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This is a WHQL-candidate release from the Release 256 family of drivers (versions 256.xx to 259.xx). This driver package supports GeForce 6, 7, 8, 9, 100, 200, 300, and 400-series desktop GPUs as well as ION desktop GPUs. Learn more about Release 256 drivers here .
New in Release 258.96
* Adds support for GeForce GTX 460.
* Adds support for NVIDIA 3D Vision Surround technology. Learn more about this technology including the hardware and software requirements here.
* Adds additional performance increases for GeForce GTX 400 Series GPUs in several PC games (these improvements are in addition to the previously reported Release 256 improvements). The following are examples of some of the most significant improvements measured with GeForce GTX 480. Results will vary depending on your GPU and system configuration:
o Up to 11% in Aliens vs. Predator (1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF – Tessellation on)
o Up to 7% in Crysis: Warhead (SLI – 1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF – Gamer)
o Up to 4% in H.A.W.X (SLI – 1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF – Very High)
o Up to 10% in Just Cause 2 (SLI – 1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF - Concrete Jungle)
o Up to 6% in Metro 2033 (1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF – Tessellation on)
o Up to 7% in Metro 2033 (SLI – 1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF – Tessellation on)
o Up to 10% in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat (1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF)
o Up to 12% in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat (SLI – 1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF)
o Up to 4% in World in Conflict (SLI – 1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF)
* Upgrades PhysX System Software to version 9.10.0224.
* Upgrades HD Audio driver version 220.127.116.11 (for supported GPUs).
* Includes numerous bug fixes. Refer to the release notes on the documentation tab for information about the key bug fixes in this release.
* Users without US English operating systems can select their language and download the International driver here.
New in Release 256 Drivers
* Adds support for Blu-ray 3D with NVIDIA 3D Vision technology. Learn more about the hardware and software requirements here .
* Increases performance for GeForce GTX 400 Series GPUs in several PC games. The following are examples of some of the most significant improvements measured with GeForce GTX 480. Results will vary depending on your GPU and system configuration:
o Up to 14% in Aliens vs. Predator (1920x1200 noAA/AF – Tessellation on)
o Up to 4% in Batman: Arkham Asylum (1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF PhysX=High)
o Up to 5% in BattleForge (1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF – Very High settings)
o Up to 5% in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF)
o Up to 4% in Crysis: Warhead (1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF – Enthusiast setting)
o Up to 24% in Enemy Territory: Quake Wars (1920x1200 no AA/AF)
o Up to 9% in Far Cry 2 (2560x1600 8xAA/16xAF)
o Up to 25% in Just Cause 2 (2560x1600 no AA/AF - Concrete Jungle)
o Up to 7% in Metro 2033 (1920x1200 no AA/16xAF – Tessellation on)
o Up to 40% in Metro 2033 with SLI ((1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF – Tessellation on)
o Up to 8% in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat (1920x1200 no AA/AF – Day)
o Up to 110% in Stone Giant with SLI (2650x1600 – Tessellation on, DoF on)
o Up to 6% in The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Athena (2560x1600 no AA/AF)
o Up to 9% in Unigine: Tropics (2560x1600 no AA/AF – OpenGL)
o Up to 5% in 3DMark Vantage (Performance and Extreme Presets)
o Up to 19% with Transparency AA (1920x1200 4xTrSS – measured in Crysis)
* Adds support for OpenGL 4.0 for GeForce GTX 400 Series GPUs.
* Adds support for CUDA Toolkit 3.1 which includes significant performance increases for double precision math operations. See CUDA Zone for more details.
* Adds support for new extreme Antialiasing modes for 3-way SLI PCs, including up to SLI48x AA for GeForce 200 series GPUs and up to SLI96x AA for GeForce GTX 400 series GPUs.
* Adds support for a new ‘Quality’ mode for NVIDIA’s Ambient Occlusion control panel feature.
* Adds a new NVIDIA Control Panel setup page for SLI and PhysX for ultimate control over multi-gpu configurations.
* Adds a new NVIDIA Control Panel feature for ultimate control over CUDA GPUs, allowing the user to effectively choose which GPU will power each CUDA application.
* Supports the new GPU-accelerated features in Adobe CS5 .
* Supports GPU-acceleration for smoother online HD videos with Adobe Flash 10.1. Learn more here .
* Supports the new version of MotionDSP's video enhancement software, vReveal, which adds support for HD output. NVIDIA customers can download a free version of vReveal that supports up to SD output here .
* Supports DirectCompute with Windows 7 and GeForce 8-series and later GPUs.
