Friday, March 20th 2009

AMD to Demonstrate GPU Havok Physics Acceleration at GDC

GPU-accelerated physics is turning out to be the one part of specifications AMD is yearning for. One of NVIDIA's most profitable acquisitions in recent times, has been that of Ageia technologies, and its PhysX middleware API. NVIDIA went on to port the API to its proprietary CUDA GPGPU architecture, and is now using it as a significant PR-tool apart from a feature that is genuinely grabbing game developers' attention. In response to this move, AMD's initial reaction was to build strategic technology alliance with the main competitor of PhysX: Havok, despite its acquisition by Intel.

In the upcoming Game Developers Conference (GDC) event, AMD may materialize its plans to bring a GPU-accelerated version of Havok, which has till now been CPU-accelerated. The API has featured in several popular game titles such as Half Life 2, Max Payne II, and some other Valve Source-based titles. ATI's Terry Makedon, in his Twitter-feed has revealed that AMD would put forth its “ATI GPU Physics strategy.” He also added that the company would present a tech-demonstration of Havok technology working in conjunction with ATI hardware. The physics API is expected to utilize OpenCL and AMD Stream.

Source: bit-tech.net
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226 Comments on AMD to Demonstrate GPU Havok Physics Acceleration at GDC

#1
TheMailMan78
Big Member
ShadowFold said:
Well I don't have my 280(and don't plan on going back..) anymore, but I'm pretty sure I had revolution.
Welcome to the darkside young one. My shares welcome your adoption of superior hardware.
Posted on Reply
#2
DeathTyrant
Mussels said:
Now that ATI are accelerating Havok (which most of the games i play already use) i'm even more convinced i made the right choice.
I have to agree with you. While there are some very cool examples of Physx in Cryostasis, Mirror's Edge, and some Tech Demos, I play more games with Havok. A lot more.
Posted on Reply
#3
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Sure, you people may be having more games that run Havok, but the variant you have is the one that makes do with CPU. Me here, with my GTX 260 will be able to play those games, plus also PhysX. The point I am trying to make is, Havok and its GPU-accelerated avatar is in essence a newbie, we are starting on a fresh slate. Havok in its present form is generations behind of PhysX and, everyone, including GeForce users have access to it. When games with the amount of Havok physics-effects do come out, which really could do with GPU-acceleration, you will have many more games that are based on PhysX. So nobody really made an investment by buying ATI hardware in this particular case.
Posted on Reply
#4
DarkMatter
btarunr said:
Sure, you people may be having more games that run Havok, but the variant you have is the one that makes do with CPU. Me here, with my GTX 260 will be able to play those games, plus also PhysX. The point I am trying to make is, Havok and its GPU-accelerated avatar is in essence a newbie, we are starting on a fresh slate. Havok in its present form is generations behind of PhysX and, everyone, including GeForce users have access to it. When games with the amount of Havok physics-effects do come out, which really could do with GPU-acceleration, you will have many more games that are based on PhysX. So nobody really made an investment by buying ATI hardware in this particular case.
Exactly. Nvidia had a hard time trying to convince developers to use an engine that only runs on their hardware, and they've been outselling Ati 2 to 1 for almost 2 years, meaning there are probably twice as much Nvidia cards than Ati's. Good luck convincing developers to adopt a thing that only runs in 35% of the hardware out there AMD.
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#5
FryingWeesel
newtekie1 said:
I really don't care what standard is used, as long as one is picked as the standard. Right now, this going back and forth, trying to split the industry between PhysX and Havok is only leading to developers not wanting to use either.

The industry needs to pick a single physics standard that runs on all hardware, and move on with that. That is the only way we will see developers start to truly pick up detailed physics in games.
your right but wrong, What needs to happen is all physx style work needs to be done via OpenCL removing the hardware lockin's to nvidia/ati/exct and leaving it possible for ANYBODY to support physx/havoc/exct phisics engines hardware accelerated.

The problem we have today is that we have the 2 top companys in GPU's acting childish and refusing to just PLAY NICE and support everything.

all they are doing is hurting the customer in this case, seems like intel/nvidia(both acting very childish) are at war constantly as now are intel/amd(intel being childish) and ati/nvidia ofcorse "both acting childish by not supporting eachothers standreds/capabilities.

large/huge companys acting like children=we all loose..........
Posted on Reply
#6
Mussels
Moderprator
I wouldnt be surprised if havok ties into DX11's GPGPU standards, and thats how ATI is supporting it.

