Benchmarking the latest Nvidia 270.51 [beta] drivers

Nvidia released the beta to their new 270 series drivers last Tuesday. Looking at their release notes, the new drivers show some overall performance gains. The biggest performance gains are seen on Dragon Age 2 and many games running in 3D Surround. As for the typical games, the GTX 500 series have seen a 5-10% performance increase in Nvidia’s own testing. Since we prefer seeing real-world testing, we took a line of six games to test out our  GTX 470.

In our testing, most of the games averaged an extra frame per second, with Unreal Tournament 3 and Just Cause 2 seeing slightly larger gains. The performance increase in our tests all came from a higher minimum frame rate. While our results are not as impressive as those claimed by Nvidia, the constant increments found previous driver upgrades do add up with time. For our testing hardware and methods, look at the quote section at the end of the post.

Other than the performance boost for the GTX 400 and 500 lines of cards, several other features and game profiles have been added. The most notable feature is the addition GPU acceleration for Adobe CS5 and Flash 10.1. Also found in this latest beta driver is the addition of an update checker that will keep your video drivers up-to-date. For the full list of updates visit Nvidia’s release notes.

Testing methodology

System specifications

All games, unless noted, ran at maximum graphics with all settings enabled at 1920×1200.

Crysis 2 : Averaged two 2 minute runs on the same section for each driver.

  • Game ran in DX9 since the DX11 patch was not released at this time.

UT3 : Averaged three runs on vCTF-Sandstorm_fly with ut3bench.

  • DX9 with 16x MSAA. PhysX was disabled (map unsupported).

Just Cause 2 : Averaged two runs of the built-in Dark Tower benchmark.

  • 8x CSAA, V-Sync off.

Starcraft 2 : Averaged two 2 minute runs using a player camera on a replay.

F1 2010 : Averaged three runs of the built-in benchmark tool.

  • 8xQ CSAA, DX11.

Shift 2 : Averaged two 2 lap runs on the same track.