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Nvidia drivers: how to update and install the latest Nvidia graphics drivers

Performance optimizations? That’s free real estate

Nvidia drivers
(Image: © Nvidia)

Download the latest Nvidia drivers to make the most of your brand new Nvidia graphics card (or Nvidia-powered gaming laptop). You may be able to use that GPU and game with it straight out of the box. However, you could be missing out on the best experience without those drivers that offer optimizations and features for both the card itself and the most popular games.

The Nvidia drivers, the latest of which is the 456.38 driver, will ensure your GPU is running as intended, and optimize its performance with new games so they’ll run smoother at launch. In fact, new drivers may occasionally be required to access specific graphics features, like Nvidia's RTX ray-tracing or Deep Learning Super-Sampling (DLSS), in games. They’ll also offer support for features like screen recording, Ansel, and Freestyle on compatible cards with Nvidia’s GeForce Experience installed. 

You can download the latest drivers from Nvidia directly, which doesn’t require any sign-in or accounts. Better yet, you check for updates through the Nvidia GeForce Experience, which you can download here. The companion application to your GeForce GTX GPU, it helps ensure you download the appropriate Nvidia drivers. It also comes with extra features and can help you optimize your games’ settings for the best performance or quality on your machine. Just bear in mind that it will require you to have an account to obtain drivers. 

How often do Nvidia drivers come out?

New Nvidia GeForce Game Ready Drivers usually come out about once a month, though they can occasionally come out even more frequently than that. New drivers often coincide with the launch of popular new games, as the drivers can offer specific optimizations for performance and features in those games.

New Nvidia Studio Driver releases are somewhat less frequent, and don’t seem to follow a regular schedule. But, over the past year, they have generally come out within two months of the preceding driver. 

There's also a whole host of other Nvidia drivers available for its GPUs outside of the GeForce branding, such as its enthusiast Titan, pro-grade Quadro and data-center Tesla graphics processors.

(Image credit: 505 games)

What’s in the latest Nvidia drivers?

The latest version of Nvidia drivers to come out is 456.55, which enables support for NVIDIA Reflex in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Warzone, as well as offer the best experience in Star Wars: Squadrons. It also improves stability in certain titles when gaming with the RTX 30 Series GPUs.

Prior to that, the 456.38, also called the GeForce Game Ready Driver, rolled out on September 17 just in time to provide support for all new major releases like the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 and RTX 3090. This new driver also provides support for Fortnite’s recent update that brings in new ray-traced effects, a custom RTX map and Nvidia Reflex, as well as optimal day-1 support for Halo 3: ODST and Mafia: The Definitive Edition.

The previous GeForce graphics driver, 452.06, delivers support for ray tracing to World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, jazzing up its visuals. It also brings in optimizations for Microsoft Flight Simulator and Total War Saga: Troy, as well as support for eight new G-Sync compatible monitors, mainly models from Acer, but also Asus and Lenovo.

Then there’s the Game Ready driver (451.67 WHQL) from Nvidia, specifically optimized for Death Stranding, Horizon Zero Dawn, and F1 2020. So, whether you’re exploring the wastelands as Aloy, speeding around tight turns in F1, or trying to reconnect the world as Sam, you’ll enjoy improved performance and reliability with these latest Nvidia drivers.

For Death Stranding, this driver also includes support for Nvidia’s DLSS 2.0 technology on compatible graphics cards. DLSS 2.0 can help you systems achieve higher frame rates at increased resolutions, as it effectively runs the game at a lower resolution then uses AI-powered up-scaling to deliver a clear image that’s nearly indistinguishable from the native resolution.

Nvidia is also supporting one-click optimization through GeForce Experience for these three titles, making it easier to dial in in-game settings for performance or visual quality. This driver also adds support for one-click optimization for the following titles: Darksburg, Disintegration, Fishing Planet, House Flipper, Justice RTX, Outer Wilds, Persona 4 Golden, Pistol Whip, SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated, and Trackmania.

And, finally, the new driver enables G-Sync support for the Dell S2721HGF, Dell S2721DGF, and Lenovo G25-10 gaming monitors.