Its possible because MS and Intel (owner of havok) are BFF's, and read the first post clearly - it is "assumed" this will be done via ATI stream... theres no evidence either way that this cant be tied into DX11 (we'll need to see what OS they run on when they do this demo)
Posted on Reply
#7
FryingWeesel
DarkMatter said:
Exactly. Nvidia had a hard time trying to convince developers to use an engine that only runs on their hardware, and they've been outselling Ati 2 to 1 for almost 2 years, meaning there are probably twice as much Nvidia cards than Ati's. Good luck convincing developers to adopt a thing that only runs in 35% of the hardware out there AMD.
acctualy physx adotion has jumped drastickly since nVidia bought it and made it open(anybody can use or support it)

EA for example has distributed it to most if not all of their dev houses(i hate EA but they are without dought one of the largist game publishers out there)

partial list of physx games from wikipedia.
Games

The following games feature PhysX support (list may be incomplete):[14]
2 Days to Vegas
Adrenalin 2: Rush Hour
Age of Empires III
Alpha Prime
APB
Auto Assault
Backbreaker
B.A.S.E. Jumping
Bet on Soldier: Blackout Saigon
Bet on Soldier: Blood of Sahara
Bet on Soldier: Blood Sport
Beowulf: The Game
Bladestorm: The Hundred Years' War
Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway
Captain Blood
CellFactor: Combat Training
CellFactor: Revolution
City of Villains
Crazy Machines 2
Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason
Dark Physics
Desert Diner
Dragonshard
Dusk 12
Empire Above All
Empire Earth III
Entropia Universe
Fallen Earth
Frontlines: Fuel of War
Fury
Gears of War
Gears of War 2
Race Driver: Grid
Gluk'Oza: Action
GooBall
Gothic 3
Gunship Apocalypse
Heavy Rain
Hero's Journey
Hour of Victory
Huxley
Infernal
Inhabited island: Prisoner of Power
Joint Task Force
Kuma\War
Magic Ball 3
Mafia 2
Mass Effect
Medal of Honor: Airborne
Metro 2033
Mirror's Edge
Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire
Monster Madness: Battle for Suburbia
Monster Truck Maniax
Myst Online: Uru Live
Nights: Journey of Dreams
Nurien
Open Fire
Paragraph 78
Pirates of the Burning Sea
Prince of Persia
PT Boats: Knights of the Sea
Rail Simulator
Red Steel
Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends
Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Conspiracy
Roboblitz
Sacred 2
Shadowgrounds: Survivor
Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened
Showdown: Scorpion
Silverfall
Sovereign Symphony
Sonic and the Black Knight
Sonic and the Secret Rings
Speedball 2
Stoked Rider: Alaska Alien
Switchball
Tension
The Hunt
The Stalin Subway
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent
Tortuga: Two Treasures
Two Worlds
Ultra Tubes
Unreal Tournament 3
Unreal Tournament 3: Extreme Physics Mod
Valkyria Chronicles
Warfare
Warmonger: Operation Downtown Destruction
W.E.L.L. Online
Winterheart's Guild
WorldShift
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PhysX


in my experiance PhysX and havoc both have their own advanteges, Havoc has better ragdoll effects, where Physx has FAR FAR FAR better vehicles I am not alone in this opinion, games like Mass Effect show how much better physx is with vehicles then havoc.

havoc vehicles are.......well they feel like toys is what i think when i play havoc games that have them.

Neither is better if you are talking about being well rounded, they both have their own plus's and minuses.

Im betting that nvidia ports their physx driver to support OpenCL in dx11 (and most likely there will be an opencl update/install for all windows versions)

stop this "havoc is better" and "Physx is better" and such, they are both good engines, and fact is that if it wasnt for Intel hardware accelerated phsix(havoc/physx/exct) would already have been here back in the x1900days, Intel payed good money to insure that game developers and even Havoc themselves didnt push to get gpgpu support built in, Intel feels everything's going to be on the cpu and that gpu's are dieing/a dead end, they have said this(mostly because they dont got their own gpu's, just GMA thats still based off the I720 a chipset from when AGP first came out)

blah, damn selfish companys :/
Posted on Reply
#8
grunt_408
I guess when the green team and the red team were growing up nobody taught them how to share....!!! Shame shame. I am staying with ATI, just look at what they have done recently.
Posted on Reply
#9
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
FryingWeesel said:
havoc vehicles are.......well they feel like toys is what i think when i play havoc games that have them.
Freelancer probably had the best collision physics. Hitting asteroids, space stations, or getting blown up by a mine always acted quite natural assuming the impact doesn't kill you.

If you're talking about driving up hills and jumping off, Test Drive Off-Road 3 and Hard Truck: Apocalypse are IMO better. Especially HTA. Mass Effect really didn't have anything special/unique in terms of vehicles and/or physics from my perspective.
Posted on Reply
#10
Hayder_Master
Mussels said:
I wouldnt be surprised if havok ties into DX11's GPGPU standards, and thats how ATI is supporting it.

