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PhysX setup

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December 1, 2010 6:04:36 AM

Hey guys,

I have a question about PhysX and its performance. I have an EVGA 9800GTX+ that I decided to throw in for PhysX the other day. After booting up, the Nvidia Control Panel gives me the option to dedicate it to PhysX rather than using my GTX 470 but I don't seem to be getting much performance increase in most games other than the ones that make full use of it. What I'd like to know is, do I have to install specific drivers to get more out of this setup or is this just a limitation to the games that I play? Is Arkham Asylum the only reason I should keep this card in or could I boost some frame rates in Crysis?
I found this guide on setting up PhysX: http://www.guru3d.com/article/physx-by-nvidia-review/3 but it seems to be a bit outdated.
Any and all help is appreciated.

Thanks.

More about : physx setup

a c 226 U Graphics card
December 1, 2010 2:18:40 PM

Your PhysX drivers are fine as is (you don't need to install anything else in your case). The lack of improved performance may be because of the processing difference between the 470 and the 9800GTX. Essentially, the 9800GTX can't perform anywhere close to the 470. Kind of like adding one more drop of water to an almost full bucket...not much gain in comparison.

You also have the issue of having the additional power being consumed and heat generated of having both cards. If it were me, I would pull the 9800GTX and keep as a backup GPU, install in another system, or sell it. Your call.

Good luck!!!
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a b U Graphics card
December 1, 2010 8:09:49 PM

A 9800GTX+ is a 250GTS by another name...
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a c 217 U Graphics card
December 1, 2010 8:44:46 PM

The problem isn't the card. The problem is that he's expecting improvement in games without accelerated GPU PhysX support.

Batman AA will likely have an improvement, but Crysis does not use PhysX in any form or fashion. Most games listed as having PhysX do not utilize GPU accelerated PhysX either. There are only a few games in which it will help and you may not even own another other than batman.

If the game does not support GPU accelerated PhysX, that other card is nothing but a power drain.
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a c 620 U Graphics card
December 1, 2010 9:33:45 PM

Dude, UT3!
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December 1, 2010 11:28:29 PM

I definitely see improvement in Batman AA. I end up getting frame increases of 10-15 sometimes which I find to be a significant boost. If it's the that the only reason I'm not seeing any noticeable performance in other game is because of the lack of support for PhysX do you think that I should keep the card for the few games that might have it or just not bother with it at all. Also, I would appreciate it if you guys suggested some other titles that support PhysX.

Thanks
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a b U Graphics card
December 1, 2010 11:44:01 PM

How unfortunate, I a, eagerly waiting for physics X to die, death to all proprietary formats!
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a c 217 U Graphics card
December 2, 2010 1:05:02 AM

AG Renagade said:
I definitely see improvement in Batman AA. I end up getting frame increases of 10-15 sometimes which I find to be a significant boost. If it's the that the only reason I'm not seeing any noticeable performance in other game is because of the lack of support for PhysX do you think that I should keep the card for the few games that might have it or just not bother with it at all. Also, I would appreciate it if you guys suggested some other titles that support PhysX.

Thanks


I would not put the card in the machine unless you are playing a PhyX game with GPU acceleration support at that time and only if that game is getting less than 50 FPS without the dedicated card.

Losing 10 FPS when you already have 70+ doesn't give any benefit if your monitors refresh rate is 60. I'm willing to play at 50 FPS to avoid the hassle of adding in the extra card, as 50 FPS is still very enjoyable.
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December 2, 2010 2:57:02 AM

The reason that I put it in was because I had it lying around and its a pretty good card.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I didn't want it to just sit there and rot. Also, could someone help me by providing an extensive guide on installing and setting up PhysX other than the one that I had mentioned earlier?
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a c 217 U Graphics card
December 2, 2010 3:01:14 AM

There is nothing extensive to do with the physX card. You install it, without a bridge. Open up the Nvidia control panel, go to the PhysX/SLI and select the 9800GTX as the dedicated physX card.

It will work if you own one of the games with GPU accelerated physx support. Nothing else has to be done, other than turning it on in each game that has the option.
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December 2, 2010 3:02:47 AM

That is the way that I have done it. Just wanted to make sure that no specific drivers had to be installed.
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a c 620 U Graphics card
December 2, 2010 3:38:51 AM

Mafia 2 and Metro 2033 are the latest PhysX titles. I would leave the card in as a dedicated PhysX card. The cost in extra power is negligible. In general, once you experience PhysX, there's no turning back.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
December 2, 2010 3:59:28 AM

17seconds said:
Mafia 2 and Metro 2033 are the latest PhysX titles. I would leave the card in as a dedicated PhysX card. The cost in extra power is negligible. In general, once you experience PhysX, there's no turning back.


But for you to experience PhysX, you have to have a game you are playing with PhysX.

