If you are like me and have a “Living Room PC” dedicated to gaming, running SteamOS, then this is probably not news for you - your machine was already updated by the time you read this. I was expecting the next stable release to be called 2.80 after the previous 2.70 stable version (and the 2.80 and 2.83 beta available), yet somehow Valve guys decided to jump to 2.87 directly.
This time we finally get UPDATED nVidia drivers! 367.27 to be precise, which is a much more recent one than the older 355.x we were stuck with since… forever. I am not sure if there is an performance impact (or improvement) from such changes, but at least this should remove some annoying bugs that were present in older drivers (Dying Light, anyone?). The new driver adds specific support for 1070 and 1080 series of nVidia cards. A bit late but better later than never I guess… This also makes Vulkan possible in games now, while I have yet to be able to run The Talos Principle this way (still crashes when I select Vulkan in the options).
There’s good news too if you want to make a Living Room PC based on AMD: there is now a new AMD driver if you use “Bonaire” GPU. For older GPU there is no support as of now and your AMD card will be ignored if that’s the case.
A bunch of libraries have also been updated (and programs like Iceweasel, Evince and VLC), and you can count on a number of SteamOS compositor bug fixes too. The whole list of changes can be found in the release notes.
I have spent a couple of hours on this new release since yesterday and apart from one annoying crash it seemed to perform as expected. Now let’s see how SteamOS performs in the near future when more games begin to support Vulkan.