New Nvidia GeForce drivers have been released that improve performance of games Batman: Arkham City, Skyrim, Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3, among others.
The 290.36 beta drivers bring official support for Ambient Occlusion in Skyrim and Modern Warfare 3.
Ambient Occlusion makes shadows more realistic. To enable it, open the Nvidia Control Panel, find "Manage 3D Settings", find Skyrim or MW3 and select Ambient Occlusion. You'll be asked whether you want Performance or Quality level.
There are some snazzy slider-based before-and-after screenshots on the Nvidia website that illustrate the effect of Skyrim and Modern Warfare 3 Ambient Occlusion.
"There will be a performance impact, have no doubt," wrote Nvidia's Andrew Burnes, "though it is impossible to predict exactly how large given the millions of PC configurations, so we suggest enabling Fraps' frame rate overlay while you play, and should the frame rate drop below thirty simply undo the Ambient Occlusion changes or use the less demanding Performance mode."
Battlefield 3 no longer displays random triangular artifacts, and an SLI shadow bug has been eradicated in Crysis 2.
Nvidia GeForce 290.36 beta driver notes
Nvidia Ambient Occlusion
- Adds Nvidia Control Panel ambient occlusion support for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
- Adds Nvidia Control Panel ambient occlusion support for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
- Updates PhysX System Software to version 9.11.1107 for the best PhysX experience in Batman: Arkham City.
- Enables Nvidia Surround support for Intel X79 SLI-certified motherboards.
- Added or updated SLI profiles for Crysis 2, Heroes and Generals, Inversion, Stronghold 3, and Syndicate.
- Adds support for 3D Vision over native DisplayPort 1.1 connection - available on BenQ XL2420T and BenQ XL2420TX monitors.
- Added or updated the following 3D Vision game profiles:
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 - Rated Good
- Cang Sheng - Rated Good
- Diablo 3 - Rated Good
- Fei fei - Rated Good
- Final Combat - Rated Good
- L.A. Noire - Updated Rating To 3D Vision Ready
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 - Rated Fair
- Qian Nv You Hun Online - Rated Good
- QQ Xi You - Rated Good
- Sonic Generations - Rated Good
- Xian Tu - Rated Good
- Yong Bing Tian Xia Online - Rated Good
- Updates HD Audio driver to version 126.96.36.199.
- Fixes random flickering as Windows boot logo is loading or fading away.
- Fixes corruption in Crysis 2 with SLI and lower quality shadow settings.
- Fixes ability to set Surround resolutions to 5760x1080 using custom resolutions.
- Fixes some random instances of triangular artifacts when playing Battlefield 3.
- Fixes corruption and flickering of some objects in Battlefield 3 in the New York single-player level when anti-aliasing is enabled.
- Fixes corruption seen in Settlers 7 with the Nvidia 275.33 drivers.
- Fixes playback of videos or live TV using Window Media Center resulting in a black screen.
- Fixes the issue where 1920x1080 @60Hz PC resolution mode switched down to @59Hz.
- Fixes mouse cursor flickering and shaking in Crysis 2, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Deus Ex and Civilization 5 when SLI is enabled when using 3DTV Play.