Nvidia makes a variety of popular video cards, tablets, streaming boxes, and cloud computing services. Windows usually handles video cards by installing drivers in the background that are managed by Microsoft. But Nvidia produces its own packages every few weeks, which include drivers and a management platform it calls GeForce Experience. GeForce Experience checks for updates to your Nvidia video card drivers, helps optimize game performance, and collects all your games under one roof.
Automatic driver update checks: Nvidia produces a new set of drivers every few weeks, but you don't have to look for them -- the software automatically checks for updates. Automatic checks are good for security, since out-of-date software is a major access point for malware, and updates also get you new drivers that add support for new games.
Respectable video recording and broadcasting features: Though not as extensive as professional-grade video recording and broadcasting, ShadowPlay is impressive for a free product. You can leave it on all the time, or tell it to save up to the last 20 minutes of activity, and you can set a variety of quality levels.
Collects all your PC games into one library: While Steam is the most popular PC gaming platform out there, competitors like GOG and Origin aren't going away any time soon. With GeForce Experience, you can see your whole installed game collection without having to navigate between multiple apps. You can manually add file folders if GeForce Experience doesn't detect all your games on its own.
Requires registration: Since October 2016, you have to create an Nvidia account with a username and password and log in when you open GeForce Experience. You can't get driver updates, one-click performance optimization, or the unified game library until you do. You can still access the Nvidia control panel through the right-click menu on your desktop, but you'll have to manually check for driver updates by comparing your version to the most recent one on the GeForce website (or here on Download.com by searching for "Nvidia graphics driver"), which is disruptive even for technical users. If you don't want Nvidia to collect your user data (such as your email address, which games you've installed, and which internal components are in your PC), then you'll have to forgo GeForce Experience. Some of GeForce Experience's data collection is used to enable its one-click optimization settings; after all, it can't optimize for your components if it doesn't know what they are. Still, we'd prefer to be able to disable data collection.
Drivers sometimes don't update cleanly: By the law of averages, the more you update your drivers, the more likely it is that you'll run into a conflict. And the Nvidia driver package contains multiple selectable components, greatly increasing the number of potential outcomes that you might have to troubleshoot. Solving software conflicts frequently requires the use of an unofficial tool like Display Driver Uninstaller to reset your video card driver environment, which can be a hassle.
If you're willing to deal with a login procedure, then GeForce Experience provides Nvidia customers a helpful set of tools to get the most out of their PC games and video cards.