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BFG Ageia PhysX Card

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

  1. unsmart

    unsmart New Member

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    PPU is a lot better, because it exist:D
    All ATI/NV did is show off there physic a few times running there own apps on there own systems. It's all talk and no show,not even a demo yet but they still push the third pci-e slot:slap:
     
  2. hat

    hat Maximum Overclocker

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    Those of you wondering why I think it would increace performance:
    You've got your own card with 128MB GDDR3 and it's own processor, you would figure any physics work it would do would not only look better, but increace performance by doing all the physics work on-card rathat than done by CPU/GPU. You would figure all the physics work would be done by the card and that's that, NOT offload it to other parts of the system that were previously doing it faster.
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  3. Wile E

    Wile E Power User

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    The PPU only handles the physics calculations. It can't actually render the particles. It doesn't even hook to a monitor. It tells the gpu where to render the particles, but the gpu must still render all these extra particles. Therefore it is rendering more stuff on your screen, therefore it is working harder. That's why you see a drop.


    EDIT: To further elaborate, without the ppu, these particles are NOT rendered at all. They don't even exist, so you are adding extra stuff to render when you enable the PPU. It's not like the ppu is offloading something that was already there, it's adding extra stuff.
     
  4. Ketxxx

    Ketxxx Heedless Psychic

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    Oh dear lord... there is so much more technical detail thats important but not covered here. For example the bandwidth restrictions of the PCI bus, especially so when an add-in sound board is present along with the PPU. Then theres the fact Ageia announced a PCI-E version of the PPU, I havent heard when the PCI-E version will be lanuched, but you can bet due to the bandwidth bottleneck of the PCI bus being taken out of the picture it'll perform somewhat better than the PCI version. Which will naturally make the price of the PCI version fall dramatically, which it should. Currently the PPU is an over-priced collection of PCB, resistors, capacitors and sillicon SOI.
     
  5. Darksaber

    Darksaber W1zzard's Sidekick Staff Member

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    As long as no problems arise with a sound card + PhysX combination, then why is the PCI bus bad for such a combination?. The PCIe variant exists! but only for OEMs atm.

    The price of the PCI card:

    http://geizhals.at/?phist=194860&age=2000

    this should give you a good Idea of the price drop within the last 12 months. It has dropped quite a lot.

    The one and only question ATM is: do the positive effect warrant the price and performance drop? IMHO yes, now more than ever.

    Will the PCIe variant perform better? maybe...but we will see when it is available in retail.

    You have to look at the situation RIGHT NOW...not in 6 Months, not from 6 Months ago...that is what this review is based on.

    cheers
    DS
     
  6. DaMulta

    DaMulta My stars went supernova

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    I wonder with the newer cards coming how much faster they will be. I would almost buy one of these, but what's stopping me is that games are just now starting to come put for it.

    If say in the next 6 months they release a way more powerful one when games are really starting to use. it. Would you be left out in the cold?

    I like the ATi idea with physics, but that could be over with Intel buying Havok. I would like to have both setups in my machine to catch both the ideas if I needed too.
     
  7. Morgoth

    Morgoth

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    i hope the still releas it on pci slot and posible a sli ppu setup on pci :D + overclock
     
  8. Ketxxx

    Ketxxx Heedless Psychic

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    And thats my point, a PCI interface is old, very old. Why waste some $150 on the damn thing when in maybe 6 months you can get something using the PCIE interface for the same price. Theres still not even that many games out that use the PPU either.
     
  9. hat

    hat Maximum Overclocker

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    That's a pretty big waste of money :laugh:
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  10. devguy

    devguy

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    That would make things worse. Having two ppus taxing the PCI bus would be awful. And I agree with Ketxxx saying that even just having a sound card on the pci bus could tax it a lot. For example, my Audigy 2 ZS does hardware acceleration on many games.

    I wonder how much the pci bus would be taxed in a game using sound hardware acceleration and a ppu both on the pci bus...
     
  11. W1zzard

    W1zzard Administrator Staff Member

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    the pci bus can do up to 133 mb/s burst transfers.

    audio is 44.1 khz 16 bit stereo 7 channels = 44100 * 2 * 2 * 7 = whopping 1.2 MB/s
     
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  12. Solaris17

    Solaris17 Creator Solaris Utility DVD

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    Pwned
     
  13. Morgoth

    Morgoth

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    wat abouth a overclocked pci bus to 45,87mhz stock is 33mhz
     
  14. lemonadesoda

    lemonadesoda

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    It's actually a LOT LOWER than that! In games, the "7 channel" feature is not actually 7 separate independent and discrete channels, but a decoding and "hardware" effect for positioning sound in the 360 field, and for reverb effects, e.g. EAX. Neither Dolby Digital EX or THX actually send 7 channels of full 44.1Khz, 16bit.

