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Geforce 185.65 Beta: Ambient Occlusion in comparison

The Geforce 185.65 Beta introduces a new feature: Ambient Occlusion, abbreviated AO. PC Games Hardware shows how Ambient Occlusion affects looks and performance.
Geforce 185.65: Ambient Occlusion (6)
Geforce 185.65: Ambient Occlusion (6) [Source: view picture gallery]
Since yesterday the Geforce 185.65 Beta has been available for download. The graphics card driver considerably accelerates several games (among others Far Cry 2, Crysis, Fallout 3 and Race Driver: Grid) as the test of the Geforce 185.63 Beta shows the performance of which is identical to the Geforce 185.65 Beta.

Additionally to the performance plus the Geforce 185.65 Beta provides Ambient Occlusion. Ambient Occlusion is a very complex lighting technology which calculates light refractions or occlusions at objects and creates shadows at the affected spots additionally to the actual lighting renderer. The so-called Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO), a variation of AO, is used in current games such as Tom Clany's H.A.W.X., Burnout Paradise, Crysis, Empire Total War or Stalker Clear Sky - all these titles draw attention due to their low frame rates.

In order to use Ambient Occlusion in the Geforce 185.65 Beta you have to install the Vista or Windows 7 version of the graphics card driver. Afterwards you select on or off in the driver panel - the latter is the default setting. Below you see three on-click-comparisons, in the picture gallery you will find 720p screenshots with frame rates done with a GTX 285 - you will immediately see the drastic FPS drop due to Ambient Occlusion.

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Picture gallery  (enlarge to view source)

Author: Marc Sauter (Apr 03, 2009)

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