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Dedicated PhysX Card

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Nvidia
  • Physx
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 6, 2012 11:38:21 PM

Community:

Would someone have recommendations regarding the minimum specs for a dedicated PhysX card (or the minimum model of nVidia card; i.e. 9800GT). I have some spare cards lying around that are decent but not what I want to use for the majority of the graphics processing and was thinking they may be good candidates for dedicated PhysX cards.

Thanks in advance.

More about : dedicated physx card

a c 181 U Graphics card
April 6, 2012 11:41:03 PM

You can use any nVidia card for Physx. It does not matter what the card is. A 9800gt is a very nice card to use as Physx. I hope this helps you and good luck to you.
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April 6, 2012 11:56:48 PM

That is a help and thank you.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
a c 84 Î Nvidia
April 7, 2012 12:01:24 AM

Unfortunately, not all nvidia cards support PhysX. They started at the 8800, 9600, 9800, and 220 (The 210 does not work, and I'm not entirely sure on the 220). Most the new cards do. That said, I wouldn't recommend it unless you have real need for a specific game and you don't have enough power...even then it's iffy.

If you were to get one, a gt240 to gt260 range is good according to some older benchmarks or something comparable with todays cards.
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a c 181 U Graphics card
April 7, 2012 12:11:32 AM

That is funny I was told any nVidia card can be used for PhysX. I guess someone trolled me. Sorry OP I was under the impression that any card would work. Also the GT 220 will work I had it in one of my rigs.
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a c 181 U Graphics card
April 7, 2012 12:19:20 AM

bystander said:
Looks like most are supported these days: http://www.geforce.com/hardware/technology/physx/suppor...

The 210 is one to be aware of, as well as these below the 8800, and 9500 and below in that series.


Hey thanks for helping I did not know and I know your words are true and that is why I believe you from what you have done in other threads.
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April 7, 2012 3:42:13 AM

Thanks for all of the info.

bystander - why would you not recommend it, or what are the potential downsides? My power supply is big enough (1000w), I have an extra pci-e slot and a couple extra 9800gt cards laying around. In other words, if I have the power and the space, is there any downside? Thanks.
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a c 177 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
April 7, 2012 3:50:57 AM

The down side is not all games support GPU accelerated PhysX. Only a few do. (metro, Sacred 2, The Batman games, Mafia 2?) If your game isn't one of the few that do, all that dedicated PhysX card will do is emit heat and raise your electric bill. Because so few games support it many people just ignore it.
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a c 184 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
April 7, 2012 3:57:22 AM

Not recommended.

Linus from NCIX did an extensive test. I believe he had a GTX580 as the main card and tested about five other cards as addin PhysX cards.

What he discovered was that the lower-end cards actually made things SLOWER because they caused a bottleneck.

GTX680:
I'm also not sure what would happen since the new hardware is optimized for PhysX 3. It's backwards compatible so probably it wouldn't be an issue. It probably would cause problems if you had a GAME supporting PhysX v3, the GTX680 supporting PhysX v3 and an older card supporting only PhysX v2.

Proof:
The bottom line is you'd have to BENCHMARK your game with the addon card and without it, but unless your card is at roughly 75% as powerful as your current card it will likely just slow it down.

So you basically need a relatively high-end card which of course is going to add a lot of noise so it's pretty hard to recommend for most people.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
a c 84 Î Nvidia
April 7, 2012 4:09:57 AM

commishbob said:
Thanks for all of the info.

bystander - why would you not recommend it, or what are the potential downsides? My power supply is big enough (1000w), I have an extra pci-e slot and a couple extra 9800gt cards laying around. In other words, if I have the power and the space, is there any downside? Thanks.


My point is unless you know of a need, you probably have no use for it. There are very few games which support GPU accelerated PhysX to begin with. Most of them that do are very easy for any Nvidia card to handle it already or are like Metro 2033, which is very difficult if not impossible to tell it's on or off.

So unless you know you can use it, you probably don't need it.
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a c 181 U Graphics card
April 7, 2012 7:39:45 PM

@ Op 4745454b, photonboy, and bystander know what they are talking about so I would listen to them. I have been on here long enough to know which people to believe and which not to.
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a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
April 7, 2012 7:55:33 PM

first of all what is @commishbob graphics card? because a dedicated physx card can do worst than your main card (depending on what it is) i have already tested, i have with me a 560 ti and a 9800gtx+ adding the 9800gtx+ to physx, the performance of physx was worst than letting the 560 ti do it by itself, so i think to you really benefits from dedicated physx, first the dedicated card should be close to the main card, or the main card will do the job better.

and if you have 2 equal video cards i would recommend going for SLI, because also dedicated physx will perform worst than you SLIed video cards calculating physx.

Yes the physx games list is very small,those are ALL the games that support it:
http://www.geforce.com/games-applications/physx

But the effect is very nice and its a + on playing any of those games. but i would only recommend dedicating a physx card if you have a spare card Close to your main card, that will not work in SLI.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
a c 84 Î Nvidia
April 7, 2012 7:57:44 PM

I agree with the above and appreciate DM186's comments :) 
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April 7, 2012 8:19:49 PM

Great answers and I appreciate everyone's input.

I am currently running a pair of GTX570s in sli. Based on what I have read above, using 9800gt would at best create extra, unnecessary heat and at worst, have the additional downside of bottlenecking the system. Sounds like a no-go.

Again, thanks everyone for your input.
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a c 181 U Graphics card
April 7, 2012 9:39:30 PM

commishbob said:
Great answers and I appreciate everyone's input.

I am currently running a pair of GTX570s in sli. Based on what I have read above, using 9800gt would at best create extra, unnecessary heat and at worst, have the additional downside of bottlenecking the system. Sounds like a no-go.

