NVIDIA PhysX Previews

NVIDIA plans on launching patches on August 12 to enable its GeForce 8-series and later graphics cards to run PhysX physics modeling on the GPU. Presumably an NDA about this expired today, as there are new previews of this new PhysX support on several sites, offering background, hands-on impressions, and benchmarks. You can find these previews on Custom PC, Elite Bastards, HotHardware, and The Tech Report. Here's a summary of the situation from the latter preview:
On August 12, Nvidia will release new graphics drivers that will allow owners of most GeForce 8, GeForce 9, and GeForce GTX 200-series cards to use PhysX acceleration without spending a dime. Along with the drivers will come a downloadable PhysX software pack containing free Unreal Tournament 3 maps, the full version of NetDevil's Warmonger, a couple of Nvidia demos, and sneak peeks at Object Software's Metal Knight Zero and Nurien Software's Nurien social-networking service. Nvidia provided us with early access to the pack, and we've been testing it over the past couple of days.
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32.
 
Re: ...
Aug 6, 2008, 23:28
32.
Re: ... Aug 6, 2008, 23:28
Aug 6, 2008, 23:28
 
As for adoption: nVidia sponsors a lot of games so it wouldn't surprise me if they offered a bit more money to developers to incorporate PhysX into their games; they're a big player and if anyone can get hardware accelerated physics of the ground it's them.

I guess time will tell, but I don't have alot of confidence in NVIDIA funding games to the degree of developers creating their games around hardware accelerated physics. The problem is designing the game in a way that's still functional for non-hardware accelerated users, yet sufficiently beneficial for those who have hardware accelerated physics (i.e. not just a gimmick). Narrow the customer base too much and you end up in the same boat as the Vista only games (and those games also had ATI support!).

I'd like to think we all want the same thing, better PC centric games and more of them. Who makes that happen makes no difference to me, but I'm not holding my breath.

31.
 
...
Aug 6, 2008, 22:37
31.
... Aug 6, 2008, 22:37
Aug 6, 2008, 22:37
 
Being able to interact realistically with the environment would be a big step forward towards an experience that allowed actual creativity in your approach to the game as opposed to just figuring out how the developers intended you to negotiate a static level. Even the games that have destructible environments may as well have a big sign saying "you're supposed to blow up this wall."
Exactly. The buildings in Crysis, for instance, were designed to fall apart rather than designed to realistically reflect damage.

As for adoption: nVidia sponsors a lot of games so it wouldn't surprise me if they offered a bit more money to developers to incorporate PhysX into their games; they're a big player and if anyone can get hardware accelerated physics of the ground it's them.

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30.
 
No subject
Aug 6, 2008, 21:06
30.
No subject Aug 6, 2008, 21:06
Aug 6, 2008, 21:06
 
I was really excited about the whole physics thing back when HL2 was about to come out. It seemed like a new direction that would actually change the fundamentals of game play that has otherwise been stagnant for many, many years now.

Being able to interact realistically with the environment would be a big step forward towards an experience that allowed actual creativity in your approach to the game as opposed to just figuring out how the developers intended you to negotiate a static level. Even the games that have destructible environments may as well have a big sign saying "you're supposed to blow up this wall."

I'm sure someday it will come--a game where rather than designing a 'level' they build, say, a building, with all of the properties of a building, and put the player and characters in it, and let you work out how to do things for yourself.

Ah, screw it... wishful thinking.

Anyways, more on topic:

If there was broad software support I could see this being a good thing. If they were to allow asymmetrical SLI setups so that I could buy a $70 320meg 8800GTS and plop it in next to my graphics card, I would certainly consider it. Of course, then we're sort of back to the physics accelerator card thing that never worked. If this nVidia thing, given how many people already have nVidia cards, can solve the chicken/egg problem that made the PhysX boards worthless, that's a Good Thing. I doubt it though.

29.
 
Re: ...
Aug 6, 2008, 20:56
29.
Re: ... Aug 6, 2008, 20:56
Aug 6, 2008, 20:56
 
f you developed half the balls I have, maybe you would admit that you contradicted yourself instead of crying fanboy as your argument.

What? That 6 months ago I thought the ATI acquisition by AMD was a bad idea, the PhysX purchase made more sense and now I think PhysX is staying a gimmick if limited to NVIDIA cards? What, NVIDIA can't make money on PhysX unless they're the only hardware using it? I don't believe that. How about NVIDIA owns PhysX, ATI licenses it, and gamers actually get more PhysX games? Nah, let's just wait for developers to make those NVIDIA only PhysX games in a market that's already considered by them to be too small to support compared to consoles.

