Along with the launch of the GeForce GTS 450, Nvidia also pushed out a new beta driver release.
While the key point of the new driver is that it supports the GTS 450, there are also some performance enhancements for the other members of the Fermi family.
Notably, the maximum gains over the v258.96 drivers are:
GeForce GTX 480:
- Up to 10% in StarCraft II (2560x1600 4xAA/16xAF Ultra)
- Up to 14% in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat (1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF)
- Up to 16% in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat (SLI – 2560x1600 4xAA/16xAF)
- Up to 6% in Aliens vs. Predator (SLI – 1920x1200 noAA – Tessellation on)
GeForce GTX 460:
- Up to 19% in StarCraft II (SLI – 1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF Ultra)
- Up to 15% in Battlefield Bad Company 2 (SLI – 2560x1600 4xAA/16xAF)
- Up to 12% in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat (2560x1600 noAA)
- Up to 9% in Aliens vs. Predator (1680x1050 4xAA/16xAF – Tessellation on)
- Up to 7% in Metro 2033 (1680x1050 noAA – Tessellation on)
- Up to 11% in Dirt 2 (SLI – 2560x1600 4xAA/16xAF)
- Up to 12% in Crysis:Warhead (SLI – 1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF Gamer)
- Up to 13% in Far Cry 2 (2560x1600 4xAA/16xAF)
- Up to 12% in H.A.W.X (SLI – 1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF SSAO Very High)
- Up to 5% in Just Cause 2 (1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF)
- Up to 22% in Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena (1920x1200 noAA)
- Up to 5% in 3DMark Vantage (Extreme Preset)
Another new pleasing change is an overhauled install UI. As Nvidia explains on its blog:
"For over a year now, our installer team has been working on a complete redesign of the driver install experience and, with Release 260, we are excited to roll out the first phase of that redesign. Users will have the choice of a one-click express installation or a custom installation with new advanced capability. Specifically, the custom install options allow users to choose which driver components to install, including PhysX, 3D Vision and more. Also, for the advanced users that prefer to uninstall their older driver first, or rely on 3rd party driver cleaner software to completely remove older drivers, NVIDIA Install offers the choice of a clean install. During the clean install process, your older driver is completely removed from your system before seamlessly installing the new driver. Users will also notice that NVIDIA Install is faster, especially in the case of systems with multiple GPUs."