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Directx11 and a physics card Q

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a b U Graphics card
June 4, 2010 12:15:31 PM

Since the new release of Nvidias drivers to allow a nvidia card to be used as a physx card with an ATI card as the primary, does anyone know if its beneficial to use a directx10 or directx11 card as the physx card? I tried to do a lookup and found nothing on this. I currently have the AMD 1090T cpu, AI 5770 video card. I know that I will better benefit going crossfire with a 2nd 5770 and am planning to do that 1st. But I am also eyeing the idea of getting a used/cheap nvidia card on ebay to impliment and take advantage of the physx engine as well.

Any thoughts?...

More about : directx11 physics card

a c 271 U Graphics card
a c 168 Î Nvidia
June 4, 2010 12:22:26 PM

It was a bug in the beta that has since been fixed and will not be a feature present in future versions of the 265 series drivers, apparently. Sorry mate but it's only the "original" 257.15 betas that will work for you, not really reason enough to buy a card if you ask me.
a b U Graphics card
June 4, 2010 12:29:25 PM

I see. Thanks for the info. I had read an article somewhere that stated nvidia was making this as an available option. I guess that was a blunder, thats too bad.

I also had an 8800GTX ACS3 card lying around and wont be in use for a while. Do you think its worth trying that with the 257.15 beta?
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a b U Graphics card
June 4, 2010 12:55:09 PM

Downloading now. =) Thanks bro!...
a c 271 U Graphics card
a c 168 Î Nvidia
June 4, 2010 12:57:02 PM

No worries, I would be interested to hear whether it works or not so please post back with results.
a b U Graphics card
June 5, 2010 3:01:28 AM

No problem. I just got back home from work and I think I will install now. I'll post some feedback between now and Sunday...
a b U Graphics card
June 5, 2010 11:35:31 PM

Interestingly enough, I dont see any settings in the nvidia control panel to enable physx. Any suggestions?
a c 271 U Graphics card
a c 168 Î Nvidia
June 6, 2010 12:54:43 PM

I wonder if you got the "fixed" version of the driver? What does the digital signature of the .exe say?
a b U Graphics card
June 6, 2010 2:26:00 PM

It says:

Version: V3
Signature Algorithm: sha1RSA
Key Usage: Digital Signature (80)


Theres a lot of info but I'm unsure of what else you need to identify.

The version is 1.0.0.0
Original filename: 7ZSfxNew.exe

In the general tab, the file name list as:
257.15_desktop_win7_winvista_64bit_international_beta

Under the digital signature details/advanced tab it says version v2.

Let me know if theres anything else I need to look up...
a b U Graphics card
June 6, 2010 2:47:33 PM

I found this link and am downloading now. Its 3mb larger so its obviously a different file and hopefully the right one. I will let you know. I'm thinking I got the "fixed" file as you said...

http://www.overclock.net/nvidia-drivers-overclocking-so...

UPDATE: This is the correct download, it has the physx file with it as a separate program. The first file I downloaded didnt have that. You probably gave me the right link and I may have just selected the incorrect version to download. Nonetheless I have it now and will post some results a little later today after I get it installed and run some benchmarks...

a b U Graphics card
June 6, 2010 6:10:50 PM

How do you post pics on here again? I can never remember, lol. I don't want to paste links to other sites if I can help it...
a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
June 6, 2010 6:27:47 PM

There really isn't an option to posit a picture, linking to some other hosting resource is how the site is designed. There are a bunch of hosting options if you don't like something like imageshack.

Love the bug btw, makes you think they are obviously working on it behind the scenes and for their favoured sons. ;) 
a c 216 U Graphics card
a c 80 Î Nvidia
June 6, 2010 6:58:53 PM

If these drivers do not work, there are other methods to accomplishing what you want. The GenL hack is one of them.
a c 271 U Graphics card
a c 168 Î Nvidia
June 8, 2010 3:28:03 PM

englandr753 said:
It says:

Version: V3
Signature Algorithm: sha1RSA
Key Usage: Digital Signature (80)


Theres a lot of info but I'm unsure of what else you need to identify.

The version is 1.0.0.0
Original filename: 7ZSfxNew.exe

In the general tab, the file name list as:
257.15_desktop_win7_winvista_64bit_international_beta

Under the digital signature details/advanced tab it says version v2.

Let me know if theres anything else I need to look up...


