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ATI w/ PhysX Card, Xp64, PCI-Ex4

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a b V Motherboard
November 11, 2009 4:43:01 AM

Ok, so I am considering trying to install a physX card to compliment my 4870 512mb card. Currently I am using a 780g motherboard with 2 PCI-E slots (x16/x4). I am planning, sometime in the near to medium future, on getting a 790 motherboard of some variation, so I think getting this set up running now will be a good test.

I have read in a few scattered places, that PhysX operates fine on sub x8 PCI slots, and that the x4 slot on some p55 mobos is apparently designated as a PhysX endorsed slot. So I guess I am not concerned about the x4 slot, and more encouraged in having a use for that slot now.

http://www.gamephys.com/2009/10/21/evga-and-nvidia-to-r...

I am aware of the current nvidia driver lock-out of physx while an ATI card is present. I am also aware that there are several workarounds available. What I am curious about is that XP64 is really resistant to allowing unsigned drivers to be installed. I do plan on ugprading to 7 sooner or later, but if XP64 is a roadblock, I will probably wait on the physX card. Has anyone had any success tinkering with this sort of setup in xp64?

Also,, are there varying performance level of dedicated PhysX cards? It was my general understanding that PhysX has a static demand on the card, and that regardless of what card it is, as long as it supports physX, it will provide the full PhysX experience. Am I totally wrong about that? Tbh, my experience with nvidia cards is very limited, and am trying to decide on what card I should get. I have access to a used 8600gt, and 9500gt, and 9600GSO, their pricing in that order from cheapest to most expensive.

Thanks in advance for your inputs!

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November 11, 2009 5:58:39 AM

Well, to be honest, I think PhysX isn't worth the money to invest buying discrete card.

I don't think PhysX makes that much difference.

64 bit-ness requires a signed driver, so I'm sorry...

I'd think that the used 9600GSO would be best for the job since it is the most powerful.

In XP and 7, you can run 2 graphics drivers at the same time.

Sweet eh?
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a b V Motherboard
November 11, 2009 6:30:32 AM

I am not paying much for any of them, $35 for the GSO, so it was more of exploring a cheap way to elevate my system performance in some way. Is it a general 64bit issue? I was aware that Vista didn't allow the double drivers at all, but hoped that 7 ultimate 64 wouldn't suffer the same limitations as xp64. Unsigned drivers would be needed, since Nvidia isn't playing nice about it with their recent driver updates.

If that's the case, then I probably won't bother at all, since my next upgrade is definitely a 58xx of some sort.
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November 11, 2009 8:18:13 AM

Well, you could use an older driver.

PhysX doesn't increase performance, quite the opposite actually.

Only in 64 bit mode are signed drivers required. There are ways around this tho...
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November 11, 2009 5:19:31 PM

When I get home from work, I'll send a you a whole bunch of links on the subject, and I'll help you get things worked out. XP64 may be a problem, though, but I'll help you out.
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a b V Motherboard
November 12, 2009 1:45:02 AM

I picked up the card today (GSO) but gonna give myself some time to try figure out if it will work on xp64, and if not that, 7u64. If neither, I have been pining to get my HTPC completed, and this card will work well for that, should it be useless in my main rig.
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November 12, 2009 9:53:32 AM

Well, I'd use the 9500GT in the HTPC since the decoding performance of the 9600GSO and 9500GT are equal and the 9500GT has lower power consumption.

It should work on XP64... it should.

Just skip Vista.
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a b V Motherboard
November 12, 2009 10:00:13 AM

Yeah, I had planned on skipping vista since the first underwhelming DX10 screens were released. That was before I even knew about the vista certified nonsense, or had to fix friends and families computers that weren't broken at all, but just had vista installed.

If the I can get the GSO working (will start trying tomorrow, got all day to get angry and throw tantrums while the wife is at work) then I will probably buy the 9500gt for the HTPC (its only $25 through a friend anyway). I have a deep dark sense of forboding on this whole issue, mind you, hah.
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November 12, 2009 10:05:09 AM

Hehe,

I wish I could cast blessing aura...

Too bad I'm a Rouge...

If you want I might be able to steal some of your money...
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a b V Motherboard
November 12, 2009 10:14:16 AM

haha, I already have a wife, but thanks!
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November 13, 2009 6:37:38 AM

lol, what did I end up saying :p ?
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a b V Motherboard
November 13, 2009 2:11:06 PM

"If you want I might be able to steal some of your money... "
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November 13, 2009 11:01:26 PM

No, I actually meant money... you know this stuff?



