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2 HD5850s in Xfire and Physx Card/slots?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 2, 2010 8:46:34 PM

Looking to add dedicated Physx to my CrossFire setup. If anyone can help...It would be appreciated.

I am looking to see if anybody has added a dedicated PCIe x1 or plain PCI Physx board (Nvidia video Card or ageia physx...doesn't matter...or does it?) to a 790GX/SB750 Chipset system running 2 x ATI HD 5850s (or similar)

I want to see if this can be done with my hardware and if any of you can give any good tips (other than get a different motherboard or video cards :=b).

The Video cards are awesome...I just want that little "extra" bit of Awesomeness

I am currently using:
Motherboard: ASUS M4A78T-E

Just to clarify, this MB has:
2 x PCI Express x16 slots (both operate at x8 in Xfire mode
2 x PCI Express x1 slots
2 x PCI slots

In use are:
Phenom II x4 965 BE (3.4Ghz)
8GB DDR3 RAM @ 1600MHz
3 x 500GB Seagate 7200.12 in a RAID 5 array
2 x Diamond ATI HD 5850s (1GB Ea) running in CrossFire
Windows 7 Professional 64Bit

But, with the 2 gigantic HD5850s the only slots left accessible are:

1 PCI express x1 slot
1 PCI slot

1. What cards are possible options?
2. Are there good PCIe x1 video cards or Physx boards out there?
3. Will PCI have sufficient throughput, so as to not bottleneck the system?
4. If you have tried and it hasn't worked out for you, let me know...If it has, can you share your success?
5. Since the cards physically obstruct the other slots, has anyone seen PCI or PCIe port extenders?

Not looking for people's opinions if you haven't tried it. Just from those who have and know.


Thanks!
a b U Graphics card
April 2, 2010 9:29:33 PM

#1 PhysX only works on Nvidia Geforce 8xxx series and newer. You can get a PCI-e x1 version of the 8400GS (the only PCI-e x1 card I could find that was PhysX capable), but I think even now it costs wayyyyy too much (cheapest I found was $95 and it was out of stock). You can get a PCI version of that as well, but I couldn't find any prices for that. Really, not worth the money IMO (and physX is a gimmick IMO as well), but you don't want opinions;-)
#2 I know friends who have used their 8200 onboard video for PhysX and it worked fine. Won't take as much of the load, but will run, so I would guess PCI-e x1 or PCI would probably be OK, but may not be fantastic.
#3 On top of all of this, you'll have to run hacked versions of drivers that allow PhysX and Nvidia cards to run at the same time as ATI cards and deal with lots of troubleshooting and little issues as you go.
You can get all kinds of different slot extenders, risers, etc. that might make all of this easier, but you'll have to just go look for and find one that will fit under your 5850s.

Really, IMO- its gonna be way more money and trouble and time that its worth, but you can ignore this since its just my opinion.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
April 2, 2010 9:54:06 PM

The 8400GS is not physX capible, neither is the 8200. PhysX will work without the GPU acceleration, which is why you must have been confused.

You will need a PCIe x16 slot for the physX card.

Here is a list of physX cards: http://www.nvidia.com/object/physx_gpus.html
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a c 273 U Graphics card
April 2, 2010 9:54:40 PM

I think you need an 8600GT and above for PhysX, the 8400/8500 won't work IIRC.
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a b U Graphics card
April 2, 2010 9:58:03 PM

I thought the 8200 IGP was physX capable?
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a c 273 U Graphics card
April 2, 2010 10:07:49 PM

flyinfinni said:
I thought the 8200 IGP was physX capable?

Nah, it's 8600GT and above mate.
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a b U Graphics card
April 2, 2010 10:14:09 PM

Well, I have a friend who is running a 9600GSO and using the 8200 IGP on his MSI NF750-G55 AM3 NVIDIA nForce 750a SLI mobo for PhysX. I see that the Nvidia list says 8600GT, but he's running it, and thats where I was getting my info. My bad if I had wrong info.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
April 2, 2010 10:16:52 PM

To answer your questions:

1. What cards are possible options? http://www.nvidia.com/object/physx_gpus.html

2. Are there good PCIe x1 video cards or Physx boards out there? Not that I'm aware of.

3. Will PCI have sufficient throughput, so as to not bottleneck the system? I do not believe there are any PhysX capible cards for PCI. The original Agea PPU's may work on PCI, but they are not sold anymore, so you could possibly find it used, but keep in mind that there is no longer official support for these cards

4. If you have tried and it hasn't worked out for you, let me know...If it has, can you share your success? I have two 5870's in CF with an 8800GTS as a dedicated physX card. It works great when physX is needed. It's not needed often, but it also serves as a great desktop extender, without the headaches of running two monitors off one card.

5. Since the cards physically obstruct the other slots, has anyone seen PCI or PCIe port extenders? I believe your only option is a new mobo, or trading the 5850's for a 5970.
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April 2, 2010 10:18:52 PM

Thanks for the reply guys...I do like the opinions, just really want someone who has actually tried it...I might have to be that person.

All that Physx does is offload the Physics calculations from the CPU to the "PPU" or Graphics card. In the old Ageia card it worked in PCI or PCI-e x1. If you noticed those cards, they had a simple chip, with passive heatsinks, no output and the system didn't bottleneck at all.

