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GeForce 8 Series to get PhysX

The Tech Report has some skinny from NVIDIA about their plans for PhysX following their acquisition of AGEIA (story) that were revealed in a Q&A that followed their fourth-quarter financial results conference call. It sounds like speculation that there will be no more dedicated PhysX cards is accurate, but NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang says the PhysX engine will be ported to CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture) which will allow it to be run on GeForce 8 cards:

We're working toward the physics-engine-to-CUDA port as we speak. And we intend to throw a lot of resources at it. You know, I wouldn't be surprised if it helps our GPU sales even in advance of [the port's completion]. The reason is, [it's] just gonna be a software download. Every single GPU that is CUDA-enabled will be able to run the physics engine when it comes. . . . Every one of our GeForce 8-series GPUs runs CUDA.

Our expectation is that this is gonna encourage people to buy even better GPUs. It might—and probably will—encourage people to buy a second GPU for their SLI slot. And for the highest-end gamer, it will encourage them to buy three GPUs. Potentially two for graphics and one for physics, or one for graphics and two for physics.

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71. Re: ... Feb 18, 2008, 11:36 Prez
 
All I know is that last year was brilliant for gaming and I@m using a PC. I don't give a shit for the "if it's on console it's not a proper game" philosophy. All I care is that I'm using a PC and getting brilliant games.

Seconded.
 
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70. ... Feb 18, 2008, 09:04 theyarecomingforyou
 
If the PC only gets ports then it might as well be dead. I'd hardly call this a "golden age."
Oh please, The Orange Box, Call Of Duty 4, Unreal Tournament 3 and Bioshock aren't ports from consoles... they're ports from PC. It's just like Oblivion - some changes were made in consideration of consoles but it was primarily a PC game and a very good one at that (if not a very deep RPG). And games like The Witcher aren't even on a console. There are also console games ported to PC (like Mass Effect, Gears Of Wars, Assassin's Creed, etc), so it works both ways.

All I know is that last year was brilliant for gaming and I@m using a PC. I don't give a shit for the "if it's on console it's not a proper game" philosophy. All I care is that I'm using a PC and getting brilliant games.

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69. No subject Feb 15, 2008, 16:37 dryden555
 
it will be 2 years at least before we see games that actually implement this _well_. I'd want better enemy AI before better physics myself.

 
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68. No subject Feb 15, 2008, 16:28 KilrathiAce
 
Yes overon, it drops fps but in number of reviews they also mentioned that using dropped fps in those tests is not very way to judge it. Because, actual gameplay had altered physics and more effects available with physx support. Problem is that physx support may not improve performance but in fact hurt it as the game tries to run more advanced and complicated physics with all the extra "processing".

 
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67. Re: lol Feb 15, 2008, 15:59 Heretic009
 
With open source software you get the cream of the crap working on the project, with 1 or 2 talented guys if you're lucky. So far all of the open source game and physics engines are inferior to commercial products. What makes you think this will change GPGPU physics? Now go wash the sand out of your vagina.

Uh huh, except that this isn't to write a game engine or a physics engine u jizz goblin, its to write API that would be used to incorporate in your engine to access all the crap the card does. I suppose Intel, IBM, SUN and Novell spend billions on stuff made by 1 or 2 guys? Now go skate into an AIDS tree you cock mongering feltch weasel.

 
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66. Re: ... Feb 15, 2008, 13:06 Jerykk
 
There may be more crossplatform games about (even The Orange Box, Bioshock and UT3, all strong PC products) - they don't necessarily always get the balance right but they're constantly improving and are aware that PC gamers won't accept sloppy ports with the same interface.

If the PC only gets ports then it might as well be dead. I'd hardly call this a "golden age."

 
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65. Re: No subject Feb 15, 2008, 08:43 Overon
 
Look at that reviews of physx enabled ut3 levels. Turning on the physx drops the fps big time.
Proof: http://www.bit-tech.net/news/2008/01/18/bit-tech_revists_ut3_physx/1

 
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64. No subject Feb 15, 2008, 06:31 KilrathiAce
 
Most reviews I read about physx cards point out the fact that with games that specifically take advantage of physx(very few) do not provide much if any performance boost.

However, often reason behind lack of performance boost is because physx enabled game will run much more sophisticated physics with more effects available. Games with physx supported and enabled try to do more than without it and it causes performance discrepancy. Often those extra physics calculations and effects are pointless.

 
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63. a final comment... Feb 15, 2008, 04:20 Cartman
 
I'm glad some others got my "1.21 Gigawatt" reference.

The point is that I don't want a nuclear reactor for a power supply just to run the video subsystem on my rig.

Jesus Christ on the proverbial popsicle stick, if I want to waste electricity I can just stick a cord in the dirt and watch the wheel on the meter spin.

I might consider SLI in the future but not if it takes more power to run my system than even a cheap microwave oven. And even that oven only runs for a couple minutes an hour.

