NVIDIA GeForce Experience Enters Closed Beta

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅07.12.2012 01:39:26

Earlier this year Vortez and other UK publications were invited by GIGABYTE to an event demoing three of their upcoming products at the time. Unsurprisingly the star of the even was the beastly GTX680 Super Overclock graphics card (later reviewed by Rich), but an additional highlight aside from the new GIGABYTE releases was a presentation by NVIDIA of a new application they were calling GeForce Experience. This App, designed specifically for end-users with GeForce Fermi and Kepler Architecture video cards, is intended to optimise graphics settings for games to enable the best possible experience.

The principle motivation for this utility is that default game image quality settings, the settings which many gamers run without changing anything more than the resolution, are often unsuitable for a vast array of cards and cause the game to run much more slowly than it should given the available horsepower. High Quality Shadow settings are often a prime culprit, but also prioritising certain settings over others by default can cause similar issues. For those with cards on the borderline of the Recommended or Minimum specs the detrimental impact can be very significant, pushing frame-rates below a playable 30FPS and into the abysmal single-digits.

GeForce Experience scans your system for currently installed and compatible games and based on your current hardware suggest more optimal settings. For some games you can choose to optimise there and then, but in others (primarily where the settings files are obfuscated) you will need to input the suggested setting manually. These optimal settings are based on the collated responses of all GeForce Experience users, and target an average frame-rate of 40FPS.

It's been close to half a year since the first unveiling and the App is finally available to the general public in the form of a Beta version. Right now the number of games it can optimise is limited, mainly consisting of TWIMTBP titles, but nonetheless encompasses a wide variety of some of the most popular 3D titles currently on the market including Call of Duty: MW3 and World of Warcraft. As the uptake of the app increases NVIDIA will no-doubt seek to include new games, especially those limited by GFX horsepower, and the quality of the data from which it makes recommendations will improve.

We should note however that the app will also return anonymised data on your own system performance for use in improving the application, and it's this data collection effort which is central to the long-term viability of the project. From the FAQ:

Q: What data does GeForce Experience send to NVIDIA?
A: GeForce Experience does not collect any personally identifiable information. The application collects data needed to recommend the correct driver update and optimal settings including hardware configuration, operating system, language, installed games, game settings, game usage, game performance, and current driver version. You can disable data collection in GeForce Experience in the preferences tab, but without information about your PC, GeForce Experience will not be able to optimize your games.

Q: Does NVIDIA share data collected by GeForce Experience outside the company?
A: NVIDIA may share aggregate-level data with select partners, but does not share user level data. Again, GeForce Experience does not collect any personally identifiable information.

Q: What is UpdatusUser and why does GeForce Experience create this account?
Beginning with Release 270 drivers for desktops, when NVIDIA Update or GeForce Experience is installed, the software creates the UpdatusUser account. This account runs the NVIDIA Update service for updating drivers and application profiles through the NVIDIA server. The service cannot be run without this account.

For many reading this, the App will be made redundant by your own knowledge and willingness to adjust in-game settings. However for those seeking to get the most out of their card but slightly more limited in knowledge, or advising others on how to improve game performance rather than spending large sums on an upgrade, GeForce Experience would be invaluable. We'd imagine that those running NVIDIA cards of the GTX460 vintage or 550 and 650 performance levels will likely see the most value from this app, but it's possible that the net winners utilise a much wider range of cards.

To try the utility for yourself visit Geforce.com. There you can also check out the comprehensive FAQ and System Requirements.

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