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Which PhysX card is better?

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Last response: in Components

Which PhysX PPU is better:ASUS or BFG

Total: 11 votes

  • ASUS
  • 46 %
  • BFG
  • 55 %
October 7, 2006 6:03:49 PM

I was recently looking into getting a PPU for games like GRAW and UT 2007 so I was looking for some opinions on these 2 models.

The ASUS model

The BFG model

I realize that there aren't many games that will support PhysX but UT 2007 will. This alone makes it worth it to me and any other games that support it will just be extra. I don't plan on making a purchase immediately so prices may fall even more by the time I get one. I know that the ASUS model comes with GRAW but that is irrelevant to me as I already own the game. I am only looking to know about the quality of the hardware and the performance compared to each other.

More about : physx card

October 7, 2006 6:33:48 PM

even when the games can take full advantage of the physX its quite possible that video cards will already have this capability built in
October 7, 2006 7:11:26 PM

PhysX cards are cons... you can even come to imagine on how disappointed I was after seeing the reviews and benchmarks on the card. Too expensive for what it provides, and doesn't have the necessary game support. Until the prices drop on those things, or until some other company provides a competing solution to act as an alternative (hell, if a DirectX like standard were to be released, then that would be awesome) then there's not much point in getting the card. Save your money now and wait until UT2007 does come out, and then splash out on whatever is around to accelerate physics.
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October 7, 2006 7:26:03 PM

I agree. Your system wouldn't even be a candidate for a PhysX card because of your video card. Since the PhysX card calculates for more particles in the game, your video card has to render all of them.

Sorry to say, your Radeon X800XL won't have the power to render all of the new eye-candy. But don't feel too bad - even an X1950XTX Crossfire system probably wouldn't be able to handle all of the extra stuff on-screen.

If you upgraded the video card as well, you might get a better experience. But I'd say wait, you'll get better stuff at lower prices when the applications you want to play with are actually released.

Now...all it will do is waste your money.
October 7, 2006 7:47:37 PM

none. don't buy a PhysX card period.
new gen gfx will do more than that.
October 7, 2006 9:07:57 PM

I'm aware that my current video card is lacking and will not be able to handle the extra strain of having to render more particles. I plan to upgrade to a DX10 card upon release. This card was just to hold me over for my new build until they come out.

As I mentioned before, I don't plan to make a purchase right now and I also expect the prices to drop. To those that mentioned that PPU calculations will be calculated on GPU, from what I've seen that option will only be available with a multi-GPU setup, which I don't plan to purchase (unless they are able to put it all on 1 physical board). Spending $500-$600 on one high end GPU is enough, I don't need to spend twice or triple that amount just to calculate physics through a multi-GPU setup. Now, if I'm wrong and a single card can perform the calculations, then I won't purchase a PhysX card. Since no one knows 100% (or at least from what I can see) that a PhysX card will be a waste, I was just looking to get some info on a few different models that I may purchase in the future. The fact that I didn't put "Don't waste your $$$ on a PhysX card" in the poll wasn't a mistake. I'm aware that PhysX cards may be a huge waste, or they may become a worthwhile accessory.
October 7, 2006 10:09:28 PM

They are worthless at the moment. A graphics card is vastly more powerful than it, and yet because of what it does, it still manages to overload the gfx card. Also, with it being on a PCI-bus, the latency problems are enough to cause graphical lag as the gfx tries to get the necessary data from the PhysX card in order to render in the physics effects. And just to let you know... with ATI's physics solution, you don't have to have two of the same gfx cards in order to achieve crossfire physics. You could have a high end graphics card doing the graphical work, whilst a budget mid-range card could do the physics calculations. That way, the latency problems would be reduced significantly since both cards would be on the PCI-e 16x bus, and you would get all the nice physics you desire.
October 7, 2006 10:32:24 PM

Don't get a PhysX card, The new nVidia 8XXX series are going to have built in physics.
October 7, 2006 10:34:29 PM

A PhysX card is a waste now, and maybe Nvidia or ATI will make one in the future or include it in their high end. But all this is like looking at a crystal ball that's cloudy. Nothing can be seen for sure, so no action of any type can acurately be made. And I don't know anyone with a crystal ball for that that matter.

