Nvidia’s new graphics driver is reportedly killing frame-rates with some games

(Image credit: Future)

Nvidia’s latest graphics driver recently arrived with loads of promising new features, including an ultra-low latency mode for more responsive gaming, and major frame-rate boosts – but some gamers have experienced the opposite of the latter, with major drops and stuttering observed on some online forums.

As highlighted by Windows Latest, there are Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players who have posted about this problem on Reddit, and others who have complained about frame-rate drops in other games including The Witcher 3 and Battlefield V.

Those suffering when playing Counter-Strike are recording drops of something like 100 frames per second, while others are saying they haven’t noticed any difference in frame-rates. Furthermore, some gamers are observing no drop in frame-rate, but rather some serious stuttering kicking in here and there (and there are cases of both of these nasty situations occurring).

One theory floated on that Reddit thread is that those who have a contemporary fast CPU aren’t affected, so therefore it could be something processor-related, with Nvidia’s new features possibly somehow stressing older silicon. But then again there are folks complaining about issues who are running more recent processors like the Ryzen 5 3600.

As ever with these sort of reports, we need to be careful about drawing any conclusions too early, and it’s not clear how widespread these reported problems are by any means.

Fortnite faux pas

The other reports coming from Nvidia’s own forums include tales of The Witcher 3 frame-rates being cut in half by this new driver, as well as Fortnite seriously suffering. It seems that these issues aren’t tied to having ultra-low latency mode turned on, and folks are theorizing that this is a more general problem with the driver (as in some cases, it goes away after rolling back to the previous Nvidia driver).

Another gamer observes big frame-rate drops and stuttering in The Witcher 3 again, as well as GTA V and Battlefield V – intriguingly with worse results after the latest May 2019 Update was installed for Windows 10.

A further theory highlighted by one user runs as follows: “There’s some as yet unidentified performance issues in this new driver that Nvidia need to work through, DX12 has some sort of memory leak and quite a few DX11/9 games are not telling the driver properly what Prerender amount they want to actually use.”

The same user noted on another thread: “CS:GO, Fortnite and other games have application side controls for the Prerender queue and do not and have never liked the user modifying it from the driver.”

At any rate, if you play some of the aforementioned games or other older PC titles, you might want to be a little cautious around the latest Nvidia driver, at least if these reports are anything to go by.

Hopefully Nvidia will be looking into these purported issues, and concocting a fix for any potential gremlins in the works. Meanwhile, there’s no apparent workaround here save for rolling back to an older driver version.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).