A look at PhysX in Mirror’s Edge

A year has passed since Nvidia announced plans to port the PhysX programming interface to its CUDA architecture, and it’s been about six months since we last spent quality time looking at the fruits of its labor. Industry support for Nvidia’s PhysX has been slow to grow, but after a highly visible recommitment to the endeavor at last month’s Consumer Electronics Show, Nvidia has made it clear that PhysX will remain a key selling point for its graphics cards. And thanks to EA DICE’s million-seller Mirror’s Edge, Nvidia arguably has its highest-profile title yet with support for GPU-accelerated PhysX. I’d say we’re about due for another look at the technology.

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about Mirror’s Edge. If you’ve missed our other coverage, Cyril got the hype train rolling when the game was first announced, after which Geoff got his hands on the Xbox 360 version and shared his thoughts on the experience. Most recently, Cyril played through the PC release and had a blast—so much fun, in fact, that he was compelled to discuss the game again in our latest podcast. And after all of that, we’re still not done talking about it.

I won’t discuss the premise or merits of the gameplay in too much depth—you can check out some of our earlier coverage for that. Suffice to say, Mirror’s Edge is a first-person 3D platformer with a small dose of combat to mix things up a bit. As in any good platformer, this game’s environments present as much danger as the bad guys that inhabit them. The majority of your time is spent exploring your surroundings and figuring out how best to navigate them. Combined with the first-person parkour aspect, it becomes apparent very quickly that the set pieces are what drive gameplay.

Mirror’s Edge was initially going to be a simultaneous cross-platform release for the 2008 holiday season, but the PC version was delayed, perhaps partly to incorporate PhysX effects. Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 owners got their hands on the game first, but like most Windows releases, Mirror’s Edge PC also brings sharper visuals and more flexible controls.

The pledge

So, what does PhysX bring to the table in Mirror’s Edge? The designers at EA DICE took full advantage of the PhysX API throughout the single-player campaign, utilizing the extra horsepower of GPU-accelerated physics to drive a number of visual effects in the game world. Here’s what you can look forward to:

  • Glass — There’s a lot of it in Mirror’s Edge, and more often than not, it’s being shattered. With PhysX enabled, window panes send chunks of glass flying realistically through the environment when they break. Shards will react to the player as well as enemies, and if you dive through a window, you can expect to see pieces of glass follow you. Without PhysX, breaking a window triggers the same old type of animation you’ve seen in shooters for over a decade.
  • Cloth — Though not as prominently featured as their glassy counterparts, you’ll find tarps, banners, and window shades just waiting to be shot throughout the game. As they’re perforated by bullets, they eventually become little more than tatters that drift to the ground. And of course, any large vehicles like helicopters or trains will impart their presence upon soft objects thanks to the simulated wind. In most cases, disabling PhysX will simply remove these soft bodies from the environment.
  • Smoke — PhysX brings fully simulated smoke to Mirror’s Edge. Unlike the static smoke animations you’re used to seeing, here you’ll find fluid dynamics in action. Both the player and enemy characters will leave trails through smoke, and like the soft bodies, smoke will react to wind sources. Once again, persistent smoke doesn’t exist in the game world when PhysX effects are disabled.
  • Debris — Typically, when a bullet ricochets off of the environment, you get a stock animation that might consist of dust or sparks, depending on what it hits. With PhysX, debris will go flying through the environment, realistically bouncing off of walls and characters.

Of course, all of these promises raise a couple of questions: are the visual improvements noticeable and are they worth the performance trade-off? That’s what we aim to find out.

Our testing methods

Before we can free-run to the pretty pictures and performance graphs, there’s a bit of housekeeping to take care of first. As always, we did our best to deliver clean benchmark numbers. Tests were run at least three times, and the results were averaged.

Our test system was configured like so:

Processor AMD Phenom 9900 Engineering Sample 2.6GHz (TLB patch disabled)
System bus HyperTransport 4.0 GT/s (2.0 GHz)
Motherboard Asus M3A32-MVP Deluxe
BIOS revision 1406
North bridge 790FX
South bridge SB600
Chipset drivers Microsoft 6.0.6001.18000
Memory size 4GB (4 DIMMs)
Memory type 2x 2GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2-800 SDRAM
CAS latency (CL) 5
RAS to CAS delay (tRCD) 5
RAS precharge (tRP) 5
Cycle time (tRAS) 18
Command rate 2T
Audio Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum
Graphics EVGA GeForce 8800 GTX
GPU: 625MHz, Shaders: 1465MHz, Memory: 975MHz
with ForceWare 181.22 WHQL drivers
Hard drive Western Digital Raptor 74GB SATA
OS Windows Vista Ultimate x64
OS updates Service Pack 1, latest updates at time of writing

The test system’s Windows desktop was set at 1920×1200 in 32-bit color at a 60Hz screen refresh rate. Vertical refresh sync (vsync) was disabled.