If you want to save some money for a PhysX card that may or may not exist in the future, then its your choice. I think most of us want real stuff that we can plan for.
October 7, 2006 11:18:11 PM

If you really want a physx card and a use for one of those pesky 1x PCIe slots, then wait a few weeks.

As for justifying having the card, there's not much there yet. Ageia promises something like 100+ physx supporting titles for next year including UT2007. But, with havok FX having no support (no developer wants GPU physics yet), ageia's looking like the way to go untill microsoft creates direct physics if you want hardware physics.
October 8, 2006 2:38:13 AM

i normally would ignore this poost except it is a bit different. one thing that needs to be understood is that the OP doesn't seem tro understand that asus and bfg are not PPU makers merely card makers just like gfx cards. the hardware that is used is pretty much the same as it will be the ageia chip and some components which meet their desired specs i would imagine. so basically go with which one is cheapest and has the best customer support and warranty.

then again you could get a brain and not get one at all.

First off I realize that ASUS and BFG are just manufacturers of Ageia based cards. I know that the specs are similar but one can be better than the other. For example, the ASUS model seems to have a better HSF thus the reliability may be better. People seem to be replying to this topic as if I'm asking if a PhysX card is worth it and I'm not. I specifically said I was looking into getting one. For all I know they may not be worth a damn in a few months and if so I will not purchase one. The sole purpose of this thread was to find the better of the two cards and nothing more. StrangerStranger you have no right to question my intelligence. If you can't/won't answer my question then I would prefer you follow your own advice and ignore this post.
October 8, 2006 6:12:09 AM

Just save your money to get a top of the line DX10 card in a few months.
Take a look at whats coming too.
October 8, 2006 12:21:50 PM

there is indeed no difference
buy the cheapest
i think that's the asus one
October 8, 2006 12:45:02 PM

This guy is unbelievable! everybody is saying the same thing to him: that theres no point in buying a PhysX card. And he's saying which one is cheapest!!!! Go buy anything you like. Throw your money away since you apparently don't need them.
October 8, 2006 12:46:13 PM

WRONG again hehe, the physics card will NEVER really come out that great simply because the game must be coded with a physics engine, and with the multicore (4 cores and above) like Core 2 duo and AMDs quad core Processor, you can single one core out for physics, one for graphics, one for traditional processing and one for rendering data for the graphics card, so the CPU running at 3GHz will render physics calculations faster than the phsyx card, graphics cards will also not really accel in the physics market, its already happening games being made for the quad core processors, using an entire core for physics, graphics card venbders will realise that physics built into graphics cards are a dumb bet even at best expecially when they have a 3GHz CPU with archetectural point to point interconnects to send physics calcs VERY fast
October 8, 2006 1:09:00 PM

Current-gen CPUs don't have the floating point processing power for dynamic physics. Unless Quad-cores are given FPU accelerators, then you might as well buy into the GPU physics solution. A gfx card is vastly more powerful than the physx processor, so the point behind PhysX is lost. Sure, you'll have hardly any latency, but the CPU will not be able to cope with the processing. The CPU has to manage system resources, game logic, AI, etc. Even if you dedicate a core entirely to physics processing, the floating point processing power is NOT sufficent to allow such a solution to offer what PhysX offers (even though it still kills the system). GPU solutions only offer graphical physics effects, such as interactive fog and particle effects, things which would be done BETTER if kept within the graphics card architecture. Hell here is a whole pdf on ATI's solution just to give an idea.
October 8, 2006 2:15:39 PM

Don’t worry about it mate half of this guys in here are all cock heads anyways and they don’t even help you in the quest for the answer that you posted. As you can see most of these retards misread your post and tend to say there opinions about wasting money …..but I tend to think money comes and goes so if you decide to buy one then who care what the tards think. If you were after information about it then you should say so in your post title but then again nobody would have replied because most of them can’t see past there own noses. There just in here to say what they would do not helping you in gaining knowledge about a product.
October 8, 2006 2:24:40 PM

blue finger aint the OP.

