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Nvidia Disables PhysX in Presence of ATI GPU

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 106 comments

ATI? NO PHYSX FOR YOU!!

Nvidia and ATI – longtime rivals who do not play nice together. Although having both ATI and Nvidia hardware inside a PC is unlikely, there's now clear evidence trouble happens when you put the two together.

Those with the very rare configuration of having an ATI GPU for rendering graphics and a Nvidia chip for processing hardware PhysX will find themselves unable to compute.

Anyone running Nvidia driver version 186 will find PhysX acceleration disabled when ATI hardware is also present in the system, SlashGear reported.

Nvidia customer service responded to a user regarding the issue, saying, "Nvidia supports GPU accelerated Physx on NVIDIA GPUs while using NVIDIA GPUs for graphics. NVIDIA performs extensive Engineering, Development, and QA work that makes Physx a great experience for customers."

The email continued to list a couple of reasons why the Nvidia GPU would refuse to accelerate PhysX, with one of them being, of course, for business.

"For a variety of reasons – 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," it read. "I’m sorry for any inconvenience caused but I hope you can understand."

It's a rare setup and a rare problem – probably affecting only the most hardcore – and it's unfortunate that it's no longer an option for those wanting the best of both worlds.

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Top Comments
  • 38 Hide
    HVDynamo , September 29, 2009 1:07 AM
    Way to go Nvidia, shoot your customers in the foot, obviously they bought an Nvidia product to accelerate PhysX. I currently run an Nvidia card, but I think my next GPU will be ATI, I am getting sick of Nvidia's child like antics.
  • 32 Hide
    08nwsula , September 29, 2009 12:43 AM
    I think someone is jealous
  • 27 Hide
    SAL-e , September 29, 2009 1:11 AM
    I guess some lawyer will get rich by filing class-action lawsuit against Nvidia for falls advertisement. They advertised and sold their cards with PhysX and now they don't hold to the their side of the bargain.

    And the second thought, This move could be the doom for PhysX. Just like beta-max failed because the "brilliant" decision by Sony to maximize their profits from licensing fees.
Other Comments
  • 23 Hide
    climber , September 29, 2009 12:42 AM
    Is anyone surprised in this day and age of anti-competitive practices? It would hardly be fitting to let anyone know that your tech works better with a competitors product. I doubt it would, but if it did, that would be the height of industry embarrassment.
  • 32 Hide
    08nwsula , September 29, 2009 12:43 AM
    I think someone is jealous
  • 23 Hide
    EXT64 , September 29, 2009 12:54 AM
    What a shame. Can't say I'm surprised though, this is the way NVidia has been getting recently.
  • 12 Hide
    rvbeppler , September 29, 2009 1:03 AM
    I have a nVidia card (GeForce GTS 250) on an AMD chipset (AMD 770). Am I in trouble?
  • 38 Hide
    HVDynamo , September 29, 2009 1:07 AM
    Way to go Nvidia, shoot your customers in the foot, obviously they bought an Nvidia product to accelerate PhysX. I currently run an Nvidia card, but I think my next GPU will be ATI, I am getting sick of Nvidia's child like antics.
  • 27 Hide
    SAL-e , September 29, 2009 1:11 AM
    I guess some lawyer will get rich by filing class-action lawsuit against Nvidia for falls advertisement. They advertised and sold their cards with PhysX and now they don't hold to the their side of the bargain.

    And the second thought, This move could be the doom for PhysX. Just like beta-max failed because the "brilliant" decision by Sony to maximize their profits from licensing fees.
  • 21 Hide
    leon2006 , September 29, 2009 1:12 AM
    Who cares? How many users care about Physics, 0.0001%?

    Nvidia has no DX11 hardware to date.
  • 13 Hide
    SchizoFrog , September 29, 2009 1:14 AM
    No, this only regards those with ATi AND nVidia GPU's in the same machine. The chipset is something completely different so have no fear.
  • 25 Hide
    baladorr , September 29, 2009 1:17 AM
    3rd party driver anyone?
  • 23 Hide
    chainsaw667 , September 29, 2009 1:18 AM
    this should be illegal. when I buy a car I am not limited to just the gas the manufacturer uses, I can use arco, 76, shell, etc..
    This is nvidia telling the users what they can do with the technology purchased.

    What next, certain games only rendering on certain GPU turning the PC into another POS console.

    When I build a computer I build it to remove all bottlenecks in performance and if nvidia goes through with this nvidia and all the products they make will be furthermore labeled as bottleneck.
  • 9 Hide
    LLJones , September 29, 2009 1:23 AM
    No Schnikes, this is really getting good between red and green. It's like some sort of a mini drama series on t.v. I can't wait to see what happens next. The 5870 and X2 are going to claim every title out there. Team green is going to have to, and I hope they do, put out a card that is fantastic.

    So keep nipping at each other because it creates a rivalry that is plain old great for the consumer. It's also entertaining as hell.
  • -3 Hide
    SchizoFrog , September 29, 2009 1:26 AM
    I guess
    montezumaAMD would do the exact same thing. Big damn deal.


    I guess they feel the same about people like you who complain about their business tactics and state their intention to move over to a different company. The ONLY reason to go with either ATi OR nVidia is because you believe the individual card you are looking to buy is the best performer for your personal budget.

    SAL-eAnd the second thought, This move could be the doom for PhysX. Just like beta-max failed because the "brilliant" decision by Sony to maximize their profits from licensing fees.


    I doubt it as PhsyX is already fairly well intergrated within the Driver base. It's just a transition for it to become just another instruction set for the developers.

    However, with Ageia now part of nVidia and Havok being owned by Intel, ATi may have some serious questions to answer very soon.

    leon2006Who cares? How many users care about Physics, 0.0001%?Nvidia has no DX11 hardware to date.


    First, I care about PhysX as I do about every other componant and software regarding my graphics. The development of PhysX and Havok's engine is all for better and more realistic environments and greater detail to effects. With a question like that you might as well go back 20 years and ask 'Who cares about 3D graphics?'
    Second, Why do nVidia need DX11 hardware right now? Windows 7 is the only software that is capable to use it and that is not even released yet (officially, not counting RC and BETA) No games are going to be developed fully for a long time to come. DiRT2 is only going to use slight graphic enhancements, thats all.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , September 29, 2009 1:28 AM
    food for thought
    http://www.ngohq.com/graphic-cards/16223-nvidia-disables-physx-when-ati-card-is-present.html
  • -7 Hide
    SchizoFrog , September 29, 2009 1:30 AM
    chainsaw667this should be illegal. when I buy a car I am not limited to just the gas the manufacturer uses,


    Actually, Yes you are... it's about the hardware mechanics, not the company. They are not banning XFX, ASUS...etc.... They are deciding the mix of mechanics. So you buy a Petrol car and try to run Diesel...'Putt, putt, putt...' dead engine!
  • -1 Hide
    matt87_50 , September 29, 2009 1:30 AM
    thats gay! fortunately GPGPU will fix this problem good and proper!
    thats until nvidia just decide to half the clock rate of the gpu if there is an ATI one present in the system.

    Of course there is a real easy solution to this problem. just buy ATI!

    between this and your dodgy drivers nvidia, I don't really thing YOU wanna be laying down an ultimatum. Because I know which brand I'll pick if I can only pick one!
  • 6 Hide
    bachok83 , September 29, 2009 1:41 AM
    Just dont mix them. If you love PhysX so much, get two Nvidia cards. If you care about DX11 'right now' get ATI cards...

    else just stick with the built in gpu and be a dork :) 
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