We used the following versions of our test applications:

The tests and methods we employ are usually publicly available and reproducible. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them.

How does it look?

Since PhysX effects are used almost exclusively for eye-candy in Mirror’s Edge, it makes sense to go through some before and after images of the GPU-accelerated physics in action. First up is a demonstration of the simulated glass, along with some soft body effects on the window shades:


Without PhysX


With PhysX

Notice that without PhysX, broken glass is no longer persistent, instead replaced by a standard shattering animation. Also, the window shades don’t even exist in the game world without PhysX, making the hallway that much less visually appealing. One final item to point out: those little black specks you see in the center of the PhysX image are an example of the simulated debris from ricochets, which is otherwise nonexistent without GPU-accelerated physics enabled.

Next, let’s have look at the PhysX cloth effects:


Without PhysX


With PhysX

Many soft bodies simply don’t appear in the environment without PhysX enabled, as evidenced by the blue tarp. The tarp deforms and eventually turns into tatters as the helicopter shoots through it to hit the player. In the first image, you can see a pre-cooked puff of debris as a bullet ricochets, while the second image has simulated sparks bouncing around.

Finally, here are the smoke effects Mirror’s Edge provides with PhysX:


Without PhysX


With PhysX

Smoke isn’t visible all that often in Mirror’s Edge, but its rare appearances are generally used to great effect. In this instance, a large amount of mist emanates from the water as the player slides down a waterfall. The whole scene looks a tad bland without PhysX, but the simulated smoke ups the immersion level.

PhysX visual goodness looks best while in motion, however, and screenshots can’t tell the whole story. Thankfully, Nvidia provided a demonstration video from a variety of locations within Mirror’s Edge, which you’ll find embedded below. I’ve gone to the extra effort of embedding the HD version of the clip, so don’t be afraid to click the full screen button. Go on—you know you want to.

The video showcases the full gamut of extra eye candy scattered throughout Mirror’s Edge courtesy of PhysX. Pay particular attention to the smoke and cloth effects, because those are both the hardest to represent in still images and the most interesting to watch in action.

The numbers

Now, we come to the performance considerations of GPU-accelerated PhysX. We tested three different settings for each benchmark, although the most relevant numbers are with PhysX either enabled or disabled altogether. Just out of curiosity, I included numbers for PhysX without hardware acceleration, which essentially leaves the CPU to handle all the physics calculations in software. It wasn’t pretty, as you’ll soon find out.

Mirror’s Edge caps maximum frame rates by default, so we disabled that cap for these exercises. All in-game detail levels were set to their highest values, except for antialiasing, which was disabled.

EA DICE included a timedemo with the retail version of Mirror’s Edge (accessible by adding “-FlybyFlight” to the shortcut’s path), so it’s as good a place as any to start our benchmarking. The demo pans the camera through segments of the Flight chapter from the single-player campaign, specifically between checkpoints C and D. The demo begins with a helicopter shooting out a few windows while several enemies move through the corridor. We then move outside, with the camera zipping over a few rooftops and providing large-scale shots of the city.

On paper, GPU-accelerated PhysX looks like it induces a pretty nasty performance hit. Drops of 30% for minimum frame rates and 34% for average frame rates are northing to scoff at, but it’s important to note that the game remains playable. Even when the action reaches its most heated points, minimum frame rates stay above 30 FPS, and averages push toward 60. The median low of 3 FPS for PhysX running on the CPU is no anomaly—the game runs just fine until a pane of glass breaks or a bullet ricochets. Afterward, Mirror’s Edge becomes an unplayable mess. Do yourself a favor and don’t turn PhysX on without hardware acceleration to back it up.

Unfortunately, after viewing the timedemo a few times, I became disappointed in its effectiveness as a benchmark representative of the entire game. There’s just not a whole lot going on. The first 15 seconds are packed with PhysX effects (shattered glass and window shades being blasted) but the remaining 45 seconds are rather dull, and frame rates seem to reflect that. Performance results from the timedemo were a bit better than what I experienced while playing through other segments of the game, too, so I set out to find a better place to test the performance impact of PhysX effects.

