AGEIA PhysX Processor Launch

AGEIA Brings First Dedicated Physics Processor To Market; Launches New Age in Interactive Gaming announces the availability of the first systems including the AGEIA PhysX processor, which will accelerate physics in supported games in hardware. There are accompanying announcements of games and related software with PhysX processor support (with more presumably to follow), for Alpha Prime, Blink 3D, City of Villains, DarkBASIC Professional, EMotion FX 3 Character Animation System, Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter, INFERNAL, Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, and Unreal Tournament 2007.
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57.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 28, 2006, 18:05
57.
Re: No subject Mar 28, 2006, 18:05
Mar 28, 2006, 18:05
 
Could you please elaborate as to why GPUs are better suited to physics problems than a PPU? What is it about GPU architecture (which is optimized for graphics problems, using massive parallelism and deep pipelines) that makes it better for physics algorithms?

"But the PPU solves a problem that GPUs will handle quite readily. And GPUs will handle physics processing better than the PPU will."

56.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 23, 2006, 22:54
56.
Re: No subject Mar 23, 2006, 22:54
Mar 23, 2006, 22:54
 
Welcome to the 90s. Same shit people said about 3d cards. The "ooh, ahh" effect is what sells PC hardware to people. After seeing demos, I will buy a PPU for the added sparkle alone, alhtough I know there are better things coming for it.

Nope. 3d cards solved a problem that CPU's could not solve well. But the PPU solves a problem that GPUs will handle quite readily. And GPUs will handle physics processing better than the PPU will.

55.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 23, 2006, 22:51
55.
Re: No subject Mar 23, 2006, 22:51
Mar 23, 2006, 22:51
 
No, PS3 doesn't have a PhysX PPU. PS3 supports Novodex (the software API that the PhysX PPU uses), but the physics code is running on the Cell processor.

54.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 23, 2006, 16:05
54.
Re: No subject Mar 23, 2006, 16:05
Mar 23, 2006, 16:05
 
But again, you're left with a game that still basically works OK for those without the PPU, so where's the incentive to get it?

Without something special, something that only the PPU can achieve, it's just an expensive doodad in your pc giving you a few extra FPS by taking some of the workload off the CPU.

Welcome to the 90s. Same shit people said about 3d cards. The "ooh, ahh" effect is what sells PC hardware to people. After seeing demos, I will buy a PPU for the added sparkle alone, alhtough I know there are better things coming for it.

53.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 23, 2006, 16:02
53.
Re: No subject Mar 23, 2006, 16:02
Mar 23, 2006, 16:02
 
oo bad they missed this round of consoles. That would have been the way to get this thing off the ground and have devs developing games around it, making it an indispensible part of games and building concepts around it, because it is always there.

PS3 has PhysX.

52.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 23, 2006, 15:42
52.
Re: No subject Mar 23, 2006, 15:42
Mar 23, 2006, 15:42
 
The only way you could really show it off is to have a title written that only works with the board, and what publisher would go for that option?

A la Cellfactor (video here http://www.gdhardware.com/hardware/ppu/ageia/gdc06/004.htm). Ageia required, LAN only (due to the amount of bandwidth required to replicate the physics) and they are still looking for a publisher

51.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 23, 2006, 10:07
51.
Re: No subject Mar 23, 2006, 10:07
Mar 23, 2006, 10:07
 
If you dig deeper though, and do some research, you'll find out that nVidia's implementation will not be anywhere as good as Ageia's because they can only add more special effects but can't use physics to truly affect gameplay.

Havok's implementation on nVidia and ATI hardware is no more limited than Ageia's. Havok is emphasizing "effects physics". While Ageia doesn't come out and say it, effects physics are what are accelerated by their solution. You can do effects and gameplay physics with either hardware solution.

