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cubical10
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Physics Processing Unit (PPU) who's gonna bite?

Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:19 pm

I am just curious as to who will be running out to get this new add- on for their gamming rig? I thought i would ask here in the gamers forum, since this is their target market.

Background info:
http://physx.ageia.com/index.html

BFG has a product on their site, but no model number(s):
http://www.bfgtech.com/physx/index.htm

Both Dell XPS and Alienware are already offering systems with the card for $250-$275. So while not cheap, its not a stupid price either. According to Ageia, you will not have to update the card as their driver is supposed to make it somehow future friendly.
From Ageia site FAQ:
Do I have to buy new hardware every year just to get new physics features?

No. The powerful, yet flexible, AGEIA PhysX processor is designed to enable future enhancements via software. This makes a PhysX accelerator a great investment because gamers will get not only new PhysX-enabled games now and in the future, but the new features that AGEIA delivers via regular driver updates will run on the hardware that’s installed in PCs today.


Is this a Fad or the Future?
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SNM
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Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:28 pm

I won't be buying one. However, given the awesomeness of gameplay possible with the API, I suspect it will (slowly) work its way into gaming PCs in some form or other (though it may not become widespread until the API enables processing on the GPU).
I'm guessing some game will start allowing some fairly simple interactions that won't require more than a 10% hit on framerate, but that will prompt the high-end people to get the PPU for better framerates, and then there will be a larger userbase so another game will come out requiring more power, etc etc.
And then at some point it will get integrated into gaming motherboards, and then maybe ride onboard a hybrid Gaming Processing Unit or VR Card or something.
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cubical10
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Wed Mar 22, 2006 6:40 pm

maybe ride onboard a hybrid Gaming Processing Unit or VR Card

Don't you think that would be one hot card? GPU are already hot enough to warrant aftermarket coolers.

But i like the idea of the chipset added to the motherboard, simular to nic and sound...

The demo on the ageia looks impressive tho.
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MadBrad
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Will get one....

Wed Mar 22, 2006 7:13 pm

I will get one when there are a decent number of games using the technology and/or there is a new folding client that will use the raw Powah!

I also suspect that this is an element that will get integrated onto Motherboards as time goes on. Enthusiast level boards will be "PPU Ready".
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Wed Mar 22, 2006 7:15 pm

I won't be buying it, but I'm definetly looking at whole "GPU's doing physics" with great interest.

What Aegia needs to do is release a castrated card for $100. Get it out there into mainstream. Then when people relize how cool it is (and yes, physics in games are cool), they'll be wanting to buy a better card.
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Re: Will get one....

Wed Mar 22, 2006 7:18 pm

MadBrad wrote:
I also suspect that this is an element that will get integrated onto Motherboards as time goes on. Enthusiast level boards will be "PPU Ready".


As soon as it makes it as a intergrate Motherboard feature I'll start to care until then just don't see this being that useful. Time will tell.
 
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Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:05 pm

I will buy one if they aren't outrageously expensive. The payback in increased realism seems worth it to me.
 
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Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:07 pm

i'll buy as soon as there is a nice game with good reviews that could make use of it.
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Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:50 pm

I believe UT2007 will make or break AGEIA.
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Popobumm
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Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:28 am

It does look pretty cool..but that video of Cellfactor makes it look like it's going to be overdone. I don't like how it imitates physics, but exaggerates it as well. I'm all for realism, and sometimes I think these sorts of things make it LESS realistic.

For example, 'ragdoll' physics in games like half life 2 almost make the game seem fake since bodies bounce around a bit too much and objects in the environment always seem to weigh less than they should, destroying the very sense of realism they were going for.

Maybe it's just me, but Cellfactor looks almost like novelty game rather than anything revolutionary or even evolutionary. I want REALISTIC physics, not physics that makes everything look like plastic.
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computron9000
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Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:32 am

i'll get one when the first game i buy can utilize it.

i did the same when the first add-in 3d hardware accelerator came out (Monster 3D).
 
