BFG Ageia PhysX Physics Card
In terms of ranking this product, we feel the need to make separate judgments on the chipset vendor and retail card vendor. BFG has done themselves proud by offering hardcore gaming enthusiasts the bleeding-edge hardware they demand. In terms of who BFG aims to address with the launch of their PhysX-based card, they have certainly hit the mark as their target demographic is being offered the absolute latest and greatest hardware. Unfortunately for those early adopters however, the game industry is nowhere near up to speed in terms of fully utilizing a discrete PPU. Make no mistake, we are avid fans of the idea of a dedicated physics processor and the potential it has to revolutionize gameplay. However, every aspect of this product seems a bit premature as there are no real titles which can utilize the hardware today beyond a few subtle changes here and there in a handful of games.
In an ideal scenario where investors didn't demand results as soon as possible, we would have seen Ageia work with developers to get a compelling list of games that fully utilized the PhysX card before they began selling the card in the retail channel. For this reason, we both criticize and commend Ageia. On one hand, quite frankly, they are selling a product that is largely useless in the short term. However, you have to respect the small company for having the guts and the vision to make such a dramatic effort towards improving the quality and realism of today's games. Were we rating Ageia as a company, we would be compelled to give them at least a 9 out of 10 if for no other reason than respect of their immense innovation in technology. Unfortunately, our job is to rate this actual product and help you determine whether it is worth your hard earned cash. Given the lack of fully supporting titles, high price, somewhat limited OS support, and the questions surrounding adoption rate in the industry, we are forced to give the BFG PhysX physics card a rating of 7 on the Hot Hardware Heat Meter.
._Innovative technology for better gaming
._Potential for stellar effects
._Dynamic architecture Can be upgraded with software
._Heavily used in future games such as UT2007
._High cost, limited immediate benefits
._Limited OS options - Only XP and Media Center
._Questionable industry adoption
._Dual-Core CPU's and Dual GPU's able to handle high-end physics possibly in the future