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Nvidia Physics Accelerator Card

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February 14, 2007 12:44:29 PM

Where is it? In September 2006 this quote was printed by Reg hardware:

Nvidia is developing a standalone games physics processing card, motherboard maker Asus has let slip. Announcing a new mobo equipped with three PCI Express x16 slots, the Taiwanese firm said the third connector was specifically for "Nvidia's upcoming Physics card".

Since then both 590 and 680i chipset boards have been released with 3 PCIE 16 slots but where are the physics boards? With the release of the 8800GTX class cards, is this even necessary now? ATI has been yelling about similar releases also.

Or was all the noise just something to knock the wind out of Ageias then new release PhysX cards OUT. Since both Nvidia and ATI have not released JAck, than that was just plain wrong.
February 14, 2007 1:43:35 PM

Nvidia and Ati's plans are to accelerate physics on the graphics processor of existing videocards. They will not be making a stand-alone physics card.

The hardware is already in our computers, but we're all waiting for them to release APIs, physics-compatible drivers, and developers to release compatible games... software, software, software.
a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
February 14, 2007 2:53:38 PM

Quote:

Or was all the noise just something to knock the wind out of Ageias then new release PhysX cards OUT. Since both Nvidia and ATI have not released JAck, than that was just plain wrong.


LOL!

New to the marketplace are we?
There's no FUD in this market, ever, no! :roll:

I didn't require much on ATi or nV's part in order to take the wind out of Ageia's sails/sales, they did that themselves with the lack lluster launch and poor initial reviews. All ATi and nV had to do was say 'We got something coming too' in order to crush any momentum Ageia developed.

BTW, it's not solely Ageia's market, so they need to be competative, rememebr ATi and nV have been talking about this for scientific use long before Ageia entered the market, so it's not like they copied Ageia's idea or something.

And like Cleeve mentioned, until the unified API like DirectPhysics launches there's no point (Other than like the tools who like to brag that they have a PPU or Quad SLi/Xfire without support for it).

Once games ship with VPU accelerated physics then ATi and nV will have something to use/show, until then it's totally Ageia's market, but they're doing nothing with it other than releasing what amounts to tech demos. The PPU is still not an integral part of any game, just an add on feature like HDR. And just like I would never recommend a plain GF6600 over an X850XT because of the early implemntation of HDR in FartCry, I also wouldn't recommend a PPU to anyone for any lame implementation out there, unless their absolute favourite games was maybe something like City of Villans.

There's alot of opportunities for the use of physics in games, but none of those 3 companies, nor the software giants have any compelling implementations to display at this time. Better to save the money and buy a Wii right now.

Good for teaching little kids the dexterity needed for the child labour markets. :twisted:
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February 14, 2007 3:10:24 PM

ageia truly sucked 8O
February 14, 2007 7:03:05 PM

Indeed it did.

No offence to anyone, but you have to be an idiot to buy those physics card right now. That's like giving them $300 for something you can't really use. You might aswell call yourself Ageia's bitch.

And Ageia's even stupider from a business standpoint. Why a market a product most people know they can't even use. That's like selling PS3 games before PS3 even came out. 8O
February 14, 2007 7:57:42 PM

Quote:
That's like giving them $300 for something you can't really use. You might aswell call yourself Ageia's bitch.
$159 (though, it should still be cheaper). And Ageia has few games that support it (and most of them don't use it very well), but Havok FX and DirectPhysics have nothing.
February 14, 2007 8:08:21 PM

Quote:
Indeed it did.

No offence to anyone, but you have to be an idiot to buy those physics card right now. That's like giving them $300 for something you can't really use. You might aswell call yourself Ageia's bitch.


this is true but the guys are visibly developing and they do have a product they appear to be working to improve. From what I have seen of like preview in game demo's of Crysis, needing a physics accelorator that works well would be a good idea unless you have a killer video system.

