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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  • masterbm - Wednesday, May 06, 2009 - link

    As I do have 8800 gs in my old machine it supprt physic but this is not my normal gaming rig. That goes to my machine with amd 4780 and intel 6600e overclocked to 3.4 ghz. So it would be better if was cross platform support. Reply
  • Anonymous Freak - Wednesday, May 06, 2009 - link

    I have a PhysX-capable nVidia card (GeForce 9600GT,) but it was replaced long ago with an ATI card. So I did answer that I own one; I'm just clarifying that it made no difference to me. Reply
  • SuperGee - Thursday, May 07, 2009 - link

    There are now decent number of Hardware PhysX powered games.
    I see the hardware as a high potentional point.
    But using it depend if the games deliver.
    Have two PPU since May 2006 and a third in 2007.
    Played GRaW and GRAW2 in full glory.
    But Cell factor demo showed it's potentional.
    And Graw2 ageia island show the potentional in the game genre and theme I like. There are more games but wich are not my thing.
    I also was very early aware of the implication Physics brings in a Game develeopment project as how it can influence AI_Pathing. Net load and Game art development. Wich hold back decent or heavy accelerated Physx support.

    Wel a lot more PhysX is also a bigger game development burden.
    It doesn't come for free.

    Mirror edge was a subtle touch of hardware PhysX partialy done right but suffer from crossplatform.

    Now nV is pushin Dev's with there TWIMTBP devision. More devs and thus game project are actively doeing something with it.
    But just like 9 out of 10 games are the average clone. Or in this case the PhysX feels very forched 9 out of 10 and often out of place. There could be a exceptions that shines on PhysX.

    The flags high on the ceiling are more distraction or interactable decorations. How ever where the Player or NPC can be run or push trough are right in place.
    But I don't like that kind of game.

    Where still waiting on a physX killer game.
    And it's very reasonable that it may never come.
    So I keep my expectation realistic and enjoy some of the good uses of it in games.

    As of now PhysX hardware isn't a necicerity except for some not so populair heavy Physics games like Warmonger and Cellfactor wich demand some hardware Physx support.
    But no Class AAA title does that.

    But up till now a PPU with a ATI do just fine.

    But I wouldn't mind a AAA game that optional could use a dedicated midrange or higher G-card and puit it to good in game use.
    Reply
  • Lightnix - Thursday, May 07, 2009 - link

    I did have an 8800 GTS 320. After having tried the PhysX demos (UT3 map pack, Warmonger (meeh), and a few others that came with the physics packs), I felt thoroughly underwhelmed - the only really cool one was the great Kulu which showed off destructable softbodies. Most of the other ones, tornado effects, debris, cloth tearing, and hail for the most part looked pretty unrealistic and sometimes detracted from the gameplay experience. I can't say that buying my 4870 1GB in February was really affected by the lack of PhysX support, it doesn't seem to be a very killer feature anyway.

    I think the vote could've drawn a better comparison if they'd asked if we had tried any PhysX demos using accelerating hardware, as well as if we owned some supported hardware.
    Reply
  • Laitainion - Thursday, May 07, 2009 - link

    I'm in the similar situation to you, only I had the 640meg version. Recently went up to a 1gig 4870 also. Really don't care at all for nVidia physx. If anything it was better before, as a seperate PCI-card. At least anyone could (in theory) get one and not be tied to a particular graphics vendor. Reply

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