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PhysX - How good is it?

The Dark HartThe Dark Hart Registered User
I've recently got UT3 and Crysis for my Birthday, amazing games. But I've found they sometimes slow down when everything goes boom, or if i collapse a building or something. I have a Geforce 8800 GTX and a 2.4 Ghz AMD dual core, and 2 gigs of RAM. I'm wondering if the solution to this is to buy a PhysX card, and with Christmas coming up I have an opportunity to get one.

I'm just wondering if anyone has one and how good they actually are. Any advice would be great. :)

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Posts

  • ROFISHROFISH AnehiixiiRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Actually, most reviews seem to be the opposite: When you put in one of those physics card it makes the game slower. :/

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  • tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    All I've heard is it makes it worse - as the only purpose of the PhysX card is to do super-special "PhysX" effects. So it wouldn't do anything on regular settings, and would add more to the game, slowing it down. Also, UT3 and Crysis are pretty taxing games, I would expect that if you're playing them at high settings with AA/AF and a high resolution things would slow down unless you have a quad-core and 2 8800GTX.

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  • RookRook Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    http://www.bit-tech.net/gaming/2007/11/23/unreal_tournament_3/4

    Ageia and Epic worked together to build the Ageia PhysX engine into the core of the UE3 engine and UT3 is the game which shows that most clearly by providing hardware acceleration for those with a PhysX card. Granted, that’s a minority of gamers, but UT3 is a massive game and if anything could change the minds of gamers at large then it’d be Unreal.

    The Ageia PhysX stuff isn’t immediately part of the game. You can enable the hardware acceleration in the menu and supposedly you’ll get some benefit in terms of performance but honestly we couldn’t tell the difference. In vanilla UT3 the game still has realistic ragdolls and debris.

    Bunging a BFGTech Ageia PhysX card in the system, we went to the Ageia site and downloaded the PhysX enabled maps which are supposedly unplayable without an Ageia PhysX card. There were only two available when we reviewed, but Ageia is supposedly working to add more later on.

    Reaction: Immediate disappointment. On the standard gaming rig we use – housing an Athlon 64 X2 4800+, a GeForce 8800 Ultra and 2GB of RAM whilst running Vista – the framerate fell through the floor. What had previously averaged at a smooth 30-35 FPS with everything on maximum now suffered 4-7FPS even with everything on minimum.



    Waste of time and money.

    Rook on
  • BasticleBasticle Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    do PhysX supported games still require you to install the damn drivers even if you dont have the card like Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter did?

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  • corcorigancorcorigan Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Well that's surprising, adding loads more stuff that needs to be drawn and processed slows everything down.

    Never would have expected that.

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  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Blegh BlughRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    corcorigan wrote: »
    Well that's surprising, adding loads more stuff that needs to be drawn and processed slows everything down.

    Never would have expected that.

    it's indeed surprising considering one installed a whole new and expensive physics card just for that extra stuff.

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  • DiannaoChongDiannaoChong Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Basticle wrote: »
    do PhysX supported games still require you to install the damn drivers even if you dont have the card like Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter did?

    Yes, Im getting sick of it.

    Anyone remember that demo when these cards first came out? If you enabled certain things in the console, the game ran a hell of alot more smoothly and you had better physics then before. Then they took the download down and threw a new demo up that ran twice as bad(and disabled said console commands) on everyones rigs to show how a physx card would help improve gaming (when the cards were 300$+)....

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  • Lucky CynicLucky Cynic Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    The PhysX cards make the systems run a noticeably 10% or so worse due to the GPU and CPU having to load the extra particles and such. Honestly, even though now these PPUs are about $120, they just are not worth it.

    Now if there were big name games that required it, it would be totally different. However, this isn't like Quake1 which did this with GPUs I believe. I mean before, nobody had dedicated graphics, but when a really crazy awesome game required it, and made great use of it, it seemed well worth it.

    The PhsyX cards are pretty weak though. They just bolster up Cell Factor which is a pretty lacking game. The voice acting in battle is just plain horrid and it's horribly unbalanced, not to mention isn't much of a complete game. You don't see it in stores anywhere or any reviews or even anyone talking about it because it just isn't that groundbreaking as the blurbs about it on Aegia's website make it out to be.

