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Creepy_cheese

physx chip

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ageia is making a physx chip that helps with the physics and stuff. i was reading a review and it said that it has its own processor so it relives the cpu or something, allowing it to focus on the ai, which makes the physics better. it sounded kinda cool, and the demos were nice. i think its a neat idea.

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dell, alienware, and falcon northwest are already selling pc's with physx cards. next month you should be able to find the first retail cards. it's going to be while until enough games and other software support it to justify buying one. then again, it might fail miserably.

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It sounds neat but it has no chance of survival. Dual-core processors have a whole lot of extra processing power that can be used for physics without the additional overhead (PCI bandwidth, synchronization) of a separate physics card. Furthermore, investing in a dual-core processor benefits much more than just the physics in a few games. The Ageia cards are quite expensive and will rarely be used.

Besides, no game developer in his right mind would create a game that will only run on a fraction of PCs. So there always has to be a fallback without affecting gameplay. It took graphics cards about three years to become widespread, but by the time physics play a key role in games the CPUs will be multi-core with highly improved architectures...

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gotta disagree, at least somewhat. in the same way you dont want to be using a dual core processor for rasterizing triangles and running shader code, dual cores will never be as efficient or be able to run as many operations per second as a dedicated card (case in point...low cost physx chip handily beats the fastest of single cpus available today). furthermore the overhead is nothing compared to graphics work and the synch work would have to be done anyway if the physics was running in another thread.

the main thing will just be market penetration. the nice thing is that the aegia lib automatically uses the card if it is found, so you arent preventing people from running the game. the bad thing is that means that the extra physics power cant be used to affect gameplay (though there are a few situations you could get away with this in single player, and it could benifit games like second life where physics calcs take place on the server). however, there are a quite a few people willing to pay $250 for just a bit more eye candy (see alienware for even more egregious examples)...just see the lengths people go for a few more fps; offloading all physics calcs could be a significant jump.

i'm not one of those people now, but the first killer app (some cool unreal engine 3 app for instance) or bring it down $100 or so and i might jump on board without a second thought.

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don't forget about server-side physics. allowing clients to calculate physics leads to hacks/cheats. dedicated physics hardware could be a cost-effective solution for online game servers.

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Quote:
It sounds neat but it has no chance of survival. Dual-core processors have a whole lot of extra processing power


Do you think the graphics cards will die too? People said the same thing (more or less) about HT&L, too.

The truth of the matter may be that physics calculations are streamlined enough that it's more cost effective to do it in a physics chip than a general-purpose CPU. x86 cycles may be quite useful, but they are also very expensive, compared to commodity special-purpose hardware.

Remember: Ageia can parallelize easier than Intel, because their API is more inherently parallel. Also, Ageia cards can, today, do quite a bit more with physics than Intel can, today. Thus, if richness in physics is important, and if physics stays data parallel, then Ageia has a pretty good chance to stay in the game.

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Ageia is at my school today. I saw a playable demo of Cell Factor. It was pretty sweet. Going later for a speech/demo. One of the cool things was shooting through a flag and having it tear to pieces.

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I don't think the dedicated PhysX cards have a chance in hell of capturing consumer attention. However, I think if Ageia signs a contract with ATI or NVidia (or both) to put their chips on the graphics cards, then we will have something special. Not to mention something to do with all of that extra unnecessary bandwidth that PCI Express offers.

Quote:
Original post by C0D1F1ED
Besides, no game developer in his right mind would create a game that will only run on a fraction of PCs.


Elder Scrolls 4 : Oblivion
Doom 3
FarCry

... and really any game that uses cutting-edge graphics technology only runs on a fraction of PCs. So why not physics technologies?


Quote:
Original post by dpadam450
Ageia is at my school today. I saw a playable demo of Cell Factor. It was pretty sweet. Going later for a speech/demo. One of the cool things was shooting through a flag and having it tear to pieces.


Hmmm... Ageia at your school... Bellevue... you must be a DigiPen Inmate!

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Quote:
Original post by JBourrie
I don't think the dedicated PhysX cards have a chance in hell of capturing consumer attention.


the hardcore gamer with too much cash is going to pick it up without hesitation. whether it goes beyond that, who knows?

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everyone who has the word Ageia on his package uses the physics engine already and should have a few effects that only run on hardware ... so what they did was making deals in which every user of Ageia can offer specific hardware accelerated effects that are only available on hardware ...
So I would expect games like Ghost Recon and all the UE3 based titles to use the card ..

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