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PhysX Physics Accelerator

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 18, 2011 10:33:43 PM

I currently have a quad core processor and a Radeon HD 6850 Graphics card. Is there any reason for me to get a physx physics accelerator card? If so, what kind of performance increase will i see? Thanks for the input! :) 
a b U Graphics card
June 18, 2011 10:41:39 PM

Not really you would probably be better off getting a second 6850.
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June 18, 2011 10:48:17 PM

What slot does a physics card use, because my second pcie x16 slot is only an x 4 link?
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a b U Graphics card
June 18, 2011 10:54:56 PM

It can use any available Pci-e slot that's x4 or higher. You will only see performance gains in games that use PhysX (i.e. they will display the Nvidia PhysX logo when loading) and only if you have it enabled in game. I give it as my opinion that there are better physics engines out there that run on the cpu. So I'm with mute20, an additonal 6850 is where it's at (though your motherboard probably doesn't support Crossfire)
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June 18, 2011 10:58:23 PM

My motherboard does support crossfire, though didn't think it would be cost effective getting a second video card, considering the second pcie x16 is only x 4 link. Correct me if I am wrong?
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a b U Graphics card
June 18, 2011 11:30:14 PM

Crossfire is actually a quite cost effective alternative. Compared to a dedicated physX card it is not a competition as physX is not a standard in all game so the benefits are hit and miss.
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June 18, 2011 11:37:21 PM

But if my second x16 slot only has an x4 link, wouldn't the video card in cross fire not perform as well, or does the crossfire cable send additional data over the first cards 16 lanes?
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a b U Graphics card
June 18, 2011 11:47:36 PM

It will be slower ,but a dedicated physx card is not a good alternative.
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June 19, 2011 12:04:57 AM

How much of a hit in performance are we talking, would it still be worth getting a second video card?
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a c 617 U Graphics card
June 19, 2011 3:29:13 AM

You can Crossfire all you want, but you will not be able to see or enable GPU PhysX without a dedicated Nvidia card. When we talk about a PhysX performance hit, we are talking about the FPS drop on a single Nvidia card when PhysX is enabled. With a dedicated card, the secondary card is doing all the PhysX work, so there is no hit.

You just need to ask yourself if you play enough PhysX games to make it worthwhile. If so, then it's no problem finding a good cheap Nvidia card to put into any PCIe slot with the AMD PhysX hack to get it to work.

Keep in mind that the enhanced Unreal Engine 3 was just debuted recently, and prominently featured PhysX in the demos.
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Next-Generation-Unreal...
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a b U Graphics card
June 19, 2011 3:29:23 AM

I wouldn't expect it to be to bad ,but it is much better than a dedicated physX card for sure.
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June 19, 2011 3:33:59 AM

Matto, just so you know I was referring to the performance hit in running a second video card in crossfire on a 4x link 16x pcie 2.0 slot.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
June 19, 2011 3:37:00 AM

There are about 20 games that can take advantage of GPU Accelerated PhysX. Not all of them make much use of it (Metro 2033 for example) and other do (Batman AA).

If you play some of the good ones in those 20ish games, it could be worth it to you to get a PhysX card or use a spare card you had in an older computer. If you don't, it's not worth it.
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a c 617 U Graphics card
June 19, 2011 3:42:38 AM

kr0490 said:
Matto, just so you know I was referring to the performance hit in running a second video card in crossfire on a 4x link 16x pcie 2.0 slot.

Copy that.

HardOCP did a great series of articles where they determined that there was virtually no performance hit when running dual GPU's in a x4/x4 configuration:
"Even with all the data that GTX 480 SLI is pushing across the PCIe bus, x4/x4 is NOT a bottleneck in a single display setup at 2560x1600 with AA enabled."
"Therefore, if you are on an aging PCIe 1.X system at x8/x8 mode (equivalent to PCIe 2.0 x4/x4) on a single display fear not, you are not holding back the performance of GTX 480 SLI or we guess with any CrossFireX or SLI configuration."
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2010/08/25/gtx_480_sli_p...
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June 19, 2011 3:47:46 AM

So since one of my cards is in a 2.0 x16 slot running at x16, if I got a second card and put it in my second x16 slot which runs at x4 there would be no performance hit, since if both were running at 4x there is no hit, and one of mine is running higher than that.
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a c 617 U Graphics card
June 19, 2011 3:57:18 AM

kr0490 said:
So since one of my cards is in a 2.0 x16 slot running at x16, if I got a second card and put it in my second x16 slot which runs at x4 there would be no performance hit, since if both were running at 4x there is no hit, and one of mine is running higher than that.

Bingo.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
June 19, 2011 4:35:04 AM

Keep in mind, it is motherboard dependent on whether or not x4 is painful. A bit over a year ago, THG had done some tests on x4/x8/x16 slots to compare the difference in crossfire/sli. With the P55 boards, x4 lost about 30% performance while the x58 boards only lost about 10% performance.

x4 can and does kill performance in some multi card setups and not so much on others.
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August 10, 2013 1:56:25 AM

most of the time if you have a good graphics car and you can get your frames steady it due to the processor. i encountered that problem but in game their is a function that will display frame rates and what is limiting your FPS. if you have an up to date processor and your motherboard is to then go with adding another card. but since you only have one pci-e x16 im guessing you need to get a new processor mother board combo!!!!
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