At Gamescon 2019, Nvidia announced that their latest driver will offer up to 23% more performance over their previous driver. But there is a catch, they only claim this for their new Super line of GPUs, which is still a slap in the face for early RTX adopters. So I decided to see what increase Nvidia’s 436.02 driver would offer a system running a non-Super RTX 2070.
The hardware used For our 436.02 driver test
Gigabyte RTX 2070 Windforce OC (Non-Super)
Ryzen 9 3900X
32GB G-Skill Sniper X 3200MHz
ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero
Samsung 970 Evo (Windows 10)
Crucial P1 (Game drive)
Be Quiet Silent Loop 360mm
The settings for our test
All games were tested on a Full-HD (1920×1080) 144hz monitor from ASUS with G-Sync on. All benchmark runs were done with Nvidia’s GeForce Experience recording (formerly known as Nvidia ShadowPlay). As for the games, I set all the graphics to the highest possible settings per game and turned off Ray Tracing and DLSS for those games that utilize this technology.
Testing the 431.60 & 436.02 drivers
The testing was pretty simple for this one. I started off with driver version 431.60, restarted my PC for a fresh benchmarking environment and then launched the selected games. I then start recording with Nvidia’s GeForce Experience and waited for the fps to settle as there is a tiny drop in frame rates as soon as it starts recording. Once the frame rates had settled, I ran 5 benchmarking runs with FRAPS per game. Sure I could have run 10, or even 20, but the averages would still remain fairly similar and to save time I decided on 5 per game.
After benchmarking the games with the 431.60 driver, I went over to the Nvidia site and downloaded the latest driver which has promised this huge improvement in frame rates by Nvidia. After installing the new 436.02 driver, I restarted my PC and ran the exact same games while recording through the GeForce Experience. I tried to keep the maps in Battlefield V the same between both driver runs as other multiplayer maps would have rendered differently. World War Z was the easiest to test as I just replayed the same mission over for both runs.
The Division 2 and Far Cry New Dawn were also fairly similar between both runs as it mainly consisted of roaming around the same areas in the games. The hardest was Apex due to the different maps and the fact that it’s fairly inconsistent. But I did try to grab the FRAPS benchmarks around any action that happened (by the way, I suck at Apex).
The Results of our 436.02 driver test
As expected, there were some improvements across the board, however, I did see a weird drop in Battlefield V when it came to the 0.1% lows with the newer driver.
So looking at Apex Legends, which is the one title that Nvidia claimed a 23% performance increase in, I got a much lower 10.6% bump in frame rates. My 1% lows also saw a bump up by 11.88% and my 0.1% lows saw a jump by just 3.39%.
Then jumping into Battlefield V multiplayer, I saw a negligible 5.88% increase in average frame rates, with an equally negligible 5.13% increase in the 1% lows. But what I didn’t expect was the the 25.74% drop in the 0.1% lows. However, this is not really that important and I would rather have a 25% drop in the 0.1% lows than my average frame rates dropping by this much.
Far Cry New Dawn was up next and once again I saw negligible results with a 5.30% increase in average frame rates. The 1% lows saw a 7.31% increase and the 0.1% lows saw a meagre 3.39% increase. Though these results were not all too surprising as Far Cry New Dawn is a bit more GPU intensive than the previous games listed.
The Division 2 also saw some gains with a 10.30% increase in average frame rates, my 1% lows saw a bump of 10.53% and my 0.1% lows saw a beefy 26.67% increase. But, once again, the 0.1% lows are not super important, and the 0.1% result would be far more impressive if we were talking about the average frame rates here. However, I was pleased with the results as this was the most hardware taxing game that I tested here and I will gladly take a 10.30% increase.
Finally, the last game that I tested was World War Z. This title saw the biggest increases in frame rates right across the board. The average frame rates jumped by 17.11%, while the 1% lows saw a jump of 15.49%. Finally the 0.1% lows saw a 18.90% increase in frame rates. So overall the best performing game of the bunch.
Overall the newer drivers have increased performance in most titles, however I did stumble across a thread on Reddit where some CS:GO players have complained that they are seeing an almost 100fps drop while running Nvidia’s 436.02 driver.