GeForce 496.13 Driver Performance Analysis – 25 games benchmarked including Far Cry 6 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 25 PC games using the latest GeForce 496.13 Game Ready driver. We compare these drivers versus our previously recommended driver 472.12 with both cards, and we perform all tests on the same game version and the same OS build.

Our AORUS RTX 3080 MASTER, rev. 1.0 (Ampere 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 EVGA RTX 2080 Ti BLACK EDITION (Turing GPU micro-architecture).

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.F12l 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.F4 VBIOS, stock clocks
  • EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti BLACK EDITION GAMING 11GB, stock clocks
  • Samsung 500GB SSD 960 EVO NVMe M.2
  • WD Blue 1TB SATA SSD
  • Corsair RM750x, 750W 80PLUS Gold power supply unit
  • ASUS TUF Gaming VG289Q 28″ IPS UltraHD (3840×2160) 60Hz 5ms FreeSync Monitor for testing games at 2160p resolution.
  • ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q 27″ IPS QuadHD (2560 x 1440) 165Hz 4ms G-Sync Monitor for testing games at 1440p resolution.

Test Configuration – Software

  • NVIDIA GeForce 472.12 and 496.13 drivers; ‘High Quality’ and ‘prefer maximum performance’ (on a per-game profile-basis); Shader Cache Size ‘Unlimited’ (globally); fixed refresh rate (globally).
  • Resizable BAR off – Why? Read main reasons here.
  • 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 v21H1, High-performance power plan, HAGS off (why?), Game Mode, Game DVR & Game Bar features off, Control Flow Guard (CFG) off on a per-game basis.
  • GIGABYTE and ASUS tools not installed.
  • Latest DirectX
  • All 25 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), the latest version
  • Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU), the 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

  • We use DCH Game Ready drivers.
  • The display driver is installed.
  • We install the latest version of PhysX.

Hybrid & Non-Synthetic Tests-related

  • Single run per test.

Game Benchmarks-related

  • The corresponding built-in or custom 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 evaluating raw performance;
    • P1/P0.2 > 3% when evaluating frame time consistency; after applying our custom formula

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

Benchmark Suite: 25 PC Games, 4 Hybrid & 4 Non-Synthetic Tests

Hybrid Tests (3DMark)

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

Non-Synthetic Tests

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

DX11 Games

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

DX12 Games

  • Borderlands 3 (DX12)
  • Cyberpunk 2077 (DX12)
  • DIRT 5 (DX12)
  • F1 2021 (DX12)
  • Far Cry 6 (DX12) – NEW
  • Godfall (DX12)
  • Horizon Zero Dawn (DX12)
  • LEGO® Builder’s Journey (DX12)
  • Metro Exodus (DX12)
  • Metro Exodus PC Enhanced Edition (DX12)
  • Myst (2021, DX12)
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (DX12)
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider (DX12)
  • Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 (DX12)
  • Watch Dogs: Legion (DX12)

Vulkan Games

  • DOOM Eternal (VK)
  • Quake 2 RTX (VK; v.1.5.0)
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (VK)
  • Strange Brigade (VK)
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint (VK)
  • Wolfenstein Youngblood (VK)

NVIDIA Control Panel settings

Here are the global NVIDIA Control Panel settings:

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

Both ‘High-Quality’ values 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 496.13 Game Ready WHQL Drivers

This latest GeForce Game Ready 496.13 driver was released on Tuesday (10/12/21) primarily for the launch of Back 4 Blood, with support for NVIDIA DLSS, Crysis Remastered Trilogy, which features DLSS and ray-traced reflections, and The Riftbreaker.

Source: NVIDIA

This new driver provides support for DLSS 2.X in Baldur’s Gate 3Chivalry 2Rise of the Tomb RaiderShadow of the Tomb Raider, and Sword and Fairy 7.

Source: NVIDIA

It also adds Shader Cache Size control to set the maximum amount of disk space to use for storing shader compiles, and includes among others the following bug fixes:

    • [GeForce RTX 3080]: The system does not boot with two Samsung Odyssey G70A 28″ monitors are connected to the GPU. [3359697]
    • [GeForce GTX 960]: The primary monitor lost after resume from sleep or shutdown. [3340905]
    • [Windows 11]: The screen flashes once after switching to the discrete GPU-only mode in the NVIDIA Control Panel. [3330077]
    • [Multiple Apps][Ansel/Freestyle]: Depth of field filter shows blurry characters. [200749545]
    • [Notebook]: Vulkan test applications run on the integrated graphics processor instead of the discrete GPU. [200770322]

The download links for the latest GeForce 496.13 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.