Its possible because MS and Intel (owner of havok) are BFF's, and read the first post clearly - it is "assumed" this will be done via ATI stream... theres no evidence either way that this cant be tied into DX11 (we'll need to see what OS they run on when they do this demo)
sure it be cuz you say it ("because MS and Intel owner of havok"). so ATI have great support
but there is something confused me how intel and AMD work together
Posted on Reply
#11
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Mussels said:
I wouldnt be surprised if havok ties into DX11's GPGPU standards, and thats how ATI is supporting it.

Its possible because MS and Intel (owner of havok) are BFF's, and read the first post clearly - it is "assumed" this will be done via ATI stream... theres no evidence either way that this cant be tied into DX11 (we'll need to see what OS they run on when they do this demo)
Well, if it's tied to DX11, Vista and XP users are immediately cut-off from the technology. Vista gets DX11 only later. Stream, on the other hand, is available to XP, Vista, 7, and even Posix-like OSes. That would be a foolish way to start a technology standard.
Posted on Reply
#12
Mussels
Moderprator
btarunr said:
Well, if it's tied to DX11, Vista and XP users are immediately cut-off from the technology. Vista gets DX11 only later. Stream, on the other hand, is available to XP, Vista, 7, and even Posix-like OSes. That would be a foolish way to start a technology standard.
Where i'm going with this is related to that.

Under DX11, anyone can use it via GPGPU.

Under DX9/10, ATI translates it to work via stream. This would give ATI a 1-2 year head start on Nv, while choosing hte standard more likely to stay in the market long term (since ATI wont do PhysX, its certainly hampering pickup)
Posted on Reply
#13
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
You said "tied to", which made me think you meant "exclusive to". Anyway, that would mean increased amount of developer overhead, for AMD that is (to develop Stream and DX11 variants). They would rather minimize that by coding it for Stream. NVIDIA's CUDA model is almost abstract to the OS, it runs on three generations of Windows OS (XP/2003, Vista/2008, and Win 7). So it isn't really a head start of sorts. It's not like the GPGPU standard DX11 brings will force everyone to code for it. CUDA will stay, and so will PhysX.
Posted on Reply
#14
Mussels
Moderprator
btarunr said:
You said "tied to", which made me think you meant "exclusive to". Anyway, that would mean increased amount of developer overhead, for AMD that is (to develop Stream and DX11 variants). They would rather minimize that by coding it for Stream. NVIDIA's CUDA model is almost abstract to the OS, it runs on three generations of Windows OS (XP/2003, Vista/2008, and Win 7). So it isn't really a head start of sorts. It's not like the GPGPU standard DX11 brings will force everyone to code for it. CUDA will stay, and so will PhysX.
It is only a theory. I make no claims to it being fact.

Why cant intel code it to work in DX11 GPGPU generically, while ATI works on jsut stream for now?
Posted on Reply
#15
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Mussels said:
Why cant intel code it to work in DX11 GPGPU generically, while ATI works on jsut stream for now?
That is a possibility, though I personally don't think Intel will work on anything GPGPU till it has a GPU of its own. It is the only entity that is seriously threatened by GPGPU, and what implications it has on the future of expensive x86 chips. Sure, it's allowing AMD to do the work of accelerating Havok via GPU, but that's for propagating high-performance Havok itself. It's in essence a "controlled entropy".
Posted on Reply
#16
FryingWeesel
FordGT90Concept said:
Freelancer probably had the best collision physics. Hitting asteroids, space stations, or getting blown up by a mine always acted quite natural assuming the impact doesn't kill you.

If you're talking about driving up hills and jumping off, Test Drive Off-Road 3 and Hard Truck: Apocalypse are IMO better. Especially HTA. Mass Effect really didn't have anything special/unique in terms of vehicles and/or physics from my perspective.
just as an example ME just feels more "real" when driving around then any havoc game i have played, i love havoc ragdoll, specly when its exadgerated like in requiem(body parts flying thu the air and shit)

And btarunr, ms has confermed that dx11 isnt tied to win7 like 10 was to xp, so i dont see the validity of your point, ms will probbly put out 11 for vista at the same time or VERY close to the same time it becomes avalable to win7.

and ms is using OpenCL (google it) for their GPGPU work, neither ati or nvidia are any farther along in gpgpu then the other atm, diffrance is that ati got out gpgpu first but it didnt go anywhere with the 1900 and 2900 cards other then folding, mostly because Intel is thretened by gpu's doing work that was done by cpu's.