Quote:
And Ageia's even stupider from a business standpoint. Why a market a product most people know they can't even use. That's like selling PS3 games before PS3 even came out. 8O


well, Nvidia released the 8800GTX for DX10 and there are NO DX10 titles available yet, but they are selling like hotcakes, even outselling the cheaper 8800GTS's, I should know, I myself have two of the GTX's, and I know its not entirely the same since the GTX's will run DX9 like the dickens also or it wouldn't be selling as well.
February 14, 2007 9:38:44 PM

First I do not see a real reason for a specific physics processor when we have other more viable options available even if they are very expensive right now the support is not there yet so it does not matter yet. the other options would be:

With quad core CPUs the way I see it you could dedicate one core for doing physics and not have any problems.

The other option that I see is that with the 8800 series of GPUs they can be used as additional processors to help the CPU. It would not be unreasonable to have a second or a third GPU doing the physics calculations.

both options I believe are already in the works and neither would hurt current performance we just need to wait for the software to come out. Granted neither solution would be an ideal one but when the prices come down enough which will probably be around the time that the software is ready they will be much better than ageia's solution simply because in both cases the hardware can be used for more than just physics processing.
February 14, 2007 9:56:36 PM

My question is, why would anyone need a physics card? Can't the video card do that? Seems to me physics cards are nothing but a gimmick that may be used to suck even more money out of the enthusiast crowd.
February 14, 2007 10:22:28 PM

Quote:

Or was all the noise just something to knock the wind out of Ageias then new release PhysX cards OUT. Since both Nvidia and ATI have not released JAck, than that was just plain wrong.


LOL!

New to the marketplace are we?
There's no FUD in this market, ever, no! :roll:

I didn't require much on ATi or nV's part in order to take the wind out of Ageia's sails/sales, they did that themselves with the lack lluster launch and poor initial reviews. All ATi and nV had to do was say 'We got something coming too' in order to crush any momentum Ageia developed.

BTW, it's not solely Ageia's market, so they need to be competative, rememebr ATi and nV have been talking about this for scientific use long before Ageia entered the market, so it's not like they copied Ageia's idea or something.

And like Cleeve mentioned, until the unified API like DirectPhysics launches there's no point (Other than like the tools who like to brag that they have a PPU or Quad SLi/Xfire without support for it).

Once games ship with VPU accelerated physics then ATi and nV will have something to use/show, until then it's totally Ageia's market, but they're doing nothing with it other than releasing what amounts to tech demos. The PPU is still not an integral part of any game, just an add on feature like HDR. And just like I would never recommend a plain GF6600 over an X850XT because of the early implemntation of HDR in FartCry, I also wouldn't recommend a PPU to anyone for any lame implementation out there, unless their absolute favourite games was maybe something like City of Villans.

There's alot of opportunities for the use of physics in games, but none of those 3 companies, nor the software giants have any compelling implementations to display at this time. Better to save the money and buy a Wii right now.

Good for teaching little kids the dexterity needed for the child labour markets. :twisted:

You're right and there is a LOT of room for improvement. Not just speed, but physics is still very unrealistic. When do you expct DirectPhysics (or something like that) too appear, then when some software might actually use it? Just a throw in the dark guess. Thanks!
February 14, 2007 10:26:33 PM

Quote:
First I do not see a real reason for a specific physics processor when we have other more viable options available even if they are very expensive right now the support is not there yet so it does not matter yet. the other options would be:

With quad core CPUs the way I see it you could dedicate one core for doing physics and not have any problems.

The other option that I see is that with the 8800 series of GPUs they can be used as additional processors to help the CPU. It would not be unreasonable to have a second or a third GPU doing the physics calculations.

both options I believe are already in the works and neither would hurt current performance we just need to wait for the software to come out. Granted neither solution would be an ideal one but when the prices come down enough which will probably be around the time that the software is ready they will be much better than ageia's solution simply because in both cases the hardware can be used for more than just physics processing.