Some of us adults actually pay our own electric bills, lol.



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62. Re: ... Feb 14, 2008, 22:18 zirik
 
But the price tag on hardware just sucked.

its not the price tag that is starting to turn me away from pc gaming. its the draconian copy protection scheme that developers have to use to delay (not prevent) the piracy of their new games.

 
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61. Re: ... Feb 14, 2008, 22:08 Tony!!!
 
Look, I'm 36 years old and have been gaming all my life. Since the very begining.
When was the last time you were in a software store? 15 years ago, 10 years, you would have seen equal shelf space between pc games and console. Now....pffft. You see nothing but wall to wall console games and where are the pc games? On one of the stores pillars.

Consoles now produce incredible graphics and NOW online gameplay with a hardware price tag of around $300.

Developing a game insn't the same as it was 10 years ago. Now days it takes millions to produce a quality title. Companies are going to spend the millions to get a profitable return. They WON'T get that with the MUCH MUCH smaller pc base.

For better or worse consoles are getting a larger share while the pc shelves get smaller and smaller.

It's bitter sweet for me. I loved playing Quake and Half Life and don't get me started on the hours I played the original UT.

But the price tag on hardware just sucked.
 
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60. ... Feb 14, 2008, 22:06 theyarecomingforyou
 
Actually, I've just had a look at most of the videos for PhysX games (including UT3) and am very unimpressed. Most of the stuff could be done via Havok in software and none of it makes me think "man, I really want a PhysX card". I'm all for nVidia updating GeForce 8 cards to support it but not if it's only for SLI - it should benefit us regular users with a single card. If it doesn't then I couldn't care less.

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59. ... Feb 14, 2008, 21:54 theyarecomingforyou
 
The special demo level for UT3 is meant to make good use of physics for gameplay, though the actually game itself does not require (or benefit much from) a PhysX card.

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58. Re: err Feb 14, 2008, 21:46 Overon
 
Again show me a game where physx makes a difference in gameplay. Or show me a game where a physx card does not tank fps.

This comment was edited on Feb 14, 21:49.
 
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57. err Feb 14, 2008, 21:43 bigspender
 
no one is forcing anyone to buy anything you don't want to :S i dunno why people have a hissy fit saying that they need to buy something. unless nvidia put a gun to your head then you do not have to buy another card. or obviously if you want optimal performance.

so once this software update comes out does that mean us 8xxx users can play the free agiex games? like warmonger and that other one with all of that stuff flying around?


either way i'm still hoping intel do the same thing for havok, so i can use my other 3 cores for physics.

they really need a DirectPhysics type thing so that it doesn't matter what type of hardware solution you have, it will make the most of it - be it multiCore or multiGPU


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56. Re: ... Feb 14, 2008, 20:19 Prez
 
PC Gaming is here to stay. And it will grow in the future.

As for the PhysX technology, I watched the demos that Ageia presented, and never was convinced that it was of any real value. Until I see physics in-game that couldn't be reasonably be simulated via the Havok or some other engine, I think the whole dedicated physics architecture, (be it hardware or software) is a non starter. Crysis has amazing physics and doesn't need it. I remain skeptical.
 
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55. ... Feb 14, 2008, 20:00 theyarecomingforyou
 
PC gaming becoming less popular? I don't see that. People have been saying that for years and yet we're still seeing games like Mass Effect, Gears Of War and Assassin's Creed being converted to PC. There may be more crossplatform games about (even The Orange Box, Bioshock and UT3, all strong PC products) - they don't necessarily always get the balance right but they're constantly improving and are aware that PC gamers won't accept sloppy ports with the same interface.

PC gaming has been going since the days of Lemmings and is still continuing to expand users, as The Sims, WoW and Steam (14 million accounts) have demonstrated. Obviously PC gaming is constantly changing, and consoles are a factor in that, but we still have PC gaming and it's still great. In fact last year featured one of the strongest lineups in PC history, yet people keep pining for the past. PC gaming is in a golden age.

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54. Re: Bah. Feb 14, 2008, 19:40 Tony!!!
 
With pc gaming become less popular and console gaming going through the roof, I wonder if the next Xbox will have something along the lines of a dedicated ppu.  
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53. Re: Bah. Feb 14, 2008, 18:20 Slink
 
So instead of spending $100 on a dedicated physics card, I want to spend $500 on another graphics card to be a dedicated physics card?

Did they say they were gonna discontinue the sale of the separate cards?

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52. Re: Bah. Feb 14, 2008, 18:06 zirik
 
So instead of spending $100 on a dedicated physics card, I want to spend $500 on another graphics card

they didnt say you have to buy the top end 8 series to get CUDA. the cheapest 8 series is only $43 (biostar 8400gs). it has more ram (512mb) than any physx card ever released. i am sure it can handle game physics.

but then i could be wrong if physx on CUDA can only work on SLI capable cards. then those cost more than $100. we need more details about this new capability for nvidia cards.

 
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