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BFG Ageia PhysX Card

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Darksaber, Jul 26, 2007.

  1. Darksaber

    Darksaber W1zzard's Sidekick Staff Member

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    Last edited: Oct 2, 2007
    CrackerJack, DaMulta and Simri say thanks.
  2. tkpenalty New Member

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    Nice review man :). Those GRAW effects look crazy, seriously... I wouldnt mind having one of these PPU installed. The pricing makes it more of a proper product now as well.
  3. 65tweet

    65tweet New Member

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    Wont the fact that it's on the PCI bus limit performance? I know not everybody has a spare PCI-E 8/16X slot available but it would be interesting to see the performance difference between the two if any. Maybe the technology hasn't evolved enough yet to utilize that much bandwidth. That may explain why it's 128 Mb as well.

    The price seems like it may be worth getting it someday. I would like to see more games out supporting it first though.
  4. kwchang007

    kwchang007 New Member

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    Performance down :eek:. But it has really nice effects...that's always good.
  5. hat

    hat Maximum Overclocker

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    You would figure performance would go up... horrible product >.<
    AsRock says thanks.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  6. panchoman

    panchoman Sold my stars!

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    sorta crazy how much power this card supplies, yet this card is falling short, and is taxing the main vid card some fps.

    eventually, for grafix we'll need like 5 cards. one for physics. one for shaders, one for memory, etc.

    the cards just get bigger and hungrier.
  7. DRDNA

    DRDNA

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    All known methods of Physic cards gives a slight hit in FPS >>>BUT<<< the performance increase is in realism and the number of objects that are being manipulated at once =ing end user experience;) this goes for Ageia and ATI and Nvidia:toast:
  8. Ravenas

    Ravenas

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    I just wish all games supported physics cards.
  9. DRDNA

    DRDNA

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    You will now see lots more as Havoc was just purchased by umm ahh I think Intel ya it was Intel that just bought Havoc.
  10. Darksaber

    Darksaber W1zzard's Sidekick Staff Member

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    Why would you think so? The PhysX card ADDS EFFECTS which need to be computed by the rest of the system. Thus the drop. More (great looking) particles to render, thus more work for the graphic card.

    why figure that performance goes up?

    cheers
    DS
    Wayward and DaMulta say thanks.
  11. HookeyStreet

    HookeyStreet Eat, sleep, game!

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    I agree. For exampl, my m8s DEL has 2x 8800GTXs and a PhysX, yet his 3DMark06 score is only 14k, yet I nearly get 13k with a single GTX.....the PhysX card impacts performance dramatically :(
  12. d44ve New Member

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    How would the PhysX card effect performance in 3D06?
  13. Darksaber

    Darksaber W1zzard's Sidekick Staff Member

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    as Dave said, 3DMark does not utilize the PhysX card. Thus there should be no difference between an SLI rig with and one without the PPU.

    What CPU, Memory are you running compared to that of your m8s?

    that makes all the difference.

    cheers
    DS
  14. Wayward

    Wayward New Member

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    Exactly. The whole point of the PPU was to allow a larger number of objects to be present, and make those objects interactive for a more "immersive" experience. All those extra objects still have to be rendered by the GPU, so of course there will be a frame rate drop. I'm actually astonished the drop is so insignificant in most cases.

    Like with any IQ setting, or visual feature, when you increase the level, FPS goes down. When you ramp up the AA, FPS goes down. When you render in HDR, FPS goes down. When you increase the complexity of a scene by adding objects, FPS goes down.

    If a 2-4 FPS drop is really too much to pay, maybe it's time to worry about a new video card instead. :)
  15. tigger

    tigger I'm the only one

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    the physics card does'nt use some system resources does it? just wondered.forgive me if its a daft question.
  16. HellasVagabond New Member

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    Guys this is the FIRST PhysX card....Later models made from Ageia , Nvidia and ATI will provide better Physics and better graphics.
  17. Morgoth

    Morgoth

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    damn i wish crysis suported ageia ppu card so i could play it on medium or max :D
  18. Darksaber

    Darksaber W1zzard's Sidekick Staff Member

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    Aright I have had a reader contact me directly on IM and we had a long but fruitless talk about this review. My MSN and ICQ contact is visible to everyone out there, so I can help if there is any question or be of service. but this does not mean that I can accomodate everyone who wants to voice their opinion, as a personal conversation with me is certainly not the right venue. All the reviews we post are backed up by results and we state our reasons for a score or award. This forum is for placing your opinion. I, much like all other staff members do this during their spare time and have real jobs and real lives which have nothing to do with Techpowerup.com, so I am not able or (TBH) willing to spend hours of my spare time discussing what is better, CPU or PPU for Physics.

