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Nvidia and AMD release updated drivers for Watch Dogs debut

by Mark Tyson on 27 May 2014, 10:01


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Both the green and red teams have been busy preparing new graphics drivers for for the launch of Watch Dogs today. Nvidia has had a lot of fingers in the Watch Dogs development pie and also announced a Watch Dogs GeForce GTX bundle last month so it really should have better performing drivers and optimisations for this 'The way it's meant to be played' game.

Nvidia GeForce 337.88 WHQL

The headline improvement for Watch Dogs players with the latest Nvidia GeForce 337.88 WHQL drivers is a whopping boost to frame rates by "up to 75%". These drivers are billed as "an essential upgrade for Watch Dogs," by Nvidia.

To mark the Watch Dogs launch the green team also provides an extensive Watch Dogs Graphics, Performance & Tweaking Guide detailing all the maximum settings users can expect to run at, depending upon the GPU equipped. You can refer to the table provided, to match your settings to Nvidia's provided optimal settings, or of course you could use the GeForce Experience app which will auto-apply the best settings for you taking into account both your GPU and CPU, "as well as many additional factors".

Nvidia informs us that "at minimum, a GeForce GTX 770 is required for max setting gameplay, sans hardware anti-aliasing". However a "near-identical experience" can be garnered from a GeForce GTX 760, 680, 670, and 660 Ti GPUs.

The new WHQL driver also offers DirectX 11 and SLI performance optimisations. Notable examples of other games which will benefit from the latest driver include; Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Batman: Arkham Origins, Battlefield 4, BioShock Infinite, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Far Cry 3, Hitman Absolution, Sleeping Dogs, Sniper Elite V2, Star Swarm, Thief, Titanfall, Tomb Raider, and Total War: Rome 2 – and others. You can read more about these new drivers and also the full list of 14 new and updated SLI profiles on the Nvidia driver news blog page. Get the new drivers here.

AMD Catalyst 14.6

These drivers are expected to be launched later today but VideoCardz already has some details about what they will include. A key feature of the update is said to be the introduction of Eyefinity 3.0. This update will allow multi-screen users to mix displays with different resolutions in various permutations – all running at their native resolutions. Two modes are available to choose to suit end users, 'fit' and 'expand'. See some examples below.

We also hear that Mantle will be supported on AMD notebooks which use the Enduro battery enhancement technology. Last but not least we are told that AMD's Catalyst 14.6 should provide a performance boost to Watch Dogs, Thief and Murdered Soul Suspect. Watch Dogs is said to perform between 25 and 28 per cent better. Additionally using a new CrossFire profile for Watch Dogs users could achieve up to 99% performance scaling.

When they become available the Catalyst 14.6 drivers should appear here.

HEXUS Forums :: 17 Comments

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Does nvidia's 75% performance boost actually mean that performance was terrible on old drivers, and now it's just acceptable? ;)
Pleasantly surprised by this game so far. As often happens with Ubisoft games, the auto-configurator is extremely conservative. Unless you're desperate to conserve every frame-per-second you possibly can, you can push the settings higher on virtually every aspect of the display options without any noticeable problem, even on a recent but low level card like mine.

It looked as though there wasn't much difference between med and ultra in a recent pre-release YouTube video, but in practice you definitely will see a pretty significant difference. Ultra doesn't give you a supremely beautiful game, but it's a very well realised and likeable world. It's a collection of nice touches rather than a game that you'll desperately want to show off to people to prove your PC is great.

More importantly than all that, the gameplay is a lot of fun so far, and there are tons of things to do. I'm advancing the story very slowly due to doing so many side missions.
Does nvidia's 75% performance boost actually mean that performance was terrible on old drivers, and now it's just acceptable? ;)
Might still not be acceptable - increasing from 1fps to 2fps would be a 100% boost, but still terrible :p
Does nvidia's 75% performance boost actually mean that performance was terrible on old drivers, and now it's just acceptable? ;)

There was definitely something weird going on. Guru3d published an article that attempted to show performance on various hardware, but they kept getting wildly different results for repeat runs using the exact same sequence. There's no support for dual GPUs, as far as I know.

I don't know if there was a patch last night, but something seemed to be changed. I had one crash that dropped me out of the game, and I asked UPlay to verify the files. It did that, reported some problems and downloaded quite a bit of new data. Since then it's had no problems at all, so maybe I received some kind of update in the process of it repairing my install.

I think this is going to be another case like Assassin's Creed, where people with 780Tis are furious that their top tier cards are getting merely above average performance, while owners of low level cards like myself are over the moon that they seem to be able to push the settings quite high without any noticeable impact on performance. The same kind of thing happened with Black Flag recently. Either way, it's a nice game. I tend to look at this kind of release as a means for me to play console games at a higher quality and for less money, so I don't get angry about not being able to achieve 60+fps.
Along with Catalyst 14.6 Beta is that they are dropping support for Windows 8.