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Not so long ago an ingenius fellow going by the name of GenL over at the NGOHQ forums came up with a working Hybrid PhysX mod for NVIDIA's GeForce drivers that gives the ability to enable hardware level PhysX support for NVIDIA GPUs even if one's primary display device is not NVIDIA made.
Several fine tuned versions of this mod have since come out to make the mod easier to implement and with better support. The latest has just been released dubbed NVIDIA GeForce driver 19x.xx Hybrid PhysX mod [x86/x64] v1.03 and here's a list of improvements :-
- added support for fixing a timebomb, introduced in 196.75 and 197.xx drivers (gravity reverse + overall slowdown after a few seconds of PhysX processing)
- mod will now attempt to patch PhysX System Software files (helps to eliminate desktop extension requirement on Windows 7)
- mod will now disable "nvsvc" service autostart (helps to fix problems with fake displays)
- improved patching process (no more need to reboot in Safe Mode or terminate any process)
- improved patching logic (mod will no more try to patch non-existent files)
- improved accuracy of some patterns to avoid unnecessary patching
You can download the mod and supporting GeForce drivers for it from this page. You'll also find in-depth details on how to install it and a decent sized FAQ posted there.
About a week ago we were informed that AMD had made available a preview driver of its next Catalyst release in the 10.4s. This was designed to work only with HD 5000 series cards and was of particular benefit to the mass of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 fans out there with optimized loading times between maps.
Now AMD has gotten back to us with a message letting us know a Catalyst 10.4a driver is now available for download and this one lets owners of earlier HD 4000, 3000 and even 2000 series cards get the same performance improvements under BF: Bad Company 2.
You can find the driver for your HD 4/3/2000 series card here.
If you're one of the lucky folks with a Fermi based card (or more if you went all out on the SLI front) in your hand, you might be interested to know that NVIDIA has made available a new WHQL approved driver for the GTX 400 series.
The new ForceWare 197.55 driver only works with these two DirectX 11 based cards and gives one major update in the form of up to 4-way SLI support.
Sure, one high-end GTX 480 from NVIDIA crammed in your gaming rig is nice, but three of them is even better. The gang at Hardware.info have tested 3-way SLI with NVIDIA GTX 480 video cards.
In the end the publication found that three of the cards in one machine makes for the fastest gaming platform around today. The downside is that the cards need nearly 1000W of power, so you had better have a really big PSU.
The rig scored 22487 3Dmarks in the test system, which was a bit slower than HD 5970 CrossFireX in that benchmark. However, the NVIDIA rig made up that ground in gaming tests it seems.
MSI has made the first step in giving GTX 400 series owners more flexibility in obtaining higher than stock clock rates with its latest Afterburner software (1.6.1 Beta 4). The installation of this software together with a GTX 480 gives the ability to start tinkering with the voltages.
Shane has confirmed that the software is not restricted to MSI-only branded cards either; you can see in his latest article here that he used a GIGABYTE branded GTX 480 to test with and it worked a treat.
GTX 470 owners don't get the ability just yet, but don't worry guys, we've been informed there's another Afterburner update coming out within the next week or two that will make it possible to do the same on your card(s).
Obviously you'll want to keep things in check and make sure you don't go burning up your precious piece of hardware, but Shane has been told that with the stock cooler it's good enough to handle a voltage increase from .937 to 1.1v, but don't take that for gospel and keep your eyes fixated on temps before fiddling around.
The folks at Nordic Hardware share a report from reknowned overclockers Kinc and Elmor this week in which they had hold of 4k worth of ASUS' suped up ARES video cards that have been hyped up for a while now and for good reason. But we're still yet to be assured of any form of mass production worldwide (possibly never to be).
With such a nice array of cards to tinker with, the occassion called for some liquid nitrogen loving and already there's been two world records broken under 3DMark Vantage in the Entry and Performance presets.
More specifically, with two of their four cards on hand in CrossFireX they managed to push them up to 1150MHz on the GPUs and 1300MHz on the 4GB of GDDR5 memory which then gave them the ability to obtain the WR scores of E93549 and P51651. The rest of the system specs were as follows :-
Intel Core i7 980X @ 5,8-5,9GHz (LN2)
ASUS Rampage III Extreme
Corsair Dominator GTX2 Triple channel
2 x Corsair TX950 950W
This link gives the pretty picture in clear detail; a look at the Futuremark Hall of Fame.
Considering the ease of getting WRs so soon after having the cards in hand, it's likely this won't be the ceiling and we might be seeing some even higher scores by the end of the coming weekend.
With the launch of Adobe CS5 today comes another announcement of some import. The gang over at MAINGEAR has announced a system called the Quantum SHIFT. This is a dual CPU (Intel Xeon) system with an NVIDIA Quadro GPU inside. The system will be built specifically for the needs of photography and videography professionals.
The Dual Xeons will give more than enough CPU horsepower while you can chose either a Quadro FX or a GTX 480 to handle the new CUDA accelerated Mercury Engine found in Premier Pro. The shift also uses a vertical design to keep these GPUs cool. The new MAINGEAR SHIFT certainly looks like an excellent entry into the high-end professional market.
With the new top dogs released in their latest generation of cards, NVIDIA shifts its attention to the mid and lower market segments and we await DX11 models in these lower market segments. But the latest word from EXPreview gives sign that there will be at least one more member to enter the GTX 400 series line-up, too.
NVIDIA will apparently be branding this card the GeForce GTX 460; it will position this card to hit the market with similar pricing to ATI's HD 5850 in the sub-$300 segment.
This GF100 card will include 1GB of GDDR5 memory on a 256-bit interface, but clock rates and stream processor count is yet to leak out.
NVIDIA is said to be giving AIC's their own design rights on the GTX 460 model, meaning there should be a good mixup of GTX 460 based cards on the market quickly following launch as companies fight it out to get the most attention.
EXPreview state that this new SKU is scheduled for launch in early June.
I picked DirecTV over Dish mostly because they had more HD channels for me to surf looking for something to watch. I have some serious DVR envy right now though.
Dish Network has unveiled its latest DVR called the VIP 922 and the thing has integrated Slingbox tech. That means you will be able to shoot the content on the DVR to other screens in the home.
The DVR also has a 1TB HDD, which makes my junky 20GB HDD in my DirecTV DVR look pretty pathetic. The DVR will sell for $695 according to reports with a lease cost of $200.
AMD has just brought its Eyefinity multi-monitor technology together with DX11 support to the enterprise market segment with the introduction of its new ATI FirePro V8800 series graphics card for professional workstations.
This card is essentially a HD 5870 catered to a different crowd of users that call upon its capabilities for such things as digital content creation and CAD. It includes 2GB of GDDR5 memory that will be more appreciated in other areas than what it's able to do for gamers.
Businesses will also appreciate the card's ability to fully support the OpenGL 4.0 standard, not to mention the $300 lower price tag over its predecessor, the FirePro V8750 that was $1,800.
AMD's full press release on the FirePro V8800 can be found here.