    As you are all encuraged, I will leave my opinion to this matter right here:

    Statement:
    The person who contacted me has the firm believe that a multi core CPU can deliver just as great physics as this card, so there is no point in the additional 120€s the PhysX card costs. And that the performance hit for such effects is just to great.

    My Response:
    We have seen a lot of games who utilize CPUs for Physics and they do so beautifully. But think of this:
    • You get XX frames with a quad core CPU in a game run with CPU based physics turned on
    • What if you could get exacly those XX frames on a dual core CPU in that game run without the CPU based physics turned on.
    The price difference between the dual core and multicore CPU is still something you need to pay.

    In all cases, the graphic still need to be rendered and you will have a performance drop in every case where physics parts (busted wood, blowing up stuff, bodies flying and bullets hitting) need to be rendered. So this has nothing to do with the fact WHAT PART OF THE PC CALCULATES the effects. These effects still are additional ones that need to be rendered.

    We have seen many games that are only playable with some horrid hardware (for example: Gothic 3), while other games work grand on a broad range of systems.

    So no matter what renderes the physics in games, there will be a performance difference if you can turn these effects on or off.

    This basically removes the argument that the physics displayed do not warrant the frame drop. The only reason you know that there is a drop with PhysX cards, is because you can turn off the effects of the card. Any game that gives you that option to turn off this additon no matter if it uses a PPU or CPU for such calculations will show a performance gain with the effects turned off.

    The second argument is cost. If you can theoretically achieve the same or better frame rate with all effects when using a Dual Core CPU and PhysX card or Quad Core CPU without the additional card, the price difference is still there. A Quad Core costs more than a Dual Core at same speed.

    If such a theoretical game will ever exists which can utilize either the PhysX Card or a seperate core of the CPU, then this game needs to be ready for multi core. This means that a Quad Core CPU with a PhysX Card should deliver even better frame rates. Thus an addition of such a card in a high-end system is still warranted.

    The last point I want to make:

    If you have a PhysX capable game which barely runs fluid on your system, then it should come as no surprise that adding this card will tax the graphic card with further dispayed polygons and effects, which need to be rendered, thus reducing performance. This is just common sense, and as mentioned above, it does not matter what computates the effects, the GPU needs to render them in any case.

    cheers
    DS

    PS: There are surely a few spelling mistakes within this statement, I apologize for such in advance.
    Wayward and lemonadesoda say thanks.
  19. Morgoth

    Morgoth

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    1 question is Ageia still working on ppu cards? i havent seen anny updats since 2006?
  20. Darksaber

    Darksaber W1zzard's Sidekick Staff Member

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    Yes, a mobile variant is out and a PCIe for OEMs is being built...

    They are working on the next Gen card, but this time they will wait for bigger support before releasing it. The current cards are perfectly fine for all the current titles.

    cheers
    DS
  21. Morgoth

    Morgoth

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    hmm i tough i have once seen a 256mb version of the 128mb
    btw can we overclock those ppu cards? that would be great
  22. lemonadesoda

    lemonadesoda

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    Just 3 quick points worth mentioning:

    1./ If you have a GREAT GPU, but an average CPU, then you are CPU bottlenecked, and a PPU will NOT reduce performance, only add extra candy at NO performance cost, because the GPU can handle the extra rendering data.

    2./ AF and AA (esp. at high settings) are a huge burden on the GPU. (This is not so obvious on the review benchmarks when using the 8800, but is more clear on normal GPUs). By turning down your AF and AA settings, you gain extra FPS, then add the PPU, and you get a similar performance as before. What is your preferred option? More action with a few jaggies, or less action and ultra smooth lines. QED?

    3./ If average FPS > 70 then aren't these points moot? As long as FPS > refresh, then you aren't going to notice any difference in gameplay. Note I'm talking AVERAGE not max FPS here.
  23. unsmart

    unsmart New Member

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    there was a 256mb card but it was pulled from retail after it came out that the core can only us 128mb and as far as I know you can not OC it.
    I think part of the problem is that there secretive about the cores specs. I for one like to hear the full story when looking at a product. Still I would like to see a next gen card using the 1x pci-e slot and at lest a 60nm die.
    they did show a 16x pci-e card awhile back and Ageia said it had no really advantage over pci cards.
  24. cdawall where the hell are my stars

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    how does this compare to ATi's version of this ie using a X1K series card to run as ppu?
  25. kwchang007

    kwchang007 New Member

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    I agree with everything you said, but just wanted to make one point. As long as FPS is above 25-30 fps....you'll be fine. There's no discernible difference between 25 and 200 FPS unless you have a counter. Personally, I run things as close to 25 fps as possible.

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