July 1 nVidia put up a new release of its video drivers. These drivers are backward compatible to many older video cards.
- GeForce 700 series: GTX TITAN, GTX 780, GTX 770, GTX 760
- GeForce 600 series: GTX 690, GTX 680, GTX 670, GTX 660 Ti, GTX 660, GTX 650 Ti, GTX 650, GT 645, GT 640, GT 630, GT 620, GT 610, 605
- GeForce 500 series: GTX 590, GTX 580, GTX 570, GTX 560 Ti, GTX 560 SE, GTX 560, GTX 555, GTX 550 Ti, GT 545, GT 530, GT 520, 510
- GeForce 400 series: GTX 480, GTX 470, GTX 465, GTX 460 v2, GTX 460 SE v2, GTX 460 SE, GTX 460, GTS 450, GT 440, GT 430, GT 420, 405
- GeForce 300 series: GT 340, GT 330, GT 320, 315, 310
- GeForce 200 series: GTX 295, GTX 285, GTX 280, GTX 275, GTX 260, GTS 250, GTS 240, GT 240, GT 230, GT 220, G210, 210, 205
- GeForce 100 series: GT 140, GT 130, GT 120, G 100
- GeForce 9 series: 9800 GX2, 9800 GTX/GTX+, 9800 GT, 9600 GT, 9600 GSO, 9600 GS, 9500 GT, 9500 GS, 9400 GT, 9400, 9300 GS, 9300 GE, 9300, 9200, 9100
- GeForce 8 series: 8800 Ultra, 8800 GTX, 8800 GTS 512, 8800 GTS, 8800 GT, 8800 GS, 8600 GTS, 8600 GT, 8600 GS, 8500 GT, 8400 SE, 8400 GS, 8400, 8300 GS, 8300, 8200 / nForce 730a, 8200, 8100 / nForce 720a
- ION series: ION LE, ION
You’ll find your version of the driver on their download page.
These driver updates provide more than just a video driver. If your motherboard uses other nVidia chips, these video driver updates update those chips’ drivers too. Plus these updates update the OpenGL software in your computer. Plus there are new CUDA updates.
CUDA is used by Blender, but you do have to enable CUDA in Blender. Look in User Preferences. It makes a noticeable difference.
Don’t get too excited about this feature. They do not yet support Second Life. However, if you update your video driver you will likely get this new program as part of your install. While you can use it with many other games you may have, you cannot manually add Second Life. So, we will need to start sending requests to nVidia asking them to add it.
Unfortunately I was not able to send ‘feedback.’ I have yet to figure out what’s up with that.
This feature added by nVidia is the GeForce Experience (GeExp). This is a tool that has been added to help you figure out the best settings for your computer and a specific game. If you have ever tried to figure out the best settings for your computer and Second Life™, you likely ran into a knowledge wall… which is a requirement to spend more time learning about a technology than its benefits can save. It just isn’t worth the effort.
GeExp should get you better performance with less brain damage. They collect people’s settings, hardware information, and performance. The best performance numbers move those settings for particular hardware to the recommended list, which the tool then downloads and uses for your copy of the game.
So, this is not just some geek’s idea of what SHOULD work best, it is what works best in real life use.
To use GeExp you need to be on Vista or newer, have an nVidia 400 series card or newer, 2GB or more of RAM, and a Core2 Duo or better. You can get the free program CPU-Z to find out which CPU you have.
Even if you cannot use it with SL, you can learn from how it sets up your computer with other games. You can then setup a game profile in your nVida Control Panel for SL. Plus the tool gives clear explanations of what each settings does along with an image example.
Some time ago I wrote Graphics Tweaking for Second Life with links to sites explaining the various settings in detail. Not much has changed since then. There are new types of Anti-Aliasing (AA). But, to use the new AA in your card, you have to turn off the viewer’s AA. That’s wouldn’t be a problem, but the Lab has made the text and control panels in SL part of the rendered image in the game window. So, your video card runs AA on the text and panels making them a bit blurry. The viewer’s AA is slower than the new AA provided by the video card, but it leaves the text and panels crisp. There is a small. but noticeable, performance gain by using the card’s AA.