The idea of hardware accelerated physics has been around for a long time and PhysX on NVIDIA GPUs has had some time to mature. There are more games coming out with support for hardware PhysX and not all of them have completely sucked. So we want to get a better picture of the impact of PhysX on our readers. Is this a thing that matters to you?

Before we get to the questions, last week saw the announcement of several upcoming titles that will support PhysX:

Terminator Salvation
Dark Void
Darkest of Days
U-Wars

Until we actually play the games, we won't know whether the PhysX implementation is any good though. Many of the ideas like debris, fog, smoke, contrails, destructable environments and weapons / fighting effects have seen light in other titles only to fall short of the expectation. But at least Mirror's Edge was able to take some of the same things and package them in a professional and appealing way.

There are more games still that will have support for PhysX in the near future, but other titles we've seen that touted their PhysX support (like Cryostasis) have fallen short of expectations. We certainly see a future in hardware accelerated physics, but, in the eyes of our readers, is physics hardware really "here" with NVIDIA and PhysX, or will OpenCL be the vehicle to usher in a new era in game physics?

To get a better idea of the landscape, we'll be asking two questions about PhysX software and hardware. For the software question, it would be helpful if those who do not have PhysX hardware could answer the question as if they did. We can't limit respondents to NVIDIA hardware owners, but we would like to keep things as fair as possible.

{poll 131:850}

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  • papapapapapapapababy - Thursday, May 07, 2009 - link

    this site used to be good. now is even shhitier than toms hardware guide. get back on track guys. btw i bought a 4770. good card. And as always the drivers are fk terrible / not there. Also a huge chunk of mosfets, caps, fancy gpu and mem cooling is missing in action. But good job anand selling selling smoke and mirrors. your deceptive 4770 review worked just fine. Reply
  • micha90210 - Thursday, May 07, 2009 - link

    ... without playing few titles that support PhysX, experiencing the gameplay, and comparing it to non-PhysX titles?! Reply
  • gamerk2 - Thursday, May 07, 2009 - link

    Much as DirectX and Glide helped standardize a 3d API, PhysX will help standardize a unified Physics API. Reply
  • faxon - Thursday, May 07, 2009 - link

    current card is a 9800GTX. traded a TRUE for it. good trade to boot, it's a good fast card at 1680x1050 still. i could have put more money into an ATI card if i wanted to, but i was hoping to wait for larrabee before putting a lot of money down on new hardware, since i have been waiting for project offset since 2005 and i want to play it when it launches. i choose my hardware based on graphical performance. if you (the GPU architects and manufacturers) want me to buy a card to accelerate physics, you damn well better make it cross platform, or else i wont spend a dime extra just to get a proprietary version.

    i used to live next door to one of Nvidia's marketing department managers. i can tell you first hand they are overly agressive in trying to sell their PhysX API and CUDA support. not surprising, their closed mindedness about how they think things should be extends beyond just their own business. we ended up moving out because of them LOL
    Reply
  • shin0bi272 - Friday, May 08, 2009 - link

    The problem with your cross platform argument is that it is cross platform already. any game on the unreal 3 engine uses physx. that means UT3, gears of war and warmonger all use it (and several others I dont know off the top of my head). What you are asking for is any game to support hardware acceleration of physics no matter what physics engine they use and that just doesnt happen. The api calls have to be specified exactly so that the interaction actually happens. one variable name change or calling for an answer in float vs integer and the game crashes. Thats why there are 3 ways to get physics in a game. you can 1. put the money and time in and build your own like in crysis and farcry2. 2. buy havok for $250,000 and get their scripted physics where things always blow up the same way and the only thing really random about their interaction is the death physics. and 3. use physx which is given out for free and is hardware accelerated. Yes you have to use their api calls and all of their specifics but thats understandable if you are using their engine.

    So basically what you are asking for is everyone to use the same physics engine. Give it time and a clear winner will emerge.
    Reply
  • sbuckler - Thursday, May 07, 2009 - link

    Unfortunately this poll is heavily biased by whether your graphics card is red or green.

    I wonder if physX was an Ati only thing how many people flaming it in every forum would be singing it's praises, and how many singing it's praises would now be the ones saying how useless it is?
    Reply
  • shin0bi272 - Friday, May 08, 2009 - link

    If physx was ATI only Id be buying ATi cards exclusively. Hell I bought the p1 card to get physx when it was still only used in 1 or 2 games.

    What I would like to see is ATi stop this stupid ass partnership with havok and license the physx from nvidia so that they can both be using the same technology and allow the consumers to benefit in the long run rather than having rival technologies all the time. At least with everything leading up to physx the differences in ati vs nvidia were more performance based or small things like ati's truform rendering. Now we are talking entire game engines not being supported... which will lead everyone who's an ATI fan to miss out on potentially several dozen or even hundreds of games in the future as physx gains popularity.

    Though I would like to see more of what havok is cooking up with them as I havent see too many reports on that lately. If they are moving towards true hardware accelerated physics too then it might come down to who does it better. The problem is havok only really has the ragdoll death physics going for it and nvidia's physx can do that too if they wanted to.
    Reply
  • Hrel - Thursday, May 07, 2009 - link

    I'm more interested in 8 Channel Audio over HDMI that PhysX. Also I doubt hardware physics will be a big thing with game studios till it's cross-platform. I see a lot of promise for it though in fully destructable environments. FULLY destructable, like in Worms World Party, but 3D, like Halo and Crysis and all that. Reply
  • shin0bi272 - Friday, May 08, 2009 - link

    cross platform - see unreal 3 engine

    fully destructible - see warmonger (ok not 100% but 75% destructible)

    8channel audio over hdmi... so what youd rather have better on board sound cards than more realistic interaction of objects in your games? are you visually impaired to the point of being legally blind or just inept?
    Reply
  • san1s - Wednesday, May 06, 2009 - link

    physx can't run with playable framerates even on an overclocked i7
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erAaVDKrRkk&fmt...">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erAaVDKrRkk&fmt...
    Reply

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