Nvidia released their 320.18 WHQL drivers sometime ago, but from next day onwards many users have started reporting that the display driver is the cause of their GPU having stuttering and artifact issue, worse even their GPU being killed. There was also a report of a user whose system with GTX 480 is having series of intermittent system shut down after installing 320.18 display drivers.
Many users have also noted artifact issue with 320.18 WHQL drivers during gameplay, as such was the case with the system with GTX 660 and playing with BF3.
Report starting pouring in for GTX 570, even causing BSOD. By 26.05.2013, it is confirmed that the drivers are damaging Nvidia GPUs, causing artifacts in games like Bioshock Infinite, Metro: Last Light, BF3 and Assassin’s Creed. One member also posted that 320.18 drivers gave him multiple artifacts and stuttering with GTX 670 during Battlefield 3 gameplay, but had no issue whatsoever when he reverted to 306.97 WHQL driver.
Its not yet confirmed from Nvidia end if that’s the case and judging by people’s post it seems to be a random ‘phenomenon’, at least judging by end user’s update. But in any case, seeing an eventual increase of circumstantial failures but after the driver update is a cause of some concern.
Meanwhile, Nvidia did not make any comment on the forum or officially, yet. Suffice to say that its safe for people should stick to using older drivers for now. For those who are using 320.18 and wish to downgrade the drives, its best if you driver sweeper rather than uninstalling and re-installing the older drive.
To be updated regarding the issue, Keep an eye on the GeForce driver forums.