GeForce 337.50 Beta AKA "The Mantle Killer"

Discussion in 'Gaming (Software and Graphics Cards)' started by octiceps, Apr 5, 2014.

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  1. octiceps

    octiceps Nimrod

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    Hmmm new driver seems to be just like Mantle. Biggest improvement is for CPU-bound setups and games. As expected, not much improvement on our laptops compared to high-end multi-GPU desktop rigs where people have been reporting gains of up to 50% in BF3/BF4 and Hitman: Absolution on GTX 780/780 Ti SLI.

    All DX11 games and GPU's (Fermi, Kepler, Maxwell) should benefit to some degree. No increases in DX9/DX10 games that I'm aware of save for Skyrim.

    If you really want to test the benefits of this driver, I suggest benching your game at 720p Low or Medium to make it CPU-limited. :p

    New Shader Cache feature is on by default in Nvidia Control Panel 3D settings and it's pretty cool. Should cut down on initial load times and in-game stuttering due to shader recompilation as well as increase GPU performance slightly. I don't know if I'm explaining that correctly, but I know Mantle does the same thing. :D

    Hopefully the cache folder has efficient garbage collection and isn't allowed to grow too big, which may be a concern for people with small SSD's. You can always turn off Shader Cache to save space, and it will automatically disable itself if it detects that the disk is running low on space.

    Anyway, I'm gonna hold out on this one until the next WHQL drops, which will contain more fixes and further performance improvements according to Nvidia spokespeople. The PlanetSide 2 black screen kernel crashes and Battlefield 2 corruption still haven't been fixed. Kudos to Nvidia though for making this driver happen and for making a lot of people very happy. It brings Mantle-like benefits to a much larger audience and range of hardware and to many more games and that is commendable. :thumbsup:

    Because it's not a GTX GPU and that's just the way Nvidia is. :rolleyes:

    The -shadowplay and -gamestream unofficial workarounds still work though.
     
  2. Robbo99999

    Robbo99999 Notebook Prophet

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    Well, these drivers weren't that exciting for me in the end, no real significant performance improvements in comparison to the latest whql driver.

    3DMark11 was identical, except a slight increase in the 'Combined' test(CPU & GPU test).

    Arkham Origins, Arkham City: no change. (surprised about this one, as was advertised for a big increase)
    Metro Last Light: 4% increase in fps, and this is the game that taxes my CPU the most.
    Tomb Raider: 2%
    Grid 2: 2%
    F1 2012: 1%
    Bioshock Infinite: 1%

    Skyrim quick subjective test didn't notice any improvements, GPU usage still low in some areas.
    Titanfall gaming session still locked at 60fps, and still some drops in fps in some areas of some maps to high 40's, low 50's.

    The most significant thing I noticed about these drivers is that game loading screens are noticeably shorter, for instance Tomb Raider seems to load the benchmark almost instantly. For me this is the only real positive about this driver, although I can't knock them for small increases in fps on some games, but it's not noticeable. I think if you had a dual core, or a really old Quad Core, then you might see some improvements with this driver, but Sandybridge quad core & up I don't think there are big gains.
     
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  3. octiceps

    octiceps Nimrod

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    ^Thanks for the most thorough feedback we've had in this thread so far.
     
  4. Robbo99999

    Robbo99999 Notebook Prophet

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    No problem! :)

    I didn't know about the Shadow Cache feature till you mentioned it. I've lost 300MB of disk space on my little SSD since after gaming on this today, I'll keep an eye on it to see if it grows anymore. I have no idea whether this cache is saved from one gaming session, or from one day to the next, no idea on that.
     
  5. octiceps

    octiceps Nimrod

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    Shader not Shadow Cache. That would be ShadowPlay. ;)

    Here are comments from one of the developers of the Shader Cache feature:

    Nvidia GeForce 337.50 BETA - Discussion & Download - Page 23 - Guru3D.com Forums

    Nvidia GeForce 337.50 BETA - Discussion & Download - Page 24 - Guru3D.com Forums

    Nvidia GeForce 337.50 BETA - Discussion & Download - Page 25 - Guru3D.com Forums
     
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  6. Robbo99999

    Robbo99999 Notebook Prophet

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    Cheers for those links octiceps. So, it seems that Shader Cache will use up to 256MB of disk space per game played, and that these cache files are kept between gaming sessions. So, theoretically if you played 10 different games then you could end up having a total Shader Cache size of all games totalling 2560MB for instance. Is that how you understood the explanations of the developers?
     
  7. octiceps

    octiceps Nimrod

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    No it's 256MB total for all games. Garbage collection starts if it hits that cap. Most recently used games take priority.

    But don't just take my word for it. The shader cache folder is located at %TEMP%\NVIDIA Corporation\NV_Cache. Play some games and check for yourself now large the folder gets. ;)
     
  8. Robbo99999

    Robbo99999 Notebook Prophet

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    Cool, excellent, disk space is not an issue then! Yep, found it, only 108MB so far:
    NV_Cache.jpg
     
  9. vulcan78

    vulcan78 Notebook Deity

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    Good review Octiceps, one thing I noticed while playing Planetside 2 tonight on this driver is that core usage didn't exceed 75% whereas I nearly always see around 90% usage. But sadly I couldn't discern any improvement in FPS or overall smoothness but that shouldn't detract from the performance improvement introduced by this driver, this is more indicative of the poor state of optimization of Planetside 2.

    I'm tempted to do a few benches but most are reporting negligible gains.
     
  10. octiceps

    octiceps Nimrod

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    You're using Windows 7 right? I've noticed that the improved CPU scheduler in Windows 8 spreads out load more evenly among the cores, which is why I almost never exceed 50% usage on any thread in PlanetSide 2. In Windows 7 usage bunches up mostly on the first core. However this doesn't mean overall CPU usage and performance is any different between the two OSes, it just looks different in the OSD. And yes you're absolutely right, we can't expect Nvidia to make miracles happen on the driver side if SOE won't optimize its game and engine to be more multi-core aware.

    Yeah I'd assume that performance gains from this driver won't be as great on notebooks since they are typically less CPU-limited than desktops. But it never hurts to bench, if only to satisfy our curious nature. :D

    I'll update from 334.89 once the next WHQL drops since there are still some specific bug fixes I am waiting for. Then I'll probably spend some time benching, just to take Nvidia up on their claims of "up to [massive number]%" increases in such-and-such games. :rolleyes:

    Sleeping Dogs, Hitman: Absolution, BFBC2/BF3, Metro 2033, and FC3/Blood Dragon are the most CPU-intensive games I currently have. I'll bench those (at lower settings and resolution to make them more CPU-bound) along with the usual 3DMark and Unigine stuff to see just how wonderful these new drivers really are.
     
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