I buy games based on their merits and my tastes, not for physX, so I only own 1 game with GPU accelerated physX. I haven't played that game in a few months, so I wouldn't have that card in there to drain power and heat up my other GPU for the sake of being able to play a physX game I'm not playing.

Like I said, if you have some physX games you are playing. As in, you play once a week or two, go ahead and put the card in there, assuming you need the performance boost (you are getting less than 50 FPS without it), otherwise, what is the point?
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a c 620 U Graphics card
December 2, 2010 4:22:55 PM

bystander said:
But for you to experience PhysX, you have to have a game you are playing with PhysX.

I buy games based on their merits and my tastes, not for physX, so I only own 1 game with GPU accelerated physX. I haven't played that game in a few months, so I wouldn't have that card in there to drain power and heat up my other GPU for the sake of being able to play a physX game I'm not playing.

Like I said, if you have some physX games you are playing. As in, you play once a week or two, go ahead and put the card in there, assuming you need the performance boost (you are getting less than 50 FPS without it), otherwise, what is the point?

Just out of curiosity, I wonder if anyone knows what the dedicated PhysX card does when not playing a PhysX game? Does it ramp up it's clock speeds as if it were rendering the graphics? Or does it just sit in it's idle state? For that matter, how much stress does rendering PhysX calculations put on a dedicated GPU?
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a c 217 U Graphics card
December 2, 2010 4:49:50 PM

17seconds said:
Just out of curiosity, I wonder if anyone knows what the dedicated PhysX card does when not playing a PhysX game? Does it ramp up it's clock speeds as if it were rendering the graphics? Or does it just sit in it's idle state? For that matter, how much stress does rendering PhysX calculations put on a dedicated GPU?


I ran a dedicated card before. Partly because it also served well at extending my desktop.

It doesn't really stress the system much, however, I did run into a few problems with it, which I didn't realize was a problem at first.

It seemed drop draw some power from the motherboard. Power which caused problems with my keyboard, mouse and gamepad, all of which draw a lot of power from the USB ports. Oddly, having the card in there, cause my mouse and keyboard to lose power and uninstall, then reinstall (btw, if you have a high power drawing mouse or keyboard, USB 3.0 ports give more power).

If your motherboard has the PCIe slots right next to each other, your dedicated card will also block the intake fan of the primary card causing it to run hotter.

The card will still run at it's normal idle speed, which is quite hot for a 9800GT and I assume the 9800GTX. They don't have these low power states like the newer cards do.
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December 2, 2010 8:40:17 PM

The way it works for me is if I play Batman AA the PhysX card ends up working at about 5-10% usage, and temps stay about 40c. When playing a game that does not require it, it sits idle at about 36c. I have not seen any effect on my GTX 470's temps from installing the 9800GTX+, all temps stay the same. What I have noticed is a 5-10 fps increase now that I have installed newer drivers for the 9800 on pretty much any game. Bystander is right though, going from 70fps to 80fps isn't a noticeable difference but I don't mind keeping it in there because atleast I don't feel like its being wasted. By the way, in terms of power, my PSU is an 80+ Gold certified 1000W so it really doesn't affect me much.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
December 2, 2010 8:52:19 PM

AG Renagade said:
The way it works for me is if I play Batman AA the PhysX card ends up working at about 5-10% usage, and temps stay about 40c. When playing a game that does not require it, it sits idle at about 36c. I have not seen any effect on my GTX 470's temps from installing the 9800GTX+, all temps stay the same. What I have noticed is a 5-10 fps increase now that I have installed newer drivers for the 9800 on pretty much any game. Bystander is right though, going from 70fps to 80fps isn't a noticeable difference but I don't mind keeping it in there because atleast I don't feel like its being wasted. By the way, in terms of power, my PSU is an 80+ Gold certified 1000W so it really doesn't affect me much.


It's good that you aren't having any adverse effect with it in, but I just wanted to clear something up. The 9800GTX+ is not helping your FPS on any game other than Batman AA and perhaps a couple other PhysX titles you own. The driver update likely helped improve your GTX 470's performance as well. PhysX isn't a GPU booster, as many are lead to believe.

PhysX is code written to add physics based special effects into games. This code must be added by the game developer. In most cases, when it's used in these games, they use your CPU to perform the physX effects. There are a few games, however, where the game developer adds a lot of effects, and let you use the GPU for better performance. There are about 20 games that fit this catagory, and it's only these games which your 9800GTX+ will improve your performance. Batman AA is the most notable one.
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a c 173 U Graphics card
December 2, 2010 8:53:55 PM

vilenjan said:
How unfortunate, I a, eagerly waiting for physics X to die, death to all proprietary formats!


