Nvidia promises improvements for Skyrim, Diablo III and Mass Effect 3 in the latest 295.73 drivers (WHQL).
Nvidia’s developers have put a lot of effort into improving both performance and visuals for Skyrim in the last few releases, and it looks like they’ve been successful. There have been significant improvements to the overall performance in indoor/dungeon environments, but for those with more powerful cards and performance to spare, the addition of driver-based ambient occlusion has also been welcome. For laptop gamers, the latter primarily applies to users of the GTX 570M or 580M as the performance hit is quite significant (minus 10 fps in our test).
Those were Beta drivers though, and these ones are WHQL. Interestingly, Nvidia singles out the desktop GTX 560 as the GPU that benefits most from the new driver (again, in Skyrim). This might be of particular interest to laptop users with the GTX 580M, which is based on the same chip.
The improvement for indoor environments are dramatic with the GTX 560, and although it is less dramatic in the wild outdoors, Nvidia claims an improvement of about 16% there, too. SLI configurations are apparently not affected at all.
Diablo III (Beta) has also been given the ambient occlusion option, which seems to add a great deal of added depth to the game. The same goes for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Comparison screenshots and more graphs are available here. New SLI profiles for Mass Effect 3, The Darkness 2, Kingdoms of Amalur, F1 2011 and several other games have also been added. On the whole, there seem to be plenty of good reasons to update this time, and unlike the bad old days, notebook drivers are now offered alongside the rest (although some manufacturers still stick to the extremely annoying habit of preventing user upgrades to reference drivers).