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Old November 24, 2007, 12:47 PM
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Default AMD says GPU physics is dead until DirectX 11

From Dailytech DailyTech - Havok Causes Havoc in GPU Physics

PC gamers have been looking for more than just pretty graphics when it comes to their game titles over the last few years. Not only do gamers want realistic graphics, but they want realistic physics as well.

Physics have long been a part of PC and console games to some extent. As games get more complex the mathematical calculations required for accurately rendering things on screen like smoke and explosions gets more complex as well.

GPU makers ATI and NVIDIA both know the value of physics processing and both companies put forth similar ways to tackle physics for video games. DailyTech reported in January of 2007 leaked specifications from ATI showing exactly what would be required for its asymmetric physics processingDailyTech - AMD Asymmetric Physics Processing Requirements Revealed. Almost a year before those documents were leaked, DailyTech reported on NVIDIA’s Quantum physics engine.DailyTech - Documents Leak NVIDIA's Quantum Physics Engine

Things in the world of video game physics heated up when Intel announced in September that it intended to buy Havok,DailyTech - Physics Acceleration Heats Up: Intel to Purchase Havok the company whose physics software is widely used by game developers around the world. Xbit Labs reports today that AMD’s Developer Relations Chief, Richard Huddy is saying that GPU physics is dead for now.X-bit labs - GPU Physics Dead for Now, Says AMD’s Developer Relations Chief.

The reason Huddy is saying GPU physics is dead is that Havok, now owned by Intel, is said to be releasing its Havok FX physics effects engine that is responsible for computing GPU physics without support. That is assuming Havok doesn’t abandon the Havok FX engine at all. DirectX 11 is projected to support physics on the GPU and it may be the release of DirectX 11 before we see GPU physics processing. This should be great new to the ears of AGEIA, who recently announced it would be developing a mobile physics processor.DailyTech - AGEIA Announces Mobile Physics Processor

Exactly how this will affect mainboards that NVIDIA already has in development remains to be seen; the replacement to the NVIDIA 680i mainboard is said to have three PCIe slots. If one of those slots was slated for use in GPU physics is unknown, however, this could be why the 680i replacement was pushed from a launch date of mid-November as was rumored to have been the scheduled launch date.
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Old November 24, 2007, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Shadowmeph View Post
Exactly how this will affect mainboards that NVIDIA already has in development remains to be seen; the replacement to the NVIDIA 680i mainboard is said to have three PCIe slots. If one of those slots was slated for use in GPU physics is unknown, however, this could be why the 680i replacement was pushed from a launch date of mid-November as was rumored to have been the scheduled launch date.
Hmm, i posted earlier about the 780i having one slot that reads pcie 2.0 but only works as strong as pci-e 1.1 Maybe, that slot would be for the physics card and the other two would be the sli. Nice find, very interesting.
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Old November 25, 2007, 12:04 AM
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Hrm...that is interesting, UM was right. I was just posting about physics cards about a month ago....I was curious in buying one...yes better physics will be very good for gaming indeed.
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Old November 25, 2007, 04:03 PM
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The 38xx cards are not failure..I don't know why they consider "dead" until the.. Dx 11.
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Old November 25, 2007, 06:52 PM
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Exactly how this will affect mainboards that NVIDIA already has in development remains to be seen; the replacement to the NVIDIA 680i mainboard is said to have three PCIe slots.
That's dumb. Why would AMD coming out to say "GPU physics is dead" have any effect on NVIDIA?

NVIDIA has already released the CUDA SDK along with graphics cards that support some basic features of it (G80 and newer, thanks to DX10). So... yeah.
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Old November 25, 2007, 06:59 PM
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Wanna see what the effect is of running a game that requires a Physics Accelerator?? Google Warmonger and download....is now in Beta Test version....and run it....see what is does to your CPU....! You'll be running it at 100% all the time....
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Old November 25, 2007, 07:32 PM
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GPU physics dead until DX11? Nevermind the wait time for a meaningful number of people to get DX11 GPU's. This will probably give other options (Ageia, Havok, etc) a chance to become better entrenched in the market. The biggest obstacle to any Physics solution has always been getting a wide enough acceptance by developers. Look at how Ageia keeps claiming that upcoming games will support their product.

Crysis has kind of pulled me into the CPU-physics camp. Even seeing the game's physics on medium level was fsweet. I suppose it might be technically inferior to what could be done on a GPU/PPU, but all I really care about is pretty destruction. And it's getting really easy to have a CPU core to spare.
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Old November 25, 2007, 08:30 PM
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I'm rooting for PhysX over havoc/software or GPGPU based physics processing- The PPUs are better suited to the shorter latency faster threads of physics processing, and they're already around and on the brink of becoming established. I don't mind one more piece of hardware ;-)
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Old November 25, 2007, 08:49 PM
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I wouldn't mind it either, especially since it seems they're finally deciding to drop the price to what they should have been introduced at. But Ageia has been doing a piss-poor job of promoting PhysX, and they can't seem to get the attention of anyone who makes that games I play. If they've had the cash to survive this long, I honestly think they could have been much more aggressive when they emerged.
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Old November 25, 2007, 09:02 PM
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Well, I've heard in the past that their target market never was the gamer, but consumers of more specialized computing - maybe like missile tracking systems etc...The gaming market was just a source of cash while they developed their product and potential markets- not sure how much truth is behind it.
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