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Patch Makes Nvidia Play Nice With ATI

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

Hacked patch saved the day for multi-GPU PhysX fans.

Last week we talked about a Nvidia drivers, starting with version 186, that disable GPU PhysX acceleration when ATI hardware is also present in the system.

Nvidia gave several reasons of why it decided to cripple its own hardware when in the presence of competing hardware, but in the end, it was just about business.

"For a variety of reasons ā€“ some development expense some quality assurance and some business reasons NVIDIA will not support GPU accelerated Physx with NVIDIA GPUs while GPU rendering is happening on non- NVIDIA GPUs," Nvidia's customer service wrote to a user. "Iā€™m sorry for any inconvenience caused but I hope you can understand."

Of course, the setup of having both Nvidia and ATI GPUs in one system are exceptionally rare, making this a very special case ā€“ but still a very annoying one, especially for those hardcore enough to employ an Nvidia GPU just for PhysX.

Luckily, someone has created an experimental patch at lifts the handcuffing of Nvidia GPUs when an ATI Radeon is in the vicinity. Those with such specialized systems can thank GenL of the NGOHQ Forums.

This patch, of course, is for Windows 7 users as it's the only platform that'll support configuration for multiple GPUs. Check it out here.

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  • 20 Hide
    acecombat , October 5, 2009 11:47 PM
    Tom's HardwareOf course, the setup of having both Nvidia and ATI GPUs in one system are exceptionally rare


    I disagree. I am currently using a 8800GTS, and am planning on getting a 58XX in a month or so, and was going to keep by GTS in my system for PhysX processing. I imagine many people may do the same also.
  • 10 Hide
    Anonymous , October 5, 2009 11:49 PM
    Strike 1 for the Good Guys! :D 

    Back to the Time out bench for nVidia :p 
Other Comments
  • 20 Hide
    acecombat , October 5, 2009 11:47 PM
    Tom's HardwareOf course, the setup of having both Nvidia and ATI GPUs in one system are exceptionally rare


    I disagree. I am currently using a 8800GTS, and am planning on getting a 58XX in a month or so, and was going to keep by GTS in my system for PhysX processing. I imagine many people may do the same also.
  • 10 Hide
    Anonymous , October 5, 2009 11:49 PM
    Strike 1 for the Good Guys! :D 

    Back to the Time out bench for nVidia :p 
  • 1 Hide
    kingnoobe , October 5, 2009 11:59 PM
    I agree with Ace I don't think this is as rare as you think. I know for one if I had a nvidia card, and upgraded to ATI, but knew I could still put the nvidia card to use I sure in the hell would.

    I had no doubt somebody would do this.
  • -2 Hide
    Rahbot , October 6, 2009 12:05 AM
    Well Im in the market to get a new PC and I was going to go with a 4GPU Nvidia System but now I just might go with ATI, I just might get 2 or 3 ATI GPU's and get a PhysX card just to handle the PhysX.
  • 5 Hide
    gto127 , October 6, 2009 12:40 AM
    I also agree with ace. I think Nvidia knows alot of people will upgrade to the new 58X cards from Ati & will keep their old NVidia card for PHYX since win7 supports it. This is really not smart of Nvidia from a business standpoint because alot of people that already have Ati cards would probably buy a supplemental Nvidia card just for the PHysX if the driver didn't block it. Way to go Nvidia.
  • 7 Hide
    matt87_50 , October 6, 2009 12:56 AM
    "Of course, the setup of having both Nvidia and ATI GPUs in one system are exceptionally rare"

    yeah, I think this is exactly the point. what a massive coincidence that nvidia does this just after the ATI 5870 launches and takes the performance crown from them? there are alot of people using nvidia gpus, specially the awesome 8800gt like me that will be looking for an upgrade, and nvidia is trying to give us a reason for holding off buying this new shiny ATI card dumped in front of us, and wait for their new cards. it would almost be commendable if it wasn't for their Dick Dastardly way of doing it!

