Game Ready GeForce 461.09 Driver Performance Analysis 15 games benchmarked using an RTX 3080 and 2080 Ti

This driver performance analysis showcases the performance of a Gigabyte AORUS RTX 3080 MASTER (Ampere architecture) and an EVGA RTX 2080 Ti BLACK (Turing architecture) with 15 PC games using the latest GeForce 461.09 Game Ready driver. We compare these drivers versus our previously recommended driver 460.89 using both cards, and we perform all tests on the same game version and the same OS build.

Our EVGA RTX 2080 Ti BLACK EDITION (Turing GPU micro-architecture).

Our testing platform is a recent install of Windows 10 64-bit Pro Edition, an i9-9900K with stock clocks, a Gigabyte Z390 AORUS PRO motherboard, and 32GB of Kingston DDR4 3333MHz. The games tested, settings and hardware are identical except for the GPUs we use and the drivers we compare.

Our AORUS RTX 3080 MASTER, rev. 1.0 (Ampere GPU micro-architecture).

Before offering the performance data and charts of each different analysis scenario, it’s important to describe both the hardware and software configuration used in our testing as well as the analysis methodology.

Benching Methodology

Test Configuration – Hardware

  • Intel Core i9-9900K (Hyper-Threading/Turbo boost on; stock settings)
  • Gigabyte Z390 AORUS PRO motherboard (Intel Z390 chipset, v.F9 BIOS)
  • Kingston HyperX Predator 32GB DDR4 (2×16GB, dual-channel at 3333 MHz CL16)
  • Gigabyte AORUS GeForce RTX 3080 MASTER 10GB (rev. 1.0); v.F2 VBIOS, stock clocks
  • EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti BLACK EDITION GAMING 11GB, stock clocks
  • Samsung 500GB SSD 960 EVO NVMe M.2
  • Seagate 2TB Desktop SSHD SATA 3.1
  • Seagate 2TB FireCuda SATA 3.1
  • Corsair RM750x, 750W 80PLUS Gold power supply unit
  • ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q 27″ IPS 2560 x 1440 165Hz 4ms G-Sync Monitor (G-Sync off, Fixed Refresh Rate on)

Test Configuration – Software

  • NVIDIA GeForce 461.09 and 460.89 drivers; ‘High Quality’ and ‘prefer maximum performance’ (on a per-game profile-basis); fixed refresh rate (globally).
  • V-Sync application controlled in the control panel, V-Sync off in-game.
  • AA and AF as noted in games; all in-game settings are specified.
  • Windows 10 64-bit Pro edition, latest updates v20H2, High-performance power plan, Game Mode, Game DVR & Game Bar features off.
  • GIGABYTE tools not installed.
  • Latest DirectX
  • All 15 games are patched to their latest versions at the time of publication.
  • 3DMark’s suite and UNIGINE Superposition benchmark, the latest version
  • Basemark GPU benchmark, v.1.1
  • UNIGINE Superposition, v.1.1
  • CapFrameX (CX), the latest version
  • RivaTuner Statistics Server (RTSS), latest version
  • Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU), latest version; always uninstall old driver using DDU in safe mode, clean and restart.
  • ISLC (Purge Standby List) before each benchmark.

GeForce Driver Suite-related

  • Standard Game Ready drivers are used.
  • The display driver is installed.
  • The latest version of PhysX is installed.

Hybrid & Non-Synthetic Tests-related

  • Single run per test.

Game Benchmarks-related

  • The corresponding built-in benchmark sequence is used.

Frametimes Capture & Analysis tool-related

  • CapFrameX is used for capturing and analyzing the relevant performance numbers obtained from each recorded built-in or custom benchmark sequence.
  • Consecutive runs until detecting 3 valid runs (no outliers) that can be aggregated by CapFrameX using the following method:
    • ‘Aggregate excluding outliers’:
      • Outlier metric: Third, P0.2 (0.2% FPS percentile).
      • Outlier percentage: 3% (the % the FPS of an entry can differ from the median of all entries before counting as an outlier).
  • We compare and value the results and aggregated records in terms of percentages of gain/loss, by setting the following thresholds to consider a certain % value as significant (not within the margin of error) for our benchmarking purposes:
    • Score/FPS Avg > 3% when valuing hybrid and non-synthetic benchmarks;
    • FPS Avg > 3% when valuing raw performance;
    • P1/P0.2 > 3% when valuing frame time consistency; after applying our custom formula

{[(LowPercentileFPS_2 / AvgFPS_2) / (LowPercentileFPS_1 / AvgFPS_1)] – 1} x 100

Benchmark Suite: 14 PC Games, 4 Hybrid & 4 Non-Synthetic Tests

Hybrid Tests (3DMark)

  • Fire Strike Ultra
  • Time Spy Extreme
  • DirectX Raytracing feature test
  • Port Royal

Non-Synthetic Tests

  • Basemark GPU
  • UNIGINE Superposition
  • Neon Noir (Benchmark)
  • Boundary: Raytracing Benchmark

DX11 Games

  • Borderlands 3 (DX11)
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (DX11)
  • Far Cry New Dawn
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Ghost Recon Breakpoint (DX11)
  • Neon Noir (Loop Mode)

DX12 Games

  • Borderlands 3 (DX12)
  • Cyberpunk 2077 (DX12)
  • Horizon Zero Dawn
  • Metro: Exodus (DX12)
  • Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 (DX12)
  • Watch Dogs: Legion (DX12)
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider (DX12)
  • Godfall (NEW addition)

Vulkan Games

  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint (VK)
  • Strange Brigade (VK)
  • Wolfenstein Youngblood
  • Quake 2 RTX (v.1.4.0)

NVIDIA Control Panel settings

Here are the global NVIDIA Control Panel settings:

NVIDIA Control Panel Global 3D Settings (EVGA RTX 2080 Ti Black).
NVIDIA Control Panel Global 3D Settings (AORUS RTX 3080 MASTER).

