NVIDIA's Latest Game Ready GPU Driver Supercharges Your PCIe 5.0 SSD Too

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NVIDIA’s latest Game Ready driver, version 535.98 has been found to greatly improve the performance of Gen 5 SSDs in DirectStorage applications, allowing Gen 5 SSDs to greatly outperform their Gen 4 counterparts. A demo of NVIDIA’s new driver optimizations was recorded by Compusemble on YouTube, showing the performance differences between NVIDIA’s newer and older drivers featuring Crucial’s all-new T700 Gen 5 SSD that is capable of transfer speeds of up to 12.4GB/s.

However, since this demo was recorded 10 days ago, testing was not done on NVIDIA’s latest 535.98 game-ready driver, instead, Compusemble conducted tests on a beta driver in the 535 branch since the 535.98 driver came out the very same day the video was published. Nonetheless, this beta driver features all of the enhanced DirectStorage optimizations in NVIDIA’s latest game-ready driver — as well as in its recent 536.09 driver hotfix, so it should be a like-for-like comparison.

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To start, the demo was run on NVIDIA’s slightly older 532.03 driver to showcase the optimization improvements NVIDIA has done to its latest driver. In this first test, The Crucial T700 Gen 5 SSD achieved 28.09 GB/s in the DirectStorage test, while the (undisclosed) Gen 4 drive achieved 22.26. Netting a 26% performance increase for the Gen 5 SSD. While these performance results are still good, the performance gap between Gen 4 and Gen 5 SSDs is still nowhere near the hardware capabilities of Gen 5 SSDs in comparison to Gen 4 drives.

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However, after swapping to NVIDIA’s beta 535.50 driver, the performance improvements became monstrous for the Crucial Gen 5 SSD. Performance improved by 45% with the updated driver, with bandwidth capping out at an impressive 33.12GB/s on the Gen 5 drive, while the Gen 4 drive stayed within the same 22GB/s range as the previous test. By simply updating the GeForce graphics driver, the DirectStorage performance gap basically doubled on the Gen 5 SSD over the Gen 4 option.

These new driver tests represent some cool benefits NVIDIA can now offer once DirectStorage-supported games come out. Since the GPU is responsible for decompressing data from the SSD, this leaves room for NVIDIA developers to integrate driver optimizations into the GPU decompression process. Improving performance for both games and/or the SSDs themselves. On top of any additional game optimizations NVIDIA provides in its drivers.