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Analysis: PhysX On Systems With AMD Graphics Cards

How To: His Majesty, Radeon The Fifth, And The PhysX Squire, GeForce

Preface to the PhysX Hybrid Solution

We devote this part of the article to those who use a Radeon as their main graphics card, but still want to enjoy hardware-accelerated PhysX. As of this writing, our methods here work just fine. Refer to the links below, however, because as Nvidia releases new driver updates, new versions of this hybrid solution tweak will have to be released as well.

This dodgy game with Nvidia unfortunately only has one losing side: the users. It makes commercial sense for Nvidia to exclude its competitors through driver limitations, but the company’s economic welfare might not be the biggest concern for AMD users who desire the admittedly impressive benefit of PhysX.

System Requirements

OSWindows 7 x86 or x64
PhysX-Enabled Graphics CardGeForce 8800 GTS 512, 9600 GT, 9800 GTX, GT 240, GTS 250, GTX 260, GTX 285, GTX 460, GTX 470, or GTX 480
GeForce Driver Version258.96
OtherAt least one free PCIe x4 slot

A primary graphics card has to be used as the image output device. With version 1.04ff of the tweak, the dedicated PhysX graphics card no longer needs to be connected to a monitor. Among other benefits, this frees more resources for physics calculations. The graphics card does not have to be SLI-capable, but check your PSU to confirm that it can output sufficient power.

The Software

You can get the latest tweak from Download and information. The necessary drivers and PhysX downloads are offered by the respective manufacturers’ Web sites. We haven't offered a direct link to the tweak for two reasons: the continuous driver updates will make the link obsolete, and we respect the work of the developers enough to link to the original source.

The Installation

The procedure:

  • Shut down the computer and unplug the power
  • Plug in the Nvidia card that will be used for PhysX
  • Start up your computer
  • Install the appropriate drivers from Nvidia and AMD
  • Check and install the appropriate version of PhysX (see the list)
  • Download the appropriate version of the tweak (Windows 7, 32- or 64-bit)
  • Extract the files from the RAR archive
  • Run the tweak as Administrator (right-click the file and choose “Run as Administrator”)
  • Reboot your computer

Switching modes via the CMD file:

  • The relevant files are in the subdirectory
  • Run the desired function as Administrator

That’s it. You can now test PhysX with GPU-Z or Fluidmark. Enjoy running PhysX and AMD Radeon cards at the same time! Even if the overhead and additional power requirements are somewhat disturbing, it's quite worth it.

Important Notice

Every time you install a new version of the graphics driver or PhysX, you will have to apply the tweak again. Only the currently-tested version is compatible. We take no responsibility for any overload of components or the future operation of the tweak. This is a guide, not a recommendation.