NVIDIA gives AMD a little spank
Another big feature to make the release is a PhysX configuration page in the NVIDIA control panel. The provided options allow PhysX acceleration to be enabled or disabled, and offloaded to a dedicated GPU. The idea is to allow users to add a reasonably-cheap GPU, say a GeForce 9600 GT, to an existing setup and use it solely for PhysX calculations. The performance boost, says NVIDIA, could be as much as 42 per cent.
The three upgrades are all useful, if perhaps not quite to Big Bang standards. NVIDIA, though, has managed to slip something else into the GeForce 180 drivers - support for Intel's upcoming X58 chipset, which will be taking advantage of Core i7 processors sometime next month.
NVIDIA assures us that SLI will be readily available on X58 offerings from all the big-name motherboard manufacturers except one; Intel. Native SLI configurations of two-slot x16 x16, three-slot x16, x8, x8 and four-slot x8, x8, x8, x8 will all be available at launch.
In addition, motherboards using NVIDIA's nForce 200 SLI bridging chip will raise the bar further with support for three-slot x16, x16, x16 and four slot x16, x16, x16, x16 - at a premium price, mind you.
The result, says NVIDIA, is AMD-spanking performance when it comes to multi-GPU scaling:
NVIDIA is unsurprisingly adamant that GeForce and SLI is the way to go with your Core i7-based system, but we'll have some definitive answers in the near future.
Official GeForce 180 driver download page: NVIDIA.com