Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Beast and SLI with LV2Go's 185.66 driver

One thing has always bothered me about 'The Beast' since I first received it... When running in SLI mode, the GPU clocks stayed locked at 500Mhz/799Mhz. They would NEVER downclock based on load. I tried so many different drivers. Starting way back with the NVIDIA 175.19 driver, every driver released failed to activate NVIDIA's PowerMizer technology. I eventually gave up and since I am not a heavy gamer, I was resigned to keeping SLI disabled. With SLI disabled, PowerMizer worked. It was nice to see the GPU downclock based on load and the lower temps as a result.

Well, after almost a year and half, I am pleased to say I finally came across a driver where PowerMizer functioned correctly with SLI enabled. This was a surprise to say the least. Amazing to think I could actually keep my laptop in SLI mode and still reap the rewarding lower thermals.

The driver I am talking about is the 185.66 release which posted on April 3rd. This driver is the cream of the crop. Thanks to Pieter and his v3.291 modded .inf - it installs correctly and is nothing but a dream come true.

So here it is - performance:

Temps are amazing. Even with SLI enabled, HWMonitor is reporting a low of 44c and a current of 45c with a max of 60c for the GPUs. CPU temps are a low of 26c, current of 29c and a max of 45c.

GPU-Z is reporting current GPU clocks @ 200Mhz on the core and 100Mhz on the memory. Prior to this driver they were always locked at 500Mhz Core / 799Mhz Memory while in SLI.

Image Quality is EXCELLENT. I have done a few test runs in Left 4 Dead and TF2. No problems found.

With that being said, I have to give this driver thumbs up! Pieter over @ laptopvideo2go is a genius. Granted, this might be a fix NVIDIA finally rolled out - or its in the way Pieter set up the .inf file. I don't know - and quite frankly I don't care. All I know is this driver is the one you should be using if you own 'The Beast' and are running 8800M GTX SLI.

You can grab the necessary files from LV2go (Be sure to download the driver AND the modded .inf file)...

Vista 32

Vista 64

To install, use the following process:

1. Extract driver to the desktop
2. Copy the modded .inf file to the extracted driver folder on desktop. You will be prompted to overwrite – select yes.
3. Uninstall current driver via control panel.
4. Reboot into safe mode
5. Run DriverSweeper and CCleaner (Registry Cleaner), reboot
6. Run 185.66 setup file

Enjoy everyone!

Additional Notes:
Ambient Occlusion is enabled with this driver - for more info on Ambient Occlusion, see this LINK

Apparently this driver has major issues with Counterstrike: Source. So those of you who are CSS fans - you will not be happy with this. From what I've read, you get a complete black screen and thats it... ouch. Wait until the WHQL is released.