Gamescom is going on in swing, with Google already showcasing the new features and titles for Stadia. Now Nvidia got onto the stage and announced their most significant GeForce driver update in months. The “Gamescom Game Ready Driver” comes with significant performance improvements in select games, low latency mode, integer scaling, and a new Freestyle sharpening filter. Other than the driver update they revealed native ray tracing support for a bunch of games. Nvidia claims that the users can experience up to 23% performance improvement in the selected games depending upon their hardware.
It is worth noticing that Nvidia is looking to make the GeForce Experience better since suitable hardware always requires the right software solution at the backend to work efficiently. The driver update is available to download here and will appear in the GeForce Experience soon.
The most exciting feature that they announced in this update was the ultra-low latency mode. According to Nvidia, it will significantly help in negating the hardware lag that players face at high refresh rates/FPS. It has three different sub-modes that lets the player use the option that works the best for them. The “off” mode does not restrict the game; it allows games to have 1-3 frames in the queue for the GPU. The “on” mode only allows a single frame in the line. Lastly, the “ultra-low” mode does not allow any queue, and thus, the frames are submitted directly to the GPU for rendering purposes. Therefore, it helps in reducing the latency. Nvidia claims that the Ultra low latency mode helps to reduce the lag by almost 33%.
For a few years, Nvidia is enjoying minimal to low competition in the high-end GPU market. It allowed them to change the market structure according to their will. Forcing the use of ray tracing at such an early stage can be regarded as its prime example. With the new update, Nvidia released a much-awaited feature called Integer scaling. It helps in making the pixel art look better on the high definition displays by displaying the perfectly scaled image to retain the sharpness instead of opting for the linear interpolation techniques used traditionally.
It should be noted that Nvidia could have introduced this feature earlier as AMD has been using it for a long time now. Intel graphics cards will also support it natively. Another grain in the salt for the lovers of indie, pixelated or old games is that the feature is only for the graphics cards based on the Turing architecture. It means Nvidia is just using this feature to possibly sell more and more Turing GPUs.
The new Freestyle sharpening filter allows users to take high-quality screenshots of the games while mitigating the performance hit. Freestyle’s 30-bit color support can turn out to be a taxing task for the GPU so, Nvidia got around it and gave an option of a Freestyle filter.
All in all, the “Gamescom Game Ready Driver” update is a welcome gesture from Nvidia as they are trying to improve the end-user experience. However, the features such as Integer scaling could have been provided for the whole lineup of graphics cards but they decided to cash it out too.