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GPU Physics Question

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics Cards
a b U Graphics card
December 6, 2008 8:24:36 PM

Does anyone know if you'll need an SLI compatible board if you want to run 1gpu for games, and another for physics? I want my core 2 system to last till the refresh of i7, so I was thinking of getting a mobo with multiple x16 slots. However I really want to stick with an intel chipset and will prolly use my 8800gt for physics when the next batch of nvidia cards is released.

More about : gpu physics question

a c 131 U Graphics card
December 6, 2008 8:45:39 PM

I know its not an answer either way but i have read personally a couple of reviews now (magazines im afraid) that say the reviewer has tried it but no dice and i have also heard from others posting on forums that it has been done. So just be carefull and make sure what you are told is correct before you shell out for a board.
Mactronix
a b U Graphics card
December 6, 2008 8:59:39 PM

thanks for the reply, until physics enabled games become more mainstream I kinda figured it would be hard to get a straight answer on this. Well I guess I can be the first to try it, lol.
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a b U Graphics card
December 6, 2008 9:35:22 PM

You probably will not need an sli board because both cards are not working together like they would in sli/cf mode. Its like having an nvidia/ati card and a dedicated ageia physics card. Makes logical sense. You should be fine without an sli board as long as you have two pcie slots i dont see why it wouldnt work.
December 6, 2008 10:31:50 PM

I still don't understand.. does this mean nVidia has finally allowed us to sli two different cards? ie a GTX 280 and a 9600GT for physX?
December 7, 2008 12:10:31 AM

no
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2008 12:16:10 AM

Using one card for one thing and another for another is not SLi.
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2008 12:58:29 AM

Many games have their own physics system so having one GPU dedicated for physics processing is a waste IMO.
December 7, 2008 1:44:28 AM

SLi = Scalable Link Interface doesn't it? a link interface between two cards is SLi in my books...

still, not as good as ATI.
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2008 1:59:21 AM

I would just like to add that I"m interested as gpu physics for future games, After all my reasoning for buying a new board would be to get my system through 1 mybe even 2 years.

Normally when I upgrade my GPU the old one goes into the spare parts bin. If I'm able to put it into the second pci-e slot for physics I don't see how it would be a waste, even if it is just for eye candy.

However I'm gathering that inorder to do this I will need to identical cards? I'm I correct? Would it be the same for ati?
a c 131 U Graphics card
December 7, 2008 9:07:49 AM

Ok i think the links on this page should answer some of your questions http://www.nvidia.com/object/nvidia_physx.html

@ V3NOM
What link ?
The clue was in what sabot00 posted. " Using one card for one thing and another for another is not SLi."

Just to clarify, when sabot00 said "Using one card for one thing and another for another is not SLi." what was meant was using one card for a completly differant application and the second for another completly differant application isnt SLI as the cards are not in fact linked in the traditional SLI sense, specifically what they are doing is in no way scalable.
Look at the graphic in this link and the configuration we are talking about in this instance is the third one down.
http://www.slizone.com/object/sli_cuda_learn.html

Mactronix :) 
December 7, 2008 9:29:28 AM

Yes, but are they connected by a bridge or not?
a c 131 U Graphics card
December 7, 2008 12:06:01 PM

No

Mactronix
December 7, 2008 8:08:13 PM

As I understoot, one don't need SLI to have PhysiX enabled. It is enough to have second PCIe... So any chipset (including P45, X38, X48) with more than one GPU slot should do.
So let's assume one uses P45 so there will be 2 PCIe slots.
If one GPU is used, than that GPU will run @x16. But if 1 slot is GPU and the other slot is again GPU but set as PhysiX card (no SLI, just setting in the driver), what will be the link of the first PCIe slot (the one with the GPU for rendersing)? Both will be at x8 as if CF?
December 8, 2008 12:31:20 AM

first, ATI card dont support Physx ATM.

For the link, its NOT as SLI (scalable link interface) but im not quite sure about the speed and HOW it really work . ill read about it, just do the same ;)  NVIDIA.COM
a b U Graphics card
December 8, 2008 5:54:27 AM

at stupido
depends on the the mobo. many of the mobos with pci-e 2.0 will split it evenly into 2 pci-e 8x slots. Not a big deal as pci-e 1.0 at 16x = pci-e 2.0 at 8x. But i've seen some mobo's that have pci-e 2.0 16x slot and 1 pci-e 16x slot running at the slower 8x though.

at boulard83
Oh thanks for the info. funny cuz i remember hearing about how ati was going to do physX on gpu first. (it was suppose to work much like nvidia current setup)

Anyway I went ahead and picked me up a nice asus maximus II. Later in I'll try and get another gpu and see just how it works. Anyone got any games I should give a try? From my understanding games based on the unreal engine should do it and I actually do have unreal tournament III. I'll post a update in a few days when my new cooler comes in and I can rebuild my system.
December 8, 2008 7:04:19 AM

um arent the ATI physics "stream" things coming out in 8.12 drivers?

in any case, once OpenCL is released, CUDA and stream will be obsolete.