Thankfully, there’s no shortage of frantic action in Mirror’s Edge, typically beginning with you looking down the barrel of a gun. I found that the Heat chapter provides possibly the best opportunity for PhysX to truly shine (and to punish a system). Beginning with checkpoint B, you find yourself in the lobby of an office building with four stories to work through and dozens of panes of glass between you and enemy fire. A number of banners hanging from the ceiling occasionally get caught in the crossfire, ensuring that breaking glass isn’t the only PhysX simulation taking place.

We ran this test by playing through the opening section of Heat B, where Faith works her way up the lobby floors and eventually out of the building, before escaping along the roof. Since manual playtests are less precisely repeatable than timedemos, we played through this sequence five times for each setting and compiled the results.

Now that’s more like it! These numbers reflect my experience with the rest of the single-player campaign much more closely. There’s a far more noticeable 48% drop in the median low frame rate, accompanied by a 40% decrease in the overall average, when GPU-accelerated PhysX effects are enabled. The most intense moments managed to pull the frame rate under 30 FPS, but not by much. Let’s not forget, though, that we’re running a GeForce 8800 GTX that’s over two years old at a high resolution with in-game detail settings cranked. You have plenty of room to tone down some of the eye candy if 26 FPS is too choppy for you. It wasn’t an issue for me—I’m happy as long as I can pull off twitch wall-jumps.

Once again, enabling PhysX without any form of hardware acceleration results in an unplayable slide show as soon as the bullets start flying.

Conclusions

Perhaps the most important consideration concerning PhysX in Mirror’s Edge is that it remains a purely visual effect, which is presumably why you can find the PhysX toggle lumped in with the other video options. Hardware physics simulations generally don’t affect gameplay, meaning you can’t hurt yourself or fall on broken glass, and cloth and smoke won’t obscure you from enemies. If you’re looking for the breakthrough physics gameplay found in titles like Psi-Ops and Half-Life 2, you won’t find it here in Mirror’s Edge.

To be fair, though, that’s not really the point of PhysX—not yet. The goal here is to replace many of the old pre-cooked animations with physical simulations. Is it a crazy idea? Not really. Remember the first time you shot an enemy and his body did a ragdoll slump to the floor, rather than playing through a stock death animation? I spent countless hours afterward finding hilarious locations to kill enemies, whether it involved ledges, stairs, or a myriad of other environmental hazards. It was a great moment for gaming, one that PhysX replicates by bringing that same visceral interaction to a multitude of objects in the game world. The name of the game is immersion, and PhysX helps sell the experience.

Unfortunately, there is a substantial performance trade-off—one larger than those accompanying most other visual settings. In the great balancing act of resolution, antialiasing, anisotropic filtering, texture quality, and shader effects, PhysX may require some larger sacrifices than you’re used to. As a side-effect of my frequent console gaming, I’ve grown accustomed to playing at lower resolutions, so I’ll happily make that sacrifice for a bit more action on the screen. Based on where your preferences lie, though, you might not consider PhysX viable without a video card upgrade (like, say, if you prefer high-res visuals with antialiasing or demand a solid 60 frames per second). However, do note that these tests were done on GPU technology that’s well over two years old. Newer video cards might see smaller performance hits.

With the number of computers that support hardware PhysX continually on the rise, the chicken-and-egg scenario between hardware and software penetration is rapidly disappearing. Developers have fewer excuses for not supporting PhysX, and Mirror’s Edge demonstrates how a AAA-title can use it to good effect. PhysX’s future is looking better every day, but it seems doubtful that a blockbuster title will ever require the technology. Not only do AMD graphics cards still lack PhysX support, but cross-platform development is par for the course nowadays, and not all current-gen consoles will be able to handle PhysX effects designed to run on desktop GPUs. The technology may be relegated to the realm of visual effects, but based on what we’ve seen from Mirror’s Edge, it might not need to strive for more.

Comments closed
    • Hootermancs
    • 11 years ago

    I’m really surprised at all the negative Physx comments on here.

    After playing through the game with Physx enabled I was curious to see what the difference was disabled. I thought maybe it just ran slower or something. But seeing the effects that it completely takes out I would definitely not want to play the non-Physx version.

    The cloth, glass and smoke effects were all highlights that I made this game better to me. I had talked to my friends about how cool all 3 of these things looked in the game.

