by Chris Daniel

Today we posted version 260.63 beta drivers, the first release from our new Release 260 family of drivers. Read on for details about this family of drivers' performance optimizations and new features. Version 260.63 can be downloaded here for GeForce and ION GPUs (a WHQL-certified version will follow later this month).

For the new owners of GeForce GTX 460 GPUs, this driver release comes just eight weeks after launch and adds some nice performance optimizations.  Many of which also boost performance on all GTX 400 Series GPUs. Examples of games which see the best improvements with the new driver:


Release 260 enables GTX 460 to power the ultimate home theatre experience from a Windows 7 PC. With 260.63 drivers, users can now connect their GeForce GPU to a 3D TV and enjoy watching Blu-ray 3D movies with rich surround sound. The Fermi architecture’s dedicated video processing engine seamlessly decodes 1080p 3D streams, resulting in less system power and heat.  For amazing surround sound, the latest GeForce GPUs starting with GTX 460 support high definition 24-bit multi-channel audio at up to 192 KHz or lossless DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD audio bitstreaming with compatible Blu-ray 3D movies.  Visit the NVIDIA Blu-ray 3D website for more information on system requirements.


For over a year now, our installer team has been working on a complete redesign of the driver install experience and, with Release 260, we are excited to roll out the first phase of that redesign. Users will have the choice of a one-click express installation or a custom installation with new advanced capability. Specifically, the custom install options allow users to choose which driver components to install, including PhysX, 3D Vision and more. Also, for the advanced users that prefer to uninstall their older driver first, or rely on 3rd party driver cleaner software to completely remove older drivers, NVIDIA Install offers the choice of a clean install. During the clean install process, your older driver is completely removed from your system before seamlessly installing the new driver. Users will also notice that NVIDIA Install is faster, especially in the case of systems with multiple GPUs.


Our driver team has also been hard at work optimizing the setup experience for NVIDIA Surround technology. Release 260 adds a new UI for connecting and arranging your displays, including the option to configure portrait or landscape mode. For users with an extra GPU, the new Surround setup provides the option to dedicate it to PhysX or to drive a fourth extended display. We have also added a new help page that shows users which resolutions to select in-game in order to get their desired experience.

NVIDIA 3D Vision customers will notice that Release 260 has simplified the driver upgrade experience, removing the need to install a separate 3D Vision driver. For more information on this change, please view our knowledgebase article. Version 260.63 also improves the 3D Vision experience for some of the most popular titles including StarCraft II, Mafia II, and more. It also adds support for new desktop monitors and projectors and enables users to view Sony’s 3D Sweep Panorama picture format available in the Sony NEX-5 camera from the NVIDIA 3D Photo Viewer.


Enjoy Release 260 and let us know what you think about the new performance and features. Also check out the release highlights on the driver pages for more detail on the changes and a full list of new features – yes there are even more!