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Is physics important?

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April 7, 2010 4:55:29 PM

I was planning to buy an ATI Radeon graphics card but recently i heard that it lacked physics technology and now i dont know what to do. I am having 10000Rs(200$),someone please suggest me a graphics card for this price.

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a c 216 U Graphics card
April 7, 2010 5:07:23 PM

Almost every game has some sort of physics programmed in, and most do it without "PhysX". Most the games which have "PhysX" do not use GPU accelerated PhysX cards (Nvidia cards). Most games with "PhysX" support run off of the CPU regardless of your graphics card.

Here is a list of almost all the games which use GPU accelerated PhysX: http://www.nzone.com/object/nzone_physxgames_home.html

Just because it has GPU accelerated PhysX, does not mean it won't run well on a system without this ability. It will just miss a few special effects.
a c 130 U Graphics card
April 7, 2010 6:13:58 PM

You won't be able to run any decent-quality PhysX anyways, I must add. It's quite taxing on the GPU.

PhysX is nVidia's proprietary name for their GPU-enhanced Physics. It uses your graphics card to calculate physics, instead of the CPU.
Keep in mind every games has physics. These non-PhysX games run off of the CPU for collisions, etc.

For $200, the best card (though over budget some, I might add) is the HD5830.
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a b U Graphics card
April 7, 2010 6:22:03 PM
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For around $200 I would go for the Radeon HD 5770. Its a bit under budget probably, but its definitely the best without going over (this is where I say too bad there's not a 5790 :-p).
You will be totally fine without PhysX support- its a gimmicky Nvidia-only thing. It may add a bit of detail to a few games, but really, you probably won't miss it, and will enjoy playing just fine without it. ATI is just fine at the games, and they all have some sort of Physics engine, just not the PhysX engine.
a b U Graphics card
April 7, 2010 6:23:35 PM

Physics is undeniably extremely important. PhysX is debatable.
a c 216 U Graphics card
April 7, 2010 6:25:31 PM

shadow187 said:
You won't be able to run any decent-quality PhysX anyways, I must add. It's quite taxing on the GPU.


Metro 2033 shows better performance with PhysX running on the CPU than on the GPU.

Other games, physX isn't run on the GPU at all, even if the graphics card can run GPU accelerated PhysX.

And other games, such as the few games on the link I posted above, will run the physX a lot better on a physX accelerated graphics card.
a c 130 U Graphics card
April 7, 2010 6:30:55 PM

bystander said:
Metro 2033 shows better performance with PhysX running on the CPU than on the GPU.
Shifting load off of the GPU makes things run faster? ;~;
Other games, physX isn't run on the GPU at all, even if the graphics card can run GPU accelerated PhysX.
Are you talking about PhysX or Physics?
And other games, such as the few games on the link I posted above, will run the physX a lot better on a physX accelerated graphics card.
PhysX usually runs better when the graphics card supports it...

I don't understand what you are saying, :<. PhysX is GPU, IIRC, and no part of nVidia's proprietary system runs off of the CPU. There's no nVidia CPU.
a c 216 U Graphics card
April 7, 2010 6:40:09 PM

shadow187 said:
I don't understand what you are saying, :<. PhysX is GPU, IIRC, and no part of nVidia's proprietary system runs off of the CPU. There's no nVidia CPU.


PhysX is an SDK with a lot of physics capibilities. These capibilities can be run on a video card if it has physX support (most newer Nvidia cards). When run on the video card, it usually performs these operations faster. The draw back is that it also takes away graphics power normally used for rendering 3D graphics.

Most games with GPU accelerated PhysX (there are only a few) are optimized to take advantage of these physX graphics cards, and poorly optimized to work on the CPU. There are acceptions to this rule.

