We gave you the skinny on Nvidia's ForceWare 180 (a.k.a. Big Bang II) driver release last month. This morning, the drivers finally became available on Nvidia's website. You can grab the WHQL-certified ForceWare 180.48 release for Windows Vista x86, Windows Vista x64, Windows XP x86, and Windows XP x64.
As we wrote in October, these new drivers bring four major enhancements: across-the-board performance increases, multi-display support for SLI multi-GPU configurations, the option to dedicate a graphics card to PhysX computations, and SLI support for some Core i7 motherboards with Intel X58 chipsets.
Here's what you can expect on the performance side of things, according to Nvidia:
Up to 10% performance increase in 3DMark Vantage (performance preset) Up to 13% performance increase in Assassin's Creed Up to 13% performance increase in BioShock Up to 15% performance increase in Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts Up to 10% performance increase in Crysis Warhead Up to 25% performance increase in Devil May Cry 4 Up to 38% performance increase in Far Cry 2 Up to 18% performance increase in Race Driver: GRID Up to 80% performance increase in Lost Planet: Colonies Up to 18% performance increase in World of Conflict
There are some caveats, however. For one, the 180.48 release only supports GeForce 200-series, GeForce 9, and GeForce 8800-series graphics cards. Also, SLI multi-display support apparently doesn't work in Windows XP for now. Finally, Nvidia says X58 mobos will only work in SLI mode with GeForce 9800 GTX, 9800 GTX+, 9800 GX2, and 200-series GPUs.