Nvidia's GeForce GTX 480: Before And After A Year Of Driver Updates

Performance Enhancements: Beta Drivers

Before we get to the benchmarks, we need to go over beta drivers. Nvidia relies on these much more than AMD, though rushed launches and new games have seen AMD spend more time patching its drivers in between final releases, too. Since the GeForce GTX 480's introduction, eleven drivers have been posted, four of which are beta releases. But as the company states, "beta drivers are provided by Nvidia as preview releases for quick bug fixes and access to new features. Beta drivers are under qualification testing, and may include significant issues."

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GeForce/Ion Driver 266.58WHQL1/18/11
GeForce/Ion Driver 266.35Beta1/4/11
GeForce/Ion Driver 260.99WHQL10/25/10
GeForce/Ion Driver 260.89WHQL10/18/10
GeForce/Ion Driver 258.96WHQL7/29/10
GeForce/Ion Driver 258.69Beta6/29/10
GeForce/Ion Driver 257.21WHQL6/15/10
GeForce/Ion Driver 257.15Beta5/24/10
GeForce Driver 197.75WHQL5/10/10
GeForce Driver 197.75Beta5/3/10
GeForce Driver 197.41WHQL4/9/10

The performance enhancements seen in a beta are rolled into the next qualified driver. As a result, betas don't count toward the total performance you would see over the life of a graphics card.

For the purposes of our testing, we are selecting qualified drivers to remain consistent with our earlier look at AMD's driver performance.

  • -Fran-
    Heh, now it cooks my steaks 5 secs faster.

    Oh wait... I'm using a GT425M on my notebook... Damn!

  • theyohan
    I hear good things about that new Nvidia 270.51 beta driver.
  • dragonsqrrl
    Impressive results to say the least... well, except for WOW. That has to be a bit of a disappointment for the people who care about that title. But otherwise quite remarkable performance optimizations from the driver team.

    I have to agree with the conclusion, due to the recent nature of the Fermi architecture it probably took both Nvidia and developers time to get used to the new hardware. It just wasn't well optimized upon launch. Although I think it's worth noting that it still managed to perform well even on those early drivers.
  • andy5174
    GTX480/470/465.... Fail
  • ezodagrom
    In the World of Warcraft page instead of saying "Percent Gain from 197.41 to 266.58" it says "Percent Gain from 9.10 to 11.1". ;P
  • acku
    9512364 said:
    In the World of Warcraft page instead of saying "Percent Gain from 197.41 to 266.58" it says "Percent Gain from 9.10 to 11.1". ;P

    Oops! My motto: Pobody's Nerfect. :kaola:

  • cpy
    257.21 looks best for me as wow player and sc2 player :)
  • gofasterstripes
    TBH it looks like good work from the green team. Cool, my 470 is getting bumped for free
    On second thoughts, maybe 'cool' is the wrong word.....
  • Mario75
    andy5174GTX480/470/465.... Fail
    Nope - trolls actually FAIL.Also your "comment" FAIL
  • nforce4max
    mayankleoboy1only 465 was fail. just like the 5830.
    Cough 6790