    Personally I think it is a cool idea and could be worth adding into games but it seems that Havok is doing just fine and doesn't require physics acceleration. Sure, Havok isn't that impressive, but it's not exactly retarded either.

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  • EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS
    edited November 2007
    What about GRAW 2... It looks bad ass, look at the palm trees... Also, the cards are only 99 bucks now.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2cs1o_qqAI&feature=related

    Anyone know what is going on with nvidia and ATI.. I heard they have been working on something since 05...

    EliteLamer on
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  • EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS
    edited November 2007
    Honestly, I think these physics cards are the next step in gaming and companies need to step up by making games to use the cards.

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  • supabeastsupabeast Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    EliteLamer wrote: »
    Honestly, I think these physics cards are the next step in gaming and companies need to step up by making games to use the cards.

    Not happening until physics acceleration is built into the graphics cards. I was reading a recent interview with Carmack where he talked about how he used to have quarterly meetings with AMD and intel just to keep things straight on the CPU side of the house, and the amount of time id and Epic spent working with 3DFX and Nvidia back in the day is the stuff of Legend. I don’t think most game developers want to go back to putting all that extra time and money into something people aren’t clamoring for. But if Nvidia or AMD/ATI can work this shit out and get it onto a GPU, the game companies would be spared dealing with the bullshit for what could die just like hardware-accelerated 3D sound did.

    supabeast on
  • EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS
    edited November 2007
    supabeast wrote: »
    EliteLamer wrote: »
    Honestly, I think these physics cards are the next step in gaming and companies need to step up by making games to use the cards.

    Not happening until physics acceleration is built into the graphics cards. I was reading a recent interview with Carmack where he talked about how he used to have quarterly meetings with AMD and intel just to keep things straight on the CPU side of the house, and the amount of time id and Epic spent working with 3DFX and Nvidia back in the day is the stuff of Legend. I don’t think most game developers want to go back to putting all that extra time and money into something people aren’t clamoring for. But if Nvidia or AMD/ATI can work this shit out and get it onto a GPU, the game companies would be spared dealing with the bullshit for what could die just like hardware-accelerated 3D sound did.

    I was going to say that but wasn't sure if it was possible..

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  • fogeymanfogeyman Registered User
    edited November 2007
    EliteLamer wrote: »
    supabeast wrote: »
    EliteLamer wrote: »
    Honestly, I think these physics cards are the next step in gaming and companies need to step up by making games to use the cards.

    Not happening until physics acceleration is built into the graphics cards. I was reading a recent interview with Carmack where he talked about how he used to have quarterly meetings with AMD and intel just to keep things straight on the CPU side of the house, and the amount of time id and Epic spent working with 3DFX and Nvidia back in the day is the stuff of Legend. I don’t think most game developers want to go back to putting all that extra time and money into something people aren’t clamoring for. But if Nvidia or AMD/ATI can work this shit out and get it onto a GPU, the game companies would be spared dealing with the bullshit for what could die just like hardware-accelerated 3D sound did.

    I was going to say that but wasn't sure if it was possible..
    Or you could just have one of four cores dedicated to physics, etc. With more CPU cores, it seems like the CPU can just do it all.

    fogeyman on
  • victor_c26victor_c26 Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Well I'm not too keen on having to spend money on another $300 part.

    I'll be happy if physics cards just die out.

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  • EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS
    edited November 2007
    victor_c26 wrote: »
    Well I'm not too keen on having to spend money on another $300 part.

    I'll be happy if physics cards just die out.

    They are not 300 bucks, more like 99..

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  • The ListenerThe Listener Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    victor_c26 wrote: »
    Well I'm not too keen on having to spend money on another $300 part.

    I'll be happy if physics cards just die out.

    Fully agree here. Call me a Console Crybaby, but I quite dislike having to open up my case and install new hardware just for GAMES, let alone the expense of it.

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  • victor_c26victor_c26 Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    EliteLamer wrote: »
    victor_c26 wrote: »
    Well I'm not too keen on having to spend money on another $300 part.

    I'll be happy if physics cards just die out.

    They are not 300 bucks, more like 99..

    Huh. Either I imagined $300, or the low demand dropped the price down a bit.

    Either way, do we really need another peripheral to keep track of and to sink money into?