The problem is that if you try to accelerate gameplay physics, you introduce a feedback loop into the game engine, so the PPU/GPU and the CPU operations cannot be pipelined, they are effectively framelocked. For full gameplay physics, the non-physical simulation code (i.e. AI, scripts, etc.) needs the results of the physics simulation, but the results of the AI simulation are needed to seed the physics simulation (to keep the 2 portions of the simulation coherent and synchronized). That's why it's better to execute the gameplay physics on the CPU, where the AI and physics simulation code can share the same dataset (because it's in shared memory), and the system can achieve maximum concurrency without having to serialize the CPU and GPU/PPU processing.

50.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 23, 2006, 08:06
50.
Re: No subject Mar 23, 2006, 08:06
Mar 23, 2006, 08:06
 
But again, you're left with a game that still basically works OK for those without the PPU, so where's the incentive to get it?

Without something special, something that only the PPU can achieve, it's just an expensive doodad in your pc giving you a few extra FPS by taking some of the workload off the CPU.

49.
 
No subject
Mar 23, 2006, 02:58
49.
No subject Mar 23, 2006, 02:58
Mar 23, 2006, 02:58
 
Designing games for accelerated and non-accelerated graphics was one thing but how do you make a game that will play the same with and/or without hardware assisted physics.

You set a basic acceptable level for the core gameplay features. Reduce the number of objects being simulated or their detail. Use less precision when it's not needed.

I'm sure there are other ways.

48.
 
Dont waste your money yET
Mar 23, 2006, 02:29
48.
Dont waste your money yET Mar 23, 2006, 02:29
Mar 23, 2006, 02:29
 
Wait until there is a broadly supported API, but by then it will be onboard.


Where is the Open Physics API? We need an OpenPhysics just like OpenAL and OpenGL.


This comment was edited on Mar 23, 02:30.
47.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 23, 2006, 01:27
47.
Re: No subject Mar 23, 2006, 01:27
Mar 23, 2006, 01:27
 
Too bad they missed this round of consoles. That would have been the way to get this thing off the ground and have devs developing games around it, making it an indispensible part of games and building concepts around it, because it is always there.

Obviously they are too expensive, but until we see a game that makes using this a completely unique and fun experience (plus when the price comes down to earth) most of us, me included, will wait.

Now I go to install Oblivion

46.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 22, 2006, 22:27
46.
Re: No subject Mar 22, 2006, 22:27
Mar 22, 2006, 22:27
 
Speckled Jim

They itend to handle physics acceleration kinda like they do with video cards, where the people who have the AGEIA will see visual enhancements, but core gameplay won't really be affected.

You are right though, to get the full benefit out of the AGEIA, you would have to write a game around it's abilities. Still there are plenty of hardware whores like me who will buy these things. The average person doesn't buy a $400 -$500 video card (or two for SLI), yet nVidia can't keep them on shelves for quite a while after release. I had a bitch of a time locating the one I have now.


-----
BF2 Player Name: "MindTrigger"
Guild Wars Player Name: "Oceas Saeco"
"Don't gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver and gold." -Bob Marley
This comment was edited on Mar 22, 22:27.
--
He cut the possum's face off then cut around the eye socket. In the center of the belt buckle, where the possum's eye would be, he has placed a small piece of wood from his old '52 Ford's home made railroad tie bumper. Damn, he misses that truck.
45.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 22, 2006, 22:22
45.
Re: No subject Mar 22, 2006, 22:22
Mar 22, 2006, 22:22
 


Creston, physics in HL2 was hardly a gimmick. You actually used the physics to play the game, and it did make the entire game more interesting. Gimmicky is like physics in DOOM 3 or (insert shooter name here) where (wow) rag doll is featured and you can shoot random things around the room and watch them move.

