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Appeared on: Tuesday, February 21, 2012
NVIDIA GeForce 295.73 WHQL Drivers Released

The new NVIDIA GeForce 295.73 WHQL drivers are now available to download. Recommended for all GeForce users, these drivers include the numerous improvements that have been introduced with Nvidia's recent betas, plus a few other treats too.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

In December, the 290.53 beta driver introduced our first performance optimizations, helping improve frame rates by about 19% in Skyrim’s many shadowy dungeons, and 2.8% in its wide-open outdoor environments. For 295.73 Nvidia has delved back into our driver’s code and coaxed out even more performance, which should be especially helpful for GeForce GTX 560 and 560 Ti users who wish to increase the game’s graphics settings, make use of Bethesda’s high resolution texture pack, and install user-made mods from the Skyrim Workshop.

In November, Nvidia released the 290.36 beta driver, boasting exclusive GeForce-only Ambient Occlusion support, enhancing the shadowing of Skyrim’s immersive world. Users loved the addition, and following feedback Nvidia revamped the implementation in 290.53 beta, reducing the frame rate impact and improving the fidelity of the new shadows. With release 295.73, these enhancements are now brought to an official WHQL driver. To enable this must-have effect open your NVIDIA Control Panel, either via the desktop or the tray icon, and follow the steps below:

  1. Browse to 'Manage 3D Settings' and select 'Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim' in the drop-down. If you can't see it in the list, untick the 'Show only programs found on this computer' box and try again.
  2. Set the 'Ambient Occlusion' option to Performance or Quality.
  3. Click the Apply button.

And finally, for 3D Vision users there’s a new 3D crosshair that better matches the game’s default 2D crosshair, helping improve the 3D Vision experience. To enable it, use the Ctrl+F12 3D crosshair shortcut in-game, and then disable Skyrim's 2D crosshair in the Settings menu.

Diablo III Beta

If you’re one of the players currently enjoying the Diablo III beta you’ll be pleased to hear that your GeForce graphics card can now be leveraged to add the same immersive Ambient Occlusion shadowing to Blizzard’s role-playing action game. To enable Ambient Occlusion in the beta, open the NVIDIA Control Panel, browse to ‘Manage 3D Settings,’ locate the Diablo III profile in the list, and select one of the Ambient Occlusion quality settings before clicking ‘Apply'.

Mass Effect 3

The Mass Effect 3 demo made a big splash last week, arriving with a lengthy slice of single-player action and an addictive multiplayer mode that’s been sampled by over 250,000 PC gamers to date. With the release of the 295.73 WHQL driver, the demo can make full use of >SLI setups also, offering up to twice the performance. To see the benefit of SLI scaling above your monitor's refresh rate, Mass Effect 3's Vertical Synchronization must be disabled. A quick and easy tweak, simply open C:\Users\YourUsername\Documents\BioWare\Mass Effect 3 Demo\BIOGame\Config\GamerSettings.ini, and add useVsync=False and SmoothFramerate=False to the bottom of the [SystemSettings] section, each on separate lines. Save the file and SLI will now work to its full potential. The final version of the game, due out March 6th, will benefit from SLI also - just modify the GamerSettings.ini file located in C:\Users\YourUsername\Documents\BioWare\Mass Effect 3\BIOGame\Config\ in the same manner.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Activision’s Modern Warfare 3 was the best-selling game of 2011, and it too benefits from the addition of GeForce-exclusive Ambient Occlusion support. As with Skyrim and Diablo III, open the NVIDIA Control Panel, browse to ‘Manage 3D Settings,’ locate the Modern Warfare 3 profile in the list, and select one of the Ambient Occlusion quality settings before hitting ‘Apply'.

New SLI Profiles

Nvidia engineers continue to create and improve SLI and 3D Vision profiles for the latest games each and every day. Take a look below at the latest additions, and ensure that you enable automatic profile acquisition in NVIDIA Update to receive the latest enhancements as soon as they're released.

New & Updated 3D Vision Profiles Other Miscellaneous Additions

Click here to download the GeForce 295.73 WHQL drivers.


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