ATI Runs PhysX With Modified Drivers

Haifa (Israel) - This one did not take long: We already knew that Nvidia is working on a CUDA version for x86 CPUs, but said it would leave a modification for ATI GPUs to others. Eran Badit of told us that he has done it already and was able to get the Nvidia PhysX layer to run on ATI Radeon cards.

After playing with Nvidia’s CUDA SDK and PhysX SDK, Eran apparently got the PhysX layer to play along with Radeon cards. He mentioned that enabling PhysX support on Radeon cards is not particularly difficult, leading us to believe that physics on graphics cards may not so much be a technology problem but a game of politics.

Eran said that he will be offering the ATI PhysX-enabling utility on as soon as he gets his hands on more hardware to check the application on more than one graphics card. We are told that he is testing hardware already, which means that the software should be available "soon".

On his first run, Eran got a 22,606 CPU score in 3D Mark Vantage, enhancing the overall score to P4262. A comparable system without PhysX-support will cross the finish line at about P3800.

We are told that there is currently no relationship between and AMD’s PR team, which means that Eran does not have access to Radeon 4850 or 4870 cards. Check the website for the software to become available this weekend.

  • enewmen
    This keeps getting better. So, I expect a standard Physics API sometime in the see-able future.
  • nukemaster
  • DXRick
    DirectX has always been a hardware abstraction layer (HAL) that gives developers the same API that will work on all video cards that support it. Making the PhysX SDK work the same way would be the best solution for game developers, so that they don't have to write different code for the different video cards.

    The fact that Nvidia has developed PhysX to only work on their cards, is not doing any favors for game developers. Time will tell if they are developing PhysX purely for their own selfish interests or actually care about the needs of game developers....

  • hannibal
    The Nvidia is worried about Havok, this may be the only way of making Physx more appealing compared to Havok... The problem is that they can make Physx so that it will run much faster on Nvidia cards by clever programing... well at least the situation is now better than it was some time ago.
    I still think that we need DirectPhysic api, from MS to make this clear...

    One link more:

    All in all very interresting thing to happen! There is allso very active discussion of this subject in Futuremark discussion board. Many people have very passionate opinions in this matter indeed!

    ATI's responce was not so polite, but I hope that they make official move towards GPU physiscs soon enough, so that the playing field will be leveled again.
  • martel80
    Isn't this some kind of bootleg? I mean nvidia could perhaps outlaw the software as they don't get royalties for the PhysX technology they own.
    It's like those bootleg Sound Blaster drivers that enabled Dolby Digital (or DTS?) on cards for which the royalty hasn't been paid.
  • one-shot
    cool is my response
  • Mr_Man
    I don't think Microsoft should make it. That would turn out like DirectX 10, meaning us Linux-users couldn't play it out of the box with Wine very easily, if at all.
  • kilkennycat
    I suspect that nVidia might just require some license revenue for PhysX calls at GPU driver level. They now own all of the PhysX IP. I doubt if AMD/ATi will get a free ride here, and from the article it seems as if nVidia would be very willing to discuss the subject in detail with ATi.
  • nekatreven
    Keeping DX10 and other advanced gaming tech off of Linux is (sadly) probably in the interest of most of these companies right now. Its not like someone 'forgot' to write in native linux support for DX10...they wouldn't even put it on XP for crying out loud.

    Its unfortunate, but keeping it from working out of the box on linux is kind of the point. The only thing that will really ever change this is linux gaining more market share.
  • nukemaster
    Nvidia will be releasing it for all 8000, 9000 and 200 cards in the future.