NVIDIA Releases 378.49 WHQL Driver Updateby Daniel Williams on January 25, 2017 1:30 AM EST
A little over half a month in, and we have our first driver release from NVIDIA for the new year. Both camps were so rapid fire with driver releases last year that I was beginning to wonder what happened. I guess between game releases slowing down and the holidays those driver developers didn’t want code us new updates for their own entertainment. Teasing aside, the update today isn’t joking material. The latest update not only gives us our bug fixes and game support, but possibly enough SLI profiles to make multi-GPU gamers happy.
We are getting a new branch today with driver release 378. For our fixed issues, this time around we have random flashes from Just Cause 3 and flickering faces in Assassin’s Creed – Syndicate. There is also some SLI induced flickering in both Battlefield 1 and Hitman that has been fixed. Battlefield 1 has also received a fix for rain puddles that were appearing dark. Lastly, NVIDIA has issued a fix for work unit errors in Folding @ Home; fingers crossed this does away with Folding @ home issues, people have clamoring for this one for months.
For extra features, 378.49 adds support for the recently launched GeForce GTX 1050 and 1050Ti notebook cards. Game ready support is also bundled in for Resident Evil 7 Biohazard, the Conan Exile Early Access, and the For Honor closed beta. Not to make light use of their one month break since the last driver release NVIDIA has also added or updated the SLI profiles for the following games:
- Battlefield 1
- Deus Ex: Breach Standalone - added DirectX 11 profile
- Diablo III - added DirectX 11 profile
- Dreadnought (2016) - added DirectX 11 profile
- LEGO: Minifigures Online - added SLI-Single profile
- Sid Meier's Civilization VI
- Shooter Game (HDR) - added DirectX 11 profile
- Sniper Elite 4 - added DirectX 11 profile
- Space Hulk: DeathWing - added SLI-Single profile
- Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Wildlands
- Watch Dogs 2
This is a notably bigger list of SLI profiles than we typically see. I couldn’t say whether this is a re-ignited initiative, or just a consequence of the new driver branch. Regardless this gives SLI users more to be excited for.
Anyone interested can download the updated drivers through GeForce Experience or on the NVIDIA driver download page. More information on this update and further issues can be found in the 378.49 release notes
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Michael Bay - Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - linkSo, some bugfixes and irrelevant as ever sli. Why the new branch?
damianrobertjones - Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - linkWhy is sli irrelevant? Is it because you don't have two cards yourself?
dstarr3 - Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - linkBecause it's always just been a marketing ploy to sell double the GPUs? SLI doesn't make any sense unless you're buying two of the most powerful card on the market, or you're buying an old, used card to give a boost to your current old card. If there's any single card that can get you the performance you want, that will always be the less expensive and more stable choice versus buying two lower-powered cards.
crimsonson - Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - linkYou just stated 2 reasons to do SLI.
I don't think we are in agreement what "irrelevant" means here.
dstarr3 - Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - linkI just stated the ONLY two reasons to use SLI. And I'm going to hazard a guess that most of the people reading this don't have two 1080s in their rig right now. So one of those cases don't cover a lot of people at all.
BurntMyBacon - Thursday, January 26, 2017 - link@dstarr3: "I just stated the ONLY two reasons to use SLI. And I'm going to hazard a guess that most of the people reading this don't have two 1080s in their rig right now. So one of those cases don't cover a lot of people at all."
While I generally agree with your sentiment, I seriously doubt most people who have been rocking two GTX980Ti's since before Pascal launched are going to immediately drop them and get some GTX1080s. I suspect there are people with two GTX780Ti's that are still waiting for the next generation before upgrading to another top end SLI rig. Also, two GTX1070s (or previous generation equivalents) will still get you greater performance than the fastest single card available (at the time). It would seem that your narrow group of owners of two 1080s should at least be expanded to include the following models: 1070, 980ti, 980, 970, 780ti, 780 as multi card setups using these models were all generally faster than any single card available for their generation.
I personally recommend single card setups and shy away from multi card setups even when it affords me more absolute FPS / lower average frame time than any single card available. However, there are people who want it and are willing to pay for it. There are also plenty of people who don't know anything about SLI other than it "Doubles" performance. I've seen people buy a midrange card and come back for the second only 6 weeks later. While they may be uninformed, they still payed for the product and associated services. SLI profiles to make use of their cards in a manufacturer supported setup are still expected here.
close - Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - linkIt means even the GPU manufacturers stopped concentrating that much on SLI/CF. It's a cumbersome solution both hardware and software wise, it's a lot more expensive then the single card option unless you're going for the highest end boards, it consumes more power, produces more heat and noise, it brings diminishing returns for every card you add and even the first 2 don't scale that well.
It's mostly a gimmick for people who can spend the extra buck, for enthusiasts who look for an exotic setup and for benchmarkers.
HomeworldFound - Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - linkPeople will SLI lower end cards because of the size of them or the amount of heat two top end cards creates.
BrokenCrayons - Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - linkThere's a couple more considerations about SLI beyond what dstarr3 mentioned. DirectX 12 is likely to play a pretty big role by putting the onus on game developers to build support for SLI rather than the GPU manufacturer. Game devs have their purse strings held tight by cost sensitive publishers and there just aren't enough SLI-equipped PCs out there to justify investing any money on ensuring such configurations are supported.
Another factor (somewhat supporting what dstarr3 said and also supporting the idea of DX12 throwing a wrench in the gears of SLI) is NV's dropping of SLI connectors on lower end cards and dumping support for > 2-way SLI. In a roundabout way, NV is acknowledging and helping to nail the SLI coffin shut through their own doing.
You've got a perfect storm of an API that puts development and support costs on the most cost sensitive link in the chain, eroding manufacturer support, poor performance boosts relative to the cost/power demand, on-going need for driver updates explictly for a marginal market segment, and a recent, large jump in single card performance due to a die shrink. Things don't look that rosy for the future of SLI or its continued relevance.
Perhaps VR can take advantage of AFR for a time to drive SLI along another generation or two, but as single GPUs deliver more performance more reliably and more cost effectively, that too won't matter. Furthermore, VR itself has barely a toehold in the industry as a halo usage scenario without proven growth to make it an appealing profit generator and that alone will discourage investments in application and hardware development no matter how "cool" it looks.
BurntMyBacon - Thursday, January 26, 2017 - link@Michael Bay: "So, some bugfixes and irrelevant as ever sli. Why the new branch?"
FOLDING@HOME ... Seriously ... It's the only thing that got updated that you didn't list, so what else could it be.