That looks like the one I've got but I was more wondering if the timecode would be different seeing as I've got one stamped 22nd May and the articles about the "fixed" drivers didn't appear until the 28th.
a b U Graphics card
June 8, 2010 3:31:08 PM

Has the "fix" to enable PhysX with an ATI/nvidia combination not kept up with the driver releases?
a c 271 U Graphics card
a c 168 Î Nvidia
June 8, 2010 3:43:21 PM

I don't know, I haven't been following that because I have no need of it myself.
June 8, 2010 4:02:40 PM

PhysX is such marketing BS. A medium to high modern Quad core could crunch all the data needed for "PhysX". It's a great API, but they tie it down to their cards for marketing reasons.

They should just remove the single CPU thread limit, optimize it a bit and sell it. In a year or two, we're going to see 6 core CPU coming out and they're going to have nothing to do anyway.

Heck, they could EASILY re-write it as DX11, then it's be useful on ANY DX11 card.
a b U Graphics card
June 8, 2010 4:08:44 PM

Kewlx25 said:
PhysX is such marketing BS. A medium to high modern Quad core could crunch all the data needed for "PhysX". It's a great API, but they tie it down to their cards for marketing reasons.

They should just remove the single CPU thread limit, optimize it a bit and sell it. In a year or two, we're going to see 6 core CPU coming out and they're going to have nothing to do anyway.

Heck, they could EASILY re-write it as DX11, then it's be useful on ANY DX11 card.


Are you insinuating that the drastic drop in FPS that occurs on some titles even with a 980x when loading the physX onto the CPU is an intentional crippling of performance on Nvidia's Part?

http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/3332/gigabyte_geforce...
http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/3332/gigabyte_geforce...
June 8, 2010 8:32:45 PM

JofaMang said:
Are you insinuating that the drastic drop in FPS that occurs on some titles even with a 980x when loading the physX onto the CPU is an intentional crippling of performance on Nvidia's Part?

http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/3332/gigabyte_geforce...
http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/3332/gigabyte_geforce...


I'm not sure if your links are links against my insinuation or examples of my insinuation.

Anyway, PhysX is single threaded even though it can EASILY be multi-threaded. General rule of thumb, if it scales well on a GPU, it's scale well on a CPU.

Those games only use around 75gflops to crunch their physics. An i7 quad peaks upwards of 90gflops, but real world has it more down around 70gflops minus other game overhead. It would not be *as* fast as a dedicated card, but it should no be anywhere near so low as current benches show.

You're still better off with a many core setup like a GPU or something like Intel Larrabee for peak performance and WATTs used, but nVidia has its current form completely un-optimized and un-threaded for CPU usage.

I also remember reading something about PhysX. PhysX is mostly written with CUDA style syntax which is almost transparently translatable to DX11. They would need to tweak a few portions of their code, but it would not take long for them to make it work for any DX11 video card.
a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
June 8, 2010 10:41:00 PM

Actually it would likely be easier (and smarter) to port to OpenCL instead of DirectCompute, however as nVidia already said, they are not pursuing that option at this time (ie, not until they are about to lose a huge chunk of business by not switching).

It's strategically beneficial for them to pretend it's not possible nor feasible to do things at this time (interesting how Beta drivers would do what they said is not possible), however it's still mostly a marketing decision more than anything else, and that will likely remain until there is viable competition out there to make them more flexible.
a b U Graphics card
June 11, 2010 4:30:31 AM

Sorry, I just got back from a mini vacation at the beach.

If I have the correct driver installed, shouldn't I see a physx menu option in the nvidia control panel? I even tried the GENL download that is suposed to work and I didn't see a menu for it there either. I am recalling this from memory from when I had my 8800GTX ACS3 card as a primary for nearly 3 years. Correct me if I'm wrong to put me out of my mysery, lol...
a c 271 U Graphics card
a c 168 Î Nvidia
June 11, 2010 4:39:27 AM

englandr753 said:
Sorry, I just got back from a mini vacation at the beach.

If I have the correct driver installed, shouldn't I see a physx menu option in the nvidia control panel? I even tried the GENL download that is suposed to work and I didn't see a menu for it there either. I am recalling this from memory from when I had my 8800GTX ACS3 card as a primary for nearly 3 years. Correct me if I'm wrong to put me out of my mysery, lol...

