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Old June 4, 2009, 07:10 PM
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Default Need some help understanding the features on newer video cards.

Well just like the topic says. Although I consider myself an intermitiate computer user, I'm not really familiar with the more modern video cards. I know that newer is better and faster is better and bigger is better. Here's what I'm getting stumped on, I'm thinking of picking up a new video card to replace my aging 3870. NCIX has the GTX 280 on sale for a decent price, but I've primarily been an ATI guy so I have no NVIDIA experience. What does it mean the CUDA specification and what is Physx Ready? Is it Physx capable or not? I've read that it is but the spec list on NCIX says "Physx Ready". I read that and I think of my laptop that said Vista ready but it wasn't loaded with Vista and it was far from ready.
Also even though I've read a bit on CUDA I still don't know what it is, anyone want to dumb it down for me, lol.

Also since we're on the topic of physx ATI claims there newer cards use Havok phyics engine and that you could dedicate one card of a crossfire setup to physics but the website doesn't really flesh out that concept to well atleast for my simple mind. What I want to know is lets say I decide not to go NVIDIA and buy a 4890 can I use my 3870 to run physics?

If these questions seem some what basic please bear with me, I can build computers and I'm pretty good at setting up RAIDS and home networks but gaming is kind of new for me. I've never really owned a good card until I got my 3870 last year. When I read on the product websites it seems that with the higher end cards the product descriptions assume the reader has a base level of knowledge that I lack so I don't really know what their talking about.

One last thing do they still sell the phyx cards? I'm thinking I could buy an ATI card and one of those and have the best of both worlds.

Now I know what your thinking who cares about Physics not many games use it. I don't care it's technology and I must have it, because sure as crap I'm going to get a game and it will support Physics or Havok and I'll want it. Case in point the Advance Warfighter games, i thought they were cool and I want to replay with the Physx.
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Old June 4, 2009, 07:19 PM
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Get the Nvidia 280 card.... You'll need it when you get addicted to folding like the rest of us

Cuda is a programming language that basically treats your Nvidia 280 card like a 600mhz cpu with 280 cores. Who needs a quadcore? Some programs can then use CUDA to add great amounts to speed to an application that scales well with multithreading..... like folding

PhysX is literally "physics". It's a way of doing physics in games. I'm not sure if they still sell seperate cards anymore. Most people just add a second Nvidia card and dedicate it to run PhysX from what I can see.

I can't tell you about ATI cards. Coincidently I've never bought one of them for myself. The fact that Nvidia cards are faster for folding is guaranteeing that for now as well.
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Old June 4, 2009, 07:20 PM
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Physx Ready means that that card is able to do physics as some of the older one can't. Plus is not really big of a deal and many games don't use a dedicated physics card.
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Old June 5, 2009, 09:12 AM
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PhysX is just marketing fluff,i wouldn't worry about it.The 280 your thinking of buying is a nice card though.
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Old June 5, 2009, 09:13 AM
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Expect a looooong reply from me about this later but until then here's something to chew on: PhysX is only half the equation. Havok is out there too.
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Old June 5, 2009, 09:49 AM
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Read any of the Nvidia or ATI video card reviews here on HWC and it will tell you exactly what it means.

Here's a page to read: BFG GTX 285 OCX 1GB Video Card Review
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Old June 5, 2009, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SKYMTL View Post
Expect a looooong reply from me about this later but until then here's something to chew on: PhysX is only half the equation. Havok is out there too.

I'm looking forward to this reply.....
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