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AMD: Developers Use PhysX Only For The Cash

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 43 comments

AMD said that a Nvidia marketing scheme pays game developers to implement PhysX whether they want it or not.

In a recent interview with THINQ, AMD’s senior manager of developer relations Richard Huddy slammed Nvidia and its PhysX technology, claiming that the rival company is forcefully shoving the technology down cash-strapped developer throats and paying them off at the same time. Huddy claims that Nvidia's marketing deal gives it the right to implement PhysX elements into a game whether the developer wants it or not.

According to the interview, Huddy spends a lot of time with developers and has concluded that most do not want Nvidia involved in game development. "The problem with [the marketing deal] is obviously that the game developer doesn’t actually want it," he said. "They’re not doing it because they want it; they’re doing it because they’re paid to do it. So we have a rather artificial situation at the moment where you see PhysX in games, but it isn’t because the game developer wants it in there."

Huddy goes on to claim that developers outside Epic Games don't want to implement GPU-accelerated PhysX into their games. "I’m not aware of any GPU-accelerated PhysX code which is there because the games developer wanted it with the exception of the Unreal stuff," he added. "I don’t know of any games company that’s actually said 'you know what, I really want GPU-accelerated PhysX, I’d like to tie myself to Nvidia and that sounds like a great plan.'"

Of course, Huddy also thinks that AMD's open approach to GPU-accelerated physics will eventually force Nvidia's proprietary PhysX into the virtual graveyard along with A3D and the infamous GLide API. "If you go back ten years or so to when GLide was there as a proprietary 3D graphics API, it could have coexisted, but instead of putting their effort into getting D3D to go well, 3dfx focused on GLide," he said. "As a result, they found themselves competing with a proprietary standard against an open standard, and they lost. It's the way it is with many of the standards we work with."

To read more, check out the interview here.

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  • 20 Hide
    dman3k , March 9, 2010 4:08 PM
    Wait... Didn't DirectX won over OpenGL???
  • 19 Hide
    drfdisk , March 9, 2010 4:26 PM
    When the 5870s came out I was more than happy to jump ship to ATI because of practices like this. At the very least they could allow an Nvidia card running PhysX to do so in the same system that has another brand card running graphics. They are doing nothing but hurting their customers and reputation. We all see how far they got with SLI only running on nforce boards.
  • 11 Hide
    Hilarion , March 9, 2010 4:06 PM
    Not surprising since Nvidia seems to be falling behind and grasping at straws to catch up...
Other Comments
  • 11 Hide
    Hilarion , March 9, 2010 4:06 PM
    Not surprising since Nvidia seems to be falling behind and grasping at straws to catch up...
  • 20 Hide
    dman3k , March 9, 2010 4:08 PM
    Wait... Didn't DirectX won over OpenGL???
  • 11 Hide
    victomofreality , March 9, 2010 4:17 PM
    Sounds like PR to me but it does have a valid point, why limit yourself more then you have to especially with the gpu manufacturer that is 6 months behind?
  • 4 Hide
    Lutfij , March 9, 2010 4:19 PM
    i agree , they have nothing better to do than come out with a renamed/revamped version of their older chips...shame...just a waste of resources!
  • 19 Hide
    drfdisk , March 9, 2010 4:26 PM
    When the 5870s came out I was more than happy to jump ship to ATI because of practices like this. At the very least they could allow an Nvidia card running PhysX to do so in the same system that has another brand card running graphics. They are doing nothing but hurting their customers and reputation. We all see how far they got with SLI only running on nforce boards.
  • -5 Hide
    sliem , March 9, 2010 4:30 PM
    Title is somewhat misleading.
  • 6 Hide
    OvrClkr , March 9, 2010 4:35 PM
    I dont think is relevant at all, its not like PhysX is actually going to boost sales. Price to performance is what matters not PhysX. NV is behind ATM, PhysX is not going to save the company, lower pricing and not screwing up is what they should be focusing on.



  • 8 Hide
    ohim , March 9, 2010 5:04 PM
    oh and waiting for fermi to go out so my next radeo 5xxx card can get cheaper.
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , March 9, 2010 5:25 PM
    Nvidia just cant keep up with the rate at which ATI pumps out new cards. In order for Nvidia to keep its customer base from switching, its hamstringing ATI's cards by paying game developers to simply not fully support ati's hardware capabilities. The game utilizes the gpu hardware. If nvidia controls the game developer, they will never have to worry about ATI becoming "king of the hill" in the gpu world.
  • -8 Hide
    Drag0nR1der , March 9, 2010 5:28 PM
    umm, so? The developer gets some cash, and Nvidia users get some extra fizz and pop in their games.. sounds like win win to me.
  • -2 Hide
    rooket , March 9, 2010 5:38 PM
    When you get Intel involved in game development look what happens. I remember I had a nice Pentium 100 and then games started requiring MMX. That sucked at first but eventually I bought a P233mmx. Just not right away. I don't like being forced into a product.

