Nvidia has released a special edition new GeForce 436.02 GPU driver to tie into Gamescom, adding in a ton of new performance enhancements to some of the biggest games around. Nvidia is touting up to 23% frame rate increases, although the majority of the benefits appear to be limited to graphics cards with Turing GPUs (GeForce GTX 16 and GeForce RTX 20 Series).
The likes of Apex Legends, Battlefield V, Forza Horizon 4, Strange Brigade and World War Z all enjoy significant performance boosts, ranging from 4-5% FPS gains in Strange Brigade up to a mammoth 23% improvement for GeForce RTX 2080 Super owners playing Apex Legends at 1080p.
You’ll barely notice a difference in World War Z but, in Forza Horizon 4 for example, there are sizeable gains which will dramatically improve performance on Nvidia’s latest and greatest graphics cards. It’s unclear whether these gains are unique to the Super series or if this is part of a wider roll-out of performance enhancements. We’d be inclined to think it’s the former.
On top of this, Nvidia has added a couple of new beta features such as Ultra-Low Latency options and GPU Integer Scaling.
Ultra-Low Latency is a new mode which attempts to provide faster response times even at low frame rates. For some time now, users have been able to use the Nvidia Control Panel to select the maximum number of pre-rendered frames. This smooths up performance but it can lower input response times. Ultra-Low Latency mode effectively allows users to set ‘just in time’ frame scheduling rather than queuing up frames. Frames are thus rendered at the moment the GPU requires them, reducing input latency by as much as 33% for a smoother gaming experience.
If you want to get the most out of Ultra-Low Latency mode you’re going to want to be GPU-bound, hitting an average frame rate between 60-100 FPS. Enable the new mode and it should feel as if you’re playing on a high refresh rate monitor.
The next feature is GPU Integer Scaling, something which I know fans of pixel art games have been crying out to see for some time. As it currently stands, many pixel art games, particularly some of the older ones, look blurry when up-scaled for high resolution displays.
Integer Scaling is a hardware-accelerated feature which preserves the original detail while increasing the resolution. The difference it makes is actually really quite impressive and should make some classic pixel-art games look really crisp on 4K displays. Again though, this feature is exclusive to Turing GPUs.
You can enable both of these new features in the Nvidia Control Panel provided you’ve got the latest GeForce 436.02 GPU driver installed. To download the latest driver, you can either grab it here from Nvidia’s official site, or update through your current GeForce Experience installation.