Nvidia 'Big bang II' drivers appear in screenshots

— 9:51 AM on October 16, 2008

As we noted in August, word out on Asian rumor sites is that Nvidia's ForceWare 180 drivers will introduce several major changes—in fact, Nvidia supposedly code-names the release "Big Bang II" in reference to the "Big Bang" release that introduced SLI support. The drivers didn't come out in September as the rumors said, but now, VR-Zone has posted a gallery of screenshots showing the ForceWare 180 driver control panel in action.

Screenshots are easy to fake, of course, but these at least appear authentic. On a system with dual GeForce GTX 280 graphics cards and a pair of 22" monitors, the drivers apparently provide two novel options: a PhysX configuration page and settings for multiple displays in SLI mode. Right now, PhysX options reside in a separate control panel (inherited from the Ageia days), and enabling SLI involves manually switching to single-display mode—in other words, there's no true SLI multi-monitor support.

In the multi-monitor section of the ForceWare 180 panel, VR-Zone shows what look like options for both "dual view" and cloning modes. However, Nvidia may not have completely nailed SLI multi-monitor support in this driver release. The control panel warns, "Cloning the SLI focus display will reduce performance for fullscreen applications." VR-Zone also claims you can't set the secondary monitor to be the "SLI main focus screen," 1680x1050 doesn't work in 3D mode, and you can't stretch 3D rendering across two displays.

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