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Nvidia's new 3D drivers steal ATI's thunder

Nvidia's new 3D drivers steal ATI's thunder

Not that a driver release is ever as exciting as the rollout of an entire new product line, but Nvidia followed up ATI's announcement of its Radeon X1000-series 3D cards with some news of its own.

Nvidia's new release 80 driver (technically ForceWare version 81.84, available here) eliminates one of the major irritations of Nvidia's SLI technology: the fact that you previously couldn't pair together two cards from different vendors. You still need to match up the same GeForce chips, but now you can combine the OEM GeForce card that came with your PC with a store-bought secondary card from any vendor you want.

The new software also lets you mix and match cards of different memory sizes, and it lends support for HD deinterlacing. Also, it supposedly increases performance with dual-core CPUs. Time and testing will show the truth of those claims, but compared to ATI's still retail-MIA CrossFire, SLI just got even better.