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Is driver degradation a thing or just made up?

Discussion in 'Graphics Cards' started by Gregster, Jul 25, 2016.

  1. Gregster


    Joined: Sep 24, 2008

    Posts: 37,734

    Location: Essex innit!

    Seems a few keep saying that NVidia gimp drivers etc and I thought I would do some searching to see what is what and found a very good piece over at babeltechreviews, who tested older drivers for both AMD and NVidia on the 290X and 780Ti and then retested on newer drivers and here is what they found.



    A great article with some good testing methods and well worth a look. Well done babeltech and I appreciate the effort :)
  2. Klo


    Joined: Nov 20, 2005

    Posts: 3,993

    Location: South East

    Just eyeballing the numbers, it looks like AMD's drivers have improved performance on average a lot more than Nvidia, whose performance has barely got better or decreased in some cases.
  3. Final8y


    Joined: May 7, 2006

    Posts: 12,193

    Location: London, Ealing

    It was never about gimping drivers for old games. :rolleyes:
  4. Panos


    Joined: Nov 22, 2009

    Posts: 11,283

    Location: Under the hot sun.

    You do not need special benchmarks. Just look at a current one for eg gtx 1080 and compare it for when the gx980ti came out. 90% of the sites have same cpu and games tested so is easy to compare where a card was and where is now. If some times the cpu is more poweful can still extrapolate from it.

    (Gave the example above since they include all the last two gens)

    You will see that even on DX11 the 290x is pulling ahead of the 780ti. Something that wasnt the case in 2013 when both came out. Nor 2014 when the AIB cards appeared.
  5. Freddie1980


    Joined: Sep 25, 2009

    Posts: 6,858

    Location: Billericay, UK

    I'm not sure about that I think you have picked up the wrong argument. Nvidia don't make older games run worse the argument has been from the likes of myself is Nvidia doesn't always optimise drivers on older cards for newer games or they don't bother enabling features that are present on the latest generation of cards that could be turned with a small software update (DX12 on the 500 series anyone? Async shaders on Fermi?).
  6. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 64,292

    I've never seen any evidence of gimping but there is the argument that Kepler doesn't get as optimised for newer stuff so comparing i.e. the 980 and 780ti on older and newer drivers in a range of games could be more revealing.

    But there is also the problem that Maxwell is just more efficient for some types of shader processing than Kepler ever will be so in some newer games it simply will run faster than an otherwise equivalent Maxwell card.
  7. spikerules

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 24, 2011

    Posts: 1,513

    That's is exactly it. It was never about gimping the drivers it was more about just letting old architecture crumble and fade, whereas AMD improves upon old and existing architecture in equal measure bringing better results and in the end overtaking their Nvidia counterparts. This is a thread created by Gregster in retaliation for something I said in the other thread... Good to see most people here agreeing. Good try though Gregster!
  8. Armageus


    Joined: May 19, 2012

    Posts: 10,027

    Location: Spalding, Lincolnshire

    It may not even be a case of deliberate gimping - occasionally there are going to be drivers that fix issues where things weren't being rendered correctly (and therefore provided an unintended speed up).
    Other than specifically mentioning fixes for certain games, neither party will mention that a certain fix has resulted in across the board reduction in performance in their release notes.
  9. Heisenberg

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Aug 11, 2012

    Posts: 2,056

    Location: Scotland

    Titan performance in Arkham origins :o
  10. spikerules

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 24, 2011

    Posts: 1,513

    I should be the better person here, but what rock has Gregster crawled under? Are we going to have a response from the TC? I feel this thread did not go to plan for the poor fella! ;)
  11. Dave2150


    Joined: Oct 31, 2002

    Posts: 6,642

    Location: Wales

    NVIDIA can do whatever they want - they produce the fastest, quietest, lowest TDP cards on the market. They have no competition.

    As AMD continue to descend into nothingness, I expect Maxwell to start regressing in performance over the next few driver updates. GLHF 980ti owners.

    Then when Volta releases in May, Pascal will also suffer the nerf bat, though we'll all hand over our cash for a shiny new GPU anyway, cause NVIDIA!

    Bear in mind I'm saying this as a 1070 and 980M owner :)
  12. Nexus18


    Joined: Jun 4, 2009

    Posts: 23,217


    Simply older nvidia cards take a back seat for optimisation/improvements. Nothing new and this has been done for years in most markets. If you can force people to upgrade every 2 years instead of 3, then why not?

    You just have to look at the 290, it was neck in neck with the 780 where as over the last year with the newer titles, the 290 is matching a 780ti now and at times even beating it in a few of the new titles and this is for DX 11 titles only, dx 12/vulkan is a completely different story...

    Bit **** for people who don't want to upgrade every 1-2 years but it is a good business move by nvidia as in this case, if I had gone for a 780 instead of the 290 back in June 2014, I would have needed to be upgrading the 780 around about now but with my 290 and the way things are looking for AMD with DX 12, it looks like my 290 might very well last another year.
  13. spikerules

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 24, 2011

    Posts: 1,513

    And I'm a Hydro Copper 980ti owner... doesn't make you any less right:)
  14. Greebo


    Joined: Jan 20, 2005

    Posts: 32,198

    Location: Co Durham

    Im a believer that you egt pretty much 97% performance from the off with Nvidia and only 80% with AMD which improves with every driver.

    If you had told me two years ago my 290x would be running a game like doom in 4k on ultra with 45 fps I would have said you were crazy.
  15. N19h7m4r3


    Joined: Mar 13, 2008

    Posts: 9,274

    Location: Ireland

    Folks also need to remember that NVIDIA's architectures do vary quite a bit from each other, while AMD's GCN ones are evolutions from each version.

    So driver performance improvements for GCN cards can benefit the entire range to some degree.

    For NV driver improvements made specifically to Maxwell, or Pascal won't really help Kepler that much. We saw that first hand on the Witcher 3 launch where Kepler cards were performing horribly, as the drivers there were mostly for Maxwell and newly released GTX 980Ti. It took them a while to fix performance; and now that Kepler is most certainly EOL by NVIDIA standards they just won't be focussing so much on performance drivers anymore.
  16. Greebo


    Joined: Jan 20, 2005

    Posts: 32,198

    Location: Co Durham

    |Interesting to see the 290x smashing the titan in 10 games there, sometimes by a huge margin.

    I suspect overclocked the titan x would pull a few of those round though.
  17. sothur


    Joined: Jul 15, 2015

    Posts: 31

    Why would Nvidia optimize for old hardware? They business strategy is to sell a new shiny card to you in every generation for a little more. :)

    It looks like the 290x produces some great numbers these days, while the Nvidia cards are clearly left in the dust. Thanks for the topic to confirm this.
  18. Davanius

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 19, 2012

    Posts: 1,233

    I hope this thread isn't a reaction to your dispute with spikerules.

    Gregster. ;)
  19. spikerules

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 24, 2011

    Posts: 1,513

    Pretty sure it is and it backfired miserably;)
  20. Davanius

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 19, 2012

    Posts: 1,233

    Here's the thing. I didn't read the following post and had no idea that you had posted. I came from the fury vs 980ti thread and thought wow.

    There was no need for this. :D