NVIDIA has just posted GeForce graphics driver 295.73, its latest WHQL-certified driver package for desktops and laptops running 32-bit and 64-bit flavors of Windows Vista and Windows 7. The drivers, NVIDIA's first non-beta driver package since last October, improve performance in a number of high-profile games, add a few new features, and fix a number of bugs.

NVIDIA's benchmarks for the new drivers showcase measureable improvements in performance for Skyrim for users of GTX 500-series cards (though some of these improvements may well trickle down to owners of older GPUs), as well as the addition of Ambient Occlusion support for that game, the Diablo III beta, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. NVIDIA also highlighted performance improvements for SLI users running the Mass Effect 3 demo.

The new driver also adds SLI and 3D Vision profiles for a number of games, updates the PhysX driver to 9.12.0209, fixes some graphical bugs in Battlefield 3, and enables WHQL support for NVIDIA Surround on Intel X79 motherboards certified for SLI. The drivers support all GeForce 6000-series and newer cards on desktops, and most GeForce 8000-series and newer chips and DirectX 10 and 11-capable Quadro chips on laptops. Links to the driver downloads and to the NVIDIA release notes have been posted below.

32-bit desktop

32-bit laptop

64-bit desktop

64-bit laptop

Source: NVIDIA

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  • slaughter111 - Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - link

    This is a serious boost to performance, especially to Skyrim. I remember when nVidia used to do this with drivers often. Good to see the 'free' boost with these drivers. Reply
  • PeskyLittleDoggy - Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - link

    "The drivers support all GeForce 6000-series and newer cards on desktops, and most GeForce 8000-series and newer chips and DirectX 10 and 11-capable Quadro chips on laptops."

    Why the support for that old generation of cards? I doubt they would even be able to play modern games. Skyrim on a GF6800? Preposterous.

    That said, I also do see the gain in running your 5 year old game with 5fps more if u haven't upgraded yet but not likely.
    Reply
  • PhoenixEnigma - Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - link

    Well, a 512MB 6800 Ultra would just barely meet the minimum requirements for Skyrim, and a pair of them might even garner you playable framerates. I suppose it's not impossible that it's being done, but it's certainly an edge case.

    That said, good on them for supporting their products long after they've ceased to be a revenue source. A fair few other companies could stand to learn from nVidia on that.
    Reply
  • Qasar - Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - link

    supporting their products long after they've ceased to be a revenue source ??

    yea right.. tell that to those who still have working Nforce 4 chipset based boards who would like to upgrade them to windows 7, but really can't as nvidia deems those obsolete, even though they can be used quite well for other things...

    i am one of them, i have 5 comps here that i would LOVE to put 7on.. but really can't cause of a lack of NF4 drivers... i even asked nvidia about it back when 7 was in the RC stage and got these replies :

    "The nForce4 chipsets are EOL and do not meet Microsoft's 7 System Requirements and this is the reason why we do not distribute any driver for the nForce4 chipsets. However, you can always use Windows 7 in-box driver with the nForce4 chipset. If the Windows Vista driver works fine for the nForce4 chipset, then, I suggest you to continue using the Vista driver for stable performance "

    and the 2nd reply :

    " However, the nForce4 series of chipsets are not compatible with the Windows 7 OS as these chipsets was manufactured by using the old technology which are now not capable of supporting the software and hardware required by Windows 7 operating system. So due to these drawbacks, the nForce4 series of motherboard cannot be used with Windows 7 OS "
    Reply
  • Qasar - Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - link

    even now.. i have NOT been able to find anywhere that states: However, the nForce4 series of chipsets are not compatible with the Windows 7 OS as these chipsets was manufactured by using the old technology which are now not capable of supporting the software and hardware required by Windows 7 operating system.
    i did find on nForcershq(dot)com some one that made drivers for win 7 and NF4, much like DanialK did for creatives cards pre-audigy 4 ??, and there are some users on there that have posted those win 7 drivers work great ( just no raid support ).. i have tried them my self.. but those drivers don't seem to work for me.. but the " built in drivers " do " work ".. just have no idea how well, or if drivers from nvidia would improve performace/stability.
    Granted, i DO understand that its not a " good business " practice for companies to support products as old as NF4, but if nvidia can update drivers for cards like the the 8000 and 6000 series.. WHY can't they do the same for NF4 ?
    Reply
  • Senti - Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - link

    Your own problems, seriously. Win2008R2 (=Win7) works well on my old nForce4 board with no problems.

    You don't have to install custom drivers for all your devices - generic drivers are there for a reason (think: keyboard, mouse,...). Custom drivers are used when OS has no generic drivers for device or OS driver is plain awful.

    What I don't like is how AMD dropped support for my old but still good Radeon x800. Sure, it may be not enough for modern games, but you know, people not only game but sometimes work too, and for that x800 still perfectly fine and likely better than modern cheap graphic cards (for example god forbid you try connecting by analogue to cheap graphic card no matter its manufacturing date). Graphic cards, unlike chipsets, just must have drivers for Win - reason is simple: OpenGL.
    Reply
  • BigDragon - Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - link

    Skyrim will run on a 6800. The frame rate will be in the 20's, but it's more than playable. A steady 24+ FPS should be possible. I run a mobile 9800 myself and get in the low 30's. That's good enough, and it still looks better than what the consoles display to their screens. Reply
  • aguilpa1 - Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - link

    Yea I was upgrading a large tower for a friend this past weekend with a 560Ti. He had an old 8800GTX I had given him a few years back and I tested Skyrim on it at 1920x1080 and med. resolution settings. It played surprisingly fast and looked good. You can't always rule out an old dog with new games. Granted the 6800 is an even older dog. Reply
  • BigDragon - Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - link

    That's very true. Let's remember though that the 6800 came out about the same time as the PS3 and 360. It's perfectly adequate for playing console games where care and time was taken in the porting process. On sloppier ports (I'm looking at you, BF3), it's going to have problems. I've been quite happy with my mobile 9800. It's about on par with the desktop 6800. I'm just now getting around to replacing it. Reply
  • imaheadcase - Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - link

    This driver brings no-clip mode to BF3. lol This is the worst driver i've ever tried from nvidia to date. Green/black textures in BF3. corrupt textures in pretty much every game with them.

    It also brings back the unclocking bug previous drivers had.

    Come on nvidia, get your shit together.
    Reply

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