(Clipart)

And Rouges in D&D have a nasty habit of stealing it.
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a b V Motherboard
November 14, 2009 4:44:51 AM

I got that, was just making a wives-cost-money-i'm-a-grunting-man type joke out of your d&d rogue reference. :p 
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November 14, 2009 6:33:14 AM

I was under the impression only Windows 7 supported dual video card drivers?
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November 15, 2009 3:09:54 AM

Windows XP can!
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November 18, 2009 6:48:12 PM

JofaMang said:
haha, I already have a wife, but thanks!


+1 for being the funniest thing I've read today! :bounce: 



Sadly, I have no advice for you here--I was actually hoping someone had given you an answer on this because I was wondering the same exact thing. My 5850 should be arriving 11/20 and I will be passing on my 9800GTX+ to my old man (and in turn, having his 9500GT kickin around for possible PhysX use). I'm running Win7 Ultimate 64 so I suppose I will be keeping a close eye on this thread! :sol: 
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a b V Motherboard
November 18, 2009 6:53:16 PM

No success yet, but haven't been working too hard on it, to be honest. Probably this week sometime I'll get down to it, but initial plug and play with older drivers was not effective, though I have read some suggestions on installation orders, so Iwll try that out as well.
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a b V Motherboard
December 2, 2009 4:04:21 AM

Ok final update, I managed to get it working, but the FPS hit was far too large. I went from 75+ FPS in BatmanAA, to a steady 25 with PhysX enabled. From what I am reading, it is the fault of the GSO, can't keep up with the 4870. The 25fps was playable (and completely steady, didn't move more more than +/-1 from 25) but the loss of 60fps fluidity isn't worth the extra eye candy in those few games that actual support this. In order to get the best of both worlds, I would probably need an expensive solution I wouldn't be willing to pay for, like a 275/85.
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December 2, 2009 9:38:38 AM

amdfangirl said:
Well, you could use an older driver.

PhysX doesn't increase performance, quite the opposite actually.

Only in 64 bit mode are signed drivers required. There are ways around this tho...


JofaMang said:
Ok final update, I managed to get it working, but the FPS hit was far too large. I went from 75+ FPS in BatmanAA, to a steady 25 with PhysX enabled. From what I am reading, it is the fault of the GSO, can't keep up with the 4870. The 25fps was playable (and completely steady, didn't move more more than +/-1 from 25) but the loss of 60fps fluidity isn't worth the extra eye candy in those few games that actual support this. In order to get the best of both worlds, I would probably need an expensive solution I wouldn't be willing to pay for, like a 275/85.


Don't say I didn't warn you :) 
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December 2, 2009 11:32:26 AM

I suppose it may not be worth it after all...however;

It seems odd that the idea of the GSO not "keeping up" with the 4870 is your diagnosis though lol. PhysX--from what I understand--is simple math processing (like the fluttering of a flag, or clothing moving on a character) and really doesn't require tons of video power. Not saying it doesn't require a decent amount of GPU, which it does, but it isn't pumping out your high res AA and AF textures, just running algorithms to calculate some environmental things. Personally, I would chalk it up as driver (or even hardware) conflict.

Perhaps you have it in a slower PCI slot, or you need a beefier power supply to get what you want out of it?
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a b V Motherboard
December 2, 2009 3:13:59 PM

dirtdiver said:
I suppose it may not be worth it after all...however;

It seems odd that the idea of the GSO not "keeping up" with the 4870 is your diagnosis though lol. PhysX--from what I understand--is simple math processing (like the fluttering of a flag, or clothing moving on a character) and really doesn't require tons of video power. Not saying it doesn't require a decent amount of GPU, which it does, but it isn't pumping out your high res AA and AF textures, just running algorithms to calculate some environmental things. Personally, I would chalk it up as driver (or even hardware) conflict.

Perhaps you have it in a slower PCI slot, or you need a beefier power supply to get what you want out of it?


My PSU is more than adequite, and I have read many times over how PhysX dedicated cards have been run successfully without penalty on even PCI-E x1 slots. I clean slate installed my OS before starting all of this.

