This is hotfix driver version 551.46, an update based on the newest Game Ready Driver (v551.23) that should be applied by anyone who’s being plagued by the mentioned issues, known as micro-stuttering.
Essentially, this is when the movement in games feels all choppy, and the hotfix cures what Nvidia says is ‘intermittent’ micro-stuttering when V-Sync is turned on (vertical sync, which synchronizes the game’s frame rate to your monitor’s refresh rate – this is to avoid tearing).
Another problem is that stutter can be experienced in web browsers, meaning jerky scrolling as you browse down a web page, though this is only happening on certain system configurations we’re told.
There are a couple of more niche cures with this new hotfix, as well, including smoothing over stability problems with Immortals of Aveum that occur during long gaming sessions.
Analysis: Quick fix
These are small but important fixes for Nvidia to make – which is always the case with hotfixes. Effectively, these are being rushed out of the door for more aggravating issues, and from the complaints we’ve seen online, these bouts of stuttering have been causing a lot of frustration (for some time). Particularly when interfering with web browsing and making that a choppy experience (which doubtless must feel like you’re using a potato PC from the 90s or something).
The caveat, as ever with Nvidia’s hotfixes, is that because they are deployed outside the usual driver release schedule, they are provided as beta software.
They are tested, but only run through a short QA process. In other words, there may be side effects and other issues caused by the hotfix, as well as the problems it remedies (hopefully – one of the things that can go wrong is that the fixes themselves fail, of course, but from the feedback we’ve seen, this patch seems to work just fine).
To be safe, you really want to wait for the next official driver from Nvidia which will have these fixes incorporated into it (in their fully tested form). However, if the issues cured by a hotfix are making you tear your hair out right now, and you can’t bear it any longer, you may well decide that installing this update is the lesser of two potential evils.