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Old 04-29-2006, 03:18 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Unregistered
i tried to register it said you will recieve an email on how to activate your name but i never got it?

buck-o you stated you were going to get one for review. just curiouse as to what game you intend on trying it on?

and it does not specify on this but i was wondering, it states look for games optimized for the physx card... if a game is not built for the card, the card would be useless wouldn't it?

and could you shed some light on something for me as i am a mechanic not a computer guru

what is the limit on pci-x for volume? like how much can you transfer between the video card and the motherboard at a time?
Well thats a bummer on the registration. Maybe fire off an e-mail to Rob Williams, and see if he can get yoru account pushed through.

As for the review card. I am not getting one. I would like to. But im not. DarkSynergy, however, is getting one. So you should direct that question tword him. But im sure he will answer anyway.

And you nailed it. If the game isnt specificly written to take advantage of the Phys-X wont even know its there. Which is one of the reason im not hip on it. Becuase it has no backward compatibility, unless the developers see fit to release a patch for the game to utilize it. And even then im sure the performance increase would be minimal.

As for your last question...its already been answered.
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Old 05-01-2006, 08:31 PM   #32
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wow what service sent a letter to rob before i got back to the forums he resolved the problem and wrote back to me. thanks!!!!

jakal: thanks for the info that was exactly the info i was looking for !!
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Old 05-01-2006, 09:39 PM   #33
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Concerning the games that are not built with a PPU in mind. You are right when you say that the PPU will be useless but in it's defense, it's early. Games will need to be programed to take advantage of the PPU and thats what Ageia is giving their SDK out for free to anyone who in interested in including the features that a PPU would bring to the game.

I recieved the PhysX card from Ageia and BFG today and have had about an hour to play around with it and see just what it could do. Alas, all that was included was the Cell Factor Demo that we saw at the GDC. It's nice to be able to play this on my own PC but I want more. I am supposed to be getting Ghost Recon: Advanced War Fighter from Ubisoft soon and that game takes advantage of the PhysX card so time will tell as to where this whole "PhysX revolution" is going.

I must say however that as much as I am all for the PPU, it's only a novalty untill there are games to take advantage of it's processing power.

This will be something to keep up on in the coming months when games are released that were built specifically to use the PPU. I am not holding my breath but it would be killer to be able to patch our current games such as BF2 and CS:S to be able to use this card with those games as well. That might just be a pipe dream though...
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Old 05-02-2006, 04:50 AM   #34
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The two games id really like to see take full PPU support would be GF2, and FEAR, perhaps even Farcry. These three gaems seem to keep patching up for the altest in gaming tech. So im hoping the tred continues with the PPU.

A shame about GRAW though. I personally didnt like the game that much. Multiplayer was preaty rock solid though (and classic GR/R6, which i like).
[it should be noted that my experiences with GRAW are witht he 360 version]
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Old 05-07-2006, 01:01 AM   #35
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Default PhysX PPU...The Future of PC Physics?

I have read all your posts with great interest, I feel that some very good points are being made, so here's my 2 cents worth ;-)

I believe the 'IDEA' of having a dedicated PPU in your increasingly expensive monster rig is highly appealing, even intoxicating and I believe this 'IDEA' coupled with some clever marketing will ensure a good number of highly overpriced, or at least expensive, sales of this mystical technology in it's current (ineficient) form.

For some, the fact that it's expensive and also holds such high promises will ensure it's place as a 'Must have' component for the legions of early adopters. The brilliant idea of launching them through Alienware, Falcon Northwest and the top of the line Dell XPS600 systems was a stroke of marketing genius as this adds to the allure of owning one when they finally launch to the retail market...If it's good enough for a system most of us can never afford but covet none the less it's damn well good enough for my 'monster RIG'. This arrangement will allow the almost guaranteed sales of the first wave of cards on the market. I have noticed that some UK online retailers have already started taking pre-launch orders for the 218 OEM 128MB version I just have to woner how many of these pre-orders have actually been sold?

