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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  • faster - Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - link

    I installed the driver today and played Metro. I saw graphical anomolies in the rear escalators that were not there before. There is definitely something wrong with this most recent update.
  • krazyfrog - Thursday, February 23, 2012 - link

    I'm actually getting 2-3 frames less in Arkham City compared to 295.51.
  • CeriseCogburn - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    Not having any problems with the driver in any of the games you three mentioned. You guys must be doing it wrong.
  • Pessimism - Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - link

    You can't get speed from nowhere. They likely implemented something that improved speed at an expense of visual quality. All video drivers are a balance of the two.
  • nevertell - Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - link

    Yes, of course. You are 100% right.

    Because any code written is the fastest code written. PERIOD.

    Come the duck on, you have to be kidding me. There are always ways to optimize your code, and there are always ways to have the drivers be more optimized for a certain app. They basically create a profile for any large title that is being run on their cards just for the sake of performance. And I bet you my gtx 460 that it doesn't compromise quality for speed. It's stuff like texture compression, how much you've got to use it.
  • Omoronovo - Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - link

    There's a great chance that issues caused in this driver are caused by the physx driver package. It seems to be causing major headaches for any games (even on AMD GPU systems like mine) that implement physx.

    For anyone having problems: try installing the driver but *not* updating the physx package that's included with the release. For reference, the most stable/least problematic release I've tested is 9.11.1107 - All versions past that have had problems in one or more games. the issues are apparently more pronounced for folk with nvidia hardware, since in those cases the physx libraries actually take advantage of the gpu.

    Anyway, try that out if any of you are having troubles with the release.

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