Balls like you have? LOL, internet tough guy. Being an asshole on an internet gaming forum has nothing to do with balls. Just ask Nuclear Watchdog. Take bats advice and CHILL THE FUCK OUT.

28.
 
Re: Nice
Aug 6, 2008, 20:32
28.
Re: Nice Aug 6, 2008, 20:32
Aug 6, 2008, 20:32
 
* REMOVED *
This comment was deleted on Aug 6, 23:07.
27.
 
No subject
Aug 6, 2008, 20:09
27.
No subject Aug 6, 2008, 20:09
Aug 6, 2008, 20:09
 
I find myself agreeing with dsmart here, I don't think PhysX will take off in any grand way until it's either adopted by ATi as well, or something happens to knock all alternatives out of the water. Considering how many alternatives there are I doubt that'll happen.
Also, what with quad core CPUs being cheaper now, I see no reason not to utilise them properly. I'd rather have more FPS than more physically modelled objects, as you can play effectively without the latter.

26.
 
No subject
Aug 6, 2008, 20:08
26.
No subject Aug 6, 2008, 20:08
Aug 6, 2008, 20:08
 
This saves me money to buy a Killer NIC!
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25.
 
Re: ...
Aug 6, 2008, 19:44
25.
Re: ... Aug 6, 2008, 19:44
Aug 6, 2008, 19:44
 
Aww did I hurt your feelings by pulling up relevant quotes of yours from the also relevant news announcement?

I don't care if you use ATI or nVidia, PS3 or 360, GameTap or Steam. None of it matters to me. Retarded folks like yourself that say one thing and then contradict themselves the next and when you get called on it, all you can do is point fingers and call me a fanboy.

I looked back at the thread to see if it got the same moronic reaction it has received here, only to find your comments, which contradict what you were saying now.

If I had only referenced it, you would have made me prove it by providing a quote...so I did and then you find something else completely irrelevant to argue.

insisting ATI owned Havok

Hey dipshit, can you not read that I already conceded I made that mistake 12 minutes later in response to LN0? And I never "insisted" anything. This has nothing to do with that and I'm so sorry for mistaking a merge with a partnership, please forgive me? If you developed half the balls I have, maybe you would admit that you contradicted yourself instead of crying fanboy as your argument.

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24.
 
Re: ...
Aug 6, 2008, 18:59
24.
Re: ... Aug 6, 2008, 18:59
Aug 6, 2008, 18:59
 
Right now PhysX isn't much more than a gimmick and it'll probably stay that way if everyone has different APIs for physics

If it's just a gimmick, then why do you want it on ATI?

Maybe because if it's supported by both ATI/NVIDIA, developers would be more likely to fully support it and add real features instead of something that looks like a gimmick. Otherwise, there's a good chance they won't even bother, as previously said. A standardized physics API that everyone can settle on would be a good thing for the future of PC gaming. We don't need another niche in the PC gaming market.

now developers can actually support it since most of the existing install base from series 8 up will now have the ability to make use of the features

That "existing install base" is smaller than the install base for DX10, because it would not include the ATI install base. We've already seen how long it took developers to bother supporting DX10.

MMORPGHoD -Hmm.. interesting move. Should be a better result than the AMD/ATi aquisition....The AMD/ATI is in the loser ballbark.

That was from the thread back in February. Now he says it's a gimmick, because he wants the new ATI card because it's faster.
...
Trying to put a negative spin on it just screams ATI jealousy.


Wow, digging back 6 months in post history to save face from insisting ATI owned Havok or did I insult another one of your prized possessions? I'll add NVIDIA to the list of things to avoid discussing with you in addition to steam and PS3. You become too much of a rabid fanboy when it comes to things you have a personal attachment to. I'll just leave the rest of the people you're flaming keep you busy.

And for the record, I still believe the ATI acquistion was a loser deal for AMD. AMD was distracted and is now hurting from it. Do I want to see AMD/ATI fall behind and watch Intel and NVIDIA ratchet prices up? Of course not. I was pleasantly surprised to see that ATI is still very competitive in spite of it. And we can thank ATI The recent price drops of NVIDIA cards.
s{
This comment was edited on Aug 6, 19:03.
23.
 