The concept of a dedicated PPU is quite simply phenominal, We spend plenty of money upgrading our GPU's, CPU's and quite recently Creative have brought us the first true APU (X-Fi series) that it makes sense for there to be a dedicated PPU and berhaps even an AiPU to follow.

The question is, will these products actually benefit us to the value of their cost?

I would say that a GPU, or in fact up to 4 GPU's running over PCIe x32 (2xPCIe x16 channels) become increasingly less value for money the more GPU's added to the equation. i.e. a 7900GTX 512MB at 440 is great bang for the buck compared to Quad SLI 7900GTX 512MB at over 1000. The framerates in the Quad machine are not 4x the single GPU. Perhaps this is where GPU's could trully be considered worthy of nVidia or ATI's Physics SLI load balancing concept. SLI GPU's are not working flat out 100% of the time...Due to the extremely high bandwidth of Dual PCIe x16 ports there should be a reasonable amount of bandwidth to spare on Physics calculations, perhaps more if Dual PCIe x32 (or even quad x16) Motherboards inevitably turn up. I am not saying that GPU's are more efficient than a DEDICATED and designed for PPU, just that if ATI and nVidia decided the market showed enough potential, they could simply 'design in' or add PPU functionality to their GPU cores or GFX cards. This would allow them to tap into the extra bandwidth PCIe x16 affords.

The Ageis PhysX PPU in it's current form runs over the PCI bus, a comparitively Narrow bandwicth bus, and MUST communicate with the GPU in order for it to render the extra particles and objects in any scene. This in my mind would create a Bottleneck as it would only be able to communicate at the bandwidth and speed afforded by the Narrow bandwidth and slower PCI bus. The slowest path governs the speed of even the fastest...This would mean that adding a dedicated PPU, even a very fast and efficient one, would be severely limited by the bus it was running over. This phenomenon is displayed in all the real world benchmarks I have seen of the Ageis PhysX PPU to date, The framerates actually DROP when the PPU is enabled.

To counter this, I believe, Ageis through ASUS, BFG and any other manufacturing partner they sign up with will have to release products designed for the PCIe bus. I believe this is what Ageis knows as the early manufacturing samples were able to be installed in the PCI bus as well as the PCIe bus (although not at the same time ;-) ). I believe the PCI bus was chosen for launch due to the very high installed user base of PCI motherboards, every standard PC I know of that would want a PPU in their system. I belive this is a mistake, as the users most likely to purchase this part in the 'Premium price' period would likely have PCIe in their system, or at least would be willing to shell out an extra 50-140 for the privelage. Although I could be completely wrong in this as it may allow for some 'Double Selling' as when they release the new and improved PCIe version, the early adopters will be forced to buy into it again at a premium price.

This leads me neatly onto the price. I understand that Ageis, quite rightly, are handing out the PhysX SDK freely, this is to allow maximum compatibilty and support in the shortest period of time. This does however mean that the end user, who purchases the card in the beginning will have to pay the full price for the card...218 for the 128MB OEM version. As time goes by and more units are sold, the installed userbase of the PPU will grow and the balance will shift, Ageis will be able to start charging the developers to use their 'must have' Hardware Physics support in their games/software and this will subsidise the cost of the card to the end user, therefore making them even more affordable to the masses and therefore making it a much more 'Must Have' for the developers. This will take several generations of the PPU before we feel the full impact of this I believe.

If ATI and nVidia are smart, they can capitalise on their high installed initial userbase and properly market the idea of Hardware physics for free with their SLI physics, they may be able to throw a spanner in the works for Agies while they attempt to attain market share. This may benefit the consumer, although it may also knock Agies out of the running depending on how effective ATI and nVidias driver based solution first appears. It could also prompt a swift buy out from either ATI or nVidia like nvidia did with 3DFX.

