Nvidia hasn’t exactly hit the ground running with the launch of its RTX 30 series, as many users that managed to side-step stock issues saw their RTX 3080s unexpectedly crashing and throwing up black screens. These problems mainly plagued custom cards that have been overclocked, to which the manufacturers blamed mixed capacitor arrangements – but not to worry, Nvidia drivers are here to the rescue.
Unfortunately for those suffering, Nvidia isn’t promising a complete fix for crashes, but RTX 3080 and even RTX 3090 owners will be pleased to know that the new 456.55 Game Ready driver is set to “improve stability” and reduce the frequency of these issues.
If you’re wondering how software can help with a reported hardware issue, we don’t blame you. Nvidia hasn’t revealed exactly how it’s alleviating problems, but keeping in mind that many claims show that crashing occurs after hitting over 2000MHz, we can take a punt that it likely introduces a hard limiter or changes how fast the card clocks this speed to prevent any rapid changes.
Think of a graphics card’s speed like a car’s top speed – you don’t necessarily want to be hitting it all the time. And while you want to get from naught to 60mph as quickly as possible, the engine shouldn’t sputter and shut down along the way.
Fortunately, whatever Nvidia has done under the hood seems to have helped, and without the impact on speed you might’ve assumed. Tom’s Hardware did some tests that revealed an actual improvement in frame rate for some games, while others impacted were within the regular margin of error at a 0.2-0.5% loss of frames.
Hopefully, as Nvidia continues to tweak and fine-tune these drivers, we will see further improvements in stability and frame rate, allowing us to see the true heights of these monstrous graphics cards. We also keep our fingers crossed that AMD’s Big Navi launch isn’t half as much of a scramble as this seems to have been.