The 8800 is still like 5-10 times faster than even the Core-2 Quad. Having extra cores help, but for any noticable gains, you need the FPU of a GPU. My guess is with 128 pipes, the 8800 can offload physics on itself.
February 14, 2007 11:57:00 PM

the hardware might be there ? the software ?
personally I built a computer two.11 years ago for an operating system that at that point [ 1.5 years late ] .........
build what you need when you need it things are a shifting
a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
February 15, 2007 3:05:51 AM

Quote:

this is true but the guys are visibly developing and they do have a product they appear to be working to improve. From what I have seen of like preview in game demo's of Crysis, needing a physics accelorator that works well would be a good idea unless you have a killer video system.


Well you should dispel yourself of one error in you statement, Crysis doesn't use an Ageia style PPU, Crytek has already said they will be using their own VPU-accelerated solution.

Quote:
well, Nvidia released the 8800GTX for DX10 and there are NO DX10 titles available yet, but they are selling like hotcakes, even outselling the cheaper 8800GTS's, I should know, I myself have two of the GTX's, and I know its not entirely the same since the GTX's will run DX9 like the dickens also or it wouldn't be selling as well.


Well, that's a terrible example, because the GTX is the fastest card out there, adding alot of benifit with a few drawbacks. The PPU adds little sofar, so unless you play a title that it matters to then for now it's simply wasting watts.
a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
February 15, 2007 5:43:19 AM

Quote:

You're right and there is a LOT of room for improvement. Not just speed, but physics is still very unrealistic. When do you expct DirectPhysics (or something like that) too appear, then when some software might actually use it? Just a throw in the dark guess. Thanks!


Well Crysis will launch with it's own VPU based Physics solution as I mentioned, so it's a bit of aways off.
And DirectPhysics was originally rumoured to be part of DX10.1 (or 10.a or 10.I or 1.01 x 10^1 or whatever), however there's very little information out there, and so since they haven't picked a set due date, and with all the Vista issues/delays who knows when anything will ship nowadays.

Havok is Demoing HavokFX on Havok 4.5 in March at GDC in SanFrancisco using a gaming engine by UBi.

So I suspect the main things to look for will be UT3 (aka UT2K7) for Ageia, and then Crysis for the VPU based physics.
February 15, 2007 11:26:41 AM

Quote:
Well you should dispel yourself of one error in you statement, Crysis doesn't use an Ageia style PPU, Crytek has already said they will be using their own VPU-accelerated solution.


And you assume everyone will or should run out and buy the Crytek VPU "solution" just to play the game, and how is that different from people complaining about the limited potential of Ageias solution????

Quote:
well, Nvidia released the 8800GTX for DX10 and there are NO DX10 titles available yet, but they are selling like hotcakes, even outselling the cheaper 8800GTS's, I should know, I myself have two of the GTX's, and I know its not entirely the same since the GTX's will run DX9 like the dickens also or it wouldn't be selling as well.


Quote:
Well, that's a terrible example, because the GTX is the fastest card out there, adding alot of benifit with a few drawbacks. The PPU adds little sofar, so unless you play a title that it matters to then for now it's simply wasting watts.


Since you took the statement out of context to its original post reply in response to why would anyone buy a PS3 before there were any PS3 games available its not a bad example at all. You need to read before you pounce.
February 15, 2007 2:00:40 PM

Quote:

And you assume everyone will or should run out and buy the Crytek VPU "solution" just to play the game, and how is that different from people complaining about the limited potential of Ageias solution????


It´s not like Crytek will sell it separately from the game. If you buy the game you have the VPU solution too. Crytek isn´t going to build a PCB just for Crysis - that´s a little much even for some of the more extreme Crysis fanbois.
Ageias Solution is the worst one out there. They had the opportunity to make it a decent solution, but they missed it. As i said in other threads, at a price of 200$, it is better to buy a faster Graphics card, more ram or a faster processor before their card comes even into consideration.

Quote:
well, Nvidia released the 8800GTX for DX10 and there are NO DX10 titles available yet, but they are selling like hotcakes, even outselling the cheaper 8800GTS's, I should know, I myself have two of the GTX's, and I know its not entirely the same since the GTX's will run DX9 like the dickens also or it wouldn't be selling as well.