    Nvidia physx? Does it even do anything? I own an nvidia card but I don't care if a game has physx or not.
  • 1 Hide
    rooket , March 9, 2010 5:41 PM
    OvrClkr, lower pricing indeed. I will never spend over $200 on a video card again. I learned that the hard way with the ti4600. All it is now is a paper weight. $300 and I didn't get a lot of use out of it. You can buy more useful stuff for 300 bucks.

    Sheesh this web site sure has a ton of java errors. I can barely even post half the time.
  • 7 Hide
    igot1forya , March 9, 2010 6:00 PM
    whoa whoa whoa... your telling me Game Developers are making games... for MONEY?!?!?! My mind has officially been blown...
  • 2 Hide
    dstln , March 9, 2010 6:00 PM
    rooketWhen you get Intel involved in game development look what happens. I remember I had a nice Pentium 100 and then games started requiring MMX. That sucked at first but eventually I bought a P233mmx. Just not right away. I don't like being forced into a product.Nvidia physx? Does it even do anything? I own an nvidia card but I don't care if a game has physx or not.


    MMX added a very important instruction set that would vastly increase performance in the areas you're talking about. If a game was made to require a P166mmx, it would be unplayable on a P100 without mmx. It's nothing about trying to force features on people.

    Physx allows certain physics effects to be rendered realtime by hardware instead of by using slow software methods. Unfortunately for us, it's an Nvidia-exclusive thing so they basically pay off devs to add it to the game only for Nvidia cards where other cards could realistically do hardware physics for those sometimes-nice effects. Like recently I played Mirror's Edge and saw the physx effects on youtube and some of it looked pretty nice, but certainly no reason to switch from ati to nvidia.
  • 6 Hide
    pharge , March 9, 2010 6:00 PM
    rooketSheesh this web site sure has a ton of java errors. I can barely even post half the time.


    I know... but I found out that.... if I stay away from IE... everything works perfectly no matter is the FireFox or Safari. I guess there is a reason why IE's Acid3 score is so low....;)
  • 2 Hide
    drfdisk , March 9, 2010 6:07 PM
    I'm sorry, nvidia built the first video card? That's funny, I owned one of, if not the first nvidia cards in the form of a Viper V550 long after 3dfx cards were ruling the world. It was hell just trying to find games that supported it. They built the first GPU is what you meant?
  • 7 Hide
    dstln , March 9, 2010 6:10 PM
    Quote:
    It's good they are pushing developers to implement physx-


    There's a significant difference between saying "hey, look at our feature, we think it's pretty good, want to include it?" and saying "hey, we have a couple of moneybags with your name on it if you include this feature that only works with our card." That's what this article is about.

    How would you feel if there were games with ATI-exclusive features? Or even literally games that wouldn't work unless you had an ATI card? Obviously that's more extreme, and that couldn't currently happen because marketshare is too spread between the two, but what if someone had 95% of the marketshare and could logistically do such a thing?

    I'm not condemning Nvidia by any means, but it's still shady practice and we should be aware of such and not just ignore such things. Nvidia bought the Physx stuff and are now making their return off it. But considering that it's been shown to work fine on ATI hardware in the past (I believe, correct me if I'm wrong), it's essentially paying devs to unlock effects for only their product even though it would work fine with others. This goes much further than say, paying to get the free Nvidia ad in front of the game.
  • 1 Hide
    megamanx00 , March 9, 2010 6:52 PM
    dman3kWait... Didn't DirectX won over OpenGL???


    That's because OpenGL was stalled due to a bunch of influencial CAD firms whom wanted to say they were using the latest version of Open GL while doing the minimum amount of work to do so. As a result of that continuous bickering Open GL is too bloated and moves too slow. It is considerably behind DX11 in terms of capability.
  • 1 Hide
    megamanx00 , March 9, 2010 6:59 PM
    Meh, typical vendors going at each other. I think AMD is right up to a point, but they really haven't sponsored an effort for an Open Standard alternative. With DX11 and Direct Compute, they have little excuse to not have a GPU accelerated Physics API.
  • 1 Hide
    Tomtompiper , March 9, 2010 7:15 PM
    dman3kWait... Didn't DirectX won over OpenGL???



    Yes it did on Windows, as did IE win over Netscape. But as it is a closed source system as more and more people switch to Macs and Linux then OpenGl will rise from the ashes and regain it's crown. Just as Firefox did against IE. The rise of small Arm based systems with 3D capability will be a boost to the OpenGL devlopers they will have OpenGL ES and where will DirectX be?
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