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":

  • Check vs. Mate - Rated Excellent
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - Rated Good
  • Doom 3: BFG Edition - Rated Excellent
  • English Country Tune - Rated Good
  • F1 2012 - Rated Good
  • Iron Brigade - Rated Fair
  • Jagged Alliance: Crossfire - Rated Good
  • Orcs Must Die 2! - Rated Good
  • Planetside 2 - Rated Not Recommended
  • Prototype 2 - Rated Poor
  • Sleeping Dogs - Rated Good
  • Spec Ops: The Line - Rated Good
  • Tiny Troopers - Rated Fair
  • Torchlight 2 - Rated Good
  • Transformers: Fall of Cybertron - Rated Fair

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.

Download GeForce 306.97 WHQL (release notes)
Desktop: Windows Vista/7/8 32-bit | Windows Vista/7/8 64-bit (XP 32/64-bit users can download 306.81 WHQL)

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).