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Conclusion

Our mini-investigation confirmed Nvidia’s claims of gaming performance improvement in certain titles provided by the latest GeForce driver version 182.06. For your convenience we grouped the results in tables, one for each of the graphics cards participating in our today’s tests.

The biggest performance boost had been promised for high resolutions, namely 1920x1200 and 2560x1600, while in 1680x1050 and 1280x1024 we could even see the new driver falling slightly behind. Nevertheless, we did find a few exceptions.

The modifications introduced by Nvidia software developers in their new GeForce driver version 182.06 showed their real best in Left 4 Dead game based on Valve Source engine: the maximum gain for GeForce GTX 295 made almost 40%, and for GeForce GTX 285 – 25%.

The second place was taken by Enemy Territory: Quake Wars online shooter: updated OpenGL driver improved the average gaming performance of GeForce GTX 295 solution by 21% in 1280x1024 resolution and by 10% in 1680x1050 resolution. GeForce GTX 285 sped up by about 8-9%, and about 7% in 2560x1600 resolution.

In all other cases, the new GeForce driver delivered on all Nvidia’s promises. Only in F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin in 2560x1600 resolution GeForce GTX 285 got over 10% faster. I would like to specifically draw your attention to a significant increase in minimal fps level in Far Cry 2 game on GeForce GTX 295 in 2560x1600 resolution, so that the owners of these particular graphics cards can finally enjoy playing in this mode.

One way or another, it makes perfect sense to upgrade to the new GeForce 182.06 driver, especially for those who play any of the games we checked out today. However, you may get additional speed also in games not mentioned by Nvidia. Looks like the company focuses not on optimizing the drivers for selected games, but on improving the performance of their solutions in general, which we can clearly see from the results obtained with GeForce 182.06 driver in Enemy Territory: Quake Wars and Far Cry 2.

Unlike ATI Catalyst 9.1 that makes things better primarily for the dual-chip Radeon HD X2 card owners, the new Nvidia GeForce driver version will work well not only for those who have the latest generation GeForce GTX 295 and discrete SLI systems, but also for the users of common single-chip cards, such as GTX 285/280/260, and maybe even GeForce 9800/9600.

 
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