Nvidia’s anticipated Release 256 drivers are finally here. The first drivers released is the 257.15 beta, supporting all Nvidia graphics cards since the 6 series. Needless to say, these are the most dramatically improved drivers since “Big Bang II” back in 2008. Nvidia claims dramatic performance increases for the Geforce GTX 400 series, with an average of 5-10%.

6a00d834515fca69e20134818119df970c Nvidia unleashes Release 256 drivers

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Nvidia’s anticipated Release 256 drivers are finally here. The first drivers released is the 257.15 beta, supporting all Nvidia graphics cards since the 6 series. Needless to say, these are the most dramatically improved drivers since “Big Bang II” back in 2008. Nvidia claims dramatic performance increases for the Geforce GTX 400 series, with an average of 5-10%.

6a00d834515fca69e20134818119df970c Nvidia unleashes Release 256 drivers

Decent performance increases are expected for the latest DX11 titles, as well as past DX10 games. Just Cause 2 gains in particular – with a 25% rise. Metro 2033 DX11 SLI sees major increases of upto 40%. Of course, these benchmarks are in-house Nvidia numbers, but performance boosts of about 5% on average are being reported by users around the internet. Interestingly, arguably the greatest gainer according to GTX 400 users, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, has been left off the Nvidia charts.

Some of the new features include support for OpenGL 4, CUDA 3.1, Blu-ray 3D, extreme aliasing modes, higher quality AO, and more. Several long pending bugs relating to games as well as non-gaming applications such as EVR output video lags, video editing / image manipulation software crashes, etc. have been fixed.

There’s no denying that Nvidia have had a rough time over the last few months. However, Nvidia may just be beginning to turn things around. Few expected Geforce GTX 400 wide availability, but Nvidia have put out enough cards out in the market. Now, Nvidia have released a stellar driver that will no doubt close the gap to ATI. It will be interesting to see updated benchmarks, as the GTX 480 and especially GTX 470 might just close in on the HD 5800 series in terms of price/performance.

While the new Release 256 family of drivers is a no-brainer, do note the current drivers are only in Beta stage. WHQL drivers are expected in the future, along with 3D Vision Surround support.

More details are available on Nvidia Blogs.

The first (p)review of Release 256 is available at Expreview.