New NVIDIA driver introduces ultra-low latency mode, sharper scaling for retro games

NVIDIA RTX 2080 (Image credit: NVIDIA)

What you need to know

  • A new Game Ready Driver is now available for NVIDIA graphics cards.
  • The update introduces an ultra-low latency mode, along with sharper scaling for retro and pixel art games.
  • There are also some key performance improvements for several games in this update.

Gamescom 2019 may be sucking up all of the oxygen in the gaming news sphere right now, but NVIDIA is hopping on the train with a new Game Ready Driver, and it's a pretty major one. This update introduces an option ultra-low latency mode that tweaks how it handles frame buffering, along with sharper scaling for pixel art and retro games. There are also some general improvements tagging along.

First up is the new ultra-low latency mode. This allows players to turn off NVIDIA's usual pre-rendered frame buffering technique and enable "just in time" fram scheduling. The result, NVIDIA says, is a reduction in latency up to 33 percent.

This new mode can be turned on in the NVIDIA Control Panel under "Manage 3D Settings" and "Low Latency Mode." You'll have the following three options to choose from:

  • Off: The game's engine will automatically queue 1-3 frames for maximum render throughput
  • On: Limits the number of queued frames to 1. This is the same setting as "Max_Prerendered_Frames = 1" from prior drivers
  • Ultra: Submits the frame just in time for the GPU to pick it up and start rendering

Next, for retro and pixel-art games, NVIDIA is adding a beta option in the NVIDIA Control Panel for integer scaling. The option is meant to address an issue with pixelated games where they appear blurry in high-res displays. Using integer scaling instead of linear interpolation, the games will appear much sharper as a result.

You can check out an example of the difference in the image below.

Aside from the above changes, this driver update increases frame rate performance by up to 23 percent across games like Apex Legends, Battlefield V, and Forza Horizon 4, NVIDIA says.

If you have an NVIDIA graphics card, you can grab this update as version 436.02 at NVIDIA's website now. It's worth noting that the integer scaling option for pixel-art and retro games is only available for GeForce RTX or GTX 16-series cards.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl