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Is PhysX worth it?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 12, 2011 8:36:16 AM

I'm trying to decide between buying a Radeon HD 6850 or a GeForce GTX 560 for my new build, I always been more inclined for ATI cards but this time I'd like to give the GTX 560 a try. So, both cards perform very close to each other but I'm wondering if the GPU PhysX acceleration on the GTX 560 really adds to the value of the card, are the differences between having PhysX on/off really noticeable in the games that support it?

Do you know about some upcoming games with PhysX that could be interesting?

I've read about the Unreal Engine 3 having it's physics based on PhysX, but not all games developed with the UE3 have GPU PhysX acceleration right? So if I wanna take advantage of this with the GTX 560 I'll have to look for games that explicitly support GPU PhysX right?

My new build if gonna be something like this:

Proc: Intel Core i5-2500K
RAM: 8GB (2x4GB) DDR 1600
GPU: Radeon HD 6870 (maybe GeForce GTX 560)
PSI: Corsair TX650 V2

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a c 142 U Graphics card
October 12, 2011 9:19:48 AM

Very, very few games support GPU accelerated PhysX, it's a feature that really hasn't taken off. As for how big a difference it makes, it varies. Metro 2033 does support GPU accelerated PhysX, but the effect is so subtle that it is hardly noticeable. Batman Arkham Asylum and Mafia 2 have it, and it is more noticeable in those titles. With Mafia 2, it mostly involves adding lots of debris from destructible objects.

I personally don't think PhysX is worth it if you are going to have to spend a lot of extra money on the nvidia card, and there don't seem to be many games on the horizon that will take advantage of this feature. The 6870 and 560 pretty much perform the same, but the 560 is usually about $30 more expensive. The only other advantage the 560 has is better overclocking potential compared to the 6870, which is already pretty close to its effective ceiling at stock clocks, the 6870 has very little headroom for overclocking.
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October 12, 2011 9:54:46 AM

Quote:
Are the differences between having PhysX on/off really noticeable in the games that support it?

Short answer: no.

Driver differences are a bigger concern (with AA, stable frame rates).

Look for price/performance maximisation.
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October 13, 2011 5:28:44 AM

I've been looking at videos showcasing GPU PhysX and they really make it look pretty cool, but I also found this page:

http://www.physxinfo.com/index.php?p=gam&f=all

That's a list of games supporting PhysX (some released, others upcoming) and I don't find enough titles of my interest :(  So, I guess I'm gonna stick to this card for my new rig:

http://xfxforce.com/en-us/products/GraphicCards/HD%2060...

I don't plan on doing a massive overclocking on the system so this should fit my needs. A while ago I read something about being able to use a Radeon graphics card along with an extra Nvidia card as a PPU and then this got disabled in the latest version of the PhysX drivers, anyone knows if it is still possible to do this somehow?
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a c 217 U Graphics card
October 13, 2011 5:52:28 AM

Just so you are aware, that list of physX games is misleading. The vast majority of them use PhysX on the CPU, not the GPU, so it doesn't matter if you have a GPU that supports GPU accelerated PhysX.

The list of games which use physX and benefit from an Nvidia card is about at most 30. 21 was the last number I've seen a few months ago.
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a c 663 U Graphics card
October 13, 2011 6:23:58 AM

If you are curious, and the cards cost the same, then get the one that supports PhysX and find out what the others are missing. I play Unreal Tournament 3 and would never consider playing it without PhysX enabled. I would look for a few new PhysX titles to be released in the next year, including Batman: Arkham City which is supposed to have the most advanced PhysX effects yet.
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October 15, 2011 4:05:18 AM

PhysX is about to be repalced with industry open standard that are supported by Nvidia and AMD. Micro$oft have added new calls in DX 11 to start direct calcs by the GPU. Will also work on Macs and Linux systems.

It take some time for the Game Engines to catch up but are now closer (for example HAVOK) and eventually all will.

Therefore, unless you are a fanboy of one of the current titles, PhysX is not whorty.
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October 22, 2011 4:33:43 AM

Best answer selected by draggoth.
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May 26, 2013 4:17:23 PM

Wow, that's a tiny handful of games... Guess it's not worth the xtra premium for nvidia...
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July 8, 2013 9:10:27 PM

Uh playing borderlands 2 with my new 670m and physx high settings...its gorgeous, not unlike I played before on ATI.....definately nvidia is a go. Plus installing ATI drivers is a chore, how many downloads you gotta make before you get to the actual driver install point? Haha
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a c 95 U Graphics card
July 8, 2013 9:16:56 PM

Why keep bumping an old thread?

BTW It isn't worth it. The only Physx game I have is crazy machines 2 and even my Core 2 Duo can handle it on the CPU
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