Using the CPU for Physics, even on a multicore CPU, in my opinion is not the way forward. The CPU is not designed for physics calculations, and from what I hear they are not (comparitively) very efficient at performing these calculations. A dedicated solution will always be better in the long run. This will free up the CPU to run the OS and also for Ai calculations and well as antivirus, firewall, background applications and generally keeping the entire system secure and stable. Multicore will be a blessing for PC's and consoles, but not for such a specific and difficult (for a CPU) task.

"Deep breath" ;-)

So there you have it, My thoughts on the PPU situation as it stands now and into the future. Right now I will not be buying into the dream, but simply keeping the dream alive by closely watching how it develops until such a time as I believe the 'Right Time' comes. 218 for an unproven, generally unsupported, and possibly seriously flawed incarnation of the PPU dream is not in my opinion The Right Time, Yet ;-)

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Old 05-08-2006, 10:29 PM   #36
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Excelent post.
And it hink your are abs9olutely right on every count.

I think the timing is a double edged sword.
For one, they released it to late. If this had been releases back in the day of the GeForce4, and the Athlon XP, it would have sold like hot cakes. But, unfortuantely at this point in time, as we have all mentioned, the PCI bus is simply to old, and to legacy to work with a modern graphics card system. And any fluid charted benchmark run in FRAPS with and without PPU support, as you said, shows that plain as day. With significant (upwards of 30FPS in most cases) drops in framerate as the PPU is activated for a "physics enhanced" visual. WHich at this point is nothing but some particle effects. And really, as ive said before, all of those particle effects still have to be rendered on screen via the GPU, and if the GPU is an older GPU, your simply not going to be able to push those sort of visuals.

Now the other edge of that sword is that its released to early, becuase we are int eh era ov PCIe, and the faster direct busses of modern processor technology. THey should have waiting untill the PCIe support was broadened, and there was PCIe support for a card like the PPU. At present, i cant think of any motherboard worth its weight that will work properly with an SLI setup, and a PPU (or any card installed in a PCIe 1x slot for that matter).

So its really probibly the wort time to put a product like this to market. Plus add in all the other froo fraw coming with the release of Vista, and DX10, and the uncertaintly of the market surrounding it. Its really a bad move in my honest oppinion.

Truely, time will be the only real measure of what will become of Agia and their PPU. But i can almost guarentee, that before its over, and before we see a real implimentation of the device worth its while, will take ATi of Nvidia buying them up, and putting the PPU on card with the GPU. My guess would be the most likely cantidate for this would be ATi, and their xFire setup. And i say that soley becuase of their implimentation of the Master card. Which could easily, and seamlessly hold the PPU onboard, and simple use the slave card for graphics rendering only. I think this would be in ATi;s best interest, as it would likely vault them back into the lead in the GPU market.

Infact, i think i should patent that idea, before ATi buys it up. ROFL!

Thanks for contributing to the discussion.
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Old 08-16-2006, 03:44 PM   #37
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Default PPU not enough

Great thread guys. Love the back and forth debates. I'll probably be logging in and creating an account, but alas, I am at work and can't ;P

Just my two cents worth here: I believe that the physX card is a step in the right direction, and only that. Seems to me that it's only half a card...why only process the physics? Personally I think that they should create a card that fits into a PCIe slot, that works together with the cpu and gpu and contains the ENTIRE physics engine. That way any game built to take advantage of said engine would be able to nearly instantly get all the physics information from an outside source. Coding for games would be much easier and faster as well, allowing companies to focus more on AI and graphics... Then again, seems that everyone has a different idea as to what physics should be included in a why not just make them all scalable? Gravity has an acceleration number to it - just make it selectable by the game itself...same with the friction of a given surface. Just link the object and/or texture to they physical properties wanted and voila!

Sorry if not much of that makes much sense, my mind keeps floating when I'm at work :P And with all that said, I'm probably going to pick up a physx card on my next pc build, which will hopefully be in about a month or so.

P.S. Out of curiosity, if it would be so great for games to take advantage of the second core of the CPU, why haven't they done so? multi core processors have been out for some time now, so i'm thinking there must be some reason why people aren't doing it....
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