    Maybe you have to actually play the game to appreciate them, but you guys should really check the Physx version of the game out if you have the chance. I absolutely loved the game, and I had doubts of it when I started.

    I ran the game on a Q6700, 4GB RAM and a GTX 280 at 1920×1200 with all the settings maxed. It dipped below the V-sync’d 60fps every once in awhile, but not much.

    • juampa_valve_rde
    • 11 years ago

    I think it looks nice, but is useless… just as ati tried with dx 10.1 (that is a hardware extension! not a software one) nobody using it, just assasins creed? and the support was retired with a patch to justify nvidia payola. I would like to see something based on a standard… like opencl, more generic stuff, maybe with overhead, but ¿there is a programer who cares bout overhead?

    • clone
    • 11 years ago

    having both played the game and watched the game I can’t shake the impression that all scenes using PhysX could have been done just as well without PhysX on existing hardware from Nvidia or ATI and do it without the performance hit being near so dramatic.

    I just don’t see the potential yet……if it can be done better without it, it;s not just a gimick but a terrible one…. at the moment at least.

    • kilkennycat
    • 11 years ago

    If you happen to own one of HTPC-oriented Intel-CPU motherboards containing the new single-chip nVidia MCP7A/9300 (or 9400) IGP core-logic and you add-in a nVidia graphics card of the 8xxx series or higher, you can run PhysX entirely on the IGP and leave the graphics card free to handle the graphics. The IGP has 16 CUDA-capable stream processors. I have a HTPC with one of these motherboards (Asus P5N7A-VM), and a 9800GTX+ handy but do not (yet) own Mirror’s Edge. When I get the game, I shall do some benchmarking running graphics-plus-PhysX on the 9800GTX+ vs graphics on the 9800GTX+ with PhysX on the 9300 IGP. Unless Matt Butrovich or one of the other Tech Report contributors with access to both Mirror’s Edge and a 9300/9400-IGP based motherboard “beats me to the punch”.

    Btw, a 9300/9400-IGP uATX motherboard is a great way to go if you want to economically alternate full HD/Blu-ray decode + video out capability with high-performance gaming and you are not interested in SLI. For example, the Asus board supports all Core2 variants, up to 16Gbytes of DDR2-800 memory and has DVI, HDCP/HDMI+audio, and DisplayPort outputs. It also has separate analog/TOSLink audio outputs if you do not want to route the audio via HDMI. Add your choice of graphics card for gaming. Not unexpectedly, nVidia does not provide a driver which will allow PhysX on the IGP in combo with graphics from an ATi graphics card……

    • titan
    • 11 years ago

    The really important question, which I’m surprised no one has yet asked, is what song was playing in the video?

      • indeego
      • 11 years ago

      “Still Alive”.

      Lisa Minkovsky.

      from a thread a while backg{<.<}g

        • moose17145
        • 11 years ago

        And believe me i am, still alive! When you are dead, i will still, be alive!

          • Delphis
          • 11 years ago

          I’m GLaD you mentioned that one. :>

          I’d also like to see some additional information in the review on what different CPUs and # cores does to the performance of the software version. I know a lot of people want to know what we can use these multiple cpus for. Come on -[

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      Everyone knows that song by now. There are even remix contests and the lot.

    • JoeKiller
    • 11 years ago

    You all should test with two graphics cards, one physX, one graphics. I’m thinking of recycling a 8800GT as exclusive physX. How does that run in this equation? Considering the fact that Windows 7 doesn’t even support SLI, all those dual card rigs become worthless. I’m not sure why no one makes a big deal about this. So what are the numbers?

      • CinnaBuns
      • 11 years ago

      I haven’t done any benchmarks but I couldn’t notice any difference in frame rates with Physx on vs off with my GTX280 + 8800GTS setup. I was running with all settings maxed out at 1680×1050 and 8x AA, with the 8800 as the dedicated physx card, of course.

        • Meadows
        • 11 years ago

        That’s because your setup is extraordinarily fast. But you should be aware of that already. For the majority who use single videocards less powerful than a GTX 260, this is noticeable, and some consider it significant.

    • odizzido
    • 11 years ago

    Looking over this it looks like a lot of the time physx takes stuff away from the game. I mean, those blue tarp things in the scaffolding look like they really block your view.

      • eitje
      • 11 years ago

      having never played the game, it also looks like the tarps give you much better visual clues as to when someone’s shooting at you.

