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Ageia PhysX: Is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Exitios, 4 Aug 2006.


Do you think the PhysX is a good idea, or doomed for failure?

Poll closed 3 Sep 2006.
  1. It's a good idea overall.

    2 vote(s)
  2. It's a good idea, but present game support is lacking.

    29 vote(s)
  3. It's not a very good idea.

    15 vote(s)
  1. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

    30 Jan 2004
    Likes Received:
    Being very old and crusty, I've been around a while, and seen many things come and go, one of which is a whole array of co-processors for various things, and as ( I think it was bindi) said further up the thread, the GPU is still here.. yes, I know it is. However, seeing as we're heading towards multi-cored computers, and it's not unreasonable to expect PCs to have 4 cores soon, I think one of two things will happen with physics processing: A) It will be unloaded to a spare core, or more likely B) Multi GPU systems will use a GPU to do it, or (and my money is on this one) C) As another suggested, the technology will be sold off to Nvidia or Ati and inorporated in the graphics cards.

    The more I think about it, the more I like the sound of C. That's what happened when 3DFX hit the wall anyway, so my money is on C.
  2. Firehed

    Firehed Why not? I own a domain to match.

    15 Feb 2004
    Likes Received:
    Short answer: not yet.

    Long answer: it's... holy crap... 5am, and I need to go to bed, but it's probably the same thing that everyone else said. Great idea, needs more support. Not to mention that they need to release a PCI-E version. If it's a one-time thing, I'd be willing to shell out at some point - if it becomes a continually-improving thing like GPUs... I don't think it stands a chance, just because we don't want something else that needs constant updating.
  3. Veles

    Veles DUR HUR

    18 Nov 2005
    Likes Received:
    I like the sound of C too, B I really don't like the sound of, people have multi GPU systems for a reason, it's not a completely pointless thing, if you want to play games on max on a high res widescreen monitor (like Oblivion and upcoming games like Crysis) then you really need SLI, taking away one of those cards to do physics processing wouldn't be good for the people who need both the cards just for craphics processing.

    We also have no 'universal' physics system like we do with GFX, we have directX for graphics cards (sure we have OpenGL and stuff but it's rarely used in comparison) so the PPU would have to be able to work with several different engines. I'm not sure how difficult or easy this would be to do, but I know I won't buy £200 add-in card if it's only compatable with a handful of games. There was talk of a MS Direct Physics, but I think thats been canned.

    A problem with C I can see, is the fact that if you have a PPU on a GFX card, it's gonna bump up the price a fair bit, you're also gonna have to buy two of them if you want a multi GPU system, this would mean you're buying a pointless extra PPU, unless they come up with both SLI/crossfire graphics and physics.
  4. Exitios

    Exitios What's a Dremel?

    3 Aug 2006
    Likes Received:
    I belive the main reason the PhysX is a PCI-slot card is due to the fact that Ageia is currently appealing to the high-dollar teir of gamers, so most of them already have SLI or CrossFire setups that have already taken up the available PCI-E slots. While I can see the reasoning behind the desire for a PCI-E version, I'm sure many people would feel forgotten in the process, namely the aforementioned individuals with dual-GPU setups.

    Agreed. Of course companies will be nudging up the prices for a board with a GPU and a PPU, but haven't we already seen something like this, with little in price increase? If you can't think of it just yet, here's a hint: the 7950 GX2. Two of NVIDIA's own 7900 GTXs plastered together, occupying only a single PCI-E slot. Didn't anyone notice that the 7950 GX2 didn't, and does not, cost the same as two 7900 GTXs? Perhaps if NVIDIA and Ageia come together (or one buys the other) the same idea could be applied. This could mean that we literally have the best of every situation:

    A. Only one PCI-E slot is occupied.
    B. Theoretically, dual GPU and dual PPU configurations could be achieved.
    C. Shaved communication times between the GPU and PPU.
    D. Small to medium price increase for integration.
    E. The satisfaction of buying both at once!

    Maybe I'm just expecting a little too much. :lol:
  5. kempez

    kempez modding again!

    4 Aug 2005
    Likes Received:
    Having had a PhysX and playing with it for about two weeks I think it will be worth it - when more games come out. What the card actually does in-game is awesome (for example in Cell Factor) and if we see that sorts of gaming physics then it cannot be a bad thing IMO. Much improves the immersion :)
  6. hitman012

    hitman012 Minimodder

    6 May 2005
    Likes Received:
    The market will decide. If there turn out to be a large number of games that support it and it really does enhance the experience, it will be worth it. This is one of those cases where only time will tell...

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