New Nvidia driver for Battlefield 2042 available now, doesn’t seem to do a lot

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Battlefield 2042 launched Friday for special edition pre-purchasers, and today Nvidia released a new GeForce Game Ready driver that’s supposed to better align its GPUs with the demands of DICE’s 128-player FPS. We’re not noticing a difference in BF2042 framerates after installing the drivers, though, and Nvidia’s performance-boosting DLSS option continues to have a mild effect. It certainly isn’t delivering “2x faster” rendering, which is the maximum effectiveness advertised by Nvidia.

Before and after the driver update, I’ve been hitting average framerates in the 80s and 90s with an Intel Core i5-9600K and GeForce RTX 2070 Super. That’s at 1440p on the ‘medium’ graphics preset with some other tweaks (all post-processing off, eg), and Nvidia’s performance boosting DLSS option set to ‘balanced.’ With DLSS off, my average fps hovers in the 70s and 80s. The feature is definitely helping, but it’s not the dramatic framerate improvement I get in Control, for example. I also get drops to the 50s, or worse stutters, now and then.

One possible reason players could be hitting an fps wall even with top-of-the-line RTX 3090s is that Battlefield 2042 demands a lot of the CPU: The minimum spec on Steam calls for an AMD Ryzen 5 3600 or Core i5-6600K. My slightly better Core i5-9600K is at 100% utilization most of the time. Staff Writer Morgan Park, whose Ryzen 5 2600 is a tier below the recommendation, also isn’t getting much help from DLSS.

I’m fine with my 80ish fps on an RTX 2070 Super, but a number of disgruntled Reddit threads posted over the past few days indicate that Battlefield 2042 has not been performing as expected for many players. Standards are different for every game, and Battlefield 2042 looks pretty good even on medium settings, but the sentiment is clear: People who own fancy GPUs expect to be able to take full advantage of their 144Hz+ displays in new games with the settings turned up. BF2042 is definitely not delivering that. 

As always, if you have a GeForce card, it’s worth taking a moment to grab Nvidia’s new drivers whether or not you’re playing Battlefield 2042. The update also includes a new upscaling feature which you can read about here.

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