        • ish718
        • 11 years ago

        r[<#Didn't mean to reply to your comment<]r I actually played the game. Having PhysX enabled didn't change my gaming experience at all. I actually forgot that I even turned it off. PhysX would stand out more in a hardcore shooter or something...

        • odizzido
        • 11 years ago

        hehe having played it, you most defiantly know when someone is shooting at you without them.

    • designerfx
    • 11 years ago

    PhysX is 100% political. Nvidia released it and said “well, anyone can do it” just to try to have an edge on AMD. I’m sure if AMD comes up with their own version and doesn’t offer it outright to Nvidia, you’ll see NV cry foul.

    This is just the last step NV has left to try to hold onto their market share which is down bigtime.

    It’s not bad that it’s come along, I think it’s time for more realistic physics, but it’d be via openGL3 if it were truly open to all platforms. This is more like DX 10 vs DX 10.1

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      PhysX has nothing to do with DirectX and OpenGL has nothing to do with physics.

        • l33t-g4m3r
        • 11 years ago

        I believe he’s thinking about OpenCL and DX11 compute shader, which could be used for physics.

    • flip-mode
    • 11 years ago

    If a video provides a better experience than a picture, then hopefully playing the game provides a better experience than a video, because watching that video did not give me the sense that physX made the game experience that much better.

    Dunno.

    I’d love to check it out myself, but I don’t have the game and I don’t have an Nvidia card.

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      Matt had a point though: you don’t need ragdoll physics either, after all, how much will the game change? Mirror’s Edge would be the exact same without any physics whatsoever, but they chose to simulate objects instead of scripting movement, and they’re just extending this to more and more objects and effects.

    • Voldenuit
    • 11 years ago

    What are the figures like if you used a dedicated card for PhysX? Say, a Geforce 9600 or even an original AGEIA PhysX card if you have one handy?

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 11 years ago

    Cool. Thanks for putting up some more numbers.

    I’m curious about the actual gameplay. Is that affected by PhysX at all? If you’re hiding behind a tarp, can the baddies still see you? In that case, playing with PhysX would be a little easier. What about multiplayer. Does your opponent interact with tarps and blinds even though they can’t see them but you can. (Is there even a multi-player component to the game. I can’t say that I ever checked).

      • d2brothe
      • 11 years ago

      I believe that he indeed notes that it does not affect gameplay in any way.

    • Suspenders
    • 11 years ago

    I really, really like the cloth waving in the wind.

    The glass, though, doesn’t look all that great to me.

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      Exactly. Smoke, particles and cloth simulation were good. Glass? Ungood.

        • ssidbroadcast
        • 11 years ago

        double plus ungood.

        • ludi
        • 11 years ago

        It doesn’t /[

        • l33t-g4m3r
        • 11 years ago

        Most of the effects look like too much clutter.
        The smoke looks good, but I don’t see why a similar effect can’t be done in dx10. (crysis?)
        For the most part PhysX is just being used as a glorified tech-demo to promote Nvidia.
        IMO, if game companies were serious about physics, they wouldn’t use PhysX.
        There’s just too many negative points.

        But if PhysX ever became mainstream without ATI support, I’d probably just buy a PhysX card off ebay, since I could care less for buying Nvidia.

    • Meadows
    • 11 years ago

    I’m not sure why (I didn’t measure it), but I remember a smoother experience when seeing the game at a friend’s, running on a slightly overclocked 8800 GS and the latest drivers (all effects inclusive). But since nowadays most midrange videocards more or less fall into the processing capacity range of ye olde 8800 GTX, I wouldn’t be too surprised. People who own a 9800 GTX, or GTX+, or better, (not to mention those 3 guys who own /[

    • ChangWang
    • 11 years ago

    What I’d like to know is if the CPU accelerated PhysX effects still limited to 1 thread? Or will it use everything available for the calculations?

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      It uses everything available, it’s scorching your heatsink and tries your CPU’s limits much like Prime95, or Folding, or anything you can think of.

        • ChangWang
        • 11 years ago

        Interesting, I know in the past Ageia artificially limited the CPU based calculations to 1 thread in their PC implementation. It would be interesting to see task manager screen shots of the performance tab on various setups. If it IS in fact using all resources available, It would be interesting to see how an i7 with its 8 threads handles those PhysX calculations as compared to… say a Core 2 Duo… or 8600GT

          • slash3
          • 11 years ago

          This really bugs me. I downloaded some of the PhysX demos that nvidia released, and some of them have a toggle between software (CPU) and hardware (GPU/PPU) physics processing. When switching to software, I’d see the processor utilization hover around 15% while the app happily chugged frames out like there was no hurry. As soon as I switch back to hardware physics, the framerate shoots through the roof and the CPU utilization also goes up to 30%. Thanks, nvidia, for artificially limiting your demos and effectively making them useless.