    That's why when using "software" rendered sound, the game is usually ONLY 2 channel. For "hardware" rendered sound, the sound card itself creates the 7.1 channels, but the input data to the soundcard is a lot lower that the "output" sound data.
     
  15. unsmart

    unsmart New Member

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    You guys are thinking of this as a vid card, it's not. They have not released and really data on bandwidth or even core speed as far as I know so we can't really calculate anything. Ageia has already said and shown[ with no gains with the pci-e cards] that it's not limited by the pci bus. Though pci is slow by todays standards it took years for even graphics cards to start bottle necking it. Makes you wonder what it's really doing and how much could be done to improve it.
     
  16. lemonadesoda

    lemonadesoda

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    Rough calculation of the bandwidth for the Ageia in typical game scenario:

    1./ Map, or environment, is preloaded at start of map. Maybe a few 100K of data, maybe a few MB. One off upload.

    2./ Physx doing the calculations for 10,000 objects in "realtime"

    3./ Each object has an x, y, z, and movement and acceleration vectors, and some ID fields

    4./ Bits of data for each object "within" the PPU, is (3 + 3 + 3) x 32 bits for single precision float, or 64 bits for double precision, and some ID and "status" fields. Lets take double precision, then thats 9 x 64 bits + ID + status fields, so maybe upto 1024 bits of data for each object = 128 bytes. So the 10,000 objects need only 1280K (just over 1MB) for variable space.

    5./ What data is sent OUT every frame to the GPU (or in-game rendering engine before going to the GPU)? That will only require the x,y,z coordinates single float (32-bit) and some basic ID fields, say 32-bit = 4x32=128 bit

    6./ 10,000 objects x 128bit = 160,000 bytes per frame

    7./ At 100fps that would be 16,000,000 bytes per second, or approx 16MB/s

    So yes, when you are talking about MORE THAN 10,000 objects, you are beginning to take a chunk out of the PCI channel. Unless, of course, your software is smart enough to know WHICH objects you are looking at, and therefore you dont need to send ALL the environment object data. Relatively simple FOV calculations could reduce the outputted object count by a factor between 4-16 (90 degress FOV left to right and top to bottom) hence 10,000 objects require bandwidth of between 1-4MB/sec.

    CONCLUSION:

    PCI Soundcard + PCI Network card + PCI PPU = no problem.
     
  17. hat

    hat Maximum Overclocker

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    4.5GHz PCI bus! WTF :D
    I know, you brits use commas not periods.
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  18. cdawall where the hell are my stars

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    45mhz pci and 87mhz agp?
     
  19. lemonadesoda

    lemonadesoda

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    @morgoth,

    that's a very interesting OC P4 system you have there. Congrats.

    But it looks like you have a pre-Northwood P4, and you are not running DDR dual-channel.

    I would suggest getting a 865 mainboard and cheap North P4 on ebay. You could probably get the combination on ebay.de for EUR 30.

    Alternatively, find an ASROCK 865Conroe. This is a s775 Core 2 compatible, and will let you use your DDR ram and AGP GPU. Board + E4600, EUR 120 and you will have an up to date PC with a CPU = 2-3x faster than your current system.
     
  20. Morgoth

    Morgoth

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    i'm not brithis :D

    my agp bus is at 91,75x4 stock at 66x4
     
  21. Morgoth

    Morgoth

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    [​IMG]

    tec anny one? XD

    talking abouth custom cooling wat vga coolers fit on those ppu cards ?
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2007
  22. lemonadesoda

    lemonadesoda

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    You can probably passively cool it. Why? 99.9% of software doesnt use it. LOL :roll:
     
  23. AddSub

    AddSub

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    99.9%? That's too generous for Ageia. ;)

    I don't see a difference between this card and a pair bright red neon lights for your case. Flashy status item. 5-10 years from now, who knows. But today, it is largely useless.
     
  24. LazyE101 New Member

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    Hey

    I'm not trying to burst anybodys bubble but that (Agiea card) doesn't add much of anything other than some extra pieces. If you play both with and without card videos at the same time you won't see that big of a difference. If you search many other reviews and watch the videos for the games supported it doesn't seem that it's worth $50 bucks let alone 100-120. Even when you watch the Island level on GRAW2 which was specially designed for the card and only be played with the card, it's still not impressive. While a really good idea it's got a long way to go IMO before it takes off.
     
  25. hat

    hat Maximum Overclocker

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    You can't overclock the PPU, and there is no need for extra cooling if it can't be overclocked.
     
    Crunching for Team TPU

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