Did you hear that? Nvidia has just released its ForceWare 180.48 drivers, aka ‘Big Bang II’. The new ForceWare set is required to enable SLI on ‘some’ new and upcoming Intel X58 Express based boards.
We covered a bit regarding the ‘Big Bang II’ release, and beta release a while back, and they have just become available on the Nvidia website this morning. The WHQL-certified driver packages are available for Windows Vista(x86) (opens in new tab), Windows Vista(x64) (opens in new tab), Windows XP(x86) (opens in new tab), and Windows XP(x64) (opens in new tab).
As covered in previous articles here on Tom’s Hardware, the new 180.48 ForceWare release comes with several new features, including but not limited to, multiple game performance increases, multi-display support for SLI configurations, options to dedicate an entire GPU to PhysX processing, and of course SLI for some Intel X58 Express boards.
Here is a short list of some games and rough performance increases:
|Increase||Game / Application|
|Up to 10%||3DMark Vantage (performance preset)|
|Up to 13%||Assassin’s Creed|
|Up to 13%||BioShock|
|Up to 15%||Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts|
|Up to 10%||Crysis Warhead|
|Up to 25%||Devil May Cry 4|
|Up to 38%||Far Cry 2|
|Up to 18%||Race Driver: GRID|
|Up to 80%||Lost Planet: Colonies|
|Up to 18%||World of Conflict|
One thing that users should be aware of is that ForceWare 180.48 only supports GeForce 200-series, GeForce 9-series, and GeForce 8800-series cards. The multi-display SLI feature apparently does not work on the Windows XP platform for now – we’ve confirmed this with both Windows XP (x86) and (x64).Lastly, SLI on supported Intel X58 based boards currently only works with GeForce 9800 GTX, GTX+, GX2, and 200-series GPUs. This could potentially change with future revisions of the 18x.xx ForceWare releases.