Again, thanks everyone for your input.


Well I will say your welcome and I am speaking for all of us. I even learned a few things on this thread. That is one of a whole list of things I like about Tom's hardwear. Good luck to you.
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a c 173 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
April 8, 2012 1:18:13 AM

8800/9800gt on up is more than enough for most physx games plus you can overclock the shader as you please. If the card has less than 64 shaders and the card isn't 256bit if ddr3 don't bother which I named the base specs of a 9600gt. The 9800gtx or a gts250 is the sweet spot for dedicated physx while the gts450 and gtx260 are the next rank up. I've done dedicated physx builds before and learned what does and doesn't work. What that guy did in that video was well stupid. First you don't build such an imbalanced build and two never use such a crappy card as a 8600gts. 32 shaders can't do much period sure it is more performance than a typical i7 for physx but still no where near enough for smooth fps. A G92 gt/gtx is highly recommended as it doesn't under perform unlike lower end cards while not sucking power like a GT200. The very max that you would want to go is a gtx 460. Their idle power will be better than the G92 but at full load well be ready for the heat. Single slow the 8800gt and 55nm 9800gt is hands down the best.

Underclock the core and max out the shader with riva tuner and then msi afterburner for the fermi cards.
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a c 184 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
April 8, 2012 4:40:33 AM

bystander said:
I agree with the above and appreciate DM186's comments :) 


I'm pretty sure that photonboy doesn't know what he's talking about.
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a c 181 U Graphics card
April 8, 2012 5:56:52 PM

photonboy said:
I'm pretty sure that photonboy doesn't know what he's talking about.
:o 

Are you sure you don't know what you are talking about, are you really really sure? Well it looks like you fooled all of us then. Nice try but it doesn't hold any water. And if it did why then are you on here? :D 
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a c 184 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
April 9, 2012 11:42:57 PM

I'm beating everybody to the punch.

FYI, it's not common knowledge but the GTX680 is the first card to support the new PHYSX v3. It's backwards compatible. I don't know when the first game is released.

The interesting thing about PhysX is that many people have spare CPU cycles that could do PhysX but they want to crunch it on the NVidia card. NVidia claims its more efficient, but it's only efficiency per Watt, NOT efficiency per dollar.

A $200 CPU might only use 25% of its available resources leaving 75% free for PhysX while a $500 graphics card is using 100% of its resources. If the CPU used its free resources then you wouldn't have to lower the graphics quality or frame rate to run PhysX on the card.

That's why Havok makes a lot more sense, but if I want all the eye candy in some games the bottom line is I need an NVidia card so that's part of the reason I'm getting the GTX680.
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a c 675 U Graphics card
a c 466 Î Nvidia
April 10, 2012 12:01:54 AM

This is just to give you an idea of what level you need when using an old Nvidia card for dedicated Physx:

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a c 184 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
April 10, 2012 12:44:39 AM

Hey. About the chart:
Most dedicated PhysX cards actually SLOW down the system. However this chart doesn't show that as you'd need to show the performance of the MAIN NVidia card by itself so you could compare.

This is also a setup using an AMD card so you can only use the modded version of the NVidia drivers to get this up and running.

Just be aware that if you have two NVidia cards (non-identical) you need to benchmark with the main card and compare with BOTH cards with PhysX enabled to ensure the second card isn't bottlenecking the system and making things WORSE.

*It's also worth noting that none of these graphs hit 60FPS. If the HD5870 was by itself and PhysX was disabled the game would run above 60FPS thus allowing VSYNC to work as well. So for the sake of a few PhysX effects the frame rate is lowered which would then force 30FPS synching with VSYNC ON or cause screen tearing with it off.

PhysX lowers the frame rate so its a trade-off. I personally would only use PhysX if I can hit MAX quality and still maintain 60FPS.
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a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
April 10, 2012 1:35:13 AM

17seconds said:
This is just to give you an idea of what level you need when using an old Nvidia card for dedicated Physx:

http://media.bestofmicro.com/7/T/260777/original/mafia2_02.png


the problem with this graphic is because it is showing a radeon graphics card, as main card, and? so of course there will be acceptable frames using a dedicated GPU for physx (because you don't have physx without the dedicated gpu) but the point is, if the main card was a powerfull card already like a 570. will it be good to use a 260 dedicated to physx? maybe (and probably) the 570 will handle the physx better by itself and the 260 will just decrease the framerate, you would need to take a good graphics card close to 570 to do the physx and than the performance would be enough.

Well for a base, you could check batman recommended settings for enable PHYSX on high it is a dedicated 460 or higher because probably if you go with a 9800gtx+ the performance of the physx will be much worst than the 570 doing it by itself.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
a c 84 Î Nvidia
April 10, 2012 2:14:41 AM

Basically you may see some improvement with as low as a 9800gt as long as your main GPU wasn't super strong, and you will likely continue to see improvements on anything if you have at least a 260 for you dedicated card. At least that is how I've interpreted everything I've seen.
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a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
April 10, 2012 11:32:58 AM

bystander said:
Basically you may see some improvement with as low as a 9800gt as long as your main GPU wasn't super strong, and you will likely continue to see improvements on anything if you have at least a 260 for you dedicated card. At least that is how I've interpreted everything I've seen.


super strong is relative, but for instance i have already tested a 560 ti and dedicated a 9800gtx+ to physx, the result was lower framerate than letting the 560 ti calculate the physx by itself.
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April 17, 2012 2:43:07 PM

Best answer selected by commishbob.
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a c 273 U Graphics card
a c 173 Î Nvidia
April 17, 2012 6:10:40 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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