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Old November 28, 2007, 02:59 PM
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Default Ageia PhysX

Hey Guys,

I'm interested in one of these Ageia PhysX cards. Does anyone here have one of these? How do they perform? Tell me....What would it do for my current setup?

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Old November 28, 2007, 04:05 PM
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I don't have one but I have read some reviews ( I wished I could remember the last one) but apparently they aren't really worth buying right now because there are only a couple of games that use it and if I remember right there was a rumor that a Vid card company ( I think that ATI) just bought that company or bought some shares of the company and plan on adding that tech into future vid cards but are holding off until more games come out that support those graphics .
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Old November 28, 2007, 04:06 PM
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Well you can look at reviews and there are only like 4 games that support it. It is pretty much a big flop. Save that money.
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Old November 28, 2007, 04:08 PM
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Ya and I hope it stays a big flop. A card just for physics?.. pffft c'mon that's lame. WTF are Quad Core CPUs gonna do while u play a game? Sit there and run your AV in the background - LOL
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Old November 28, 2007, 07:08 PM
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THIS is a list of games which support PhysX, taken from their website. Not particularly promising, IMO.

Any game that actually uses physics as a means of progressing (i.e. Half Life 2) obviously can't assume that a PhysX card is going to be there, otherwise the game would be unplayable/unbeatable for non-PhysX owners. I expect that its role will never extend beyond the role of providing extra eye-candy.

Before the proliferation of multi-core CPU's, being able to offload instructions and free-up CPU cycles for the rest of the game would have been an excellent idea. But these days, it probably makes more sense to just grab an extra CPU core to handle it. I would say that the games which can seriously load up a Quad-core CPU (RTS type games, mostly) are the ones that would benefit the least from enhanced physics. Conversely, the games that could benefit most from physics tends to have more free CPU cycles to spare.

...Just my opinion, admittedly.
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Old November 29, 2007, 01:13 AM
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There has been mixed opinion regarding discrete physics adapters for several reasons:

1) the recent furore over graphics cards (soon or eventually) being able to natively process physics brings into question the utility of a discrete adapter;
2) developer support has remained very small because of the necessity to build the game engine around a physics engine that relies on a discrete adapter from the start; and
3) multi-core processors almost eliminate the need for a dedicated physics card altogether and are relatively simpler to utilize for physics simulation compared to constructing a new game engine. Reserving an entire CPU core for physics simulation is much more effective than an expansion card as you have on hand the most powerful 'dedicated' physics processor available (depending on the processor), graphics card aside.

My personal remarks regarding the graphics cards being able to process physics simulation deals with multi-card graphics arrays. ATi's scalable graphics arrays (TriFire and Quadfire) have a much better chance of being supported by developers because any gaming computer would obviously have a video card; humour me and assume it's of the ATi brand. CrossFire (eventually) accepts scalable graphics of widely varying degrees of performance. So, in theory, in a TriFire configuration, you could have two Radeon HD 3870 graphics cards for graphical processing partnered with a relatively cheap Radeon HD 3450 Pro (does not exist; hypothetical) for discrete physics simulation and an additional texture buffer to the two HD 3870 cards using its idle onboard memory.

The prospect of a discrete physics card lost much of its appeal with the widespread availability of multi-core processors. If you remember, it was only popular around the time of the comparatively young dual-core processor generation.
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