Re: ...
Aug 6, 2008, 18:52
23.
Re: ... Aug 6, 2008, 18:52
Aug 6, 2008, 18:52
 
I'm done here. Go play with yourself.
Game developers are just human beings who happen to make games for a living. If you want to hold us up to higher standards of conduct, then go ahead
...but don't be surprised if we don't uphold them
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22.
 
Re: ...
Aug 6, 2008, 18:20
22.
Re: ... Aug 6, 2008, 18:20
Aug 6, 2008, 18:20
 
you wouldn't have taken my post out of context

I'm pompous? I guess you would know, you are the king of pompous assholes.

I didn't take anything out of context. You quoted what I said, then told me I was wrong, then proceeded to talk about how it's not free if someone has to implement it (referring to devs), when I very clearly stated there was no additional cost to END USERS.

The only asshole lacking in comprehension skills here is you. Did they not teach comprehension when you bought your Ph.D?

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21.
 
Re: ...
Aug 6, 2008, 18:09
21.
Re: ... Aug 6, 2008, 18:09
Aug 6, 2008, 18:09
 
And the fees to use those systems versus PhysX? Smaller developers had already used PhysX due to Havok costing to much

Most of the top end physics engines are, would you believe, free? Ode, Newton Dynamics, Bullet et al. All free.

Havoc is nothing special. It just so happens that most of the top end devs ended up using it because, well, somehow paying for something makes it more usable than something that is free. Or such rubbish like that.

MS need to get their fingers out of their asses and come out with DirectPhysX to end this retarded PhysX vs Havok vs WTF shit. One API that every gfx card can address or make use of. That's what's needed. MS need to stop being pussies and rediscover their evilness. They need to tell all these parties that it's either DirectPhysX or no physics ever again on a Windows OS because they will sabotage any efforts to establish a proprietary API. That would not only be funny as fuck but also effective in getting somewhere with all this physics crap.

heh, I said words to that effect in one of my dev blogs. But knowing MS, they won't do DirectPhysics. Why do that when you can just keep screwing around with DX10 and DX11?

@ Dagok
I know you are ignorant and arrogant, but illiterate too?

You even quoted me "...it's free for existing owners. "

EXISTING OWNERS. End users do not have to pay to implement it. Not our problem! If it gives devs options, and doesn't cost the END USER anything, it's a good thing.

Nice way to derail a discussion you stupid pompous asshole.

If you had two functioning brain cells, you wouldn't have taken my post out of context, put 2+2 and came up with -6.

Go get some reading and comprehension skills. Jackass. I swear everytime you post here, its like you're some retarded halfling out on a day pass. Yeah, go ahead, dance with me.


This comment was edited on Aug 6, 18:10.
Game developers are just human beings who happen to make games for a living. If you want to hold us up to higher standards of conduct, then go ahead
...but don't be surprised if we don't uphold them
Avatar 9141
20.
 
Good for visual fluff...
Aug 6, 2008, 18:08
20.
Good for visual fluff... Aug 6, 2008, 18:08
Aug 6, 2008, 18:08
 
and little else. Physics used for game mechanics will still be done on the CPU. It's nothing but a frame rate reducer - whether it matters or not will depend on how many fps can be sacrificed.

Avatar 48752
19.
 
Re: ...
Aug 6, 2008, 17:51
19.
Re: ... Aug 6, 2008, 17:51
Aug 6, 2008, 17:51
 
And that's one demo video. For a cost of 13 fps in Tech Reports benchmarks, it adds a whole crap load of objects flying around the screen. That may be now. What about the future? It's up to the devs to implement it ina way that makes sense to the game.

I'm not saying UT3 made the best use of it...

Whatever, it seems I'm in the minority here. It's free to the end-user, and opens up plenty of options for developers.

I'm not going to be drawn into trashing something that many said was necessary a year ago (integration of physics and GPU rather than a different peripheral) and again said it sounded interesting when they announced it 6 to 8 months ago.

But now it's a gimmick, waste of peoples time, etc, etc, etc.

MMORPGHoD -Hmm.. interesting move. Should be a better result than the AMD/ATi aquisition....The AMD/ATI is in the loser ballbark.

That was from the thread back in February. Now he says it's a gimmick, because he wants the new ATI card because it's faster.

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18.
 
Re: Nice
Aug 6, 2008, 17:43
18.
Re: Nice Aug 6, 2008, 17:43
Aug 6, 2008, 17:43
 
Physics on the GPU is a good idea in general, all Nvidia needs to do is implement some gimmick effects that are optional on some new popular game (ie NOT UT3) and those people who have to see the new effects will buy Nvidia cards over ATI cards if ATI isn't willing to write these kinds of drivers. Of course gimmicks only go so far (witness the DX10 debacle), the quality and developer usability of the drivers is going to be very important.