You might as well count Apple in the mix as they have been that way since day one.
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a c 173 U Graphics card
December 2, 2010 8:57:03 PM

In general most games and users will not have any signifigant advantage of having use of a dedicated card for physx and even cuda however there is some benefit if you are doing more than just gaming such as folding@home or encoding videos and audio with your cards.
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a c 620 U Graphics card
December 2, 2010 9:16:10 PM

vilenjan said:
How unfortunate, I a, eagerly waiting for physics X to die, death to all proprietary formats!

I have actually heard about a PhysX 3.0 update that is due sometime in the near future.
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December 2, 2010 9:52:27 PM

I jumped on the PhysX bandwagon with Batman, can't say it made much of a difference with single or both cards. Contenplating ditching the 2nd card to save on electricity.
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a c 620 U Graphics card
December 2, 2010 9:56:41 PM

f8itsolutions said:
I jumped on the PhysX bandwagon with Batman, can't say it made much of a difference with single or both cards. Contenplating ditching the 2nd card to save on electricity.

The $4/month is hurting you that much? That's not even enough for a McDonald's Big Mac combo.
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December 2, 2010 10:04:17 PM

Yeah the biggest boost I seem to get is from Batman AA. About what bystander said, the performance increase that I'm receiving in non-physX games is from the newer drivers but the drivers are simply for the 9000 series cards. If I could get some insight on that, that would be great. Thanks.
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a c 620 U Graphics card
December 2, 2010 10:07:47 PM

AG Renagade said:
Yeah the biggest boost I seem to get is from Batman AA. About what bystander said, the performance increase that I'm receiving in non-physX games is from the newer drivers but the drivers are simply for the 9000 series cards. If I could get some insight on that, that would be great. Thanks.

It seems like the ONLY Nvidia drivers you should be running are the latest ones for your primary graphics card. The dedicated PhysX card will be using the latest PhysX drivers that are installed with the graphics drivers.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
December 2, 2010 10:11:37 PM

I'm not sure what you did. Could you name the games you are seeing a boost in? A dedicated PhysX card cannot improve FPS in a game that doesn't use PhysX, or accelerated GPU PhysX to be more precise. If your other games use it, then it could, but it's extremely unlikely all your games have that support

It's like hooking up a Blueray player, and seeing how much better your TV looks while watching a Network station.

Maybe you updated all your Nvidia drivers when you went to update it for your 9800GTX+. Or the drivers you had prior to the update, were slowing your system down with some sort of conflict.
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a c 173 U Graphics card
December 2, 2010 11:06:16 PM

17seconds said:
The $4/month is hurting you that much? That's not even enough for a McDonald's Big Mac combo.


Actually it adds up when if you were to use your machine as mush as I do. Mine runs me $30-40 a month just to run for one rig thanks to my crt monitors and remember having savings when I had moved from a single x1900xt to a 3870 that used much less power. Monthly that was $5-10 and its adds up when one is living off student loans or in living in an area ware utilities are very high. I guess many of you here are not paying the bills or not home much but when things heat up during the summer every dollar counts when one is paying up to $200-275 a month due to running the A/C. What would you chose a nice cool house or one that is roasting with 30-35c room temp and rigs that are overheating.
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December 2, 2010 11:33:03 PM

I've seen an increase in Bad Company 2 and Black Ops. I'm not sure why because I thought the results would be as you described, no improvement. The 9800 drivers that I installed off the Nvidia site simply allowed me to dedicate the card for PhysX as I was not able to earlier. I'm not sure why that would alter my GTX 470 drivers. As far as this topic on bills, if my power supply is a certain wattage, would adding another card add to its draw or would it still draw that 1000W.
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a c 620 U Graphics card
December 3, 2010 12:02:42 AM

AG Renagade said:
I've seen an increase in Bad Company 2 and Black Ops. I'm not sure why because I thought the results would be as you described, no improvement. The 9800 drivers that I installed off the Nvidia site simply allowed me to dedicate the card for PhysX as I was not able to earlier. I'm not sure why that would alter my GTX 470 drivers. As far as this topic on bills, if my power supply is a certain wattage, would adding another card add to its draw or would it still draw that 1000W.

It can draw up to 1000 watts, but likely draws more like in the 400 watt range or so.

The $4 a month I mentioned is a gross estimate, but it does include full gaming 4 hours a day/5 days a week on a GTX480 (per the guru3d website).
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a c 173 U Graphics card
December 3, 2010 1:05:13 AM

17seconds said:
It can draw up to 1000 watts, but likely draws more like in the 400 watt range or so.

The $4 a month I mentioned is a gross estimate, but it does include full gaming 4 hours a day/5 days a week on a GTX480 (per the guru3d website).


