BFG to launch Ageia physics cards on 9 May

Lake Forest (IL) - BFG today announced that its Ageia Physx based physics cards will be available in North America, Europe, Japan, Korea and Australia on 9 May.

Next week, there will be one more hardware component available to add to an enthusiast PC. BFG will begin selling a physics board that is built around Ageia's PhysX processor blueprint and promises to bring a new level of graphics experience to the PC.

In numbers, the board is capable of calculating the natural behavior of up to 533,000 object collisions per second, up to 58 GFLOPS sphere-sphere collisions per second and 22 billion instructions per second. Onscreen, these numbers translate into "massively destructible buildings and landscapes, explosions that cause collateral damage, lifelike characters with spectacular new weapons, realistic smoke, fog and oozing fluids," according to BFG.

The physics board will come equipped with 128 MB of GDDR3 memory and apparently will hit the higher end of the previously circled price range for Physx boards. While BFG did not announce a price of the card, several retailers, including Best Buy, already list the card for around $300 - which is slightly higher than what system retailers currently charge for Physx boards: For example, Alienware offers a Physx upgrade for $275. Ageia CEO Manju Hegde previously had told TG Daily that Physx boards could become available in different versions and prices between $100 and $400.

As other graphics technologies, the physics hardware alone does not magically bring true physics to the PC: As of now, the number of games that support the technology is very limited. However, the fact that Nvidia as well as ATI already mentioned that they both will offer (proprietary) physics capabilities through Multi-GPU load balancing enabled by driver enhancements sometime in the future, indicates that physics processing has been accepted as one of the most promising opportunities for the graphics industry. And for users who missed Dell's $10,000 Renegade PC or don't want to wait a month for a custom enthusiast system, this is the first opportunity to get physics support into their PC.

Check back for a review of the BFG Physx board on Tom's Hardware soon.

Related article:
Hardware accelerated physics gaming coming your way

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