Folks with the new GeForce GTX 660 Ti can now run the card with WHQL-certified software courtesy of a fresh driver released by Nvidia yesterday. GeForce 306.02 covers operating systems spanning from Windows XP through Windows 8 and carries various new and updated profiles as well as bug fixes.
The release notes don't mention any performance improvements if you're upgrading from another R304 family driver, such as July's 304.79 beta, but depending on your hardware and software configurations, you can expect a handful of improvements if you're coming from the 301.24 beta. For example:
GeForce GTX 680:
- Up to 18% in Batman: Arkham City
- Up to 15% in Dragon Age II
- Up to 10% in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
- Up to 60% in Total War: Shogun 2 (fixes performance issue with latest game patch)
GeForce GTX 560:
- Up to 14% in Batman: Arkham City
- Up to 5% in Battlefield 3 with SLI
- Up to 4% in Dragon Age II
- Up to 8% in The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings with SLI
- Up to 7% in Lost Planet 2
The latest release introduces or improves over a dozen SLI profiles for titles including Alan Wake's American Nightmare, Borderlands 2, Darksiders 2, F1 2012, Nexuiz, Orcs Must Die! 2, Sleeping Dogs, Spec Ops: The Line, Torchlight II and Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. Likewise, there are updated 3D Vision profiles for a slew of games such as Borderlands 2, Dishonored, Mass Effect 3, Max Payne 3, The Secret World and The Walking Dead. Other profile additions include antialiasing support for Diablo III, L.A. Noire and Rayman Origins as well as ambient occlusion support for Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Version 306.02 squashes various bugs, including four on Windows 8: one caused GeForce driver installations to fail when trying to reinstall them, another resulted in bluescreens on Optimus-equipped notebooks when attempting to uninstall GeForce drivers, a third caused residual images to appear when playing Crysis 2 and Dirt Showdown in 3D with a GTX 500 series GPU, and the last resulted in bluescreens when enabling or disabling SLI or Surround modes on systems with Intel X59 and X79 chipsets. Several issues have been fixed for Vista and 7 too, so check the release notes if that's of interest.
A heads up for GeForce 6 and 7-series owners: this'll might be your last update. Nvidia's says those product lines will be moved to legacy support after the GeForce R304 drivers, meaning they won't be covered in the next major driver family, R310. It's also worth noting that with Borderlands 2 launching on September 18, Nvidia is working with Gearbox on various promotions, including a free copy of the upcoming shooter if you purchase a new GTX 660 Ti or better. Last week, Nvidia released a video showing the graphical benefits GeForce owners will experience via PhysX when playing Borderlands 2.
The Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 contains four GPCs with a total of eight SMXs, 1536 CUDA cores, eight geometry units, four raster units, 128 texture units, and 32 ROP units. The base clock is 1006MHz, the GTX 680 also carries 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM running at 6008MHz with a 256-bit interface providing 6.0Gb/s of throughput. Dual six-pin power connectors feed the card's TDP of 195W.
The Nvidia GeForce GTX 690 features 3,072 CUDA cores, 4GB of GDDR5 RAM at 6.0Gbps running on a 512-bit bus and a base clock of 915MHz, although it can be boosted to 1019MHz. Video output is provided by three dual-link DVI ports and a single Mini-DisplayPort 1.2 output. Power is provided by two 8-pin connectors using a new 10-phase heavy duty power supply which is connected to a ten layer two-ounce copper PCB.
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