    All they have actually managed to do is piss everyone off, and not actually succeed from blocking ATI users from nvidia physx. and it would so obviously be hacked too. I mean it may have worked if your market was mainstream n00bs, but its not, its hardcore users like us who will have no trouble using this hack.

    silly nvidia.
  • 2 Hide
    tacoslave , October 6, 2009 1:19 AM
    at renegade worrior im sorry to say but they would make a monopoly and charge us a hella amount for that ati/nvidia card. by the way i like competition it keeps them on their feet like amd and intel. We all know i7 is just a better phenom!!!
  • 0 Hide
    redgarl , October 6, 2009 1:20 AM
    More I think about it and more I find Nvidia to be really cocky with their PhysX stuff. I really wonder why it still being used for development. Havok do the same things and doesn't pull half of the market away for a business matter.
  • -3 Hide
    the_krasno , October 6, 2009 1:48 AM
    Not only they disabled their GPUS but also the PPU. What's the point in having a PPU if you can't use it unless you are using NVIDIA GPU's? What's the point in having a PPU IF YOU HAVE AN NVIDIA CARD THAT CAN DO JUST THE SAME AND FREE A PCI-E PORT?!
    So, in the end, Ageia and ATI users are utterly *bleeped* by a completely monopolistic decision.
    ATI should make an anti trust sue against NVIDIA! Hell, I would buy a PPU just to have a chance to sue them too!
  • 0 Hide
    jlaavenger , October 6, 2009 3:15 AM
    What NVIDEA cards support PhysX?
  • 2 Hide
    FoShizzleDizzle , October 6, 2009 3:36 AM
    matt87_50what a massive coincidence that nvidia does this just after the ATI 5870 launches and takes the performance crown from them?

    The article states "Nvidia drivers, starting with version 186" which were out back in May. This problem has existed well before the 5870 launch.
  • 0 Hide
    matt87_50 , October 6, 2009 4:07 AM
    jlaavengerWhat NVIDEA cards support PhysX?

    vote him down for asking a valid question? wtf?

    the 8 series and above I think. dx10 and above.
  • 3 Hide
    jarnail24 , October 6, 2009 4:37 AM
    Doesn't Nvidia realize this is just hurting them?
  • 2 Hide
    megamanx00 , October 6, 2009 5:50 AM
    Since nVidia doesn't have a DX11 card out yet they need to give people an incentive to stick with them. If a gamer appreciates physX then this is one. I'm pretty sure that with DX11 we'll start to see physX fade away in favor of something more open.
  • 1 Hide
    ptroen , October 6, 2009 6:11 AM
    This is still unacceptable from Nvidia's end not to officially support physx.
  • 0 Hide
    climber , October 6, 2009 10:50 AM
    As far as suing nvidia because one of their core technologies is not compatible with a competitor, well... too bad. nvidia should be able to do whatever it wants with it's intellectual property. PhysX is just another feature of nvidia cards now days. There could come a point where intel disables your ability to have PhysX engines working when on their hardware because they support and own Havok, since those two technologies compete and we know intel likes to drive the competition into the dust.
  • -4 Hide
    Anonymous , October 6, 2009 10:59 AM
    tacoslaveat renegade worrior im sorry to say but they would make a monopoly and charge us a hella amount for that ati/nvidia card. by the way i like competition it keeps them on their feet like amd and intel. We all know i7 is just a better phenom!!!

    Never said the company's Should merge to create a monopoly.

    Just that they should cooperate to create a special edition card containing both Nvidia and ATI GPUs.

    Although a better choice would be for both companies to cooperate so ATI cards and Nvidia cards could be bridged together sorta like Crossfire or SLI.

    The whole point being better performance.
  • 3 Hide
    fortmccubble , October 6, 2009 11:27 AM
    Have you guys seen this? *drool*
    http://anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3646
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