GeForce 8 Graphics Processors to Gain PhysX

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News Posted: Thu, Feb 14 2008 11:28 AM

And this is why analyst calls, while often dry, are a wealth of information.  In their Q4 2008 post-results conference call, NVIDIA clarified its AGEIA plans.

Huang revealed that Nvidia's strategy is to take the PhysX engine and port it onto CUDA.
For those not in the know, CUDA stands for Compute Unified Device
Architecture, and it's a C-like application programming interface
Nvidia developed to let programmers write general-purpose applications
that can run on GPUs. All of Nvidia's existing GeForce 8 graphics
processors already support CUDA, and Huang confirmed that the cards
will be able to run PhysX.

Last, but not least, Huang said developers are "really excited" about
the PhysX-to-CUDA port. "Finally they're able to get a physics engine
accelerated into a very large population of gamers," he explained.
Huang was unwilling to get into a time frame for the release of the
first PhysX port. However, considering this will be purely a software
implementation and Nvidia now has Ageia engineers on its payroll, the
port may not take too long to complete.

When is always the big question, but we can probably all be patient while at the same time salivating.  Or can we?




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Lev_Astov replied on Thu, Feb 14 2008 3:00 PM
Great, it's just as I feared. Now we can't have both wicked physics AND crazy graphics at the same time. They ought to make possible what ATI was talking about doing, where you can keep an older graphics card in your machine and keep it dedicated to running physics calcs while the newer card does all the graphics. That would make this a truly good thing.

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mazuki replied on Thu, Feb 14 2008 7:37 PM
with ATi's erm, AMD's crossfireX platform, you will be able to crossfire different cards, and hopefully accomplish that task
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Lev_Astov replied on Fri, Feb 15 2008 7:33 AM
...yeah, but they weren't the ones who acquired Ageia.

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Kamrooz replied on Fri, Feb 22 2008 2:06 AM

Les_Astov: That might be true, but it will probably be a option to choose if you want it or not. But down the road, as gpu's slowly also adopt multiple core as cpu's have, it'd be nice to see dedicated cores for physics. ^_^...I could very much see that happening down the line. 

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werty316 replied on Fri, Feb 22 2008 12:57 PM
Lets hope this new architecture won't be proprietary like Ageia's software/hardware or this won't take off anywhere as not alot of games take advantage of a physic cards and the ones that do don't really see a frame increase.
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Kamrooz replied on Fri, Feb 22 2008 7:31 PM

Well, I don't see how it could hurt though. No new hardware needed, but it would only run on the g80, so it's not really a new architecture. They will obviously be implemented in future cards though. But as long as they offer the option of disabling and enabling the gpu based physics calculations, I don't see how it could hurt. All it would do would make nvidia cards even more favored since they are capable of physics calculation onboard. But how that impacts performance considering the gpu would handle physics calculations along with its normal task? We will have to wait and see. But for SLI solutions it might be quite interesting.

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vicaphit replied on Mon, Feb 25 2008 1:49 PM

with quad cores becoming more and more common in gamer machines, do we really need a dedicated core for physics?  I forsee this just raising the price of graphics cards, but not doing anything for the gaming market.

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Kamrooz replied on Mon, Feb 25 2008 8:09 PM

vicaphit:

with quad cores becoming more and more common in gamer machines, do we really need a dedicated core for physics?  I forsee this just raising the price of graphics cards, but not doing anything for the gaming market.

 

That's also a valid argument...We'll have to wait and see how it all works out though. GPU's caluclate in a completely different way when compared to CPU's...So we'll have to see how everything unfolds. But with 4 core and hexa now (intels plans for late 2008), as well as 8 core Nehalem's down a couple years...It does look like physics cards would be pretty useless. We'll have to wait for them to develop though. 

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vicaphit replied on Wed, Feb 27 2008 12:41 PM

Even now though, I am running an Athlon X2 4000+, and I always turn physics to high no matter what the game, and it never slows me down.  It is always shadows and textures that slows down my computer.  Maybe graphics card manufacturers should worry more about pixel pipelines and shaders before they worry about physics.

 I just complain because I don't want to see prices go up on something that is already the most expensive part of a computer.

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vicaphit:
I don't want to see prices go up on something that is already the most expensive part of a computer.

Word!

 

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