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Upgrade video card or buy PhysX Ageia card?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 23, 2006 11:23:51 AM

I have a BFG 6800GT OC pci-e right now.
Would it be more worth my money to upgrade to a 7900 or to
purchase the PhysX Ageia card for that type of graphics?
I know I will see overall proformance increase with the 7900, but
I'm talking about all that extra stuff coming out soon.
I do play CoV right now and its on the list for the PhysX upgrade next month.
I already run on near max settings with the card I have in that game.

Thanks
April 23, 2006 11:59:13 AM

If you're satisfied with the settings and frame rates of the games that you play, don't even bother upgrading. Save your money for something else.
a b U Graphics card
April 23, 2006 12:17:38 PM

If currently happy with framerates/settings achieved with 6800GT, a still capable card, I'd stand pat as well, as there will be several product refreshes over the next few months, and potentially Direct x 10.0/HD-DVD capable video cards for Vista right around the corner...

I peronally didn't think the couple of " w/ physics card" movies of gameplay I have seen really merit the relatively large investment yet. Perhaps if/when more games I play are added, I'll consider it, although by then the Nvidia/ATi might have incorporated their own solutions into SLI/Crossfire
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April 23, 2006 12:31:18 PM

I'm sticking with my X600 because I can play the games that I like (TS2, NFS:MW, SC4, etc.) at 1280x1024, max settings, and still get 20FPS. I'll stick with it for another year or until I get a game that I can't play at satisfactory resolution/settings. The 6800GT is still a pretty powerful card; just stick with it for a while.
a b U Graphics card
April 23, 2006 12:36:03 PM

"and still get 20FPS. "

Ouch! :-)

Although I remember when the 21.7 fps was considered silky smooth by Voodoo1 standards under Quake 2, it was quite a while ago..
April 23, 2006 12:41:57 PM

20FPS is good enough for me. That number should go up now that I have an A64.

On a side note, I'll be using my old P4 540 as an electric stove to boil water for tea. My theory is that if I overclock it, it will get hotter and make better tea! Teatime's 2:00 at my place; anyone interested?
a b U Graphics card
April 23, 2006 12:48:31 PM

Which is indeed what counts!
April 23, 2006 2:03:45 PM

I'd come, but I'm fresh out of scones. I'd hate to show up empty-handed.
April 23, 2006 2:23:26 PM

As far as I can tell, there is no concrete release date for the PhysX card. The only way you can get it at the moment is to order from an OEM, and only through a new PC purchase. The only rumored date I've ever heard was June at the earliest, though if we're lucky, maybe next month with the release of GRAW. You might, however, be able to find one on eBay.

The main purpose of the PhysX card is to add physics-based effects to games. I'm sure you'll be able to notice a difference in graphical effects with card. Whether that will translate into a significant improvement in performance remains to be seen. It might not relieve the CPU or GPU from enough of their computational duties, or the PCI bandwidth could prove to be a bottleneck.

If you're running at max settings in CoV with the 6800GT at acceptable framerates, then there's no need to upgrade to a 7900. But if you were to change your gaming habits -- a larger monitor and/or resource-hungry games like F.E.A.R. or Oblivion -- then you might consider upgrading to a new video card.

As for nVidia and ATi cards using physics acceleration, there's nothing official yet, though it seems that ATi has vehemently denied any need for incorporating the PPU into their cards.
April 23, 2006 2:39:58 PM

Quote:
20FPS is good enough for me. That number should go up now that I have an A64.

On a side note, I'll be using my old P4 540 as an electric stove to boil water for tea. My theory is that if I overclock it, it will get hotter and make better tea! Teatime's 2:00 at my place; anyone interested?


I'm using a copper teacup as the heatsink.
April 23, 2006 2:42:07 PM

Sorry, I meant as far as ATi or nVidia using a separate hardware PPU.
April 23, 2006 3:50:21 PM

Except a handful of videos.
April 23, 2006 5:07:30 PM

I'd say the same thing for Nvidia and it's tech demos, but all of them are available for download on their site. (They actually look as good as the pictures)
April 23, 2006 6:15:38 PM

I understand that I don't have the by far the best card out right now.

It's kind of confusing right now with what this physics card is supposed to add.
If I buy a new video card I know I will get better fps and higher detail in my games.

I am kind of just wondering (just an example) if running "high" detail with my 6800gt with a physics card will look better than "very high" with a 7900gtx with out the physics card in a game made with physics support?

