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ATI 5770 with lower nVidia card for PhysX?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 12, 2010 12:58:34 PM

I read somewhere that a member was using an ATI card with a nVidia 9400 (?). He used the 9400 so that he could get the full benefits of games that utilized the PhysX engine. Well I just played the Mafia 2 demo and the PhysX option is a performance killer for my 5770. My motherboard has 2 slots for video cards and I thought I would go down this route to finally be PhysX compatible for pretty cheap.

Which low level nVidia card would be best suited for this? What software would I need to download for these 2 cards to work together? Would this be reliable?

All help is appreciated.
a c 607 U Graphics card
a c 399 Î Nvidia
August 12, 2010 5:59:55 PM

Sorry Punisher, I may be mistaken, but you need to be running Nvidia graphics drivers in order to enable PhysX. Therefore, there is no way to enable PhysX when your main card is from ATI.
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a c 147 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
August 12, 2010 6:09:37 PM

There is a hack that allows you to run an ATI primary card with an Nvidia for physx. I lost the link a while ago, but if you research you will find it. The problem is if drivers change it may stop working and in some cases when physx is not being used it hurts other games. There are few games that support PhysX, but the ones that do you really need an Nvidia card to get the full experience.

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August 12, 2010 6:44:41 PM

Well that kind of sucks. I guess I'll have to pick up one of those 460's and a 240. I think it's pretty lame how games are so brand specific that you can't get the full experience unless you buy certain cards.
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a c 147 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
August 12, 2010 6:54:27 PM

punisher 281 said:
Well that kind of sucks. I guess I'll have to pick up one of those 460's and a 240. I think it's pretty lame how games are so brand specific that you can't get the full experience unless you buy certain cards.

It is usually just PhysX. I thought ATI was going to make something similar to cope with it, but I haven't read anything lately.

A 460 alone would be fine. I don't think you would really need a 240 for physX. Sometimes it helps if the dedicated card is more powerful than the primary physx chip.
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August 12, 2010 7:02:06 PM

Can I even use 2 nVidia cards on my board? I bought it for X-fire because I never planned on going back and forth between the 2 companies.
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a c 147 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
August 12, 2010 7:18:07 PM

Don't quote me on this, but I THINK you can do that. As long as you are not using SLI. You can have 2 cards but they operate separately. If one is PhysX only I think it will work. But don't hold me to it.
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a b U Graphics card
August 12, 2010 7:33:36 PM

Yes, physics will work with having one card as your display card and another as being you physics card. These don't need to be in SLI or connected.
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a b U Graphics card
August 12, 2010 7:35:26 PM

jay2tall said:
Don't quote me on this, but I THINK you can do that. As long as you are not using SLI. You can have 2 cards but they operate separately. If one is PhysX only I think it will work. But don't hold me to it.


Well, there is a hack for running sli on a x-fire motherboard but im sure it more trouble than it's worth. :heink: 
(thats if you're going to be running 2 of the same cards.)




But for non sli stuff, yeah, running multiple gpu's not running sli/CF but independently is possible. People do that all the time.
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a c 607 U Graphics card
a c 399 Î Nvidia
August 12, 2010 8:44:59 PM

I see that Best Buy has a PNY Geforce 210 w/512 MB DDR2 on sale for $50. You can probably find something similar for cheaper. You really only need a cheapo card to get the job done.
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a c 216 U Graphics card
a c 80 Î Nvidia
August 12, 2010 9:09:28 PM

I personally have been doing this with 5870's and a 9800GT.

I simply followed this guide: http://www.overclock.net/graphics-cards-general/633137-...

A couple things to add:
1) You do not need to make that dummy monitor adapter if you already use a 2nd monitor.
2) When I installed the drivers, I installed the Nvidia drivers while in safe mode, and immediately used the GenL hack before rebooting into normal mode.
3) I've only used the PhysX while playing Sacred 2. I've tried it with both a 8800gts and a 9800gt. With the 8800gts, the game still stutters when there is a lot of action along with physX effects. With the 9800gt is ran smoother.
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August 13, 2010 9:49:12 PM

So I have to use a ghetto looking adapter on the back if I choose to go down this route?
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a c 216 U Graphics card
a c 80 Î Nvidia
August 14, 2010 12:31:39 AM

punisher 281 said:
So I have to use a ghetto looking adapter on the back if I choose to go down this route?


Or you have to have a 2nd monitor. While it may be ghetto, do you really see it? How often is the back of your computer visible?

Actually, I also found on my Gigabyte MB, I was able to get it to work without either due to an unusual feature. With the physX card in the 1st PCIe-16 slot, and having the motherboard use the 2nd slot for the primary display, it was able to function without anything plugged into it.
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August 14, 2010 1:10:52 AM

So would you recommend a 9800 or a 210?
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a c 216 U Graphics card
a c 80 Î Nvidia
August 14, 2010 1:16:48 AM

9800gt is definately more powerfull than the 210. My personally experience showed the 9800gt was needed for smooth play at max settings when playing Sacred 2. The 8800gts didn't perform well enough, and the 210 is below that if I'm not mistaken.

I believe the 240 or 250 is often recommended for physX. I used the 9800gt because I already had one.
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August 14, 2010 3:25:07 AM

God, this whole system is becoming too complex, too costly, and possibly too unreliable. I think I might just get over the lack of PhysX and just pick up another 5770.
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a c 607 U Graphics card
a c 399 Î Nvidia
August 14, 2010 5:51:14 PM

My system is fairly new, and I remember the first time I fired up Unreal Tournament 3 will full PhysX enabled. I was laughing at all the debris and guts flying everywhere. It's pretty cool, but only if you play a game that supports PhysX. So i wouldn't get too discouraged, it is worth looking into, and many people are reporting success. A 9800GT is about $100 on Newegg and a 260 is about $160.
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