I held to the same theory as you that PhysX shouldn't be hard on a card, until I experienced it firsthand. The power of the card makes a difference, or Nvidia has set up the drivers to cripple PhysX on cheaper cards. I don't know. I do know that my GSO only went up by 3 degrees while under PhysX load, so while the whole card might not be stressed, perhaps there is a hard limitation in the hardware for this type of calculation. I also tested the other two cards I had available (8600gt, 9500gt) and the FPS with physX enabled dropped even further as the cards got older: Steady 23fps for the 9500gt, steady 20FPS for the 8600gt.

I also witnessed first hand, the EXACT same FPS as I did on Batman AA running a dedicated PhysX card (the 9500GT@23fps) alongside a 260 in a friends i5 rig, while trying to sort these problems out. He is using Win7 64bit and has all the newest drivers, and had the same issues as I did, once the dedicated physics card was enabled, he had dramatic FPS drops.

Considering the difference in hardware, operating systems, and drivers, and having the same experience with FPS drops, I am sure the card is the limit. Whether it is truly limited by the hardware, or if the drivers cripple cheap cards to persuade people to spend money on brand new cards for the same service, I can't claim to know.
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a b V Motherboard
December 2, 2009 3:15:06 PM

amdfangirl said:
Don't say I didn't warn you :) 


You already got the best answer, what more do you want from me? YOU CAN'T DRAW BLOOD FROM A STONE OMG!!11!ONEONE.

The original intent of PhysX wasn't to increase my FPS, but to add more sparkle, something prettier to look at. I knew that there would be a FPS hit, but didn't imagine it to be so severe.
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December 2, 2009 5:03:20 PM

Dang, that is too bad. Well--this is certainly a disappointment...I would have liked to run a PhysX plus my 5850!

Thanks for troubleshooting before me, saved me some time and frustration :) 
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a b V Motherboard
December 2, 2009 5:12:15 PM

The aforementioned friend is replacing his 260 by christmas, and will let me test it out as a physX card to see if I get a decent increase in FPS, before he sells it. I will be glad to report back my experiences. :D 

If i get frisky, I will put the GSO back in and OC the card to see if it increases my framerates while dedicated to PhysX, but am not as invested in this as I was before I tried it out, heh.
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December 3, 2009 10:20:44 AM

I think you may be wasting your time in overclocking the GSO, to be honest with ya. At most you may gain 50mhz on the core clock (with stock cooling) and you risk damage rather easily. In all the benchmarks I have seen and done (and guru3d.com video card reviews) overclocking rarely gains more than 10 fps *if* that. Seeing as how it will strictly be a PhysX card, I doubt you'd see much difference at all :(  However, if you've got the time to kill I suppose you could test this all out in bout half an hour.
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a b V Motherboard
December 3, 2009 4:29:29 PM

I agree that OCing a GPU has limited potential, but as part of a whole OC package (CPU/RAM/GPU) has HUGE gains compared to leaving it stock.

Yeah, i felt frisky this morning. My PhysX performance in Batman AA jumped a whole 3fps (to 28) from a rather suicidal OC on the GSO, 630mhz. Again, the idle/load temps (53/57c) for the card are only a few degrees apart after running batman for awhile, and substantially higher comapred to non-OC (45/48c physX duty)

Seeing a performance increase from OCing the PhysX card confirms, that while running PhysX doesn't run a whole card hot, there is a limitation somewhere in it's ability to calculate physX. Either that or there are performance profiles in the drivers that only allow a certain baseline fps/clock depending on the card.

The real confirmation will come when I test the GTX260 (216) as a physX card. This might all be very academic though, as I am forced to use old drivers (due to xp64) and won't be able to use hacked ones for new titles.
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December 3, 2009 5:35:20 PM

53/57C is still very acceptable GPU temps, I wouldn't stress it I suppose :) 

It is too bad that PhsyX dedicated use can't really benefit from running that card--I would be interested to see if Win7 64 (or even Vista) makes a difference..
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a b V Motherboard
December 3, 2009 5:51:26 PM

I wasn't worried about the heat, just noting the increase with the OC, and the lack of increase under PhysX load.
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December 4, 2009 1:39:29 PM

I see. It is really too bad that happens though, heaven forbid they let things "make sense" and you can actually use an ATI (currently better card) for primary and an nVidia for dedicated PhysX.
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September 5, 2010 11:28:51 AM

Hey so did you ever get your friends 260 and try / use it as a dedicate Physx card?
Interested in the results and or ATI penalty?

Thank you
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a c 171 Î Nvidia
a b V Motherboard
September 5, 2010 11:33:15 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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