How Nvidia’s new drivers can give you access to 4k graphics on older GPUs
by Stephan Jukic – October 24, 2014
The race to make older gear more interesting to gamers and PC users seems to be a new trend for the coming holiday season.
In addition to AMD with its efforts at discounting the prices on three of its existing CPU and GPU lines, Nvidia is also getting in on the bandwagon by developing an interesting new update to its older game cards, particularly if you’re a fan of 4K graphics.
The designers at Nvidia are working on new drivers that will significantly improve the company’s line of Kepler and Fermi-based desktop GPUs through an innovative new feature known as Dynamic Super Resolution.
The DSR driver update was first introduced with Nvidia’s extxremely popular Maxwell GPU architecture and is now going to be supported on the chip maker’s 400 to 700-series of video cards.
Users using the older model GPUs who want access to Dynamic Super Resolution only need to download a new series of drivers labeled 344..48 WHQL from the Nvidia website.
Given their 306 megabyte size, they shouldn’t be a difficult download for any reasonably powerful gaming rig and web connection.
Most importantly of all, what Dynamic Super Resolution does is give 4K quality graphics on any screen through a unique if slightly convoluted process of upwards rendering and resizing to fit 1080p HD screens.
Any user playing any game that supports 4K graphics or at least minimal resolution of Full HD at 1920 x 1080 pixels or more can use DSR to take the game’s images, render them internally (inside your PC) at 3,840 x 2,160 pixels of Full 4K resolution, and then shrink the resulting image down to the resolution on a user’s monitor with, according to the company, no detectable decline in quality.
This mechanism is commonly called downsampling, or supersampling and though it normally doesn’t produce sharper image quality, the Nvidia DSR drivers for its older GPUs apply high-quality image filters to make all visual content more crisp and clear than it was before.
However, gamers who want to enjoy full 4K visual resolution on an actual 4K screen should bear in mind that the new Nvidia drivers aren’t offering the exact same thing. Running actual 4K on a 4K monitor requires a whole other set of computing conditions to work fully.
The new drivers should be of particular interest to PC gamers who already have Kepler and Fermi GPUs installed in their machines. These video cards are the predecessors of the extremely powerful and popular Maxwell game card architecture by Nvidia, which was built for extreme energy efficiency that also delivered rendering of even ultra HD resolution.
DSR isn’t the only thing offered by the new Nvidia drivers. According to the company, they also give support to a superb gaming experience for users who are buying existing or upcoming upcoming games like “Lords of the Fallen”, “Civilization: Beyond Earth” and “Dark Souls II”.
For those of you who want to try Nvidia’s new driver out on your GPUs, here’s the basic rundown:
- Visit the official Nvidia website and go to its driver download page, here.
- Find the GeForce game ready 344.48 WHQL driver.
- Download and install the driver on your PC
- Launch the GeForce Exerpience 2.1.2
- Click on “Optimize” iin order to activate the Dynamic Super Resolution functionality.
Bear in mind that, according to Nvidia, games that lack UI scaling or support for resolutions above Full HD won’t work with DSR.
Story by 4k.com