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Old May 4, 2010, 09:10 PM
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Default HD5870 with 8800GTS for PhysX

Just thought I'd share this with you guys...

Rather simple process, not really any more difficult than installing a 2nd GPU.
  1. Once the card is in and your back into Windows install the latest NVIDIA drivers (197.45 in this case), and don't restart afterwards.
  2. Install this "patch": Hybrid PhysX mod v1.03 (No, it's not a virus or anything, some AV software may detect it as a false positive though), click the Cake button.
  3. Create a fake monitor (or I guess you could attach to your VGA input on your LCD) by opening Screen Resolution. In the Display drop-down menu, select "Available display output on: NVIDIA". Then in the Multiple Displays drop-down, select "Try to connect anyway on: VGA"
  4. Open up NVIDIA control panel and enable PhysX.
  5. Restart.
  6. Enjoy PhysX action!
I did this under Windows 7 x64 with ATI Catalyst 10.4 WHQL installed beforehand.

Granted I only used an old 8800GTS 320M that I had lying around. Performance gains are fairly noticeable in PhysX applications though. However comparing to somebody with a GTX470 and i7 920 @ 4.2GHz as well, my Vantage CPU score doesn't get close to his. He's up in the 67k range and I'm only at 42k.

Also I hear NVIDIA is really trying to prevent this, so it's probably best if you want to do this, do it soon and don't bother updating your NVIDIA drivers ever again. GenL (creator of the patch) is unsure himself as to the future of things. He's already had to work around various NVIDIA checks to see if ATI cards were in the system from what I've read.

And I believe the original PhysX PPUs have been dropped from the latest PhysX software as well, so they no longer work. And before that, apparently they didn't work when ATI cards were detected either. From the sounds of it though, using this same patch can fix that up for you.


Here's some quick benchmark comparisons:

FluidMark - Software PhysX


FluidMark - Hardware PhysX


3DMark Vantage - No PhysX


3DMark Vantage - With PhysX


Anyways, best of luck if you end up trying it.
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Old May 4, 2010, 09:31 PM
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depending on main card, even an 8500/9500 gt will make a difference. 8800gt or up should be more than sufficient on a budget.
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Old May 5, 2010, 07:14 AM
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I am doing this with a 4890 and a 9600GSO (96 shader version) and it works great! Some games will enable special effects when a physX card is installed (Mirror's Edge), some have add-in levels you can play (UT3). Some like Batman Arkam Asylum just run better. Games like Borderlands can be forced to use PhysX as well since then use the UT3 engine.
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Old May 5, 2010, 08:59 AM
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we'll need a review upon this second card physix thingie(regular gfx)

...i mean if a rather small/cheap card can make the difference.
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Old May 5, 2010, 09:43 AM
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"Can I use an NVIDIA GPU as a PhysX processor and a non-NVIDIA GPU for regular display graphics?
No. There are multiple technical connections between PhysX processing and graphics that require tight collaboration between the two technologies. To deliver a good experience for users, NVIDIA PhysX technology has been fully verified and enabled using only NVIDIA GPUs for graphics."


PhysX FAQ

Just like SLi was only possible on Nvidia chipsets...
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Old May 6, 2010, 07:11 AM
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I wonder if eyefinity adds any issues for this? I expect not. I just ordered a GT240 from the egg for $65 - $15 rebate so I will be trying this soon. I have a few physx games (mirrors edge, ut3, nfs shift, grid) so it will be interesting to try it out.

And the GT240 is 40nm and low power + quiet so seems like a good match.
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Old May 6, 2010, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Varroa View Post
Games like Borderlands can be forced to use PhysX as well since then use the UT3 engine.
This is of great interest to me: I still love playing Borderlands often (If fact, I might start a 5th character from level 0 even, lol). If this can be checked to see a noticeble improvement in the smoothness or FPS then PhysX will be added to Stygian (although I'll probably try to get my Asus P1 PPU to work before trying an Nvidia GPU).

Edit:

Found the shot below at firingsquad - Apparently frames are doubled in this setup using a PPU. Interesting indeed!

Full Article: PhysX Performance Update: GPU vs. PPU vs. CPU
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Old May 6, 2010, 10:35 AM
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nice! ok. one more point why nvidia cards hold there value longer :)
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Old May 6, 2010, 02:18 PM
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This is pretty damn amazing, will definately check out as soon as my 5870 arrives
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Old May 6, 2010, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMetaphor View Post
This is of great interest to me: I still love playing Borderlands often (If fact, I might start a 5th character from level 0 even, lol). If this can be checked to see a noticeble improvement in the smoothness or FPS then PhysX will be added to Stygian (although I'll probably try to get my Asus P1 PPU to work before trying an Nvidia GPU).

Edit:

Found the shot below at firingsquad - Apparently frames are doubled in this setup using a PPU. Interesting indeed!

Full Article: PhysX Performance Update: GPU vs. PPU vs. CPU
There is an app you can download called "Borderlands Advance Config" that allows you to enable PhysX. There is also a reg setting you can change to do it.
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