I would have thought you should be seeing something like this:-
a c 125 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
June 11, 2010 4:49:41 AM

Just to address the issue of whether a DX11 card would be suitable for a PhysX card, the answer is no... that would be a waste, seeing as the only DX11 and PhysX capable cards are the 4xx series. At most you need a GT 280 for PhysX. GT 240 is awesome... and cheaper. I bet a GT 220 could pull it off alright. So, an 8800GT is great for it. Plus I've never heard of a secondary card being used for DX11 with a non DX11 main, and if you were thinking of getting a DX11 main card, you really wouldn't need a secondary for it (that is if it's possible which I dont think it is).
And for the last question, well mousemonkey answered it but yeah, if it's installed right you should see the PhysX option. You should use Driver Sweeper on your Nvidia drivers and PhysX, reboot, and follow the guide at overclockers. If followed properly it'll work (I know because I did it just this week)
a b U Graphics card
June 11, 2010 5:14:36 AM

@ Mousemonkey, thanks for that screenie. Thats what I was looking for and don't see that in my menu with none of the drivers I have installed so far. I'm really scratching my head now, lol.

@ Wolfram23, I already have a directx11 card installed as a primary (ATI 5770) and my question was would there be a benefit of the secondary (physx enabled card) to also be directx10/11 or would that have any bearing on a performance/feature standpoint? My thought would be no, but we know what it can get you when you ass-u-me something. It just crossed my mind when I created this thread and maybe I didn't word it clearly enough.
a c 271 U Graphics card
a c 168 Î Nvidia
June 11, 2010 5:23:16 AM

Hmm, either this comment is cobblers then (a distinct possibility) :-
Quote:
Update #2: Nvidia's Tom Petersen has commented on our article through the nTersect blog: "A lot of you have been asking about PhysX and the 257.15 beta driver we posted on Monday. First off it is true that PhysX is enabled when running on NVIDIA GPUs when AMD GPUs are used in the same system. PhysX is a compelling technology that makes PC games great – I am not surprised our fans are eager for it. When using this beta driver no additional hacks are required to enable PhysX. While it was not intentional, due to the overwhelming positive response to the beta driver we have decided to leave the beta up with support enabled.
Source. Or you need to find this "earlier" release.
a b U Graphics card
June 11, 2010 12:29:51 PM

Kewlx25 said:
Anyway, PhysX is single threaded even though it can EASILY be multi-threaded. General rule of thumb, if it scales well on a GPU, it's scale well on a CPU.


All code is single threaded by default, even if it can easily be mult-threaded. Of course, threading has nothing to do with parrallel code...

Quote:

Those games only use around 75gflops to crunch their physics. An i7 quad peaks upwards of 90gflops, but real world has it more down around 70gflops minus other game overhead. It would not be *as* fast as a dedicated card, but it should no be anywhere near so low as current benches show.


Because CPU's are not designed to deal with multiple-objects operating on eachother. Lets be real, a 4 core CPU can do 4 things at one time [8 if hyperthreaded and the non-copied parts of the CPU aren't already in use]. If you have lets say 24 objects that are interacting with eachother, guess how many clock cycles you need (working on the assumption all the interactions can be calculated within a single cycle)? Nevermind the physics calculations PhysX uses aren't exactly simple math functions...

Using your argument, we don't need GPU's anymore, as CPU's are fully capable of performing Rasterization. Of course, you forget several million pixels need to be operated on, which favors the GPU architecture, or that the CPU is doing other work [such as creating the data needed for the next frame] while the Rasterization process is going on.

Hence why a GPU/PPU is needed: it makes far more sense to use several hundred dumb cores instead of a handful of powerful cores for any processing that scales well, like Rasterization and Physics processing. Sure, the TOTAL work may be able to fit within a decent timespan on the CPU, but you need to remember that you can't operate on as many objects at one time as you can on a GPU/PPU.

Quote:

You're still better off with a many core setup like a GPU or something like Intel Larrabee for peak performance and WATTs used, but nVidia has its current form completely un-optimized and un-threaded for CPU usage.


I find that statement laughable at best. Trying to make a parrallel architecture out of many serial CPU's was about as dumb of an idea as Intel has ever had.

Quote:

I also remember reading something about PhysX. PhysX is mostly written with CUDA style syntax which is almost transparently translatable to DX11. They would need to tweak a few portions of their code, but it would not take long for them to make it work for any DX11 video card.


PhysX was written mostly in C/C++. To say C code can be translated into DX code is nothing short of idiocy. Theres a reason why CUDA/OpenCL exists, and its to get code [such as PhysX] running on a GPU architecture. DX has no concept whatsoever of "int i = 1", and to say PhysX can be ported to DX is nothing short of idiocy. If anything, PhysX will be ported to OpenCL.
a b U Graphics card
June 11, 2010 12:38:36 PM

Hmm, I went to your source link and found their driver location and downloaded the file. It appears to be a download manager installation or a super highly compressed file. I click on the downloaded file and it pops up a message "non 7-zip file". I have 7-zip and a trial winrar program. Nothing seems to work. Its only 586kb. Any ideas?

