As regularly featured by BabelTechReviews, this evaluation charts the performance of 26 games using the latest GeForce WHQL 355.82 driver that was released August 31, shortly before Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and Mad Max were released. We are comparing WHQL 355.82 versus the Geforce WHQL 353.62 driver that was released July 29. We skipped the performance analysis of the interim WHQL 355.60 driver that was released August 13 because of time constraints updating our platform to Windows 10.
We want to document the performance changes of this current WHQL 355.82 driver on Windows 10. We are also benching for an upcoming evaluation of the new AMD Windows 10 15.8 beta driver to be published here this week using the R9 390X and 290X versus the GTX 980 and the GTX 970 on their latest drivers.
This driver performance analysis features Nvidia’s top Maxwell gaming GeForce card, the GTX 980 Ti, and we also benchmark GTX 980 Ti SLI. Our results should be proportionally similar for the TITAN X, the GTX 980, and other Maxwell cards. We are going to give you the performance results of the GTX 980 Ti and 980 Ti SLI at 1920×1080, 2560×1440, and at 3840×2160 resolutions. This driver performance evaluation will chart a natural comparison of the performance changes since Nvidia’s late-July WHQL driver set.
We are going to test GeForce WHQL 355.82 using our current benchmark suite of 26 games plus 3 synthetic benchmarks. We have added the “Kite Demo” on Unreal Engine 4 at 1920×1080 and Batman: Arkham Knight after it has been “Interim” patched. Our testing platform is Windows 10 Home 64-bit, using an Intel Core i7-4790K at 4.00GHz which turbos 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 whenever possible with a very strong emphasis on the latest games. For our next GeForce performance analysis, we will add Max Max and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain to our benching suite.
Let’s get right to the test configuration, the driver release notes, and then to the results.