Sorry whats that mean?
October 9, 2006 2:24:56 PM

Yeah, I saw that too, but I read somewhere about the limitations of the PCI-express bus not helping with latency sensitive processes, such as gameplay interactive physics (not graphical physics). Sure, you'll have plenty of bandwidth to use since the graphics cards don't use it all when rendering, though one thing to worry about is latency. Hell, i'm fuzzy on the rest of the details, but I do understand that Havok FX is limited to graphical physics.
October 9, 2006 2:28:04 PM

I guess you were talking to the original poster, and not me, but I have to point out, I was trying to help him make a decision... by trying to point out that PhysX, in its current state, is pointless until certain things happen (such as more games support, a DirectX-like standard for physics, etc). Plus several people were making some comments which were misguided, so I tried to clear up on that too. Just an FYI.
October 9, 2006 3:11:00 PM

To properly assist somebody, sometimes you need to tell them what they need to know and not just answer the question.

If I asked "Is the Capitial of the United States Denver or Detroit", what would you answer? Clearly you would say, "Sorry but neither answer is correct. The correct answer is "The Distric of Columbia also known as Washington D.C.". Feel free to answer "Detroit" because it is close to D.C. than Denver. Regardless of the number of times I am asked that question I will answer neither and continue to refuse to provide one of the two choices as the correct answer.

He clearly wants to get the best possible game performance for a given game. The Pysics cards that exist today do not play into that solution.
Whatever money he spends on that card would be better spent on other system parts such as either an additional video card, faster processor, advanced water cooling system for over-clocking, etc..

Also, considering that he is not planning on buying this card for a few months until DX10 Cards and Vista are out the question is even more pointless since I pray that newer physics cards would be available by that time.
October 9, 2006 3:40:56 PM

There's no need for a faster physx card because no one's even beginning to fully utilize the capabillities of it. So far, most everyone's using it for effects physics only.

For performance, games that actually use only ageia's physx engine see a decent performance boost. City of villans gets something like a 30% boost in physics intensive situations. But, this is most likely a result of ageia refining their physx engine as very little of their engine is actually hardware accelerated.

In the end, stream computing coupled with GPU's that have a physics shader system will probably replace the dedicated PPU.

Since PCIe offers 8GB/s of bidirectional bandwidth (4GB/sin each direction) and PCIe 2.0 is only a year off (16GB/s total and it's backwards compatable), the bandwidth will be there to bring the GPU up to the level of a proper co-processor. Combine it with microsoft moving in that direction and a next gen GPU with unified shaders, and you've got the future of hardware physics.
October 9, 2006 4:00:12 PM

Still you miss the point.

I wager the $200 for the PPU could be used elsewhere in the system that would allow the system to run faster and give better performance in his game than any existing PPU.

In addition, Physics will be used more and more in the future and I contend the physics cards available in 4-6 Months after Vista is on the Shelf and there is a nice selection of DX10 cards, there will be new model physics cards which will better handle future physics.

But again as you and others point out, many of the DX10 cards will have physics solutions built-in which will probably work better than external PPUs.

As he admits there is no point today for the card because his system can't make proper use of it and when he upgrades his system to allow for its use, there will be better options then.

It's sort of like going to a Car Audio shop to buy a new audio system for a 2008 Model car. Go to the Car Audio shop when the 2008 models are released or better yet wait to see what Audio system is in the car before buying a replacement.
October 9, 2006 5:22:43 PM

This guy is unbelievable! everybody is saying the same thing to him: that theres no point in buying a PhysX card. And he's saying which one is cheapest!!!! Go buy anything you like. Throw your money away since you apparently don't need them.

excuse me... :!: :!: :!:
I am answering his question. i'm not saying physx cards are good, did i???
so when you accuse me again, read the guy's question. this is a forum to HELP people out. not to break down their idea's...
October 10, 2006 1:52:56 AM

I just wanted to thank everyone who read this thread and attempted to answer the question being asked. I was looking for a comparison of these two cards based on performance and reliability. From your posts, I've found that both cards are based on Ageia's reference design so there is really no difference other than price. I was under the assumption that they may be clocked differently therefore one would preform better.