* Supports OpenCL 1.0 ( Open Computing Language ) for all GeForce 8-series and later GPUs.
* Supports OpenGL 3.3 for GeForce 8-series and later GPUs.
* Supports single GPU and NVIDIA SLI technology on DirectX 9, DirectX 10, DirectX 11, and OpenGL, including 3-way SLI, Quad SLI, and SLI support on SLI-certified Intel X58-based motherboards.
* Supports GPU overclocking and temperature monitoring by installing NVIDIA System Tools software .
Looks like Capcom is hosting a DirectX11 session at CEDEC 2010.
The session summary says they are going to be talking about the graphical and performance enhancements gained by adding DirectX11 support for Lost Planet 2.
The summary says the session is also going to talk about the difficulties involved in adding DirectX11 support to existing titles.
As someone interested in DirectX11 programming, this session looks great! I hope I get to go to this year’s CEDEC and hear this session.
What's bigger than 1080p? 4K video comes to YouTube
Today at the VidCon 2010 conference, we announced support for videos shot in 4K (a reference resolution of 4096 x 3072), meaning that now we support original video resolution from 360p all the way up to 4096p. To give some perspective on the size of 4K, the ideal screen size for a 4K video is 25 feet; IMAX movies are projected through two 2k resolution projectors.
We always want videos on YouTube to be available in the highest quality possible, as creators intend. In December of last year, we announced support for 1080p, or full HD. At 4096 x 3072 pixels, 4K is nearly four times the size of 1080p.
To view any video in a source resolution greater than 1080p, select "Original" in the video quality pulldown menu
To illustrate the power of 4K, please check out the videos in this playlist; each one was created by a filmmaker with access to a 4K camera. (Be warned: watching videos in 4K, even on YouTube, will require ultra-fast high-speed broadband connections).
Because 4K represents the highest quality of video available, there are a few limitations that you should be aware of. First off, video cameras that shoot in 4K aren’t cheap, and projectors that show videos in 4K are typically the size of a small refrigerator. And, as we mentioned, watching these videos on YouTube will require super-fast broadband.
We're excited about this latest step in the evolution of online video. We've been impressed by the 1080p videos you've uploaded over the last seven months and can't wait to see (in 4K!) what you do next.
AMD has been aggressively shipping DirectX 11 GPUs in almost every price category, while cards based on Nvidia's new GTX 470 and GTX 480 DX11 parts are finally becoming available.
Meanwhile, Windows 7's sales ramp has been extraordinary-the fastest-selling Microsoft OS in history. Given that Windows 7 is what Vista should have been, it's also arguable that DirectX 11 is what DX10 should have been.
Advance warning, UFO invasion expected at GDCeu'10
Last year, exhilarated by the energy at the Evoke demoparty, I had been putting together a task-scheduler suitable for demoscene intros, managing to fit inside a 16K executable graphics, music and parallelism (which makes me qualify as scener-wanabee, I guess). nulstein, the resulting project, is documented in my "Do-it-yourself Game Task Scheduling" article, with full source code available. It's the kind of project that sits at the back of your mind and never quite leaves you in peace, so this year, I couldn't do otherwise than come up with a follow up and address the last remaining serial bit: submitting draw calls to DirectX.
Be there in Cologne, August 16-18, at GDC Europe and attend my session : "UFO invasion: DX11 and Multicore to the Rescue". I'll be showing how DX11 deferred contexts can be used to evade the draw-calls submission tax, how TBB's new task groups make this easy and how to update all entities in the game in parallel despite all kinds of dependencies they may exhibit. And if you can't attend, don't despair, slides and full source code will be made available here, after the show !
The TimelineFX Particle Editor is a tool for creating a whole host of particle effects, and then exporting those effects onto sprite sheets, image strips or just a sequence of images, Available on Windows and Mac.
Effects include explosions, smoke, fire, water, steam, bubbles, and pretty much anything else you can throw about the screen... Animations can be easily configured to loop seamlessly with just one click of the mouse, and with another click, you can make animations tile seamlessly too for use as animated textures.
Export the particle effects as static animations onto sprite sheets, animation strips or image sequences in PNG format, or if you develop for the iPhone or iPad, you can export using the PVRTC format (Currently mac only) which helps with performance on those devices. Plus, if you develop using the Blitzmax programming language, you can use all the effects directly using the TimelineFX module.
You can view some videos of the particle effects and a couple of tutorials on the TimelineFX YouTube channel here
Visit the TimelineFX website here and download a trial version to see what you think, the full version only costs £19.99. See a full list of effects libraries that are freely available to download here and all ready to go.