Nvidia 310.54 drivers boost Black Ops 2, show off changes with Commander Shepard's bum

As is its wont, Nvidia have released a new set of beta graphics drivers , hot on the heels of the 310.33 release a couple of weeks back. This is being called an "essential upgrade for all GeForce GTX gamers". Compared with the current WHQL certified drivers the 310.54 release is boasting up to a 26% frame rate boost for anyone playing the just-released Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 or the still-waiting Assassin's Creed 3.

Nvidia have also said the new drivers will enable a new implementation of their TXAA post-processing shenanigans for the two new titles, and have stuck an interactive backside of Commander Shepard on the website so you can see for yourself what the higher levels of SGSSAA (more high-end anti-aliasing) does.

Shepard's bum proves not quite as useful as simply looking at the benchmark numbers, however. The boost for CoD: BLOPS 2 is the biggest change (followed by Civ 5) going from around 84fps on a GTX 680 up to seemingly around 108fps. That's quite a jump.

I spoke to an Nvidia chap earlier and they have put the increase in performance for BLOPS 2 largely down to general optimisation. “Of course we're always optimizing drivers, our software team are always getting newer and newer game builds so they can ensure they give gamers the best experience the very day the game is bought,” said Ben Berraondo, Senior PR at Nvidia.

“We always aim to be there with great performance on Day 1 of any major PC game launch. In the end, I think gamers want to play games at their very best on day of launch, not months down the line.”

Still, not to be outdone, AMD have also announced that they are set to release new Catalyst beta drivers in the next couple days as resident overclocking guru and general GPU funster, Sami Makinen, dropped us a line. “The key update in this driver is CrossFire performance in the Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2 game title,” said Sami.

So we don't expect any serious speed boost for single card gamers from AMD's efforts, but it's all to the good: whatever else you might think about Call of Duty you can't help but admire its high framerate. Any help we get making Blops 2 buttery smooth is welcome indeed.

Dave James
Managing Editor, Hardware

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.