Good news for gamers. nVIDIA has released the latest ForceWare drivers with PhysX as promised. ForceWare v177.83 will add PhysX support for all Geforce 8, 9 and 200 series GPUs. The official nVIDIA driver download site is not updated with v177.83 as of yet but there are 3rd party sites where you can download the official WHQL certified versions for both Windows XP and for Windows Vista (see end of article for download links).
I tried playing Unreal Tournament 3 with UT3 PhysX mod after updating the drivers to v177.83 on my Geforce 8600GT and the results were surprising. I did not expect the latest driver change to make any differences with my VGA since it was fairly old and is considered low end by extreme gaming standards. However there were noticeable changes in the way the game rendered explosions and character models even with my card. However there was also a slight performance decrease as well. I did not have time to experiment with the new drivers much but from what I have seen so far, the upgrade is well worth it.
What is PhysX?
Here is the developer description on PhysX:
NVIDIA PhysX is a powerful physics engine which enables real-time physics in leading edge PC and console games. PhysX software is widely adopted by over 150 games, is used by more than 10,000 registered users and is supported on Sony Playstation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and PC.
In addition, PhysX is designed specifically for hardware acceleration by powerful processors with hundreds of cores. Combined with the tremendous parallel processing capability of the GPU, PhysX will provide an exponential increase in physics processing power and will take gaming to a new level delivering rich, immersive physical gaming environments with features such as:
- Explosions that cause dust and collateral debris
- Characters with complex, jointed geometries for more life-like motion and interaction
- Spectacular new weapons with incredible effects
- Cloth that drapes and tears naturally
- Dense smoke & fog that billow around objects in motion
The only way to get real physics with the scale, sophistication, fidelity and level of interactivity that dramatically alters your entertainment experience will be with one of the millions of NVIDIA PhysX-ready GeForce processors.
You can also read the PhysX FAQ for more information.
v177.83 WHQL Drivers release notes
This driver supports NVIDIA® GeForce® 8-series, 9-series, and 200-series desktop GPUs, including the newly released GeForce 9800 GTX+, 9800 GT, and 9500 GT GPUs.
The driver adds support for NVIDIA® PhysX™ acceleration on all GeForce 8-series, 9-series and 200-series GPUs with a minimum of 256MB dedicated graphics memory.
NVIDIA PhysX System Software v8.08.01 is automatically installed with this driver package.
Before proceeding with your driver installation we suggest you make sure you are installing the latest version available and for the appropriate model/revision and Operating System. We strongly suggest following 'readme' instructions for installing drivers when available. Often restarting your system will be necessary for the new driver to become active and start functioning properly.
As said above, the official driver download section of the nVIDIA site still does not list this driver release. But the drivers can be downloaded from 'The Force Within' section of nVIDIA site.
Download from 'The Force Within'
- nVIDIA ForceWare WHQL Drivers v 177.83 [Click Here] (Select OS before download)
Download from Techspot
- nVIDIA ForceWare WHQL Drivers v 177.83 for Windows XP / Media Center Edition [Click Here]
- nVIDIA ForceWare WHQL Drivers v 177.83 for Windows Vista [Click Here]