now even the opensource community is getting involved with gpgpu, mediacoder, vlc, and many other projects are working on gpu accelerated work, and they would rather beable to pipe it in via OpenCL because it avoids using cuda or stream dirrectly, thus isnt locked into one companys card or the others.

havoc use has droped off alot since Intel bought havoc......alot of companys have been using other solutions or creating their own.
Posted on Reply
#17
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
FryingWeesel said:

And btarunr, ms has confermed that dx11 isnt tied to win7 like 10 was to xp, so i dont see the validity of your point, ms will probbly put out 11 for vista at the same time or VERY close to the same time it becomes avalable to win7.
That's because you clearly didn't read things completely. I said:

btarunr said:
Well, if it's tied to DX11, Vista and XP users are immediately cut-off from the technology. Vista gets DX11 only later. Stream, on the other hand, is available to XP, Vista, 7, and even Posix-like OSes. That would be a foolish way to start a technology standard.
I am aware of the fact that DX11 will be made available to Vista. I am also aware of the possibility that it won't be made available as soon as Windows 7 is released.
Posted on Reply
#18
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Ragdoll always annoyed me because it is only accurate if the individual is unconscious and has no broken bones. It looks silly/comical 99% of the time. Seriously, if you're flying through the air, you think you're just going to let wind/gravity have its way with you? Of course not. You'll be twisting and turning preparing for the landing. Instinctively, that means getting your feet closest to the ground. The only way someone wouldn't do that is if they are knocked out cold. In which case, I wouldn't expect them to get up right after they land either.


As I stated before, physics in games are only as real as the game developers want them to be. In most cases, physics (beyond the basics) are one of the lowest priority tasks (if not thee lowest priority task) of game development. They can cut all kinds of corners there that increase performance quite dramatically and the player won't even notice unless they are looking for it. That's essentially why the PPU failed--it just doesn't fit the game development paradigm (think cost vs benefit).


For example, Nightfire was far more entertaining to me than Quantum of Solace because Nightfire had very acadish physics (very rapid paced) and player damage schemes (takes 4 shots to the head to kill with the PP9). If you take that arcade feeling out of it, the game becomes boring.
Posted on Reply
#19
DarkMatter
Also DX11 or OpenCL doesn't change anything. Nvidia can and will adapt PhysX to DX11/OpenCL when Win 7 launches too. Remember that it took them 3 months to adapt PhysX to CUDA. It won't take much more to adapt it to any other API.

And maybe I'm wrong, but when that happens, it's going to be very interesting, because Ati cards will be able to play PhysX, with AMD's permission or without. The only requirement for PhysX will be a card capable of running DX11 compute shaders then and AMD cards will do so. It will matter very little if AMD wants PhysX on their cards or not, unless they do something shaddy, they will not be able to prevent that.

The one that will win this game is the one that gets better support now and IMHO that's PhysX at the moment.
Posted on Reply
#20
jaydeejohn
Skipped thru alot of this. We know that ATI's current drivers are for both W7 and Vista, and DX11 implementation on both OS' should go rather quickly. Alot of this depends actually on M$ on the future of physics on gpu. Ill also point out, LRB wont be the same working on Havok as will be nVidia and ATI.
IMO, it all comes down to accessibility, ease of use etc, and any proprietary app will fail long term.
Posted on Reply
#21
wolf
Performance Enthusiast
........:wtf:.........

*slowly backs away from thread*
Posted on Reply
#22
TheMailMan78
Big Member
Ok WHEN will I see this supported on my setup is all I want to know.
Posted on Reply
#23
ShRoOmAlIsTiC
well I read this entire thread hoping to get some insight on what was happing with physics and ati. Now all I want to do is pull my hair out. Luckily I have a shaved head. :) We wont know anything till the show this week. We will probly see a video clip or something of the demonstration and get some kind of insight. Hopefully its good news for everyone. I hope ATi falls back on what they were saying back when they had the crossfire + physics in the 790fx boards. I have my old 1950gt on hand hopeing it will work.
Posted on Reply
#24
ShadowFold
It's gotta be stream compatible I'm guessing so no X1000's. HD 2000+. I hope the video explodes our minds!
Posted on Reply
#25
DarkMatter
ShadowFold said:
I hope the video explodes our minds!
Oh, that's for sure. Ati is much better at that. Ati always has some good looking demos, while Nvidia always shows minimalist tech demos where you can only see the tech they want to show. Like with the ray-tracing demos some time ago: who cares if the ugly and minimalist "veyron demo" from Nvidia was showing a superior technology, if you could see Ruby scaping from the mech, while avoiding the cars all in full and fancy colors??
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