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Thread: Ageia PhysX - it really works!

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    Ageia PhysX - it really works!

    Over on the Ageia stand at the Leipzig Games Convention 2007, we sat down with the guys who justifiably proudly showed off their Ageia specific Unreal Tournament 3 levels which, to be honest, were jaw-droppingly good.
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    Re: Ageia PhysX - it really works!

    excellent, i really want this technology to succeed.

    accelerate everything with dedicated hardware is the amiga way, and it is the right way to do things.
    http://rusi.org/downloads/assets/FDR2.pdf - RUSI - A Force For Honour
    http://www.uknda.org/my_documents/my...essity_scr.pdf - UKNDA: A Compelling Necessity
    http://www.uknda.org/my_documents/my...ISIS_Sep08.pdf - UKNDA: Overcoming The Defence Crisis
    http://www.uknda.org/my_documents/my...y_Doc_24pp.pdf - UKNDA: A decision the next Prime Minister must make

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    Filthy old man noTHINGface's Avatar
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    Re: Ageia PhysX - it really works!

    ... and from the opposite end of the spectrum I see no value here with multi core cpus.
    What we share with everyone is glum, and dark...

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    Re: Ageia PhysX - it really works!

    Quote Originally Posted by noTHINGface View Post
    ... and from the opposite end of the spectrum I see no value here with multi core cpus.
    Have to agree with this to be honest.

    By all means add in some physics friendly instructions in something like SSE5, but the difference between the calculations physics requires and the instruction set of a CPU is not so huge as to need a seperate card, unlike graphics or sound.

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    It's good to be bad pauldarkside's Avatar
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    Re: Ageia PhysX - it really works!

    Considering UT3 is primarily a multiplayer game, I doubt the Ageia specific levels will feature heavily on game servers.

    Is the Unreal Engine 3 able to offload those calcuations to a "spare" core like the engine used Alan Wake, for example?
    My only concern is should I hide my true identity? A costume maybe?

    0iD: Plus weeing in it every now & again does it good
    scaryjim: 10" is just a little large to hold comfortably in one hand, which makes it a lot harder to tap, swipe and generally interact with.

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    Re: Ageia PhysX - it really works!

    Great, another piece of hardware to buy... As if prices of components aren't going up as it is. I remember when the GeForce4 Ti4600 was released. The cream of the crop - and £250 to boot. Now we have the likes of the GTX and Ultra that started at something like £380 and £450 ?

    And on top of that premium is coming an extra £100ish for a PhysX card? To say you can build a relatively high end PC for £1000, 10% extra for physics doesn't seem justified - especially because of multicore CPUs. Sure, if you have a single core CPU let people use a PhysX card instead of shelling out for a new CPU; but the exclusivity of some games' physics on PhysX card alone I don't agree with, the extra cores on CPUs these days should be able to be used first if they are there.

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    It's good to be bad pauldarkside's Avatar
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    Re: Ageia PhysX - it really works!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nemz0r View Post
    Great, another piece of hardware to buy...
    Unlike a CPU, RAM, etc., a PhysX card is purely optional - if you don't feel the need for one, don't buy one.

    As far as I'm concened there's little point in me spending £88 on something that has limited support. If it was supported more generally in Unreal Engine 3, for example, and would improve my user experience in every game that used it (BioShock included) instead of requiring specially designed levels (Unreal Tournament 3) then I'd consider getting one. That said, multi-core support could take care of that.
    My only concern is should I hide my true identity? A costume maybe?

    0iD: Plus weeing in it every now & again does it good
    scaryjim: 10" is just a little large to hold comfortably in one hand, which makes it a lot harder to tap, swipe and generally interact with.

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    Goron goron Kumagoro's Avatar
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    Re: Ageia PhysX - it really works!

    The structure of the physics processor is supposed to be more like that of a GPU than a CPU right....
    If it were the case that just a few new instructions need to be added to the CPU then the same could
    be said of GPU functions being added.

    It seems to me that Graphics cards now have the power to make use of the physics that the ageia
    card enables. What I am wondering though, is how much the PPU is being used in terms of
    processing power and when a the GPU will have power to spare.

    I have never liked the idea of using another Graphics card to enable the physics it seems to
    much of a kludge.

    In my opinion the PPU should be on the graphics card. If there are different grades of PPU they can
    matched up with the power of the GPU.

    I reckon AMD should buy Ageia

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    Re: Ageia PhysX - it really works!

    PCGH: It is well known that your engine supports multi core CPUs. What is the maximum number of threads the engine can calculate? What is the performance gain when you play UT 3 with a quad core CPU? Will the engine even support future CPU with more than four cores?

    Tim Sweeney: Unreal Engine 3's threading support is quite scalable. We run a primary thread for gameplay, and a secondary thread for rendering. On machines with more than two cores, we run additional threads to accelerate various computing tasks, including physics and data decompression. There are clear performance benefits to quad-core, and though we haven't looked beyond that yet, I expect further gains beyond quad-core in future games within the lifetime of Unreal Engine 3.
    Source

    At least I have another excuse to grab a Core 2 Quad
    My only concern is should I hide my true identity? A costume maybe?

    0iD: Plus weeing in it every now & again does it good
    scaryjim: 10" is just a little large to hold comfortably in one hand, which makes it a lot harder to tap, swipe and generally interact with.

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    Re: Ageia PhysX - it really works!

    It'll be killed off either by multicore or by the graphics industry pushing their own solutions. Their only chance is to get bundled onto some other hardware - like the aforementioned graphic card or perhaps a motherboard? Either seems unlikely at this stage as neither markets would see it as a good value add-in, especially at the likely premium. As for this year, crysis will use the CPU and so people will rather drop a few quid more on a quad core (which will make lots of games better in lots of ways) than a psysx card (which will make er.. UT3 better in a limited way).
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    Re: Ageia PhysX - it really works!

    I said in the very first discussion on these board regarding physics cards that they were a complete waste and would be superseded in no time at all by multi-cored CPUs.....

    The thing is, the difference between "real physics calculations" and "pseudo physics calculations" (i.e. using the principles of physics but in much more simplified equations) is not going to be noticeable to end-users in a game.
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    Re: Ageia PhysX - it really works!

    Physics cards will be the last thing gamers will buy as an upgrade to their system. The money used to buy a physics card would be better invested in other components (like graphics and processors, for example)

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