Nvidia released a new video today alongside its latest 512.59 drivers, detailing how the company goes about creating its Game Ready Drivers for GeForce graphics cards. Nvidia explains the entire process of driver creation from beginning to end, noting how each driver is extensively tested to ensure a stable and high-quality product. While doing so, Nvidia wastes no time in taking a few jabs at AMD for creating “sub-par” beta drivers and prides itself on not indulging in the practice.

Nvidia starts with the functionality of a GPU driver. GPU drivers are the lifeblood of the graphics engine, allowing it to communicate directly to the OS, graphics APIs, and games themselves. Without it, the GPU would not be able to function at all.

But the process goes deeper than that, Nvidia explains, as there are two different modes drivers need to access within Windows: User mode and Kernel mode. User mode communicates directly with the game and OS, while kernel mode communicates to the GPU directly and has full access to system resources.

GPU drivers are created with this in mind, with optimizations for both modes. Nvidia explains that driver development is critical to have a smooth gaming experience. Driver optimization is crucial to ensuring system latency is low and that frame rates don’t fluctuate wildly, which also helps ensure games don’t crash.

Nvidia’s Game Ready Driver strategy started around 2014 as a faster and more optimized way to creating and releasing high-quality drivers for gamers. Before Nvidia created Game Ready drivers, Nvidia couldn’t produce day-0 drivers due to its limited interaction with game development teams.

With Nvidia’s Game Ready Driver strategy, Nvidia developers are in constant communication with game devs throughout the entire development process. Specifically, completed development builds of future games are run through the Nvidia driver team once the development build passes the game company’s own QA team.

Once that phase is completed, Nvidia’s own driver and QA teams take over the development build and optimize their drivers for the game itself, improving performance and stability. Once accomplished, that driver build gets handed over to the game development team for future use and the cycle begins all over again.

This means Nvidia begins optimizing its own graphics drivers for future titles way before a game even launches. When launch day finally arrives, driver stability and optimization have hopefully already reached maturity.

But driver development doesn’t stop there. Even after a game launches, Nvidia continues to interact with game developers to further optimize the game if necessary. This is particularly important if the game developers are working on future updates and future DLC content that alters the game’s programming.

Stability Testing and a Quick Jab at AMD

Source