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Old 03-28-2006, 12:45 AM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default AGEIA PhysX.. First Impressions

"Last week at the GDC, the buzz was all around us. At hardware and software booths alike. I was able to see the Ageia PhysX card in action as well as sample ATI and NVIDIA’s approach to physics and gaming."

After reading Greg's report here, discuss it here!
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Old 03-28-2006, 01:09 AM   #2
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Dude! That report was for teh win!
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Old 03-28-2006, 11:11 AM   #3
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were are the movies you spoke of??
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Old 03-28-2006, 11:13 AM   #4
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One is available for download at the end of the article and the other one should be there within the next hour or so.
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Old 03-28-2006, 12:53 PM   #5
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This chip looks like an excellent addition to aid performance. If it works well, it'll tremendously reduce cpu usage for physical interactions within the game. That'll mean higher framerates and better graphics. I love it!
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Old 03-28-2006, 12:56 PM   #6
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Added a few videos. Not sure how long they will last as they are huge.
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Old 03-30-2006, 12:32 AM   #7
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Very interesting. I can't wait too see how this helps if at all reduce cpu usage.
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Old 03-30-2006, 02:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakal
This chip looks like an excellent addition to aid performance. If it works well, it'll tremendously reduce cpu usage for physical interactions within the game. That'll mean higher framerates and better graphics. I love it!
Its possible to use the graphic processor to do more then graphics. I saw an article on the net about some company that uses graphic processors to help with solving complex mathematical problems. They daisy chain hundreds of graphic processors in different machines, and use both the CPU + graphic CPU in combination to increase the amount of mathematical computations they do for solving what they are working on.
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Old 03-30-2006, 02:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakal
This chip looks like an excellent addition to aid performance. If it works well, it'll tremendously reduce cpu usage for physical interactions within the game. That'll mean higher framerates and better graphics. I love it!
I am more interested in more special effects and higher quality graphcis. Frame rate is usually already high enough for most games. Besides the human eyes can not distinguish a difference between high frame rates.
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Old 03-30-2006, 11:43 AM   #10
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Theoretically, the Ageia PPU will add to the GPU's workload. While taking a lot of load off of the CPU, there will be many more objects made available to interact with which means more objects that will have to be rendered. Collisions will be handled by the PPU but while in motion, the GPU will have to render all of the lighting and shadows relative to where the objects are on the screen.
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Old 04-11-2006, 10:56 AM   #11
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Well, I'm also very excited about hardware PPU. But I'm old enough to have been one of the first adapters of the first 3DFx add-on GPU. As soon as the major graphics card producers got into that area, 3DFx quickly became obsolete and incompatable. Perhaps if they maintain DirectX compatability, this won't happen quite so fast with the PhysX chip, but I'll bet these first add-on PPU cards will be relatively short-lived.

My guess is that within a couple of years, no one will be writing games for the PhysX and we'll all be using Nvidia or ATI graphic cards with integrated PPU's.

However, I'll still buy an AGEIA card as soon as the apps are there to support it. But I'll do so, knowing that its probably a short-term solution.

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Old 04-11-2006, 01:17 PM   #12
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Anode,

This, I hope, just wont be the case with the PhysX PPU. The approach that nVidia and ATi are taking at the moment is completely different from the direction Ageia is leaning. They want to offload the physics load onto one of the GPUs but as stated earlier, I spoke with some game designers at the GDC and they were not to keen to the idea of giving up GPU performance to code for physics but rather liked the way that Ageia is going with a stand alone card. I, as a gamer and end users, don't really want to sacrifice any of my SLi performance to incorporate physics. Now I can understand how nVidia and ATi are justifying this to themselves because not everyone will be able to afford a PPU when they first ship so the idea of being able to have a lot of the performance without dropping another 300 on the PhysX card will be appealing. That just isn’t the case for me and it sounds like you. We are tech heads and want what’s new while it's still new...

Thanks for your input and feel free to stick around.
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Old 04-12-2006, 06:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkSynergy
Anode,

This, I hope, just wont be the case with the PhysX PPU. The approach that nVidia and ATi are taking at the moment is completely different from the direction Ageia is leaning. They want to offload the physics load onto one of the GPUs but as stated earlier, I spoke with some game designers at the GDC and they were not to keen to the idea of giving up GPU performance to code for physics but rather liked the way that Ageia is going with a stand alone card. I, as a gamer and end users, don't really want to sacrifice any of my SLi performance to incorporate physics. Now I can understand how nVidia and ATi are justifying this to themselves because not everyone will be able to afford a PPU when they first ship so the idea of being able to have a lot of the performance without dropping another 300 on the PhysX card will be appealing. That just isn’t the case for me and it sounds like you. We are tech heads and want what’s new while it's still new...

Thanks for your input and feel free to stick around.
I certainly agree with you that a dedicated PPU is the only thing that makes any sense. I would also be opposed to giving up one clock cycle of my expensive SLI up to another process. But as you also know, its often not the best hardware that prevails. Remeber Aureal A3D? I also bought into that technology, because it was (and still is) far superior to EAX in almost every way. A3D was, in a sense, the audio equivalent to a dedicated PPU that provided unique capabilities for superior sound placement, reflections and muffling effects through walls. Unfortunately, Creative put them out of business before they could transition much of the calculations to a dedicated sound processor.

In my opinion, its clear that the future of PC gaming is in the implementation of dedicated multiprocessors. So I hope you are right and the PhysX PPU (or similar dedicated hardware) prevails against the big two graphics manufacturers.

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Old 04-16-2006, 04:03 PM   #14
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Wow, some of the replys in this thread boggle my mind.

Heres my thoughts, and im sure there will be plenty of backlash from them...but thats kinda the idea anyway.


So, does the world ned a PPU? If this where 1999, the answer would be a resounding YES.

But becuase this is 2006, the answer is a definate NO. And heres why.

The current processor technology is moving away fromt eh idea of a single core architexture, and will eventually move exclusively to a dual core architexture at minimum. Eventually we will see quads, and perhaps even a six pack on die processor layout for the enterprise folks.

So what does that have to do with a PPU?
Well, the whole purpose of a PPU is negated by a dual core. If you program a game properly, you can have one core doing the games standard calculations (i.e. all that a single processor bears now), and set a secondary thread of code to the sister processor to do nothing but physics. Not only would it be faster then the PhysX PPU, but it would also cost a heck of alot less for the consumer, and be much easier to program for, and be less of a cost hit for the developers having to pay licencing for Agias PhysX engine. And with Vista on the horizon, with full support for SMP, and 64bit processing, there will be no excuse not to do this.

Plain and simple, Agia is selling snake oil in my oppinion. ANd is attempting to market a technology that would have best been suited to gamers needs YEARS ago. Currently, the technology offers nothing in the way of a direct performance increase that couldent easily be recreated on dual core CPU.

Think about it for a while, and ask yourself the question, "Is it really worth that extra $300?"

The answer may suprise you.
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Old 04-25-2006, 01:58 AM   #15
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actually if i read the article right ageia is giving developers the license!! and making the money off the cards.

yes dual processors are becoming popular but games are getting much much more complex.

i have been jumping around the game forums and alot of people are complaining they want better ai and bigger maps and more players per map.

and if you go to the age 3 web forums there is a thread called ask sandy a developer and this was asked,

16) will there be much much much larger maps in the expansion pack
A – only if we find out suddenly that everyone’s computers are much much much more powerful. Unlike my answers, the map sizes were not chosen arbitrarily
http://forum.agecommunity.com/ibb/po...tRepeater1-p=3

i will take a seperate card!!!!!
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