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Physx Graphics


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#1 JPHarvey

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 09:36 PM

Howdy again!

Hey I was looking in APC Magazine (Australia) and saw a write up on the new AGEIA Physx cards coming into the market (by either ASUS or BFG). The idea sounds alright, but are there any games that are compatible with it yet? Has anyone actually got one??? :thumbsup:
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#2 Mr Alpha

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Posted 20 June 2006 - 05:07 AM

As far as I know there is on the market now two games with some sort of support for the PhysX cards: Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter and City of Villains. There are a whole slew more coming out.

GRAW they've been patching again and again trying to get the PhysX thing to work properly. It seems they have some early adopter problems. I think the problem is the PCI bus. When you blow something up with a grenade the game momentarily slows down. A guess at what is happening: When things blow to pieces the CPU spawns all the junk that will be flying around, then transmits it to the PPU for processing. The PCI bus doesn't have all that much bandwidth so the game must pause to wait for things to get transferred to the PPU.

The CellFactor demo, where a PhysX card is required, avoids this problem by precaching all the objets to the PPU while loading the level.
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#3 J_pyro_C

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Posted 20 June 2006 - 08:31 AM

thats very interesting ive never heard of those type of cards before but sounds interesting


#4 JPHarvey

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Posted 20 June 2006 - 04:41 PM

Yeah, it seems a little weird that that would put it on a standard PCI bus, especially when PCI Express is so common now. Additionally, you would think that they may have even gone down the PCI-X16 path (like the SLI) where you have your GPU in one and the PPU in the other....
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#5 legoman786

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Posted 20 June 2006 - 08:31 PM

I have seen some real physics videos by users like us, execpt with a bank in their backyard. To tell you the truth, I like it, but not enough to drop ~$300 for one. Both ATi and nVidia are working on PPU on GPU solutions. Once that happens, Ageia will be stuck in the crapper. Why, you ask? Because ATi has shown proven working prototypes on the X1600 series cards. But, that's the thing, it only works on the X1600 GPU. I have no clue as to what nVidia is up to, but it sould be interesting. I do agree that the PCI bus is far too slow for the Physx card to function properly, but we'd have to wait awhile for PCI-e x1 and x4 versions.

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#6 Mr Alpha

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 05:05 AM

Yes, they should drop it to a $150-200 price range. That would really help with adoption rates.

I'm not at all sold on the PPU on GPU idea. Due to the difference between physics calculations and graphics calculations a GPU is particular ill suited to do physics calculations. Sure if you happen to have a x1600 lying around you can plug it in and have it back up your CPU in doing physics calculations, but I don't think it will have a big enough difference to matter on the long run. I doubt it will be able to compete with dual and quad core processors.

Unless of course ATI and nVidia decide to start taking physics into consideration when designing future GPU/PPUs, but then they will loose the whole specialized processor thing and end up being a back-up CPU boged down by the PCIe lane. It's a Jack-of-all-trades kind of situation.
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