Nvidia’s New GPU Driver Promises Flexible Framerate Cap To Save Power

Nvidia has developed a new GPU driver, called the GeForce “Game Ready” driver (aka WHQL 442.19) for its line of graphics cards

The most notable feature of the Game Ready driver is that it will introduce a framerate limiter which will offer flexibility for gamers looking to alter their framerates. While some games already have this functionality, Nvidia is implementing a system-wide setting. 

Nvidia said: “With the latest Game Ready driver, we’ve incorporated community feedback asking for the limits to be extended. As a result, framerate limits can be as low as 20fps and can be raised as high as 1000fps.”

What Are The Benefits Of Capping Frame Rates?

The main benefit of this is that it could extend battery life while running games on laptops. 

If your laptop is only capable of hitting 60 Hz refresh rates, then it makes sense to cap those framerates to 60 Hz so that the graphics card doesn’t need to be strained more than necessary.

Using your display’s variable refresh rate range will also help to reduce system latency, as explained by Nvidia below.

“Enable Max Frame Rate and set your power management mode to ‘Prefer maximum performance’ to reduce latency. While in this mode, the GPU is kept at higher frequencies to process frames as quickly as possible. To maximize latency reduction in GPU bound scenarios where FPS is consistent, set Max Frame Rate to a framerate slightly below the average FPS and turn Low Latency Mode to Ultra.”

How Do You Enable The Max Frame Rate?

Once you have updated your system to the Game Ready driver, enabling a max frame rate is fairly simple to do. 

All you need to do is head over to Nvidia’s Control Panel and find the Max Frame Rate setting in the Manage 3D Settings section. This is not enabled by default and previously featured a framerate slider before the update.

Game Optimization And Bug Fixes With The Driver Update

With this new driver comes a new wave of game optimizations and bug fixes.

The Game Ready driver has been optimized for Apex Legends: Season 4, Zombie Army 4: Dead War and Metro Exodus.

Bug fixes within specific games include:

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Blood and Wine: Game crashes when the player reaches a specific cutscene 
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Gameplay streaming using OBS stops randomly
  • Doom (2016): Game crashes when launched via a GeForce 600/700 series GPU

Nvidia also lists the following driver issues and bugs solved in this update:

  • [Maxwell GPUs][OpenCL]: SETI@Home shows driver TDR occurring on Maxwell GPUs using OpenCL.
  • Battleye][Low-Latency Mode]: Launching Battleye with NVIDIA Low Latency Mode set to ultra may cause DWM to reset
  • [SLI+G-SYNC Stutter]: Users may experience stuttering when using NVIDIA SLI in combination with G-Sync.
  • [NVENC]: Memory leak occurs.
  • [Multiple Apps][SLI][G-Sync]: Drop in frame rate occurs during gameplay with SLI and G-Sync enabled.

To download Nvidia’s latest driver, you can find the download through the GeForce Experience tool or download it directly from the Nvidia website.