Both ‘High Quality’ value for texture filtering-quality setting and ‘Prefer maximum performance’ for power management mode are set on a per-game or program profile-basis via Manage 3D Settings > Program settings tab.

GeForce 461.09 Game Ready WHQL Drivers

This latest GeForce Game Ready 461.09 driver was released on Thursday (01/07/21) primarily to bring fixes for some specific driver issues, and to add security updates for driver components.

Source: Game-Debate.com

The most important issues fixed in this version are as follows:

    • [GeForce Experience]: The FPS counter is activated and the overlay appears on Windows Mail and Calendar applications.[200682565]
    • [GeForce GTX 750 Ti]: Blue-screen crash (UNEXPECTED KERNEL MODE TRAP) may occur. [3196164]
    • [GeForce GTX 1080 Ti]: The desktop screen may flicker. [3200599]
    • [GeForce GTX 1080 Ti]: The system may freeze with the screen displaying as solid color. [3203038]
    • [HDR]: With HDR enabled, black levels are incorrect, notably on LG OLED TVs. [200682795/ 3201305]
    • [Notebook][Lenovo Y740]: The notebook displays corruption after waking from sleep. [3178279]
    • Blue-screen crash (0x116) may occur upon resuming from sleep mode when three 4k monitors are connected. [3054239/3195884]

The download links for the latest GeForce 461.09 drivers can be found starting here. The release notes can be found here as a downloadable pdf fileHere are the release highlights from NVIDIA’s website:

Game Ready Drivers provide the best possible gaming experience for all major new releases. Prior to a new title launching, our driver team is working up until the last minute to ensure every performance tweak and bug fix is included for the best gameplay on day-1.

Let’s head to the tables and charts to compare the driver performance changes of the latest GeForce Game Ready 461.09 driver versus 460.89 using both our AORUS RTX 3080 MASTER and EVGA RTX 2080 Ti BLACK.

The Performance Summary Charts with 15 Games

Below you can find the summary charts of our representative selection of 15 games and 4 hybrid and 4 non-synthetic benchmarks. We chart our games’ driver performance progression from version 460.89 to 461.09 using both the AORUS RTX 3080 MASTER and the EVGA RTX 2080 Ti BLACK.

You can see the list of graphics settings on the charts, and we run each built-in or custom game benchmark’s sequence at 2560×1440, except for Borderlands 3 and Far Cry New Dawn, tested at 150% resolution scaling. You may click on each chart to open a pop-up for best viewing.

Results give average framerates and higher is better. We display the low FPS percentiles (P1 and P0.2) below the corresponding averages. We use CapFrameX to record frametimes over time and to visualize and convert them into their corresponding average FPS and P1 and P0.2 FPS percentiles values. There are also columns showing percentages of gain/loss in both raw performance (average FPS) and, when applicable, in frametimes consistency or stability between the different driver versions. To calculate the gains or losses in stability we applied our custom formula:

{[(LowPercentileFPS_2 / AvgFPS_2) / (LowPercentileFPS_1 / AvgFPS_1)] – 1} x 100

We mark significant performance changes (higher than 3%in bold and use purple or orange font for the significant improvements or regressions respectively.

GeForce 461.09 driver performance analysis. Hybrid benchmarks.
Hybrid Benchmarks.
GeForce 461.09 driver performance. Non-synthetic benchmarks.
Non-Synthetic Benchmarks.
DirectX 11 Games – Built-in benchmarks.
GeForce 461.09 driver performance. DX12 game benchmarks.
DX12 Games – Built-in benchmarks (except Cyberpunk 2077, tested using the BTR custom sequence).
GeForce 461.09 driver performance. Vulkan game benchmarks.
Vulkan Games – Built-in benchmarks.
GeForce 461. 09 driver performance. DXR game benchmarks.
DirectX Raytracing Games – Built-in benchmarks (except Cyberpunk 2077, tested using the BTR custom sequence).
GeForce 461.09 driver performance. Vulkan RT game benchmarks.
Vulkan Raytracing Games – Built-in benchmarks.

Notes on GeForce 461.09 Driver Performance

From the charts, we see no significant performance changes between drivers for both the hybrid and non-synthetic tests using both our RTX 3080 and RTX 2080 Ti.

For the built-in game benchmarks, most games show no significant differences when we move to 461.09 drivers from 460.89 driver version using both GPUs, except for a significant gain in frametimes stability that affects Metro Exodus (with RT enabled) using both our Ampere and Turing card.

Disclaimer

Please be aware that the following results, notes, and the corresponding driver recommendation are valid for similar Ampere and Turing gaming rigs on Windows 10 v20H2. Its representativeness, applicability, and usefulness on different NVIDIA GPU architectures, testing benches, and MS Windows versions may vary.

Conclusion

Based on our previous results and findings, we recommend Ampere and Turing users to update to the latest GeForce 461.09 driver. Its raw performance and smoothness or frametimes consistency level are overall on par with driver 460.89 using both NVIDIA GPU architectures, and it gives a significant performance improvement to Metro Exodus (with RT enabled), using Ampere and Turing.

From a qualitative point of view, there are important reasons that also make it advisable to upgrade to version 461.09. These reasons include its higher level of security and driver bug fixes, the optimizations for the latest games, and support for the latest NVIDIA technologies.

Let’s play!

***

Rodrigo González (aka “RodroG”) is an enthusiast gamer and tech reviewer interested especially in shooter games, open-world role-playing games, and software and hardware benchmarking. He is the author of the NVIDIA WHQL Driver Performance Benchmarks Series and founder and moderator of the r/allbenchmarks community on Reddit.

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