Nvidia is well known for the Nvidia GPU drivers support that it provides users that choose to buy graphics cards from the green team. How much performance do these Nvidia GPU drivers actually provide? Is the company actually giving people performance boosts with these driver updates or are these drivers just fixing bugs so that people buy newer GPUs? Let’s find out.
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Nvidia GPU Drivers Performance Test Methodology
One card from the previous generation and the latest generation should give us a good idea regarding the performance improvement. Plus we are also taking into account different versions of Nvidia GPU drivers for this test. The following are the drivers that we will be looking at:
Nvidia GPU drivers for GTX 980Ti
The following drivers were used to test out the performance of the GTX 980Ti:
Nvidia GPU drivers for GTX 1080
The following drivers were used to test out the performance of the GTX 1080:
- GeForce 368.25 WHQL
- GeForce 372.54 WHQL
- GeForce 375.95 WHQL
- GeForce 378.57 Beta Hotfix
Nvidia GPU Drivers Performance Test, Test Bench
The following components were used to perform this Nvidia GPU drivers performance test:
- Motherboard: Asus Z170-A
- CPU: i7-7600K @ 4.7GHz
- RAM: 16 GB Corsair DDR4
- Storage: PNY 480GB SSD
- PSU: Corsair CX850M
- OS: Windows 10 Pro X64
For this test the games are set to the maximum settings and the games are running at 1440p.
Nvidia GPU Drivers Performance Benchmarks
When it comes to Crysis 3 on the GTX 980Ti we saw that the performance was pretty much the same across the board running the different drivers that we have mentioned. The average FPS count was 53, give or take a frame.
Testing the game on the GTX 1080 gave us similar results. The average FPS count was higher at 69 FPS but we did not see an improvement with the introduction of newer driver builds.
Far Cry 4
When it comes to Far Cry 4 there was an improvement of one or two frames across the board when testing the GTX 980Ti but nothing too major. Running the game with 353.62 drivers gave an average FPS count of 62.5 and the latest hotfix pushed the FPS count to 64.2.
Testing the game with the GTX 1080 gave a higher average FPS count of 83.7 on 368.25 drivers and the average count that we saw on the hotfix drivers was 85.1. As you can see there is an improvement of a few frames but there is nothing too drastic here as well.
Same was the case when running witcher 3 on the GTX 980Ti as we saw an average FPS count of 54.2 on the hotfix driver which stooped down to 53 frames on previous drivers.
Running the game on the GTX 1080 yielded better performance with an average FPS count of 71.5 on the hotfix drivers which is an improvement of 1.5 frames as compared to the previous driver builds.
Fallout 4 is where things get interesting when it comes to Nvidia GPU drivers. Here we saw some major performance improvement as drivers updated from version 353.62 to 361.75. Running the game on the GTX 980Ti we saw a performance increase of 8 FPS. This decreases slightly with the hotfix drivers.
Although there was a performance increase for the GTX 980Ti that does not seem to be the case with the GTX 1080 as the game runs at 72 FPS, give or take an FPS, across the board.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Running Rise of the Tomb Raider on the GTX 980Ti we saw a performance increase of a single frame on the hotfix drivers as compared to previous builds. That is also the case with the GTX 1080.
Though the newer version of drivers does give better FPS this is again not something that is significant, it is possible that this increase in performance will be greater if you turn the graphics settings down a notch.
The game was not affected by driver updates when we talk about the GTX 980Ti but we see a performance boost of 6 frames on the GTX 1080 using the hotfix drivers as compared to older driver builds.
Doom showed interesting performance increase with the introduction of new drivers. On the GTX 980Ti we saw a performance increase of 8 FPS on newer drivers as compared to older versions. Same is the case with the GTX 1080 where we saw an increase of 11 FPS comparing the hotfix drivers to previous builds.
Nvidia GPU Drivers Performance Conclusion
It is safe to say that whether or not Nvidia GPU drivers will improve the performance of your GPU depends on the game that you want to play.
In some games we saw no improvement at all, in others there was a slight improvement in performance with new builds, some games even showed significant performance boosts.
Again, some drivers impacted the GTX 980Ti and not the 1080. Let us know what you think about this Nvidia GPU drivers performance test.