Recent news coming from NGOHQ website with statement “performance on non-Cuda cards got dropped even further (from 20 fps to 5 fps [Mirror's Edge]) in the recent PhysX software” have forced us to perform more detailed testing procedures, to discover how actually valid such claims are.
Update: From NGOHQ:
After deeper investigation, this issue has identified as a rare overflow bug. Looks like Nvidia PhysX System Software 9.10.0222 doesn’t cripple performance, but I’ll run more tests just to be sure
In following article we are comparing both GPU and CPU performance of PhysX effects, using most recent PhysX System Software 9.10.0222 (blamed for “ruining game experience”), previous 9.10.0129 version and several games – Mirror’s Edge 1.01 and Cryostasis Tech Demo.
System: C2Q 9400 @2.66 GHz CPU, GTX 275 GPU, 4GB RAM, Windows 7 Professional x64
Standart “Flight Fly By” sequence was used (can be activated by “- FlybyFlight” parameter), in-game setting; 1680×1050, all high, 4xAA. Framerate measured by FRAPS 3.0.1.
As you may see, there is almost no difference in PhysX performance with different System Software versions. Moreover, our framerate pattern correlates with early benchmarks, published more than a year ago, like Overclockers Club or Tech Report.
CRYOSTASIS TECH DEMO
In-game settings (click to view). Framerate measured by internal benchmark system.
Again, framerate with 9.10.0222 and 9.10.0129 drivers is equal. CPU PhysX performance is similar to other tests.
SUM: according to our tests, there is no difference in performance between 9.10.0222 and 9.10.0129 System Software, either for CPU or GPU calculations. We can not also verify any performance degradation compared to previous benchmarking results.
Thus, we see two explanations of original statement:
1) Performance impairment really does exist, but does occur only when non-Nvidia GPU is spotted in the system.
2) Mr. Eran “Regeneration” Badit has provided not very accurate information, either without malicious intent or with it.