I can do 10-15 hours a day when I am not at the family farm or at school. I am also doing a lot of video editing so that requires a lot of up time. Second prices are different in different cites, counties/regions, and in different countries. Also space and thermal output is a big factor. So you rich millionaire euros are living like kings it doesn't mean that someone in America or China or Japan can run every thing non stop for $4 a month.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
December 3, 2010 1:10:11 AM

AG Renagade said:
I've seen an increase in Bad Company 2 and Black Ops. I'm not sure why because I thought the results would be as you described, no improvement. The 9800 drivers that I installed off the Nvidia site simply allowed me to dedicate the card for PhysX as I was not able to earlier. I'm not sure why that would alter my GTX 470 drivers. As far as this topic on bills, if my power supply is a certain wattage, would adding another card add to its draw or would it still draw that 1000W.


You likely just got updated drivers and they gave you the most recent for your 470. I do know there has been some large improvements over the last few months from personal experience. That or you just are having a placebo effect.

Those games do not have physX support.
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December 3, 2010 5:18:55 PM

Quote:
Those games do not have physX support.


Yeah I knew that, that's why I was wondering about it. I'm wondering why Matto17secs stated that out of my 1000W PSU I would only be drawing 400W. I think the 470 would draw nearly that much on its own when under full load, or is that what was meant?
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a c 620 U Graphics card
December 3, 2010 5:23:18 PM

I was talking about the total system wattage as measured from the wall socket. Here's an explanation from guru3d in regards to the highly factory overclocked Gigabyte SOC on a overclocked system:

Power consumption
Let's have a look at how much power draw we measure with this graphics card installed.

The methodology: We have a device constantly monitoring the power draw from the PC. We simply stress the GPU, not the processor. The before and after wattage will tell us roughly how much power a graphics card is consuming under load.

Our test system is based on a power hungry Core i7 965 / X58 based. This setup is overclocked to 3.75 GHz. Next to that we have energy saving functions disabled for this motherboard and processor (to ensure consistent benchmark results). On average we are using roughly 50 to 100 Watts more than a standard PC due to higher CPU clock settings, water-cooling, additional cold cathode lights etc.

Keep that in mind. Our normal system power consumption is higher than your average system.

GeForce GTX 470 SOC edition

Advertised GeForce GTX 470 TDP = 215W
System in IDLE = 187W
System Wattage with GPU in FULL Stress = 400W
Difference (GPU load) = 185 W
Add average IDLE wattage ~ 25W
Subjective obtained GPU power consumption = ~ 210 Watt
Mind you that the System Wattage is measured from the wall socket and is for the entire PC. Below a chart of measured Wattages per card.
http://www.guru3d.com/article/gigabyte-geforce-gtx-470-...
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December 3, 2010 6:39:32 PM

But although this test shows the consumption as 400W that's just with a GPU stress test. While gaming or performing other intensive tasks, the processor and other components also tend to draw out more power. If it was just a case of 400W then I could run my 470 off a 500W PSU, sadly that's not the case.
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a c 620 U Graphics card
December 3, 2010 6:46:58 PM

AG Renagade said:
But although this test shows the consumption as 400W that's just with a GPU stress test. While gaming or performing other intensive tasks, the processor and other components also tend to draw out more power. If it was just a case of 400W then I could run my 470 off a 500W PSU, sadly that's not the case.

Guru3d recommends a minimum 550 watt power supply.
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December 4, 2010 5:56:34 PM

This is slightly off topic here but is it possible to run a third monitor off a PhysX card or is SLI required?
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December 4, 2010 7:36:04 PM

Well not for gaming but just generally for extending the desktop. The reason I'm curious is because in the nVidia control panel it shows that my monitor is connected to my 470 and nothing is connected to my 9800. Is it possible to connect a monitor and extend my desktop off the 9800 while still using the GTX 470 as the primary display adapter?
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December 4, 2010 8:26:05 PM

Just tried it, it works, you can extend monitors off PhysX cards. Awesome.
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December 4, 2010 10:29:56 PM

Yeah you don't hear it much do you? Just wondering why some people are getting temperatures of 70c and I'm at a 23c.
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December 4, 2010 10:37:50 PM

Then again......at 1:05 he talks about OCZ Platinum memory and says its from G.Skill...
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a c 217 U Graphics card
December 5, 2010 12:02:52 AM

Some people will idle much higher if they use 2 monitors due to higher clocks when idle.
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December 6, 2010 8:37:39 PM

I should be getting pretty high idle temps in that case, I have more than 2 displays running. Would multiple displays also increase the temps for the Northbridge not just the GPU?
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a c 173 U Graphics card
December 7, 2010 2:14:17 AM

No unless you have very poor airflow. You should be fine. I got a workstation that is dual monitor with my GTX460 and it doesn't affect temps much at all.
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December 9, 2010 1:25:06 AM

If you guys wouldn't mind answering a quick question. How come in some programs like Everest, the northbridge temperature is shown to be the same as CPU even though they differ in the BIOS. For example, half the time my NB = CPU temp where as its sometimes 5-10 degrees higher in the BIOS.
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