The rest of the PhysX titles run the SDK off the CPU, which is the vast majority of these PhysX games.
a b U Graphics card
April 7, 2010 6:41:43 PM

PhysX could always run off the CPU, it is just slower. That is why non-NVidia people can get a CPU score in Vantage, albeit a much lower one than with and NVidia card.
a b U Graphics card
April 7, 2010 6:42:31 PM

Whoops, bystander got it first :) 
a b U Graphics card
April 7, 2010 6:44:16 PM

Turning on PhysX on any game with ATI hardware totally cripples the system. Even if it is running on the CPU with an Nvidia card, it will still drop your rates to like 10 FPS if you have ATI hardware.
a c 216 U Graphics card
April 7, 2010 6:48:03 PM

flyinfinni said:
Turning on PhysX on any game with ATI hardware totally cripples the system. Even if it is running on the CPU with an Nvidia card, it will still drop your rates to like 10 FPS if you have ATI hardware.


That depends on the game.
a c 130 U Graphics card
April 7, 2010 6:57:47 PM

So let me get this straight;

PhysX only runs off of the GPU in a few select games (from the very few games that even use it).

PhysX usually runs off of the CPU.

PhysX, even when running off of the CPU, does poorly on ATI hardware.
a c 216 U Graphics card
April 7, 2010 7:05:46 PM

shadow187 said:
So let me get this straight;

PhysX only runs off of the GPU in a few select games (from the very few games that even use it). Yes, here is a list of games that do run it on the GPU: http://www.nzone.com/object/nzone_physxgames_home.html
You can add Metro 2033 to this list


PhysX usually runs off of the CPU. Yes

PhysX, even when running off of the CPU, does poorly on ATI hardware. Depends. If it's a game that runs off the CPU regardless, it will perform equally to the Nvidia system, because it's running off the same type of CPU for either.

It runs poorly on ATi systems without a dedicated physX card on most, but not all games, designed to use GPU accelerated PhysX (the link above). However, in cases like Metro 2033, where it does support GPU accelerated physX, it still runs better on the CPU.
a b U Graphics card
April 7, 2010 7:59:45 PM

shadow187 said:
So let me get this straight;

PhysX only runs off of the GPU in a few select games (from the very few games that even use it).

PhysX usually runs off of the CPU.

PhysX, even when running off of the CPU, does poorly on ATI hardware.


Basically, theres two parts to the PhysX API. One part runs off the CPU, and is basically a more uniform version of current software based physics engines [just split into a unified API that can be used across multiple platforms]. This part of the API is widly used, but the GPU has no effect on performance or the ability ot run the effects.

The second part of the API are advanced PhysX functions that add extra effects when used [potentially to the point of simulating multiple-object interactions without needing tons of extra software code]. Currently that use is limited due to lack of support by other vendors [I'm leaving it at that to avoid "that" debate again...]. It has some growth potential, as it IS a powerful API, but its long term future is in doubt.
a b U Graphics card
April 7, 2010 8:06:37 PM

Any game that I've ever seen that actually has PhysX support when used with ATI hardware is completely crippled. Some of the games won't even give you the option to enable it unless you have Nvidia hardware installed.
a b U Graphics card
April 7, 2010 8:25:25 PM

First off, PhysX isn't that only physics engine available.

There are hundreds of games with their own physics engine or uses a third party engine like Havok. Among those games, the ones that uses Nvidia PhysX is only a handful while the number of good ones is pretty much only batman.

Second, physics done by GPU isn't any more efficient, realistic, or accurate. It is all number crunch, more is dependent on the engine features. But you do lose out on GPU performance when running Nvidia PhysX. While quad core CPUs have a lot of threads to go around.
a c 106 U Graphics card
April 7, 2010 8:55:18 PM

As previously stated PhysX is an API and programs compiled to use it can run off the CPU. You see this in game consoles such as the 360 and the PS3 where PhysX is run off the CPU. Havok is a competing engine that is also widely used and currently doesn't have GPU acceleration, even though such acceleration it was suppose to be in development a few years ago. The Bullet Physics SDK recently came out and supports GPU acceleration on DX11 cards, something AMD has recently begun promoting.
April 9, 2010 8:55:28 PM

Best answer selected by akhilmangala.
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