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Thu Mar 23, 2006 1:21 am

I bet in just 4-6 months PPU's will be all over the place. and I'm sure many good games will take advantage of it. so that being said I'll be buying one in 3-4 months.
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GokuSS2
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Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:50 am

I will get one. All this talk about the video cards doing physics makes me wonder what would happen if I use both? :lol:
 
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Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:52 am

Never. If it comes to that, I'll just jump 100% back into the console market and be done with this sink hole of money called PC gaming.
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Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:00 am

I love the Ageia idea, I have used their SDK, played with demos and I'm totally getting one card if i can afford it... I'm still unsure about latencies thoug... thre is a lot of data that must travel cpu->physix->cpu->gpu...
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Crayon Shin Chan
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Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:20 am

No I'm never getting one. I'd get a 7600GT before I'd even think of the PhysX processor. Besides, why would I get a 7600GT anyway? I spend 200 more US$ and get a Playstation 3 with a unique architecture and ISA, RAMBUS, a 7800 class GPU and of course, PhysX effects in-game thanks to the CELL. And no patches or crashes too.

EDIT: oh, and a CELL only version of Linux. Mmmmmm.... Linux, a rarity OS, on an even more unique processor.
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Thu Mar 23, 2006 7:39 am

Mirage wrote:
I believe UT2007 will make or break AGEIA.


I tend to agree.

I'll probably get one simply because I think it's a cool gadget and I want to tinker with it.
 
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Re: Will get one....

Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:03 am

MadBrad wrote:
I also suspect that this is an element that will get integrated onto Motherboards as time goes on. Enthusiast level boards will be "PPU Ready".


I doubt that will happen for at least a few die shrinks yet. These things are going to be a couple hundred dollars at the moment. Even with mass-mass production you'd only ever get that down to about 50.

Integrated motherboards are all about cost. And 50 dollars for a chip that has little interest to business outside of physics, and of only peripheral interest to gamers right now, is too much to do this.
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deinabog
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PPU

Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:36 am

I'm gonna pass on this. While the Aegia PPU sounds interesting it won't be the show stopper everyone's making it out to be. Eventually, I think, Aegia will be snapped up by either ATI or nVidia or both those companies will develop similar technologies for their GPUs.

Games that take advantage of it will look good I'm sure. I still like Havok's software physics engine though. I was playing Painkiller Black (DVD version) last night and was awed by the physics implementation. Besides I'd rather wait to see what nVidia and ATI deliver with their G80 and R600 GPUs respectively. Something tells me that, physics-wise, they'll be awesome.
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Philldoe
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Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:20 am

Crayon Shin Chan wrote:
No I'm never getting one. I'd get a 7600GT before I'd even think of the PhysX processor. Besides, why would I get a 7600GT anyway? I spend 200 more US$ and get a Playstation 3 with a unique architecture and ISA, RAMBUS, a 7800 class GPU and of course, PhysX effects in-game thanks to the CELL. And no patches or crashes too.

EDIT: oh, and a CELL only version of Linux. Mmmmmm.... Linux, a rarity OS, on an even more unique processor.


7800 Class GPU? the PS3 will be out dated before its released lol!

No crashes? nope...but you'll have lock-ups.

In no time we'll be enjoying the latest eye-candy and you'll be stuck on old sugar water.
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Capsaicin
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Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:59 am

I think it will depend on how much the "physics" can be modified. A lot of effects game makers will probably want to do, don't actually match what would happen IRL (akin to movies). I don't think this will be very successful financially, but will probably encourage new technology development.
 
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Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:53 am

Philldoe wrote:
Crayon Shin Chan wrote:
No I'm never getting one. I'd get a 7600GT before I'd even think of the PhysX processor. Besides, why would I get a 7600GT anyway? I spend 200 more US$ and get a Playstation 3 with a unique architecture and ISA, RAMBUS, a 7800 class GPU and of course, PhysX effects in-game thanks to the CELL. And no patches or crashes too.

EDIT: oh, and a CELL only version of Linux. Mmmmmm.... Linux, a rarity OS, on an even more unique processor.


7800 Class GPU? the PS3 will be out dated before its released lol!

No crashes? nope...but you'll have lock-ups.

In no time we'll be enjoying the latest eye-candy and you'll be stuck on old sugar water.


I doubt that. At first the games will look better than any sub $2500 straight out of the box, and although PC hardware may evolve quite quickly, console games and developers are much more efficient when it comes to utilizing hardware. And the fact that it's pretty much standard (all games will run on the same ps3 hardware) it will be a lot easier to optimize games to look sweet. I mean, just check out some of the graphically advanced ps2 and xbox games...they look DAMN good considering how old the hardware is.