It looks like the new trend for GPUs is going to be using their power for programmable non-rendering tasks, unless developers start going beyond Crysis-level rendering and give us a new reason to need more rendering power (but not quite ray-tracing yet).

P.S. You do have to feel bad for ATI, they now have a much superior card to the 8800GT but everyone already bought the Nvidia card to play Crysis (barely) and ATI is left without a killer app (because no one wants to play Crysis slightly faster and there is nothing currently more demanding).
17.
 
...
Aug 6, 2008, 17:32
17.
... Aug 6, 2008, 17:32
Aug 6, 2008, 17:32
 
But if you watch that video of UT3 and the hail storm, it's far more than a gimmick
I did watch the UT3 video and I still think it's more of a gimmick than anything else. It adds lots of dynamic elements but they merely hammer performance and contribute very little to the gaming experience... it was more of a distraction. That's not the fault of PhysX, more a criticism of the current implementations. If we were talking truly deformable landscapes that affected gameplay then I'd be very interested but things like the UT3 tornado map (or whatever it's called) just aren't enough for me.

I would rather a game support PhysX than not so I at least get a choice but I switched to ATi this generation (4870) and unless it's support on ATi it's of little use to me. I have another machine in the house with two 8800GTS cards in SLI so I'll definitely have a play around with UT3 on it but I'm far more interested in DX10 like those seen in STALKER: Clear Sky.

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Remember: Riley has autism. He has trouble communicating, and in an overstimulating
environment, he can get frightened and run away, leaving his parents frantic. - Auburn
"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
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16.
 
DirectPhysX FTW!!!11!!
Aug 6, 2008, 17:31
16.
DirectPhysX FTW!!!11!! Aug 6, 2008, 17:31
Aug 6, 2008, 17:31
 
MS need to get their fingers out of their asses and come out with DirectPhysX to end this retarded PhysX vs Havok vs WTF shit. One API that every gfx card can address or make use of. That's what's needed. MS need to stop being pussies and rediscover their evilness. They need to tell all these parties that it's either DirectPhysX or no physics ever again on a Windows OS because they will sabotage any efforts to establish a proprietary API. That would not only be funny as fuck but also effective in getting somewhere with all this physics crap.
15.
 
Re: Nice
Aug 6, 2008, 17:05
15.
Re: Nice Aug 6, 2008, 17:05
Aug 6, 2008, 17:05
 
Being free != good

And its not free if someone has to IMPLEMENT it.

I know you are ignorant and arrogant, but illiterate too?

You even quoted me "...it's free for existing owners. "

EXISTING OWNERS. End users do not have to pay to implement it. Not our problem! If it gives devs options, and doesn't cost the END USER anything, it's a good thing.

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14.
 
Re: Nice
Aug 6, 2008, 17:02
14.
Re: Nice Aug 6, 2008, 17:02
Aug 6, 2008, 17:02
 
This will get nowhere since I don't see any dev wasting their time with the likes of the software layer (no rigid body dynamics, heh) that PhysX uses. In the face of Havoc, Bullet Physics, Newton et al, its well, inferior.

And the fees to use those systems versus PhysX? Smaller developers had already used PhysX due to Havok costing to much. Is it not possible this would benefit devs that can't afford those fees?

It was already being used, sparingly, when it was an over-priced hardware peripheral. I don't see how that can't improve, or at least give more devs more options.

Like I said, I dont see this as being a bad thing, especially since its at no cost to the end-user. Nobody here can speak to know what nVidia has planned for this in the future, but I doubt they dropped millions on it to not use it.

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Civilization Revolution, Grand Theft Auto IV, GRID

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"Blues News" Steam Community... http://steamcommunity.com/groups/bluesnews/
13.
 
9M GPU's
Aug 6, 2008, 17:02
13.
9M GPU's Aug 6, 2008, 17:02
Aug 6, 2008, 17:02
 
Dell stated to me when I was inquiring to buy an XPS laptop that they are not going to release an XPS gaming machine with 9M GPU's and 8M GPU's are their only option. They ship 8800M dual GPU's AND a PhysX processor.

Seems Dell is exiting the performance mobile GPU market.

This comment was edited on Aug 6, 17:03.
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