-----
BF2 Player Name: "MindTrigger"
Guild Wars Player Name: "Oceas Saeco"
"Don't gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver and gold." -Bob Marley
--
He cut the possum's face off then cut around the eye socket. In the center of the belt buckle, where the possum's eye would be, he has placed a small piece of wood from his old '52 Ford's home made railroad tie bumper. Damn, he misses that truck.
44.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 22, 2006, 22:19
Rob
44.
Re: No subject Mar 22, 2006, 22:19
Mar 22, 2006, 22:19
Rob
 
If you dig deeper though, and do some research, you'll find out that nVidia's implementation will not be anywhere as good as Ageia's because they can only add more special effects but can't use physics to truly affect gameplay.
That depends on your definition of "good". In theory Ageia's solution will be better, but since doing anything that affects gameplay will require the hardware the vast majority of games will only do special effects. Add to that the fact that the GPU solution can more efficiently transfer the effects data to the rendering pipeline and you’ll likely see that in the real world the GPU solution wins.

43.
 
No subject
Mar 22, 2006, 22:12
43.
No subject Mar 22, 2006, 22:12
Mar 22, 2006, 22:12
 
Designing games for accelerated and non-accelerated graphics was one thing but how do you make a game that will play the same with and/or without hardware assisted physics.

42.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 22, 2006, 22:01
Com
42.
Re: No subject Mar 22, 2006, 22:01
Mar 22, 2006, 22:01
Com
 
I wonder if they just announced this now after hearing about the nVidia+Havok thing. They might be worried that their product won't sell as good if people can do the physics on the GPU.

It's actually the other way around. Announcements like this aren't created in a day, they are planned well ahead. It's nVidia who knew EXACTLY when this announcement would come and simply undercut Ageia with an announcement of their own. It's just like when they announce or release hugely optimized drivers right before ATI announces new cards to steal some thunder.

If you dig deeper though, and do some research, you'll find out that nVidia's implementation will not be anywhere as good as Ageia's because they can only add more special effects but can't use physics to truly affect gameplay.

Some decent info here to get you started:
http://www.theinquirer.org/?article=30434

This comment was edited on Mar 22, 22:03.
41.
 
Re: Great
Mar 22, 2006, 21:39
41.
Re: Great Mar 22, 2006, 21:39
Mar 22, 2006, 21:39
 
They've priced it way too high though. No way I'll pay almost $300(CDN) for one until almost every game on the market will use it, and I'm a total whore when it comes to pretty pixels and funky overpriced technology.

Yeah $300 is $200 too much. I was thinking this thing would be more like a network card. I was thinking 50 bucks would be reasonable for this and I *might* go 100 if everyone and their dog is getting on board (developers), but 300? Not a prayer.

"You gotta keep on keepin' on, brother!"
- Joe Dirt
"And then, suddenly and without warning, it turned into a real-life case of hungry, hungry hippos."
- Stephen Colbert
40.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 22, 2006, 20:09
40.
Re: No subject Mar 22, 2006, 20:09
Mar 22, 2006, 20:09
 
The problem I see with this board is that it promises to do so much more than is currently possible using the CPU alone, and that's fine. You see the tech demos and you're impressed. But then it comes to adding support into games, and devs are left with what to do about the overwhelming majority who won't have the board.

That means all the really clever stuff can't be a fundamental part of the game (destroyable environment, fluid modelling etc), because all that would be impossible in software alone. So it just get used to "accelerate" the barrels in a FPS, or add some pretty but pointless extra smoke, etc.

The only way you could really show it off is to have a title written that only works with the board, and what publisher would go for that option?


39.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 22, 2006, 19:49
39.
Re: No subject Mar 22, 2006, 19:49
Mar 22, 2006, 19:49
 
One question from me: will one of these cards just improve performance, or will it be able to crack open a lot of new features?

ie, will it make the difference between all the grass and trees swaying, and not? Or will they sway anyway with a slight drop in FPS without the PPU?

If it's just a slight improvement in FPS then I'd just be looking to upgrade my GPU and CPU just as I do now, because they'd offer a much better performance improvement.

38.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 22, 2006, 19:43
38.
Re: No subject Mar 22, 2006, 19:43
Mar 22, 2006, 19:43
 
Destructible environment. That's what it needs to be all about.

If you can model, ad hoc, how bullets and explosions tear apart cover and walls and runways and bridges, I'm game. Because that'll influence game play for sure.

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