I realize that was a while ago and why I am asking if there are people who may have done this.

How do we know that the PCIe x16 is a requirement when we can still purchase the ageia PCI and PCIe x1 cards (granted they are outdated)?

Since NVidia bought the company and Physx code and re-purposed it for the GPUs, I don't see why it wouldn't work using a card that plugs into a PCIe or a PCI slot, if one can be found.

That real world experience is what I am looking for. The person who can say..."Yeah I've done and it's cool and here's what I did and used" or" it dragged my system down and I ended up disabling it."

Thanks guys!

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a b U Graphics card
April 2, 2010 10:21:00 PM

Looks like you simulposted with the guy who's actually done it:-)
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a c 217 U Graphics card
April 2, 2010 11:24:23 PM

jahncm said:
Bystander So it does work using an 8800...Why wouldn't it work using this:

http://www3.pny.com/NVIDIA-Quadro-NVS-295-x1-for-Displa...

http://www.walmart.com/ip/PNY-Technologies-NVS-295-PCIe...

CUDA systems should be able to support Physx processing, no?


Well, I don't know for sure, but I'd assume that if a card could perform PhysX, it would be listed as such. Even in GPU-Z, there is a different checkbox for PhysX capible cards, and another for CUDA.

I haven't done it to know for sure.
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a b U Graphics card
April 9, 2010 9:14:55 AM

jahncm said:
Thanks for the reply guys...I do like the opinions, just really want someone who has actually tried it...I might have to be that person.

All that Physx does is offload the Physics calculations from the CPU to the "PPU" or Graphics card. In the old Ageia card it worked in PCI or PCI-e x1. If you noticed those cards, they had a simple chip, with passive heatsinks, no output and the system didn't bottleneck at all.

I realize that was a while ago and why I am asking if there are people who may have done this.

How do we know that the PCIe x16 is a requirement when we can still purchase the ageia PCI and PCIe x1 cards (granted they are outdated)?

Since NVidia bought the company and Physx code and re-purposed it for the GPUs, I don't see why it wouldn't work using a card that plugs into a PCIe or a PCI slot, if one can be found.

That real world experience is what I am looking for. The person who can say..."Yeah I've done and it's cool and here's what I did and used" or" it dragged my system down and I ended up disabling it."

Thanks guys!


Ok , Now since it seems tat I might be the guy to break it to you, I'll be posting results and screenshots in the next few days here with the results that you want to know......
This , seems to be like the same situation I got myself into while testing the 620X4 on an AM2 board....lol.... tons of opinions but no practical DIY stuff.
Don't worry I'll give you the stuff in a day or two...
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a b U Graphics card
April 9, 2010 1:46:45 PM

well if you really need a physx card you could cut the end open to allow any size card (yes its risky)
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a b U Graphics card
April 9, 2010 2:39:28 PM

Your best bet is to get a different motherboard, but you would lack bandwidth if you got anything shot of a X58 chipset since you are already running crossfire.

What games do you play that has physx anyway?
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April 15, 2010 2:57:05 PM

I want to see if it's possible with the hardware I have. Getting a new Motherboard like an X58 would mean getting a new proc. No Thanks.

I just updated my Video Cards to 2 x 5870s which was very expensive by itself. Awesome cards. Disappointed in the Game manufacturers though for only supporting Physics with Nvidia.

Batman: AA, Fear Series, Crysis, et.c are all games that can take and make use of Physics and provide the extra detail I am looking for, but without the dedicated hardware from Nvidia..relies on the CPU.

Alyoshka-
How did it go with your testing?
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a b U Graphics card
April 15, 2010 4:31:59 PM

jahncm said:
I want to see if it's possible with the hardware I have. Getting a new Motherboard like an X58 would mean getting a new proc. No Thanks.

I just updated my Video Cards to 2 x 5870s which was very expensive by itself. Awesome cards. Disappointed in the Game manufacturers though for only supporting Physics with Nvidia.

Batman: AA, Fear Series, Crysis, et.c are all games that can take and make use of Physics and provide the extra detail I am looking for, but without the dedicated hardware from Nvidia..relies on the CPU.

Alyoshka-
How did it go with your testing?


and out of the three games listed, only batman uses physx, the other 2 can't be accelerated with NV card since they don't use physx
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April 16, 2010 3:24:57 AM

Incorrect. Fear does.
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April 23, 2010 2:15:57 AM

Wow. OK...I stand corrected, but I found like at least 10 other games that I do use from time to time on that list that do use Physx...at least 10.

Also, that list isn't up to date. Batman AA is not even on it.

But enough side tracking....I found some adapters online that will reduce a PCI Express x16 card down to an x1 and I may give that a try before damaging my board.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
April 23, 2010 3:13:19 AM

jahncm said:
Wow. OK...I stand corrected, but I found like at least 10 other games that I do use from time to time on that list that do use Physx...at least 10.

Also, that list isn't up to date. Batman AA is not even on it.

But enough side tracking....I found some adapters online that will reduce a PCI Express x16 card down to an x1 and I may give that a try before damaging my board.


Beware that the vast majority of games listed as PhysX, do not use GPU accelerated physX, and gain no advantage for having a physX card. Batman is one that is GPU accelerated.
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