As regularly featured by BabelTechReviews, this performance analysis charts the performance of 27 games using the latest GeForce WHQL 358.50 driver that was released primarily for the Star Wars: Battlefront Open Beta on October 7.    We are comparing WHQL 358.50 versus the Geforce WHQL 355.98 driver that was released at the end of September for Killing Floor 2.  However, we are going to focus on our latest benchmark, Ashes of the Singularity, which is the first publicly released DX12 benchmark, so far.

We are introducing something new at BTR.  The Big Picture, once reserved for video card reviews, will be included in every driver performance analysis beginning with this one.  We are comparing the GTX 980 Ti versus the Fury X, the GTX 980 versus the R9 390X OC, the GTX 970 OC versus the R9 290X, and for added information, recent 290X CrossFire and GTX 980 SLI results.  The Fury X is benchmarked with the Catalyst 15.9.1 betas, and the GTX 980 Ti/SLI and GTX 980 are on the very latest Nvidia GeForce 358.50 drivers.

Ashes_DX11 2015-11-02 07-21-56-34We want to document the performance changes of this current WHQL 358.50 driver on Windows 10.  We are also benching for an upcoming evaluation of the new AMD Windows 10 15.10 beta driver and will update Radeon results with the latest drivers in our next Big Picture.

This driver performance analysis features Nvidia’s top Maxwell gaming GeForce card, the GTX 980 Ti, and we also benchmark GTX 980 Ti SLI.   We  have just now added the GTX 980 to our driver analysis results and we also add the GTX 970 EXOC and the GTX 960 results for Ashes of the Singularity DX12 benchmark.   We are going to give you the performance results of the GTX 980, the GTX 980 Ti, and GTX 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 last WHQL driver set.

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 970 and above, we test at higher settings and resolutions generally than we test midrange and lower-end cards.  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 the GTX 970 results.

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