ForceWare 181.20 Does Not Support OpenGL 3.0

NVIDIA ForceWare Driver

I’ve just installed the latest WHQL ForceWare 181.20 to quickly test it and GPU Caps Viewer 1.7.0 (not yet available) reports me: OpenGL 2.1.2, 1.20 NVIDIA via Cg compiler and only 170 extensions… No OpenGL 3.0 support (at least not directly as described below in the update)! I thought that from ForceWare 181.00, NVIDIA would have left the possibility for an application to create an OpenGL 3.0 rendering context. But apparently it’s not the case: it seems that as for ForceWare 179.89, ForceWare 181.00 is a test-driver. Anyway, I did a quick OpenGL performance test (FurMark, FluidMark, Surface Deformer and Soft Shadows) and there is no noticeable performance gain between ForceWare 181.00 and 181.20 (181.20 adds few points in more to FurMark’s score). Cool but now I don’t have OpenGL 3.0 any more and I’m too lazy to switch back to 181.00…

Update (2009.01.10)
As mentioned in the comments, you can still enable OpenGL 3.0 support in ForceWare 181.20 using NVemulate. NVemulate will allow to see WGL_ARB_create_context extension to appear in the extensions list:


GPU Caps Viewer and ForceWare 181.20 + OpenGL 3.0

Arf, I think I’m going to add NVemulate in my softwares… Not cool!


  • Err, would you mind removing this misleading and faux news? Also, before reporting on such an important issue, you might want to research a bit better.

    You can download NVemulate which will allow you to enable OpenGL 3.0 and GLSL 1.30 fuctionality from the following address:

    NVemulate is the way to go for now, as the OpenGL 3.0 support is work-in-progress.

  • Yep you’re right, maybe a better title would have been “… not support GL 3.0 like Forceware 181.00”. With ForceWare 181.00 you don’t need to use nvemulate to enable OpenGL 3.0.