That's one of my major gripes with ppu's and all this new tech. They haven't even utilized the current and old tech sufficiently to warrant me buying another $200 card.
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cubical10
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Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:53 am

I guess it depends on how the game developers us it.
I could care less about more/better smoke, but if they use it so that trees are no longer tank stoppers or better realism in car games...

Either way, I am definately a wait for the first (or second) price drop before I buy anything type of shopper.
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just brew it!
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Thu Mar 23, 2006 1:04 pm

Philldoe wrote:
I bet in just 4-6 months PPU's will be all over the place. and I'm sure many good games will take advantage of it. so that being said I'll be buying one in 3-4 months.

You are making two really big assumptions:

1) That there will be "many good games" released over the next 4-6 months.
-and-
2) The engines used in these games are already "PPU ready" (since any major game that is within a few months of release is necessarily already very close to the end of its development cycle).

I think both of these assupmtions are wildly optimistic.
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Thu Mar 23, 2006 2:28 pm

just brew it! wrote:
2) The engines used in these games are already "PPU ready" (since any major game that is within a few months of release is necessarily already very close to the end of its development cycle).

Check their website...they've got a list of several A-list titles. I don't know how deep the integration is, but it's definitely there.
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Thu Mar 23, 2006 2:54 pm

Its ironic that history is repeating itself yet again. Because, about ten years ago, 3Dfx launched their Voodoo 1. The naysayers thought it would never take off and 3D gaming was overrated. However, the GLQuake and Voodoo 1 combo was convincing enough to persuade the naysayers. The rest I said is history.


The PhysX seems to be a slimiar place, but needs a killer app to really take off. UT2K7 seems to be the final piece to the puzzle. It does not matter whatever AEGIA can make discrete PPUs fiscally viable or not. They will spark the fire of "Physics Revolution" in gaming. Nvidia and ATI are already making plans to introduce physics using software through their existing performance GPUs. The next step is ether to design a GPU with PPU-like features on the die or simply slap on a seperate PPU chip onto the graphics card.
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Buub
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Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:52 pm

Actually, Descent was the game that sold me on the Voodoo. :-)
 
Buub
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Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:54 pm

Popobumm wrote:
It does look pretty cool..but that video of Cellfactor makes it look like it's going to be overdone. I don't like how it imitates physics, but exaggerates it as well. I'm all for realism, and sometimes I think these sorts of things make it LESS realistic.

For example, 'ragdoll' physics in games like half life 2 almost make the game seem fake since bodies bounce around a bit too much and objects in the environment always seem to weigh less than they should, destroying the very sense of realism they were going for.

Maybe it's just me, but Cellfactor looks almost like novelty game rather than anything revolutionary or even evolutionary. I want REALISTIC physics, not physics that makes everything look like plastic.


I can believe that the first generation of games will be overdone just to show how cool it is. But once the technology settles in, game developers will get bored of over-doing it and will learn to use the proper amount of restraint.

I'd wait for the second generation of titles before making that judgement.
 
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Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:57 pm

LEGO island was the first game that made me want to upgrade. It just ran too slow on my dx-2. It recommended a 166mhz, so when my dad's coworker got a brand-new 233, I bet you can't guess where I was after-hours :D
 
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Thu Mar 23, 2006 10:39 pm

Philldoe wrote:
Crayon Shin Chan wrote:
No I'm never getting one. I'd get a 7600GT before I'd even think of the PhysX processor. Besides, why would I get a 7600GT anyway? I spend 200 more US$ and get a Playstation 3 with a unique architecture and ISA, RAMBUS, a 7800 class GPU and of course, PhysX effects in-game thanks to the CELL. And no patches or crashes too.

EDIT: oh, and a CELL only version of Linux. Mmmmmm.... Linux, a rarity OS, on an even more unique processor.


7800 Class GPU? the PS3 will be out dated before its released lol!

No crashes? nope...but you'll have lock-ups.

In no time we'll be enjoying the latest eye-candy and you'll be stuck on old sugar water.


Yeah, in no time, you will be broke looking at your eye candy and I'll still have my savings account. :roll: Sure, Star Ocean 3 had a bug, but that was fixed. All the other games didn't have bugs anyway.
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