NVidia releases new drivers optimized for 'Watch Dogs'

As AMD's market share continues to grow inside of PCs and consoles like the PlayStation 4, NVidia is hoping to take some back with the release of "Watch Dogs." By working closely with the Ubisoft team during the development of the title, NVidia was able to bring improved performance for GeForce GTX users while running "Watch Dogs" on a PC.

The new GeForce 337.88 WHQL driver update was released this morning. It brings "Watch Dogs Game Ready" performance to your GeForce GTX-powered PC before the game releases at midnight tonight. The update brings many enhancements such as NVIDIA HBAO+ Ambient Occlusion for more realistic shadow effects, NVIDIA TXAA Anti-Aliasing for a smoother image as well as a number of DirectX 11 and SLI changes that bring "performance optimizations of up to 75 percent." This could sway users away from consoles or from their AMD-based gaming PCs.

In the meantime you can watch the improvements of this update in action below as Paul Vlasie, the Lead PC Engineer, speaks about the new features like HBAO+ and TXAA.

Source: NVidia | Image via Ubisoft

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Direct download. I don't use GFE.

It worked fine a few hours later. The server must have been overloaded when I first tried. First time I've ever had that happen.

I can say first hand the new drivers and hotfix doesn't cure the stuttering problem every few seconds but it did help. Running ultra and 2xTX on a GTX780/3770k rig with vsync never dipped below 30 and usually hovered around 40-50 throughout all but the most intense scenes. The graphics really shine in some areas, water was especially impressive along with rainy nights and blackouts, but that slight stutter most are seeing is very distracting and no sound at all on 5.1 systems is pretty much proof positive it was rushed. Still a good game that will hopefully get some patches.

They actually fixed the Planetside 2 problems with this driver that everyone has been having. You can stop using those January drivers now.

McKay said,
So I guess like most "Nvidia optimised" games it'll run like ass on AMD cards?

Don't have it yet myself (later today) but a friend of mine does, seems to run very well on his AMD card, max settings across the board. That aside, I've not run into the "nVidia game running like ass on AMD" thing either, same goes the other way around for AMD optimized games.

Max Norris said,

Don't have it yet myself (later today) but a friend of mine does, seems to run very well on his AMD card, max settings across the board. That aside, I've not run into the "nVidia game running like ass on AMD" thing either, same goes the other way around for AMD optimized games.

I've read reports that AMD have done a stellar job of getting their drivers optimized for Watch_dogs, but unfortunately the Nvidia optimization program also takes a lot of steps to prevent AMD from matching their performance entirely, so AMD will be less performant, but hopefully not by much.

McKay said,
So I guess like most "Nvidia optimised" games it'll run like ass on AMD cards?
No, it was developed especially for AMD cards, which the PS4 and X1 use. They need to make sure it runs well on those otherwise it won't sell well on console.

I am genuinely surprised. Improved performance across the board even in TF2 where I was experience severe fps drops. TF2 still doesn't run as good as it should but this is better than before where I would experience fps drops on any map down the 30 fps or lower. Now fps stays between upper 50's to 60's at the lowest. Besides performance improvements games run smoother than before. I'm going to test some more after I get sleep because in some games I was experiencing lower fps than usual, stuttering and freezing.

I just hope one day, developers could perfect the flow of water when there's movement from 3D objects such as boats or just people. Flow of water affecting not only one area, but affecting a whole part of a park maybe.

I know it takes a lot of processing power, but it'd be a great achievement. I remember back in Dead or Alive 4 for the 360, the scenery around lakes were gorgeous.

Exactly. There's more devs can focus on than just resolution and textures. That's one of the reasons I enjoy seeing where the Frostbite engine goes, because to be honest, it's spoiled me! It's hard as hell to go back to other games where movements are choppy, unrealistic, and so forth.

I get that graphics aren't everything, but when they function well, it's hard to argue that you just "don't care" about them.