It’s soon time to upgrade the drivers again! The ForceWare 180 – AKA ‘Big Bang II’ details are coming out now – here is what we’ve got.
The Big Bang II will bring four major changes: performance increases in games, support for multiple displays in SLI multi-GPU mode, ability to dedicate a GPU to PhysX computations, and SLI support for upcoming X58 Intel based boards.
The biggest change is, however, on the multi-monitor side of things – with the added feature of dual-head SLI support. Users no long have to manually disable SLI to stretch their desktop across two or more monitors. Nvidia will be offering three distinct modes:
« In full-screen 3D mode, only the “SLI focus display” will render the game and the secondary will go dark. »
« In windowed mode, you will be able to play a game in a window on both monitors up and running, although Nvidia cautions reduced acceleration in this mode. »
« In the third mode Nvidia will support full-screen SLI gaming across two monitors – in a handful of titles to start with. World in Conflict, Supreme Commander Forged Alliance, and Flight Simulator X. »
Nvidia claims that users will not be able to span most other games across two displays, but they think that is not a big downside at the moment. Not many gamers like having an inch or two of plastic bezel in the middle of their view.
Also, Nvidia mentioned that the ForceWare 180 drivers can also handle up to six monitors on an SLI system – but you will of course, need a third GPU that is not hooked up via SLI to drive more than two displays. As for PhysX, current drivers already support the same feature offered by Big Bang II but utilizing a single GPU for both physics and graphics calculation (Nvidia can also spread calculations across an SLI setup FYI) – but with the new drivers, users can dedicate a graphics card to PhysX processing entirely. You will not require to purchase a second ‘high-end’ card either, a low-end $85 9600GT will apparently prove enough for this scenario.
Nvidia has released a beta version of the 180 series drivers – however, Nvidia cautions that people using these beta drivers do not have access to all the functions and new features as they are not enabled. These beta drivers apparently offer a great deal of performance increase for Far Cry 2.
For the record, AMD/ATI has had a great implementation of multi-monitor support for CrossFire for a while now – Nvidia appears to be coming out of the woodwork and promising the same features. Subsequent releases of the ForceWare 180 series should prove to be interesting.
I agree torri
but own an 8600 GT
that would be pretty cool if you could cross chip makers... but i doubt it... b/c nvidia sucks on the software side of things...would be really nice ATM though... because 4000 series owns in performance... but doesn't have the physx support that make some games interesting...
One 4870 from ATI trumps most SLI setups, and the 260/280 setups that it doesn't aren't worth putting in SLI. Either before or soon after Xmas something else will be out that will stomp on the SLI of today.
SLI was a marketing scam from the start and offers little advantage, unless of course you consider a high energy bill from having to cool your computer room even in the winter a benefit. Or if you actually enjoying having to purchase a costly monitor so you don't look like a fool with two cards in your rig.
I want to know one thing: with this new driver update, can I use an intel based mobo (P5E) with two Nvidia graphics cards? NOT SLI, but one as a physx card.
Also I use two 24" samsungs, so SLI is the best choice for me If I already did not have a GTX280, but as you can read above the 4870x2 I had and an SLI setup right now will not support two monitors...
What I am saying is that SLI is for high high resolutions and works SA CLAIMED...dont badmouth it becuase you had a bad experience.
I also had bad experiences with SLI, but I had good ones too. I had terrible experience with my 4870x2 and the support ati did/did not give me but I have yet to comment on it (I just did...sorry).