nVidia has a new driver out today, version 301.42. This is the first WHQL-certified driver in the 300 release series.
This update provides WHQL support for the 600 series nVidia cards.
It provides performance improvements for 500 series cards.
There is a whole load of stuff added. FXAA has been improved to be 60% faster at MSAA 4x levels. Adaptive vertical sync has been added. I doubt the SL viewers can use that. Target FPS is included but games have to support it. Does SL? I don’t think so. But, I don’t know. New multi-screen, 3D Vision, and SLI features.
The previous driver 301.24 and Second Life were crashing a lot, but I am running the Development viewer (257716). Every so often I would crash and on restart the viewer would be reset to LOW graphics settings.
Turning the setting back to HIGH I get 19-24 FPS on my Core2 Quad w/GTX560Ti. That is just the plain HIGH setting. No Lights & Shadows, Ambient Occlusion, or Sun & Moon.
Adding in Lights & Shadows and Ambient Occlusion I get 19-22 FPS.
Adding in Sun/Moon + Projectors pulls me down to 15-19 FPS.
In a region with 26 dancing people, Kirsie Snowdrop streaming, and lite spamming I slow to 9-10 FPS. As memory use climbed I slowed down to 4 to 6 FPS in the crowd.
It is hard to know if the viewer or the driver is leaking memory. Whichever, there is a leak… or leaks. About an hour in the viewer was using 1.2gb of ram. There is a pretty steady stream of page faults.
I logged of after a couple of hours. I crashed on exit. But, that has been common with the Dev Viewers.