Nvidia starts offering mobile GPU drivers directly

Getting driver updates for desktop graphics cards is usually pretty easy: head to the GPU maker's website, grab the latest driver release, and you're set. That procedure often doesn't work with mobile GPUs, since users have to rely on laptop makers to provide driver updates—something that doesn't always happen in a timely manner.

Nvidia has attempted to change the formula by releasing a set of beta ForceWare drivers for GeForce 8M, 9M, and Quadro NVS mobile graphics processors. The release is available right now for Windows Vista x86, Windows Vista x64, Windows XP x86, and Windows XP x64, but Nvidia warns that the drivers won't work with Dell Vostro, Lenovo ThinkPad, and Sony VAIO notebooks, along with laptops that use Hybrid SLI technology. A set of completed, non-beta drivers will be out in early 2009.

Numbered ForceWare 179.28, this driver release offers support for Nvidia's CUDA technology and PhysX hardware acceleration. Notebook users should now be able to run tools like Elemental's Badaboom to transcode videos using the GPU, and they'll also be able to play Mirror's Edge with PhysX effects turned on early next year (assuming they're using reasonably powerful mobile GPUs, that is).

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