Patch Makes Nvidia Play Nice With ATI

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 – 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. "I’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 – 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.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • acecombat
    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.
  • Strike 1 for the Good Guys! :D

    Back to the Time out bench for nVidia :p
  • kingnoobe
    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.
  • Rahbot
    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.
  • gto127
    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.
  • If Nvidia was smart, they would join with ATI to develope a high end, combination Nvidia/ATI GPU video card.

    Now that is something I would like to see and I think everyone else would too.

    Just think of the possibilities if they would combine their efforts.
  • matt87_50
    "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.
  • Ciuy
    lolWindows 7 only patch:)),i bet Microsoft has something to do with it ...
  • tacoslave
    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!!!
  • redgarl
    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.