    • indeego
    • 11 years ago

    /[

        • indeego
        • 11 years ago

        Well, bioshock was $50 on release, and $5 a year later on steam (and nowhere else.)

        From that I can determine that I should no longer buy games for $50, and just wait until they are $5. I’m a patient old mang{<.<}g

          • kilkennycat
          • 11 years ago

          Sure… and the Steam umbilical (er, DRM) comes for free.

          I picked up Bioshock retail for $19.99 on sale at Worst Buy about 6 months after release. The install authentication count limit was removed last June, so I can now legally gift it to family members or friends. Try that with a Steam-“protected” game. Illegal according to the Steam EULA and with certain practical difficulties.

            • indeego
            • 11 years ago

            Congrats. I’ve never gifted a game, and probably never will. I also will never purchase software retail again. I don’t like the overhead of brick and mortars and I’d rather give more of my cash to the developers directly.

            I guess I have never seen the DRM restrictions of Steam as draconian or evil. And I’m a pretty grumpy guy that doesn’t like the Man. Steam rocks, I have few problems with it. I shake my head at the publishers that put DRM on their games AND publish it to steam, that seems ass-backwards. I do think Steam should put more pressure on these publishers that do thisg{<.<}g

            • jackaroon
            • 11 years ago

            At $5 each, not only could you gift it once, but you could gift it 3 times for the $20 you spent as best buy. I get your point, though, and mostly agree with it, in principle. It’s only this practical example I had to take issue with.
            I have never bought a DRM protected song, and resent the HDCP support in my video card, . . . I don’t know why I like steam so much regardless. Maybe I just like paying for software because I’m a programmer. I don’t have a complete understanding of my double standard.

    • asdsa
    • 11 years ago

    Nice for little eye-candy but xbox360 and PS3 doesen’t have support for it so it’s a dead end tech that brings nothing that would affect gameplay. AMD probably provides graphics for next xbox too so physx is left in marginal position.

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      I don’t get your point – most of the innovation and trends in gaming didn’t come from consoles. At least not recently – the very first videogames did come from consoles onto that little PC your dad originally intended for spreadsheets and formatting memos.

        • OneArmedScissor
        • 11 years ago

        Trends? lol ok…there’s, uh…WoW…and…uh…

        Innovations? Depends on how you want to look at it. A lot of Xbox 360 games look better than a lot of PC games, and run flawlessly on cheap, long “outdated” hardware, while many PC games struggle with what should be ample power, but don’t look like much of an improvement over the best examples of what consoles can do.

        Personally, I like it when I can actually play them and the game can focus on being fun, rather than the developers spending ALL their time on eye candy and desperately trying to get it to work, but still failing, and months to years later, continually making updates and never getting it right.

        Wouldn’t that be a novel “trend” and “innovation” for PCs.

        • dmitriylm
        • 11 years ago

        Because if I’m a game developer looking to make some money, I’d build a game that consoles can play. With current generation consoles not being powerful enough to have real time physics no major game developer will be using physics in away that significantly affects game play.

    • Cyco-Dude
    • 11 years ago

    i would be interested in knowing how the ageia physx cards fare, compared to using the gpu to do the physx stuff. also, could you use one gpu (perhaps integrated onto the mobo?) for physx and the main vid card to do the rendering? i haven’t kept up with this so i don’t know if that’s possible yet or not.

      • dmitriylm
      • 11 years ago

      I believe it is possible.

        • moose17145
        • 11 years ago

        I was also wondering how these numbers compared to having the actual Ageia card in the computer. I was also wondering how this game would perform with a Radeon (such as the newer 4800 series) working in conjunction with the Ageia PhysX card (if this arrangement is even possible anymore now that NVidia bought out Ageia). And one last thing i was curious on, is how much of a difference it would make if you were able to play this game using software physX, but on an i7 system instead of a Phenom rig. The i7 is a fare deal more powerful and i suspect it would handle the PhysX calculations much more gracefully. I’m not saying it will be pushing 30+ fps, but i just have a feeling a i7 would do a better job.

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