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Nvidia has released new WHQL-certified drivers backing the arrival of this week's budget-oriented GTX 650 Ti. The company notes that 306.97 is fully compatible with Windows 8, which launches on October 26, and it adds a handful of enhancements over last month's 306.23 WHQL release, including an improved SLI profile for Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Future Soldier and updated 3D Vision profiles for over a dozen titles such as F1 2012, Sleeping Dogs, Torchlight 2 and Doom 3: BFG Edition, which is now rated as "excellent":
Nvidia didn't cite any specific performance optimizations over 306.23, but the company notes that today's release is recommended for the best experience in new PC games such as Borderlands 2 and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria. However, folks upgrading from pre-R304 drivers can expect a myriad of improvements. For instance, when jumping to from R302 to R304, the GTX 680 gains up to 18% more performance in Batman: Arkham city, 15% in Dragon Age II, 10% in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat and 60% in Total War: Shogun 2.
Version 304.xx and 306.xx drivers also offer dozens of SLI and 3D Vision profile updates, as well as support for TXAA, a new film-style antialiasing technique, support for antialiasing and ambient occlusion via the Nvidia Control Panel in a handful of major titles, and three noteworthy bug fixes: one that caused vsync stuttering issues with the GTX 600 series, another that prevented some factory overclocked cards from running at their full speed, and a third that resolved performance issues in Total War: Shogun 2 (hence the 60% speed bump).
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.
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.
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