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Dedicated PhysX card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 11, 2010 12:13:41 PM

So, I've been seeing this all over the place, and in my research I just can't figure it out. Could someone give me a quick explanation of this whole dedicated PhysX card thing? Also, I'm planning on a new build soon with an HD 5850, would I be able to put an Nvidia card in for PhysX? Thanks.

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a b Î Nvidia
January 11, 2010 12:45:52 PM

PhysX makes the graphic look better in some games,however there are currently few games which benefit from PhysX like batman but when you enable PhysX in it,the FPS lowers significantly compared to when PhysX is off,and yes you can use a Nvidia card as a PhysX card with your HD 5850
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January 11, 2010 12:49:33 PM

Thanks. Do you think that PhysX is something that will be getting more popular as newer games come out? I'm not sure if it will be a worthwhile investment since on my p55 platform I'll need to go down to x8 bandwidth on the PCI-E ports.
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a b Î Nvidia
January 11, 2010 12:55:02 PM

8x won't make a lot of difference in games.
About PhysX no one knows but currently as i said not all games benefit from it
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January 11, 2010 1:00:44 PM

I guess I'll just wait before I decide whether or not I should go with a PhysX card. Thanks for your help.
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a b Î Nvidia
January 11, 2010 1:02:57 PM

No problem :)  you can use your HD 5850 for now and when more games supported PhsyX then put in a Nvidia card for PhysX support
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January 11, 2010 1:40:30 PM

Since the release of the 186 nvidia gfx drivers, Nvidia blocked the physx feature if ever there is a non-nvidia GPU present in your system.

But if you google "ATI physx" you should find a patch/fix that allows you two enable physx on you setup. The problem here is that the patch will not be support by Nvidia and there is no guarantee that future gfx drivers will be problematic etc.

Maybe someone in the community that has a ATI/Nvidia card setup using a patch to enable phsyx can comment?

The other question is "is PhysX really worth considering?
Looking at the review on Tom's website : Batman: Arkham Asylum: GPUs, CPUs, And PhysX Performance
Quoting from the conclusion
"There is a high price to pay for PhysX performance, but I have to admit that the eye candy is a lot of fun to watch. Once you've turned it on, it's not something you'll turn off if your hardware can handle it."

The other thing to consider is that the UT3 engine supports PhysX and since there are a few games that make use of the UT3 engine, ergo ...
(you can also search wikipedia to find all the games that have physx features compared to the games that use havok )

Another thing to consider is DX11's feature- GPGPU, which might make GPU processing available to all gfx platforms, i don't know enough about it but it will be another way developers can use physics in their games...

IMO - I would rather stick with DX11 card rather than a physx enabled card. Or wait until nvidia release their geforce 3000 series (rumours say march/april?)
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