Game Ready for Back 4 Blood

This new Game Ready Driver provides support for Back 4 Blood, which utilizes NVIDIA DLSS to boost performance by up to 46% at 4K. In addition, this new Game Ready Driver offers support for the latest new titles and updates, including the launch of the Crysis Remastered Trilogy and Baldur’s Gate 3 which utilize NVIDIA DLSS, as well as DLSS updates to Rise of the Tomb Raider, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and Chivalry 2. Additionally, this release provides optimal support for The Riftbreaker and Sword and Fairy 7.

The GeForce 496.13 Driver Performance – Summary Charts with 25 Games

Below you can find the summary charts of our representative selection of 25 games plus 4 hybrid and 4 non-synthetic benchmarks. We chart our games’ driver performance progression from version 472.12 to 496.13 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 3Days GoneFar Cry New Dawn, Far Cry 6, and Red Dead Redemption 2 tested at 3840×2160 resolution. You may click on each chart to open a pop-up for the 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. We applied the following custom formula to calculate the stability gains or losses:

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

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

GeForce 496.13 Driver Performance Charts

geforce 496.13 driver performance
Hybrid Benchmarks
geforce 496.13 driver performance
Non-Synthetic Benchmarks
geforce 496.12 driver performance
DirectX 11 Games – Built-in benchmarks (except Days Gone and Chernobylite, tested using BTR custom sequences).
geforce 496.13 driver performance
DirectX 12 Games – Built-in benchmarks [except Cyberpunk 2077, Far Cry 6, LEGO® Builder’s Journey, Myst (2021), and Red Dead Redemption 2, tested using BTR custom sequences].
geforce 496.13 driver performance
Vulkan Games – Built-in benchmarks (except DOOM Eternal and Red Dead Redemption 2, tested using custom sequences).
geforce 496.13 driver performance
DirectX Raytracing Games – Built-in benchmarks [except Cyberpunk 2077, LEGO Builder’s Journey, Far Cry 6, and Myst (2021), tested using BTR custom sequences].
geforce 496.13 driver performance
Vulkan Raytracing Games – Built-in benchmarks (except DOOM Eternal, tested using a custom sequence).

Notes on GeForce 496.13 Driver Performance

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

For the game benchmarks, although most games show no significant differences when we move to 496.13 drivers from the 472.12 driver version using both GPUs, we see a significant performance regression in F1 2021 (DX12) in terms of raw performance, and some noteworthy performance improvements in Cyberpunk 2077 (RTX), DIRT 5, Far Cry 6, and LEGO® Builder’s Journey (RTX) in terms of raw performance, and a significant performance gain in F1 2021 (DXR) in terms of frametime consistency.

However, we cannot rule totally out the possibility that the significant performance changes in F1 2021 may also be due to the latest and most recent updates to this game.

We are also not showing Godfall and Red Dead Redemption 2 data using the latest driver and won’t be testing them from now on because the variability between runs is currently too high using any built-in or custom benchmark sequence.

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 v21H1. 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 496.13 driver. Its raw performance and smoothness or frametimes consistency level are overall on par with our previously recommended driver 472.12 using both NVIDIA GPU architectures.

From a qualitative point of view, there are important reasons that also make it advisable to upgrade to version 496.13. These reasons include its higher level of 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 especially interested 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.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Hello sir
    thanks for this review, I always look forward for your content, and have been following your posts for a while now
    I would like to ask one thing though, these tests are always done with the highest-end cards for each architecture tested, but do you think the results would still apply to a weaker card, say a 1660 ? As in ( and I realize there are always game-specific performance variations, no review can be as exhaustive as to test a decade worth of games lists ), but what about gpu-specific variations, if a high end card from one architecture benefits from the driver update, can we take it for granted that its weaker siblings would also benefit from it ?

    • Good question wondering the same for my RTX 2060. If these performance enhancements would apply to the lower end of the spectrum cards for a particular architecture? Any comments Rodrigo?

    • Hello. Any benchmarking does not guarantee anything but provides better or worse references for users and readers to decide on their software or hardware. The display driver optimizations have to do with the 3D API, the technical features and the code of the game or application, and the particularities of the GPU architectures. So, I’d say that my driver performance analysis is reasonably representative and useful for systems that use Turing and Ampere GPUs, including low and mid-end boards and rigs.

Comments are closed.