In brief: Nvidia has released new "Game Ready" drivers during Gamescom 2019. The new drivers utilize the capabilities of its GeForce RTX or GeForce GTX 16-Series GPUs, adding features like integer upscaling for retro and pixel-art games, lower latency, and freestyle sharpening to DX and Vulkan games.
Nvidia had some exciting news to share at Gamescom 2019. In addition to ray tracing and Android support for its game-streaming platform GeForce Now, Nvidia has also released driver update (436.02) bringing integer scaling, freestyle sharpening, an ultra-low latency mode, and more.
Retro-styled games like FTL and Hotline Miami have seen enormous popularity. The problem is that these games look somewhat blurry on higher-resolution displays. This lack of clarity happens when games scale to fit the screen. Nvidia promises to fix this problem with integer scaling.
With integer scaling enabled, details in pixel-art games will look sharp when images are upscaled. This filter is possible thanks to Turing card’s hardware-accelerated programmable scaling feature. It increases the focus of frames significantly over linear interpolation.
Another filter coming with the 436.02 update is freestyle sharpening. The feature will improve the picture quality of most games more than the previous “Detail” setting. It will also reduce GPU load.
“The performance impact is roughly half that of the prior filter,” said Nvidia in its press release.
The filter is compatible with over 600 games that use DX9, DX11, DX12, and Vulkan APIs.
The driver will also add a new “ultra” option to the low-latency menu setting. Nvidia claims that this feature can reduce latency by up to 33 percent. It uses a “just in time” frame scheduling technique that submits frames to the GPU just before they need to be rendered. The mode is best suited for GPU-bound games running at 60 to 100fps. It promises high responsiveness without compromising graphical fidelity.
In addition to these new features, the driver will bring expanded G-Sync compatibility, adding support for Asus VG27A and Acer CP3271 and XB273K GP monitors. Games will also have access to 30-bit color, a feature previously only found in the Nvidia Studio drivers.
Nvidia’s GeForce Game Ready 436.02 WHQL drivers are available now via the GeForce Experience app, click on the “drivers” tab to download. The standalone download is now also available from Nvidia.com and TechSpot drivers, it was removed temporarily as there was a bug in the installer that force-installed GeForce Experience and was not GDPR compliant (now fixed).
Update 8/21/19: Shortly after releasing the 436.02 update, Nvidia pulled it from the download page due to a bug. Well, maybe not so much a bug as a very unwanted feature. Several users discovered that installing the driver also treated them to the GeForce Experience software even if they selected the option not to install it. The only workaround was to install the driver then uninstall the Experience software. As a result, Nvidia quickly took down the driver and patched it. As of this writing, the driver is ready for download again.