them in 2013 if they want to reach a high level of performance across the board, with game specific improvements offering the only deviation in performance.

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"We have evaluated AMD and NVIDIA's 2012 video card driver performances separately. Today we will be combining these two evaluations to show each companies full body of work in 2012. We will also be looking at some unique graphs that show how each video cards driver improved or worsened performance in each game throughout the year."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards

Source: [H]ard|OCP
March 5, 2013 | 05:01 PM - Posted by razor512

One thing that is common with many driver updates is that they list a performance improvement but they pretty much only list a single card as where the performance improvements have been demonstrated.

No one seems to have done a benchmark of an old and new driver across a range of GPU's, for example, will the 314.07 driver's performance improvements translate into a performance boost on older cards, eg a GTX 560, GTX 460, GTX 260.

March 5, 2013 | 06:21 PM - Posted by aparsh335i (not verified)

I disagree with the entire post.
Day 1 Nvidia is at 48FPS and AMD is at 36FPS.
Today Nvidia is at 53FPS and AMD is at 49FPS.

Nvidia gained 5FPS, AMD gained 13FPS...How is the point of the article that AMD is falling behind?

March 5, 2013 | 07:05 PM - Posted by razor512

ATI usually has bad drivers (mainly because they refuse to listen to customer reports. (eg back in the days of the HD 3800 series, ATI had opengl issues where the drivers did not properly report the available video memory to make opengl games, because of that, those games used system memory to store textures and this causes major performance issues (especially in games like second life)

On the ATI forums, they began deleting topics complaining about the openGL issue and even bnned a few accounts of the users making the threads and replying to them. (happened to me and a bunch of other people when I made a thread about the opengl not properly reporting texture memory, My account was banned for it and a bunch of other users also had their accounts banned and the thread was removed.

A report to the BBB got me unbanned.

That was the last time I went with ATI.

On the other hand, I had an issue with an nvidia driver where maya would eventually mess up and display a static image on my geforce 6800. (my upgrade to a better videocard was delayed because I sold the 3850 after a year of waiting yielded no fix for the issue I was having, at which point, I sold the card and got a Geforce 7800 and literally got a 10-15 time boost in framerates in second life.

shortly after, I got a reply and the next driver update fixed the issue ( that was at a time when the GTX 200 series was a big thing)

I am unsure how much AMD/ATI has changed over the years in relation to their driver issues, but from my experience, if you have a driver issue, Nvidia is more likely to fix it, even if the card is pretty old.

March 5, 2013 | 07:21 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

More started behind than falling behind.  NVIDIA has had little room to improve whereas AMD has been improving all year which shows, to me, that at the beginning of 2012 they had a lot of work ahead of them ... even more so when you consider Ryan's current nightmare project.

March 6, 2013 | 08:16 AM - Posted by CrsithianFTW (not verified)

En el tiempo que estoy en esto de las PCs no he tenido problemas con drivers o soy un friki que llora porque esta 3 fps menos que el reviews,tengo una HIS 5770 Ice Q 5 y ningun drama con juegos,vi el reviews de hardocp y la verdad nunca mas revizo algo que publiquen siempre es nvidia subio 5 fps radeon esta mas lento o los FX no son buena compra,ese foro esta mas parcializado desde hace años,cambien de nombre a NvdiaOCP porque mas fanboy que estos no hay.

March 6, 2013 | 02:24 PM - Posted by Adam (not verified)

ryan, i think it would be interesting to frame rate the two drivers where there is a big step change in AND's results. i wonder if AMD just ended up throwing in lots of new small frames to bring their cards back up to nvidia levels?

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