As part of a regular feature for BabelTechReviews, this evaluation is comparing the performance of 32 game benchmarks with the GeForce WHQL 350.12 driver that was released the day before GTA V, versus the very latest Geforce WHQL 352.86 driver that was released the day before the Witcher 3 released on Tuesday, just 4 days ago.  We are also going to briefly look at the Witcher 3, BTR’s latest benchmark.

witcher3 2015-05-22 12-25-44-37This driver performance analysis features Nvidia’s top two Maxwell cards although we plan to regularly test Kepler also in upcoming evaluations.  We want to at least document the performance changes of this driver set even though we are only testing two video cards.  We are going to give you the performance results of the GTX 980 and the TITAN X at 1920×1080, 2560×1440, and at 3840×21600.  This driver mini performance evaluation will give a natural comparison between the performance changes since Nvidia’s last WHQL driver set.

We are going to test GeForce WHQL 352.86 using our current benchmark suite of 32 games plus 2 synthetic benchmarks. Our testing platform is Windows 8.1 64-bit, using an Intel Core i7-4790K at 4.00GHz which turbso to 4.4GHz for all cores, an ASUS Z97E motherboard, and 16GB of Kingston “Beast” HyperX RAM at 2133MHz. The settings and hardware are identical except for the drivers being tested.

At GTX 760 and above, we test at higher settings and resolutions generally than we test midrange and lower-end cards.  Although all of our games are now tested at three resolutions: 3840×2160, 2560×1440 and 1920×1080 at 60Hz, and we use DX11/10/10.1 whenever possible with a very strong emphasis on the latest DX11 games.  We no longer benchmark 2560×1600, but now use the more popular 2560×1440 resolution beginning with this analysis.

Several games have had updates which changed the settings.  Shadows of Mordor has patched in FXAA and Camera + Object Blur which is more demanding than previously and we are now testing with the highest settings available.

Let’s get right to the test configuration, the driver release notes, and then to the results.