Even though some were not addressing my question, I do appreciate those looking out for me so I don't make a bad purchase. I realize that there will be many different physics solutions coming out within the next few months and I defiantly will be looking at what others have to offer. The purpose of this thread was just to find the better card that offers an Ageia solution. If prices drop to a more reasonable level and more quality titles are added, then in my opinion a PhysX card will be a good piece hardware to have. Like many others, I will be waiting to see what the market brings so I can make an informed decision.
June 4, 2008 4:50:51 PM

Actually none of you really understand the technology...

Physx PPU works like the following...

The cpu normally computes the data needed to compute motion, direction, size, dimensions, AI etc...
Physics are a HIGHLY computationally expensive and resource intensive idea... When games first came out with "rag doll" physics it wasn't until the cpu's caught up with the games that they finally moved or flopped in realistic ways with decent FPS...

Methods of computer with PPU in the equation as as follows...

CPU ------------->>PPU
\ /
\ /
\ /
\>>GPU <<

The cpu first processes the data, and directs the physics processing which takes VERY little bandwidth to the PPU (which PCI is MORE than fast enough to do, since there are NO graphics that are sent acrost.) Then the CPU sends graphics related processes & graphical data to the GPU which consumes HUGE ammounts of bandwidth on the motherboard BUS. Since the CPU offloaded Physics to the PPU and graphics to the GPU it doesn't have to work so hard, and can concentrate on other more important things like loading files, procesing AI information for the characters, or processing network data... Even that has been offloaded these days to network cards supporting "TCP stack offloading" or "UDP stack offloading".

Basically by offloaded more to other processors the CPU can run faster since less CPU cycles are taken up from graphics, physics, and networking... And this is also why Dual or Quad CPU's run faster... when one is busy it offloads the process to a cpu that has less to do... or is "more idle". Case in point... Software Rendering... it uses the CPU and is very slow.. only once the implementation of hardware acceleration did rendering really take off.

Also since the video card does not have to process the Physics it will run faster giving you more FPS, people are under the misconception that Physics needs lots of bandwidth and it does NOT, its only sending packets of data off to the physics card to be processed and sent to the CPU/GPU depending on which one requests the data... This is the very basic concept of "Multiprocessing"

But just like multiprocessors....without multithreading support, the PPU is not fully utilized by programs at the moment.. while saying its "Crap", "garbage" etc... is wrong since it does improve performance substantially when properly optimized. I have one and the games that do support it are substantially faster when large ammounts of particles are present on screen. Even motion, etc.. is smoother and more realistic. The main factor here is it does not increase FPS in most cases, it just increases realism.. and for some people that is more important that insane useless FPS... (Beyond 70-100fps no one can really see that fast, and don't lie saying you can because science will prove you wrong.)

FPS = Frames per second

Flicker Fusion Frequency is what limits the FPS that you can see, also the monitor in which you play games MUST have a high enough Refresh rate to support the FPS that you want to use.. If a monitor has a refresh rate of 60hz and your FPS are 120 then you will perceive the difference as image tearing... The monitor automatically CHOPS & discards excess frames per second above the refresh rate of the monitor...

LCD screens can avoid this tearing by using very fast MS(Miliseconds) monitors.. my monitor is 1ms and I cannot see what is referred to as blurring or ghosting.. But since my monitor is only running at 60hz no matter how high my FPS are it will ONLY EVER run at 60fps anything above that is discarded.

Sooo I hope my rant/informative explaination helped to educate some of you so you won't needlessly seek 100+fps since MOST(99.999999%) human eyes can't even see that fast.

Even though I think 100fps is a perfectly good goal, especially when combined with a monitor that supports that refresh rate.
June 27, 2008 5:00:47 PM

The best PPU in play now is a nVidia GX280... :bounce: