Motherboard: MSI P45D3 Platinum ( Provided by: MSI );
Processor: Intel Core 2 QX9770 Extreme edition at 3.6GHz ( Provided by: Intel );
Memory: Corsair Dominator 12800 7-7-7-24 ( Provided by: Corsair);
HDD: WD VelociRaptor 300G 10,000RPM ( Provided by: SmoothCreation );
The drivers from the CD are usually not the best ones, so we strongly advise updating if possible.
In order to play Call of Duty: World at War, we had to use 180.47 drivers. The older drivers caused our game to crash upon starting.
We measured the performance gain by comparing it to ForceWare 177.42 drivers, the ones we received with the CD. Using the new ForceWare 180.47 drivers results in a score better by up to 11%. All the scenarios result in similar performance increase, except for 3DMark06 where the increase is minimal.
FarCry resulted in an obvious increase, but not until we turned antialiasing on. This is a big deal, as the result improved from 35fps by 44fps, which is impressive 25% better.
If you purchase the GTX 260 and try to play FarCry 2 with the CD-supplied drivers, this is what happens.
Call of Duty - World at War
This game wouldn’t hear of old drivers. In order to make sure that the problem is not in Zotac’s card, we tried the same thing with EVGA’s card and the same thing happened. The drivers would simply stop responding after starting the game.
Company of Heroes
In this game, Zotac GTX 260 AMP2 gave us some trouble. We couldn’t figure out the reason why - the game would occasionally crash and the same thing happened with all the drivers. The performance increase is up to 8%.
Crysis is a very demanding game that mercilessly throws cards at their knees. The new drivers enabled for 16% better scores, and we ended up playing at 1920x1200 with antialiasing.
World in Conflict
The new drivers rewarded World in Conflict, as well as F.E.A.R., by up to 10% better performance.
After our gaming weekend, it’s not difficult to see why installing newer drivers is a wise thing to do, and the same thing is in certain scenarios even a prerequisite for playing at all. We’ve seen the increase in almost all the tested games, so we’re guessing that other games will get better performance, too.
Zotac GTX 260 AMP2 is only a bit slower than EVGA’s overclocked card, but it beats HD 4870 1GB. If you’re wondering whether this is the card for you – then worry no more, as this card is currently the crème of the crop and we sincerely recommend it.