I have:

3500 64
Asus AN8-SLI
2 gigs of 3200 ram
BFG 6800GT OC

But without a card to test I guess no one can answer that now.
April 23, 2006 8:26:52 PM

Quote:
nothing in the game apart from things involving physics and only physics that have been coded on the game are going to be affected, nothing else. the game cannot look better than it already does.


That's very true, but we're also reaching a point in graphics technology where detail isn't enough. There needs to be something more to the visuals of a game. A PPU could certainly add that visual spice to a game, while freeing the GPU and CPU from the extra workload. For example, instead of grass that's just blowing in the wind, we could have grass that reacts to an object or character model. Explosions could ricochet shrapnel against objects and character, maybe even the player her/himself. The possibilities are impressive and not limited to the pedestrain examples that I've given. In a way, games could look better, but not measured in the standards by which we currently judge videocards.

None of this is new. Aegia's been developing the software side of the technology for use in console-game development. And games in general have been using physics calculations for more "realism" for several years now. The PhysX card only represents a possible turning point for PC gaming, just as the video and sound cards did back in the 1990's.
April 25, 2006 4:18:35 PM

yea i agree with prozac, altho i do know that the PhysX card has a MSRP of 299USD also u never have to upgrade as it is only a software thing, also it dusnt just do Physics it makes sure that your computer is doing what its ment to do. CPU think and orchestrate GPU render and display, PPU move and interact. its not so much gona make performance better its just gona make games have more physics capabilities, it wuld be a good investment for the future but it proves rather pointless at this day and age.
April 25, 2006 5:10:36 PM

Quote:
"and still get 20FPS. "

Ouch! :-)

Although I remember when the 21.7 fps was considered silky smooth by Voodoo1 standards under Quake 2, it was quite a while ago..


i was thinking the same thing.. although about the voodoo2 ... that damn long card with like 4 gpus on it.. required an extra moltex.. getting like 25-30 fps in quake 2 was nice..

ahh hurts my brain thinking back that far...
April 25, 2006 5:33:37 PM

For some games there might be patches released but I doubt it :(  but the future is definatly going to be great :)  There WILL be games for the Physix :)  How do I know ? Easy they are putting the chip in the PS3 and the Revolution so when companies do the ports they will cut and past some of the code over (way over simplifing there lol) But for right now if I had the money to spend id spend it on the video card upgrade :) 

I also would love to see some OS related physix processing :)  being able to bump windows over to another monitor would be cool and things like that :) 
April 25, 2006 5:57:25 PM

Quote:
Getting a 7900 card will be better. There are no games that support the PhysX card, so you'll be better off getting a better video card.



Check this link out..someone listed 20 plus games announced to use the physx card

http://forumz.tomshardware.com/games/announced-game-tit...

Quote:
* Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter

* Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends

* Bet on Soldier: Blood Sport

* Cell Factor

* City of Villains

* Unreal Tournament 2007

* Gunship Apocalypse

* Sacred II

* Loki

* Dogtag

* Fallen Earth

* Crazy Machines 2

* Arena Online

* Diabolique

* Warhammer MMORPG

* Eye of the Storm

* KARMA

* Vanguard: Saga of Heroes

* Alpha Prime
April 26, 2006 1:23:38 AM

right now the PPU industry is brand new, accordingly, i think that it will eventually offer real benefits, but you should wait. in a year or so, when more companies are manufacturing PPUs and more games are supporting them, then it will be a good idea. right now a new video card is a great idea though, the PPU is just not worth it.

to leave you with one last example, in like 2001 when the minidisc player came out, i thought it was the best idea in the world, SO MUCH BETTER THAN CDS, so i bought one. like a year later, the ipod became much cheaper and more viable, and I HAD A MINIDISC PLAYER.
April 26, 2006 11:35:58 AM

Quote:
On a side note, I'll be using my old P4 540 as an electric stove to boil water for tea. My theory is that if I overclock it, it will get hotter and make better tea! Teatime's 2:00 at my place; anyone interested?


!!!

<3

(By the way, neither upgrade is probably wise right now. DX10 is around the corner and a majority of PhysX-capable games won't be out until 2007 when the card itself has dropped to like $175.)
April 26, 2006 4:59:36 PM

I wonder if at that time some MOBO will come with an onboard "physx" card? Kind of like sound..that can't be too far off
!