The driver fiddlers at Nvidia seem to have now decided to let gamers use an ATI GPU for 3D rendering and a second Nvidia GPU for PhysX processing.
Nvidia had originally prevented PhysX from working if the drivers detected an ATI GPU, but determined tweakers managed to find a workaround (opens in new tab) for the block. However, it now looks as though Nvidia's latest 256-series (opens in new tab) BETA drivers have removed the barrier altogether.
A user called GenL at NGOHQ (opens in new tab), who also created the original hybrid PhysX mod, says that Nvidia's 257.15 BETA driver enables PhysX on a GeForce card, regardless of whether an ATI GPU is taking of the graphics side of things or not.
"I'm seriously amazed," says GenL, adding that he's tested the driver on Windows XP and the 64-bit version of Windows 7 already. He also points out that the controversial "timebomb" issue has also disappeared.
The "timebomb" issue referred to a problem experienced when using the previous version of the NGOHQ PhysX mod with Nvidia's 196.75 and 197-series drivers. It slowed down PhysX processing drastically, as well as introducing a reverse gravity effect in some physics simulations.
Nvidia hasn't mentioned the removal of the block as a feature of the driver, although it does say that the 257.15 BETA driver upgrades the PhysX system software to version 9.10.0222, and it also introduces a new PhysX control panel.
We've asked Nvidia whether it intended to remove the block from the new drivers, and whether it will also be removed from the WHQL versions, and we'll update you if and when we get any more information.
GenL certainly hopes that the decision to remove the block will be permanent. "It would be at least one respectable deed by Nvidia," he says, adding that "my mod would be obsolete, which is great for everyone."