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Old 2012-08-19, 07:51 PM   [Ignore Me] #128
Re: How PhysX runs on Nvidia and AMD (ATI) systems

Originally Posted by julfo View Post
No problem And thank you for constructing an intelligent response. I know many people (including myself) would have flipped out. It's refreshing to find someone who doesn't.

I think you've more or less hit the nail on the head here. nVidia are walking a fine line right now between making their product more desirable (physX wooo!), and making it something that the general populace despises (because of what could be viewed as underhand tactics). At the moment they're doing an admirable job of it.

Right now I'm using AMD rather than nVidia. I bought a 7970. The thing that made me pause before making this decision was physX. nVidia are clearly succeeding to some degree.

It is a difficult situation, and there aren't any clear solutions. As you said, nVidia are unlikely to upgrade to x86, it would be silly for them to do so. At the end of the day, it has to be said that really the onus is on the developers of the game to use physX to the best degree. It is possible, with some work, to convert physX to x86/SSE, and assuming the developers implement threading properly, there should be negligible difference between GPU and CPU (as the post above nicely demonstrated).

Even if they don't (although I have the utmost confidence in the Dev Team) there is still another solution for most AMD users: Hacked nVidia drivers with a dedicated nVidia card for PhysX offloading. Using the modified 1.05ff drivers one can create a "hybrid" set-up which is comparable to a single card nVidia set-up. I personally don't think PhysX is anything to worry about. Others disagree, and they're welcome to.
I totally agree with your choice. I have a GTX 460 SE, purchased last year, because I am a student and had a strict budget to build a computer with. However, I feel for the $130 I paid for it, it was a great deal. But I have really been diving in to benchmarks recently and seen the deficiencies of nVidia's GPUs. Compared to AMD, they are a bit of one-trick ponies. Except the one trick they do, gaming, is done incredibly well. Their cards do tend to choke at high resolutions with high AA, but on the whole do very very well at the 1080p point and higher with lowered AA, which is where most of the gaming community is at right now. AMD has lower max fps in general but performs much better at more extreme settings. On top of that, their GPUs also have much better compute performance in the majority of cases (SHA 256 hashing and many software compute functions come to mind). nVidia pretty much only wins in CUDA, and PhysX.

As a last note, while it is possible to mod in PhysX support, I do not see the majority of AMD users doing that. It is so niche (and possibly warranty-voiding) that most won't attempt to do it, though that doesn't make it an invalid tactic.
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