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  • EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS
    edited November 2007
    nvida is releasing a 3 card SLI and from my understanding the 3rd card is a Physics card.

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  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    EliteLamer wrote: »
    Honestly, I think these physics cards are the next step in gaming and companies need to step up by making games to use the cards.

    When CPU power is just now getting to the point where games aren't sure what to do with it all? You've got a four-core processor for $250 now, and two of those cores will be doing nothing in most games; it'll be natural to put physics processing on them. The PhysX card is a solution looking for a problem.

    Besides, nothing like this will ever take off until we've got some independent standards. Jesus, can you imagine a competitor for PhysX cropping up, where some games would only work with PhysX and some would only work for whatever the other card was? It'd be like the early days of hardware 3D acceleration, and we all know how that went: it didn't hit mainstream until OpenGL and Direct3D came along, where every card could run every game.

    Daedalus on
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  • SushisourceSushisource Registered User
    edited November 2007
    Physics cards are idiotic.

    If developers took the time they would use integrating some stupid-ass PhysX system and instead spent it on optimization, which very few games can actually claim to make use of anymore, we would all enjoy better framerates and nice physics.

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  • EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS
    edited November 2007
    On the matter of cpu doing the physics does the other core do anything?

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  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    EliteLamer wrote: »
    On the matter of cpu doing the physics does the other core do anything?

    I don't even understand what you're trying to ask here.

    Daedalus on
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  • EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS
    edited November 2007
    Daedalus wrote: »
    EliteLamer wrote: »
    On the matter of cpu doing the physics does the other core do anything?

    I don't even understand what you're trying to ask here.

    When playing a video game with a dual core cpu does the game use both cores?

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  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    It depends on if the game is programed to support it

    Spoit on
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  • EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS
    edited November 2007
    Spoit wrote: »
    It depends on if the game is programed to support it


    How many games support it?

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  • Premier kakosPremier kakos Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2007
    You know what games need a lot more than dedicated physics hardware? Dedicate AI hardware. Game AI is a notoriously hard thing to get right, but not necessarily because making good AI itself is hard. The biggest problem is that good AI takes up a shit ton of processing resources. If you could have some dedicated hardware to offload that, it would make games much better. Unfortunately, it's hard to make a flashy demo to show off sophisticated hardware for running AI on.

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  • EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS
    edited November 2007
    AI Card...

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  • fogeymanfogeyman Registered User
    edited November 2007
    EliteLamer wrote: »
    Spoit wrote: »
    It depends on if the game is programed to support it


    How many games support it?
    Most modern games do. I'd say it's safe to assume a new game supports two CPUs.

    I hope I'm not wrong.

    Also, and this point has been brought up twice before, we don't need dedicated cards for anything anymore, except perhaps the GPU. CPUs are getting so powerful, with so many cores in one physical unit, that each core can be dedicated to something. Dual-core CPUs are already in most new computers, and given time (one year, two years, whatever) quad core will be. Rather than create a dedicated physics card or AI card or anything, just dedicate a CPU core to physics or AI.

    fogeyman on
  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    You know what games need a lot more than dedicated physics hardware? Dedicate AI hardware. Game AI is a notoriously hard thing to get right, but not necessarily because making good AI itself is hard. The biggest problem is that good AI takes up a shit ton of processing resources. If you could have some dedicated hardware to offload that, it would make games much better. Unfortunately, it's hard to make a flashy demo to show off sophisticated hardware for running AI on.

    If you think getting a standard API for a physics card is difficult (read: the lack of games which actually use PhysX), then think about how few standards there are for AI design. At least with physics, all the engines are dealing with the same idea of rigid body simulation, which have the same underlying formulas.

    Spoit on
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  • DigDug2000DigDug2000 Registered User
    edited November 2007
    Personally I think it is a cool idea and could be worth adding into games but it seems that Havok is doing just fine and doesn't require physics acceleration. Sure, Havok isn't that impressive, but it's not exactly retarded either.
    Yeah. The demos on the PhysX site are fucking fantastic, and really make you wonder what could be done with 'em. I have a feeling that CPU power will peak much faster than the cards can keep up though. I mean, were supposed to have 16 core chips in the next few years aren't we?

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  • EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS
    edited November 2007
    It will take forever for games to use more then 2 cores... I still don't think there are any games that just wont work on single core yet.