A friend sent me a link for this driver through my email. I will try to download it and let you know if that works. I will post the link here to that download location if it does...
a b U Graphics card
June 11, 2010 1:25:17 PM

The link my buddy gave me isnt working for me either:

http://www.nvidia.com/object/win7-winvista-64bit-257.15...

Do you think it matters which pci-e slot I use? I have the ASUS Crosshair IV mobo and have the nvidia card in the 3rd slot (i believe where you would put a second card in crossfire). Its a 16x lane and I think the other 2 are 8x...
a c 271 U Graphics card
a c 168 Î Nvidia
June 11, 2010 4:32:17 PM

I downloaded the file from Guru3D on the 24th of May and it is 123MB, I DL'l the one from the NV site the other day and it seemed to be the same file so I don't know if the one I have is the unfixed one or not TBH as I only have Nv cards.
a c 216 U Graphics card
a c 80 Î Nvidia
June 12, 2010 5:30:21 AM

If you are still having issues, follow this guide, it worked for me: http://www.overclock.net/graphics-cards-general/633137-...

It's important to note, that you need to perform the hack in safemode. Also, when I did it, I also installed the nvidia driver while in safe mode, and immediately applied the hack before rebooting.

One more thing to note: You need to have the physX card plugged into a monitor, or use the adaptor trick shown in the guide. If you have a 2nd monitor to plug into the card, you can skip that part, otherwise you need to create the dummy monitor. If you do not do this, you will not be able to enable physX.
a b U Graphics card
June 12, 2010 5:31:31 AM

Its interesting to know if there are actually any traces of this unfixed driver floating out there. You would think there would be but after 3-4 attempts I haven't found it yet...
a b U Graphics card
June 12, 2010 6:20:15 AM

Nice info and thanks. I will try this tomorrow and post back after I can get access to the extra monitor I have in my sleeping babys bedroom, lol. I'm not taking any chances waking him up this time of night as I'm too tired to deal with him or setting this up now.

This looks promising. Thanks to all of you that have taken the time to post to help with this issue. It's much appreciated!
a c 216 U Graphics card
a c 80 Î Nvidia
June 12, 2010 6:22:39 AM

Oh...I had a feeling this could be the case. With the drivers you installed, you may still be required to have it plugged into a monitor to work. Of course the adapter method may be the best method. It's quite easy to do, and if you don't have a desire for a 2nd monitor, works great.
a b U Graphics card
June 12, 2010 12:32:54 PM

Well, I could pick up the resistors at Frys Electronics but it would be much easier for me to get the monitor in the next room so that will be the route I will take. I had that monitor on my desk as a workstation anyway so it will be easy to do.

I'm interested to see what the difference will be on the physx benchmarks between sofware and hardware mode. If I feel up to it, I may even try and see what the difference would be between software mode, hardware mode with my 8800GTX ACS3 & hardware mode with the 9800GT that I just picked up. Im pretty sure the 8800GTX will be slightly higher but it would be interesting to see just how much difference there is. The 8800GTX is already in my system but I'm thinking I want to end up with the 9800GT in as the physx card and the 8800GTX running my media center setup in the basement running my 10' projection and eventually a 3d setup with a second projector as in a previous article here on THG...
a b U Graphics card
June 12, 2010 12:37:56 PM

@ mousemonkey, most likely you gave me links to the correct drivers, it just appears that I needed to install in safemode and use the patch to get it to work using a second monitor. Nvidia wants you to have to work extra hard at this so no one will do it.

Im wondering if there ever was a driver release that was a simple install that just worked without all the hassle? If so, they did a good job making that version disappear off the internet...
a c 271 U Graphics card
a c 168 Î Nvidia
June 12, 2010 12:44:48 PM

englandr753 said:
@ mousemonkey, most likely you gave me links to the correct drivers, it just appears that I needed to install in safemode and use the patch to get it to work using a second monitor. Nvidia wants you to have to work extra hard at this so no one will do it.

Im wondering if there ever was a driver release that was a simple install that just worked without all the hassle? If so, they did a good job making that version disappear off the internet...

Have you seen this?
a b U Graphics card
June 12, 2010 1:24:29 PM

That was a nice read. I will give it a first shot doing as they did. If I am using the correct driver then it should work. If it doesn't, then its good to know the safemode route as a backup option.

My biggest problem atm is I don't have a larger monitor to test at a med/high resolutions. That is my next item to get now but will be a few weeks at best. So my testing for now will only be at a lower res. This would be a fun test to come back to once I get the new monitor setup...
a c 271 U Graphics card
a c 168 Î Nvidia
June 12, 2010 1:28:38 PM

YVWM.
!