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View Full Version : Physics processors and what is far more realistic in the future



VW-IceFire
03-23-2006, 09:28 PM
The AEGIA PhysX thing just never really got me that interested. A customized card, that only gamers might be interested in buying (thus cutting out anything but the enthusiast crowd), adding yet another expensive card to buy, and so on and so forth just didn't seem like a good idea.

This article has me far more interested in what the likes of ATI and nVidia have in store for physics processing.

http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=226&type=expert&pid=1

What I take away from this is that having two graphics cards or even, dare I say it, a dual core graphics card (everything else is going that way), may be the ideal solution in the future. Even a single card with a single core may prove to be far more useful than buying a very specialized piece of equipment specifically for physics calculations.

In my mind its got to be part of something we already have...and the best bets are on the CPU or the video card. Casual gamers wouldn't be hurt by this because they'd already have the feature built in on their "new PC" and enthusiast level gamers would just spend more for the better hardware.

But the Aegia method seems like what S3, Diamond, and Matrox were doing in the early days of 3D hardware acceleration. Proprietary stuff that worked on a few games and ultimately proved to be useless...at least they were video cards useful for more than one thing.

I thought this was relevant as everyone is talking about all of this and reading some articles with some real info might be handy. If anyone else has some good stuff to bring up...post it here.

Ohhh and Hard[OCP] on nVidia's SLI physics: http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTAwNSwxLCxoZW50aHVzaWFzdA==

iroseland
03-24-2006, 01:21 PM
Good points. I look forward to the days when physics is better intigrated into either the CPU's or the video. I think that much like the days of a seperate 3dcard the days of a seperate PPU will be short lived. Hopefully not even lasting a whole hardware generation. One thing that would be nice to see would be a physics standard, kind of a Direct Physics or something. That way where your PPU is and where it came from could matter less.
Personally I am looking forward to some physics acceleration. Modern video cards can do so much so well, the CPU's are pretty damm fast. Now if we could get the heavy duty floating point needed to make the worlds more realistic then I am all for it. It will make it possible to make environments that are alot more life like and theirfore more immersive. Perhapse at first there will be a divide between the folks with and without but that will close quickly much like it did with 3d cards going mainstream. This will also again give the PC games a leg up on the console games running on the groovy new hardware the is the 360 and ps3.


BSS_AIJO

VW-IceFire
03-24-2006, 03:17 PM
I believe there is a mention in that article...or perhaps another...on the possibility of a DirectPhysics component being available in the future. Its a smart idea.

Even if Aegia, for instance, supports that standard...they would have to offer a heck of a performance advantage or a very economical price to compete with an ATI or nVidia solution - particularly as its quite normal to have a video card in your system...and even the cheapest of video cards have top dollar features from a few years ago. When that happens...then we'll see some benefit from physics procesing. Just like we're seeing real benefits from pixel shaders starting to break into nearly all faucets of the games now.

GoGamer-Jason
03-24-2006, 03:51 PM
I talked to Aegia at GDC yesterday about the PhysX card. I learned some interesting stuff. Saw it in action. It has a lot of potential.

Jason

Airmail109
03-24-2006, 05:14 PM
The Aegia, will be far more powerful than any nvidea/ati GPU soloution.

LEXX_Luthor
03-24-2006, 05:34 PM
IceFire::
A customized card, that only gamers might be interested in buying (thus cutting out anything but the enthusiast crowd),
Ice makes no sense, why? ~>> ATI/Nvida video cards, that only gamers might be interested in buying (thus cutting out anything but the computer gaming crowd). ATI/Nvida seem to be doing very well creating products that cut out anything but the computer gaming crowd. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif


IceFire, don't fall for Nvida's marketeering.

From what little I've read, Aegia seems to have the real thing here, and far less expensive for gamers and game developers. I am NOT sure, but Ageia seems to be creating the real "physics" solver here.

VW-IceFire
03-24-2006, 06:13 PM
Originally posted by LEXX_Luthor:
IceFire:: <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">A customized card, that only gamers might be interested in buying (thus cutting out anything but the enthusiast crowd),
Ice makes no sense, why? ~>> ATI/Nvida video cards, that only gamers might be interested in buying (thus cutting out anything but the computer gaming crowd). ATI/Nvida seem to be doing very well creating products that cut out anything but the computer gaming crowd. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif


IceFire, don't fall for Nvida's marketeering.

From what little I've read, Aegia seems to have the real thing here, and far less expensive for gamers and game developers. I am NOT sure, but Ageia seems to be creating the real "physics" solver here. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I disagree...unless you buy the bottom of the barrel system (I'm talking the HPs and the Dells of the computing world here) you're going to get a half decent 3D accelerator. I've seen the X700's and the GeForce 6600's tossed around fairly frequently. They have gamer level features...and abilities...and most people just accept that they have them and use them for casual gaming. So I have to disagree...we may spend the pretty penny on a fancy super video card but the basic fact is that the average casual gamer probably doesn't...but still plays the games we do (in general).

I'm not falling for nVidia's marketing...nor ATI's (interesting you say nVidia when my primary article is on ATI's take on physics)...but it presents an interesting and daresay a more realistic possibility for physics calculations in the future. Aegia has their own marketing campaign and its the buzzword of the day. Until I see this really taking off I'm not seeing this going the direction Aegia wants or everyone expects.

NonWonderDog
03-24-2006, 10:21 PM
Yeah, but is the PCIe bus on a graphics card *really* big enough for graphics and physics data to go to the card _and_ for processed physics data to go back to system memory?

The nVidia physics engine that's being bandied about is incapable of sending data back to system memory. That means that it would only be useful for purely graphical calculations, like swirling dust or chunky explosions. The silly gravity bombs in one of the PhysX videos wouldn't work on nVidia hardware.

PF_Coastie
03-24-2006, 11:23 PM
I thought these cards were supposed to "supplement" the current Video cards and CPU.

Not be a stand alone product.

heywooood
03-25-2006, 10:31 AM
it seems that with alot of recent tech developements, ie: new multi core processors from Intel/AMD, Windowa Vista, physx dedicated prosessors, adapted GPU for physics 'emulation' etc. its all in a very fluid state just now...maybe in 2 weeks or so this stuff will get sorted out, but for now and for me anyways, this is all wait and see.

But it is interesting reading for sure.

I wonder what will end up being the best solution?. A dedicated physics processor a PPU card? An adaptation or 'emulated physics' in a GPU SLI multi GPU carded system? ...how much RAM will be needed- especially if Vista really needs as much RAM to operate as I've read it needs.

And how drastic will the 'improvements' be?
I'd really like to experience it firsthand before I lay out the corn on the salescounter. And what if the software is built to utilize it - but no one can afford it- especially if it runs pantishly without all the new hardware.

Are you going to love BoB if it looks like carp served on a plate looking like so much sausage because it was designed for a system that only Visa and M/C can afford? or are you going to wait six months to a year after release to see what shakes out tech wise so you will know what to buy and what to pass on?

When BoB is finally Demo'd I for one will be keenly interested in the machine it is run on - not to mention the recommended specs vs. 'ideal' specs for hopeful users.

BaldieJr
03-25-2006, 11:52 AM
so i've got this round hole and this square peg but i really dont understand "square". any way, i dont need one to fit the other but since i don't really understand this whole square-affair, i'm going to use brute force to pound this oddity into that hole. what is your take?

the fiziks card is a good idea.
fiziks in gpu? makes me wonder wtf these video venders are selling me.

p1ngu666
03-25-2006, 07:43 PM
is there room for quad sli and a audigy plus the fiziks card?