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  • Mr_RoseMr_Rose 83 Blue Ridge Protects the Holy Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    EliteLamer wrote: »
    It will take forever for games to use more then 2 cores... I still don't think there are any games that just wont work on single core yet.

    If you've programmed the game to properly exploit two cores, you should, in theory, have already done most of, if not all, the work to make it fully support more than two cores. As in, the rest should maybe take up a patch or something.

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  • stigweardstigweard Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    EliteLamer wrote: »
    What about GRAW 2... It looks bad ass, look at the palm trees... Also, the cards are only 99 bucks now.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2cs1o_qqAI&feature=related

    Anyone know what is going on with nvidia and ATI.. I heard they have been working on something since 05...

    I wasn't impressed. The explosions didn't look particularly realistic at all. Sure, they are modeling how each piece moves, but it doesn't matter when most of the boards travel bolt upwards and out and then break into smaller chunks simultaneously. It just looks wrong. When the guy used the grenade launcher on the top of the tower, the entire tower, including the base, shattered at the same time. If I am going to spend cash on a dedicated physics processor, it had better have a good engine with it - those might as well have been scripted, or done with cpu + havok.

    stigweard on
  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    EliteLamer wrote: »
    It will take forever for games to use more then 2 cores... I still don't think there are any games that just wont work on single core yet.

    D: I normally try not to focus on people rather than their arguements, but have you even looked at any games in the past year or two? Sure something like SupCom would "work" on a P4, but it's really not remotely playable. You do know that there's a reason why both AMD and Intel are focusing on multi-cores rather than more MHz.

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  • cloudeaglecloudeagle Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Isn't PhysX the company that put up the demos that, when messed with via the console, would produce teh shiny physics the card "makes possible" even on a computer that doesn't have a physics card?

    And PC gaming is struggling enough due to all the damn hardware you already have to re-buy every two years if you want to stay current. Requiring another card to make things look decent will just cause thousands more people to throw their hands up in the air and turn away from PC gaming.

    Fuck physics cards. Integrate them into graphics cards if you have to.

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  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    It's already happening. That's why the physics cards are making absolutely no noise whatsoever. NVidia and ATI have already put out industry demonstrations of graphics cards handling complex physics simulations such as water particles.

    Also, the multi-core nature of modern CPU development pretty much ensures that the only thing guaranteed to have it's own core in the future of gaming is graphics, simply because CPUs are unsuitable for it. (Honestly, when's the last time you played a game in software rendering mode? Can any game even do it anymore?)

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  • Mr_RoseMr_Rose 83 Blue Ridge Protects the Holy Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    If Ageia's PhysX card becomes the Voodoo3D card of physics simulation, I for one will thank them for their contribution and bravery, but I will still be buying my "world accelerator" combo GPU/PPU from Nvidia, thank you.

    Maybe one day we will all get to look back on this whole physics add-in card with fondness, the same way we nostalgically remember when 3D graphics required a pass-through cable and a relay to switch over to the alternate processor....

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  • corcorigancorcorigan Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Mr_Rose wrote: »
    If Ageia's PhysX card becomes the Voodoo3D card of physics simulation, I for one will thank them for their contribution and bravery, but I will still be buying my "world accelerator" combo GPU/PPU from Nvidia, thank you.

    Maybe one day we will all get to look back on this whole physics add-in card with fondness, the same way we nostalgically remember when 3D graphics required a pass-through cable and a relay to switch over to the alternate processor....

    I doubt it. Physics cards have made no impact at all, probably because they've come on the scene at exactly the same moment that CPUs have hugely increased in power and flexibility.

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  • UrianUrian __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2007
    EliteLamer wrote: »
    nvida is releasing a 3 card SLI and from my understanding the 3rd card is a Physics card.

    Jesus, that would be at least $1200 wouldn't it?

    Urian on
  • corcorigancorcorigan Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Urian wrote: »
    EliteLamer wrote: »
    nvida is releasing a 3 card SLI and from my understanding the 3rd card is a Physics card.

    Jesus, that would be at least $1200 wouldn't it?

    And now you know why PC gaming is dying!

    Hmm, $1200 for a top of the line PC component... Or that much for a good console and pretty tv?

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