NVIDIA nTeresting Newsletter – 14 April 2014
In this issue:
· New drivers, GeForce Experience 2.0 and a new SHIELD update give the GeForce Ecosystem a big boost in performance and features.
· NVIDIA’s auto tech keeps winning awards.
· Watch Dogs looks awesome, plays best on GeForce.
A Software Big Bang
This week was a big week for the software that galvanizes the GeForce gaming ecosystem, as it marked the release of new drivers that build on the DirectX11 industry standard to offer dramatic improvements in gaming performance, a new feature-packed version of GeForce Experience, and an over-the-air software upgrade for SHIELD that expanded the NVIDIA SHIELD’s feature set.
“GeForce Experience software is getting a significant 2.0 update today; one which solidifies it as the crucial heartbeat of NVIDIA’s ecosystem as opposed to being forgettable bundleware.”
The new 337.50 Beta driver offers big gains in key titles: 20% faster in Call of Duty: Black Ops II, 31% faster in Sleeping Dogs, and bumps of over 40% in Alien vs. Predator, Total War: Rome 2, and Sniper Elite v2.
“NVIDIA new GeForce 337.50 beta driver has brought some serious performance increases to the GTX 750 Ti, the GTX 760, and to the GTX 780 Ti. Although the emphasis was placed on eliminating the CPU bottleneck in DX 11 games which we do not generally suffer from, we saw good performance increases nearly across-the-board. They are worthy of an unofficial “detonator” designation as they bring great free performance.”
These are not game specific optimizations. They are made using DirectX 11 and apply to a wide variety of different titles, even titles that are running a proprietary API such as StarSwarm, Thief and Battlefield 4.
“In other words, NVIDIA is saying, “We don’t need a custom NVIDIA-specific API, we can optimize DX11, which a lot of games already support,” unlike Mantle which is only supported in StarSwarm, Thief, and Battlefield 4 currently.”
“All in all this is one of the most impressive driver releases we’ve seen in a long time. NVIDIA’s point to all this is to show that you don’t need a new API and developer support in order to be able to get performance gains, but that time well spent optimizing drivers can make a big difference too.”
GeForce Experience also saw a refresh that brought ShadowPlay and GameStream to all GeForce GTX 700M and 800M GPUs. In addition GeForce GTX 680M, 675MX, and 670MX also got the new features.
“What was a surprise is GeForce Experience 2.0. This version allows both ShadowPlay and GameStream to operate on notebooks.”
Desktop gamers got the ability to capture the action on their full desktop and customize how their GameStreams are encoded.
“At the same time, the company’s also adding yet another feature: Desktop Capture. As it sounds, you’ll be able to record your entire desktop session (cropping will be available in time) – a feature I’m personally quite excited about (especially since Fraps loses that ability Windows 8).”
SHIELD owners got an over-the-air update that lets them take their show on the road.
“A significant portion of GeForce Experience 2.0 is Remote Gamestream. Though it’s always been a fantastic Android handheld, Shield was handicapped as a true mobile device by being tethered to your home network for PC game streaming. Now NVIDIA is elevating things considerably by enabling users to stream their PC games from their home desktop to Shield anywhere in the world provided they have a robust wireless connection.”
For more details, you can check out GeForce.com or the NVIDIA blog.
Car Tech on a Blistering Pace
NVIDIA’s automotive division continuous a break-neck pace while taking home new accolades for the Visual Computing Module (VCM). VCM is an automotive-grade module, featuring a Tegra processor, which makes it fast and easy to migrate from one generation of technology to the next. Last week, Tech World News named our VCM Product of the Week.
“NVIDIA showcased a Jeep that has been converted to use an AV and central gauge system similar to a Tesla, and it’s amazing. I know I’ll be able to do that to the next new car I buy, and my secret hope is that someday I’ll be able to do that to my project Jaguar. NVIDIA is carrying this forward to initiatives like in-car WiFi hotspots and self-driving (which it has shrunk down to the size of two paperback books). Now that’s change I can believe in, making NVIDIA’s automotive solution my product of the week.
Hot on the heels of that, NVIDIA was honored in Detroit on Monday as one of the finalists for the Automotive News PACE Award for Information Technology in recognition of our Tegra Visual Computing Module (VCM).
NVIDIA’s Tegra VCM is now being used by other automakers including Audi, Volkswagen, BMW and Mini. NVIDIA has shipped about 4.5 million processors to the auto industry processors since 2008.
Watch Watch Dogs
Watch Dogs, set for release May 27th, got a new trailer this week. Watch Dogs will play best on GeForce and will feature NVIDIA HBAO+ and NVIDIA TXAA Anti-Aliasing.
“NVIDIA makes Watch Dogs look magnificent on PC.”