Nvidia releases 397.31 WHQL drivers, optimizing Frostpunk and introducing ray tracing tech

It was just a couple of weeks back when Nvidia announced that it would be dropping support for 32-bit operating systems with the release of its next driver update.

Today, the company released its GeForce Game Ready 397.31 WHQL-certified drivers and stayed true to its words: it’s only available for 64-bit operating systems. This release also drops support for Fermi GPUs, such as the GTX 580, 560 Ti, 480, and several others.

The new driver brings a host of new features and improvements for both gamers and developers.

Gamers are set to gain support for new sample rates – 32Khz, 88.2Khz, and 176.4KHz – for audio output to HDMI devices from all supported GPUs, along with optimizations for two just-released titles: BattleTech by Harebrained Schemes and Frostpunk by 11 bit studios.

There’s also added or updated SLI profiles for these titles:

  • Descenders
  • Frostpunk
  • Warhammer: Vermintide 2
  • Far Cry 5

The standalone installer with this release has been updated as well, it will now delete the extracted installation files after the driver installation is complete – this used to be a cumbersome manual process, until now.

Developers, on the other hand, are receiving full support for Vulkan 1.1 as well as a developer preview of the Nvidia RTX ray tracing technology for DirectX 12, that was demoed at GDC last month.

There are a number of bug fixes in this update:

  • [GeForce GTX 1080 Ti][Doom]: The game crashes due to the driver reverting to OpenGL 1.1 when HDR is enabled. [2049623]
  • [GeForce GTX 1060][Far Cry 5]: The game crashes after a few minutes of game play. [2096077]
  • NvfbcPluginWindow temporarily prevents Windows from shutting down after launching a Steam game. [2068833]
  • [Firefox]: Driver TDR error may occur when using Firefox. [2049523]
  • [GeForce GTX 1060][Rise of Tomb Raider]: Flickering/corruption occurs when opening the in-game options UI. [200351146]
  • [NVIDIA Control Panel][SLI][Diablo III]: With V-Sync on and SLI enabled, the game freezes after switching windows (ALT+TAB) a few times. [1951584]

There's also a long list of known issues with this release, but Nvidia also provides a workaround for a few of them, which we have emphasized:

Windows 10 Issues

  • [Microsoft Edge][HDR] With HDR turned ON, video playback in full-screen mode on an HDR display may cause corruption of the video and desktop.
    • Workaround: Manually turning the monitor off and on again may help.
  • [Far Cry 5]: Green flickering occurs in the game when using HDR with non-native resolution.
    • Workaround: It may help to quit the game and relaunch it while at the desired resolution. Nvidia also recommends to try Alt+Tab out of the game and then back in, or press Alt+Enter to switch to windowed mode, and then press it again to go back to exclusive-full-screen mode.
  • [NVIDIA TITAN V][G-Sync]: G-Sync displays may go blank when switching between different overclocked memory clocks multiple times. [200361272]
  • [SLI][GeForce GTX 780 Ti]: There is no display output when connecting the DisplayPort and two DVI monitors. [1835763]
  • [GeForce TITAN (Kepler-based)]: The OS fails after installing the graphics card on a Threadripper-enabled motherboard. [1973303]
  • [Pascal GPUs][Gears of War 4]: Blue-screen crash may occur while playing the game. [2008731]
  • [GeForce GTX 1080 Ti]{Warhammer Vermintide 2][DirectX 12]: TDR errors may occur when changing resolutions in game. [200395335]
    • Workaround: Using the DirectX 11 option in the game's graphics settings may help.
  • [NVIDIA Control Panel][Surround]: NVIDIA Surround hot keys do not work. [200394749]
  • [GeForce Experience][ShadowPlay]: The “In-Game Overlay” option cannot be enabled, nor does Shadowplay recording work. [200390642]
    • Workaround: These features require the Microsoft Media Foundation package, so make sure to install that.

Additional Issues

  • Gears of War 4 may randomly crash
  • Custom color settings reset on reboot in Windows 10 FCU
    • Note: Nvidia is working with Microsoft to resolve this issue.
  • Starcraft 2 shows black screen on exit on Kepler GPUs
  • In Surround, center display renders videos black
  • Netflix playback may occasionally stutter

As evident by the notes, this release comes with quite a few issues. Additionally, the release notes also state that this release does not support the Microsoft Surface Book devices, adding that support for those will be available in a future release.

The 397.31 WHQL-certified drivers can be downloaded via the GeForce Experience app on Windows, or via the links down below. The complete release notes are available here.

Desktop GPUs:
Download: Windows 7, 8, 8.1 – 64 bit | Windows 10 – 64 bit

Notebook GPUs:
Download: Windows 7, 8, 8.1 – 64 bit | Windows 10 – 64 bit

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