NVIDIA has now released a driver update (385.12 BETA) for its Pascal-based GTX TITAN graphics cards. Announced in a post via the company’s blog, the driver update ‘unlocks’ previously ‘locked’ resources that result in a boost in performance by up to 300%. However, it must be noted that this figure represents a best case scenario in specific applications such as Maya, and in actual fact most tasks will see much more reasonable gains. The new driver has been confirmed by a Reddit user to provide a pretty sizable increase in performance for the other Pascal-based GeForce TITAN card, the TITAN X (Pascal).
One could safely assume that this is a direct reaction to AMD’s recent announcement of its Vega-based high-end desktop and workstation graphics cards. The Radeon RX Vega 64, currently Vega’s highest offering, will be priced at $499 USD for the air-cooled version, and $699 for the watercooled version. This means the air-cooled version will be priced fifty dollars less than NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1080, while performing somewhat in-between the GTX 1080 and the $799 USD GTX 1080 Ti. However, on a professional level in workstation tasks, Vega appears to be an absolute monster — up to 12.7 TFLOPS of single-precision compute performance (13.7 TFLOPS for the watercooled version), versus 12.1 TFLOPS for NVIDIA’s GTX TITAN Xp, a $1,200 USD graphics card. In applications that can utilize 16-bit half-precision compute, the Vega cards by AMD are in an entire league of their own.
It’s understandable why NVIDIA suddenly felt the need to unleash hidden away performance, but one could also raise the question as to why this performance wasn’t available from launch? This is far more performance than a traditional driver update would provide, so it was almost certainly planned.
You can grab the driver update directly from the NVIDIA GeForce website.