Scathing PhysX Review

Anandtech has posted an absolutely scathing review of ASUS' PhysX discrete physics accelerator. Although the card seems to perform well when testing AGEIA's own demos and tests, actual gameplay benchmarking reveals that the physics "accelerator" actually yields lower framerates. Granted, this is largely due to the use of higher quality physics effects and increased data flow. However, with no way of testing this higher quality physics mode in software we have no idea whether a dual-core CPU would be able to match the PPU's performance (or lack thereof). Rest assured, we'll have that answer in the very near future as we put AGEIA's PPU to the test on the Hot Hardware workbench.

We're still a little skeptical about how much the PhysX card is actually doing that couldn't be done on a CPU -- especially a dual core CPU. Hopefully this isn't the first "physics decellerator", rather like the first S3 Virge 3D chip was more of a step sideways for 3D than a true enhancement. The promise of high quality physics acceleration is still there, but we can't say for certain at this point how much faster a PhysX card really makes things - after all, we've only seen one shipping title, and it may simply be a matter of making better optimizations to the PhysX code.