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Author Topic: Cheapest card for GPU PhysX  (Read 6727 times)
Saturn2888
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« on: December 26, 2010, 04:46:01 pm »

Since I can't seem to find this information anywhere, what's the absolute cheapest card or the lowest-end card I could possibly buy that supports PhysX? If Hybrid PhysX is the only way to go by this point, then I especially want something low-power that can do PhysX instead of using the GeForcre 9800GTX+ I have sitting around.

Some questions I have:
1. Are there any 1x PCIe cards that would suffice?
2. Which cards are single-slot which do PhysX?
3. Does it really matter which card I get so long as it's PhysX capable or is it going to be that the card I get determines how good I can do PhysX?
4. On the above question, since the GPU would only be doing PhysX instead of graphics + physics processing, then could I use an even crapper card dedicated simply to PhysX because it would be able to handle literally anything given to it since it's going to have a lot of free resources available now?

Thank you very much.
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Zogrim
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« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2010, 05:17:40 pm »

Saturn2888

Many people are using low-end GPUs like 9600GT/GT220/GT240 (you can easily found those below 100$). Maybe something newer like GT430 will suit fine too.

1) and 2) it really depends on the manufacturer. For example, these cards from Sparkle are both single-slot and pci-e 1x

3) and 4) Basically, the faster card you have for PhysX, than better. Shader clock and number of CUDA cores matter the most, onboard memory - not that much. However, using redundantly low performance card (8500GT, 9400GT) will be not effective.

You can find some benchmarks on the web, like these
http://physxinfo.com/news/1039/back-to-hybrid-physx-systems-new-benchmarks/
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Saturn2888
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« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2010, 05:48:54 pm »

Thank you so much! I do have a few more questions then.

I've noticed for many years that unlike AMD, nVIDIA is pretty retarded when it comes to power savings and idling. Do you know if any PhysX-enabled cards have decent power usage when idling?

I'm assuming no PCIe 1x card will suffice for PhysX.

Looking at these benchmarks, I notice that even nVIDIA cards benefit from having a dedicated GPU PhysX card. Here I see the 9600GT being used apart from the GTX220 (which I've seen is PCIe 1x) with a 5fps gain. Since I feel nVIDIA has had a convoluted methodology in naming their newer cards, would you be able direct me to a list of cards in their PhysX performance? In fact, if someone from the PhysX Info site sees this, I'd like to recommend posting that information on there too so people can visually see which cards go where in terms of PhysX so they'll know which to chose.

-- Unrelated
I swear I thought Mirror's Edge and Batman Arkham Asylum were the two games that would support both GPU and PPU. While I used to be able to game with Mirror's Edge just fine after buying the PhysX card, I've found this hasn't worked for Arkham Asylum. In fact, I noticed in the readme file that this sort of configuration isn't supported.
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Zogrim
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« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2010, 06:40:05 pm »

Saturn2888
Quote
Do you know if any PhysX-enabled cards have decent power usage when idling?
If dedicated GPU supports power saving features (like reducing GPU clock), it will use it when idle.

Quote
Looking at these benchmarks, I notice that even nVIDIA cards benefit from having a dedicated GPU PhysX card
Indeed, since one GPU is fully dedicated for graphics, second for PhysX calculations - there will be a nice boost in PhysX games (dependent on certain game and GPU combination, however)

Quote
Since I feel nVIDIA has had a convoluted methodology in naming their newer cards, would you be able direct me to a list of cards in their PhysX performance?
I don't remember if such list exist, you need to campare graphics card from similar cathegories by yourself (as I said, accent on CUDA cores number and GPU clocks)

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In fact, if someone from the PhysX Info site sees this
I see it. We've planned something like this in the future  Wink
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Saturn2888
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« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2010, 02:59:03 am »

Thank you so much for your information! I'll see what I can find. All of the cards from nVIDIA are really expensive compared to their AMD counterparts. Sucks.
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