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Nvidia in responce to AMD: PhysX is multi-threaded

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Earlier this month, AMD critized Nvidia again, this time on crippling PhysX multi-threaded capabilities.

“When they bought Ageia, they had a fairly respectable multicore implementation of PhysX. If you look at it now it basically runs predominantly on one, or at most, two cores. That’s pretty shabby! I wonder why Nvidia has done that?” said Richard Huddy, AMD worldwide developer relations manager, in an interview with

“It’s the same thing as Intel’s old compiler tricks that it used to do; Nvidia simply takes out all the multicore optimisations in PhysX. In fact, if coded well, the CPU can tackle most of the physics situations presented to it.”

Tomshardware asked Nvidia for its responce for such allegations, and here is an answer by Nadeem Mohammad, PhysX director of product management:

I have been a member of the PhysX team, first with AEGIA, and then with NVIDIA, and I can honestly say that since the merger with NVIDIA there have been no changes to the SDK code which purposely reduces the software performance of PhysX or its use of CPU multi-cores.

Our PhysX SDK API is designed such that thread control is done explicitly by the application developer, not by the SDK functions themselves. One of the best examples is 3DMarkVantage which can use 12 threads while running in software-only PhysX. This can easily be tested by anyone with a multi-core CPU system and a PhysX-capable GeForce GPU. This level of multi-core support and programming methodology has not changed since day one. And to anticipate another ridiculous claim, it would be nonsense to say we “tuned” PhysX multi-core support for this case.

PhysX is a cross platform solution. Our SDKs and tools are available for the Wii, PS3, Xbox 360, the PC and even the iPhone through one of our partners. We continue to invest substantial resources into improving PhysX support on ALL platforms–not just for those supporting GPU acceleration.

As is par for the course, this is yet another completely unsubstantiated accusation made by an employee of one of our competitors. I am writing here to address it directly and call it for what it is, completely false. NVIDIA PhysX fully supports multi-core CPUs and multithreaded applications, period. Our developer tools allow developers to design their use of PhysX in PC games to take full advantage of multi-core CPUs and to fully use the multithreaded capabilities.

Source: nTersect Blog

Written by Zogrim

January 21st, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Posted in Other

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3 Responses to 'Nvidia in responce to AMD: PhysX is multi-threaded'

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  1. Anyone believes in this?



    24 Jan 10 at 2:29 pm

  2. I believe originally such claims started after everyone failed to feel that any recent game actually do multithreading on CPU for PhysX effects.

    Why? 2 options:
    1. Every single developer does not want you to experience good framerates in CPU mode.
    2. Developers don’t care about physics implementation and leave it to nvidia engineers, who of course did never use this ability of SDK.

    Or maybe i am horribly wrong and nvidia are just top guys who are to bring a gfx revolution into games with its awesome physics engine… oh and OpenCL/dCompute should burn in hell, PhysX will set you free etc



    27 Jan 10 at 2:23 pm

  3. I had a little trouble understanding right away, but I’m pretty sure I understand what you’re saying now. Thanks!


    Wes Scholzen

    23 Jun 10 at 2:10 am

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