Rumour has it that NVIDIA's upcoming GeForce 180 driver release in September will be the company's Big Bang II. The first Big Bang was the launch of SLI and according to a new report Big Bang II will bring the ability to use your GeForce card as a dedicated PhysX processor. I don't think many people will buy an extra card just for PhysX but this is a really great feature to put your old GeForce 8 and 9 series graphics cards back to work - this feature will also work on motherboards without SLI by the way.
The driver will also bring better multi-monitor support for SLI configs, DisplayPort support, performance optimizations and OpenGL 3.0 support. According to the source the GeForce GTX 200 series will get lots of performance optimizations and the 9800 series will get a much needed boost as well.
What's in store for this next driver release? GPU Cafe claims the biggest novelty will be the ability to use graphics cards as dedicated PhysX physics processors. For instance, you might be able to slip a GeForce 9500 GT and a GeForce 9800 GTX into a system and use the former for physics computations only. That sounds a lot like what ATI was doing with Havok FX physics two years ago.
The ForceWare 180 release will reportedly include other goodies like performance optimizations, OpenGL 3.0 support, better multi-monitor support for SLI configs, "GPU transcoding," and DisplayPort compatibility. Those last two items have us scratching our heads a little, since existing drivers should already support CUDA video transcoding apps, and we tested a GeForce 9600 GT with a DisplayPort connector way back in February.
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Re: NVIDIA ForceWare 180 said to bring major changes by Anonymous on Saturday, August 02 2008 @ 01:05:12 CEST
SLI and multimonitor support has been ages in coming and is "about time". Crossfire has had such support for over a year.
Displayport support is behind schedule (promised with the 200 chip series), but unlocking the 10 bit color power of Displayport is very good news. 24" and 30" monitors at unprecedented color depths is a very welcome thing.
OpenGL 3.0 is a welcome upgrade, nice to see.
Physics and the ability to run physics on an old 8800 (assuming you upgraded to a 200 series) is welcome as well. Imagine dual 280's and then an older 8800 or 9800 GTX running the physics? Nice!