Quote:

Well, that's a terrible example, because the GTX is the fastest card out there, adding alot of benifit with a few drawbacks. The PPU adds little sofar, so unless you play a title that it matters to then for now it's simply wasting watts.


Since you took the statement out of context to its original post reply in response to why would anyone buy a PS3 before there were any PS3 games available its not a bad example at all. You need to read before you pounce.

Are you trying to understand his argument at all or are you just trying to argue?
February 15, 2007 3:31:52 PM

I'm curious to see if NV and AMD/ATI back there statements that physics we run on the 7*** and x1*** cards. I have a feeling they'll use it to push the DX10 cards and pimp everyone how was looking for an upgrade path. I could also see them waiting for directphysics so they don't have to put the R&D it to there own salutation.
I smell a bait and switch here with the " don't buy ageia, are cards out right now can do physics better" then we get hit with the " you need a DX compatible card for gpu physics" and if they use directphysics they can blame MS.
I hope I'm wrong cuz I would like to get some use out of my x1950pro in DX10 games but They need something to push Vista and DX10 card sells and highend gaming is a good place to start.
a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
February 15, 2007 3:41:49 PM

Quote:

And you assume everyone will or should run out and buy the Crytek VPU "solution" just to play the game, and how is that different from people complaining about the limited potential of Ageias solution????


Because RIGHT NOW you can get an Crossfire/SLi benefit in current games, that's well beyond even the 'hope' for physics. The difference between my recommendation and other people's is that they are promoting a single hardware solution with limited (less than 1%) impact, I'm recommending people wait until they need one or the other and then buy wichever is best fo rthe SPECIFIC games they play, and with VPU solutions, that hardware may be something they will otherwise throw out or giveaway or put in storage. That's the number one difference.
And NO I don't recommend Xfire and SLi before the fact either, if you read any of the threads I recommend getting a GTX instead of 2 X19xx cards, or a GTX instead of two GTS, with the only CAVEAT being if you have money to waste or NEED to drive a big panel (30"), then SLi/Xfire makes sense, but not for physics right now. I believe in spending wisely, and buying a PPU or Xfire now for phsycis is all kinds of unwise.

Quote:
Since you took the statement out of context to its original post reply in response to why would anyone buy a PS3 before there were any PS3 games available its not a bad example at all. You need to read before you pounce.


Perhaps YOU should actually read his post and my reply before you hit the reply key, because it's YOU who is missing the analogy. :roll:

HIS statement about a PS3 with NO GAMES is about a product who's main function is gaming, and so having no games is significant, very little usefullness now (although you also have the few BluRay titles too, but it also doesn't increase it's utility much right now), and the main focus being potential future usefullness in his example of releasing PS3 games/titles. This is a perfect analogy to the PPU little current usefullness but the promiss of much more (especially in the artificial 'no games' example he creat).
Your example however is terrible, because the majority of the benefit of the GF8800GTX is in it's current DX9/8/7/6/OGL/etc abilities/utility, with only a minor boost from future features (think of how well they would sell if they only supported DX10, and notthe legacy stuff), heck in all likelyhood by the time the DX10 titles come out then it'll be outperformed by the low-midrange. Thus the current utility is high, and the future add on benefit is low.

If you bought the GF8800 solely because it says 'DX10' then you're the same type of cunsumer that would by a PPU to put into their rig to keep their other components warmer.
February 15, 2007 6:25:34 PM

Your correct that City of Villians/Heroes gets great improvement from a discreet physics solution. But most of the improvement can be gained from the second core of a duel core processor for much less money. A article measured the various improvements going from single core, to single core with Ageia, to duel core and finally from Duel core with Aegia the results showed maybe only 10 to 15 percent increase in performance with the Ageia solution when you have a duel core system but as much as a 50% increase on sincle core. It's cheaper to go with the duel core and have it apply to everything else you do. But your example was close to home. Not sure where I read the article either Anantech or tweak town or extreme tech as these are the sites I visit all the time.
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