Back again on banned ATI+Nvidia PhysX configurations situation. Initially, all the hype was based on e-mail from customer care support, while Nvidia official motives were undisclosed. In order to bring some clarity, we’ve asked Nvidia for commentaries a while ago and finally recieved some answers:
PhysXInfo: Is it true that PhysX capabilities of NVIDIA GPUs and/or Ageia PPUs are disabled with newest drivers when a Non-NVIDIA (AMD) graphics card is present in the system?
Nvidia: It is true that running an NVIDIA GPU for PhysX with an AMD GPU for graphics is not a supported configuration. This mode was inadvertently turned on in a beta version of our Win7 drivers and on some older XP drivers. AMD does not support PhysX for their customers, and we don’t QA this configuration. With no QA, it is risky to run this configuration so we removed this capability in a recent driver release.
PhysXInfo: Can you please explain to us what factors have led to such decision?
Nvidia: Today NVIDIA’s GPU and PhysX drivers are interconnected to optimize performance. In the future we expect this interdependence to deepen. This alone makes it difficult to support a third party GPU.
In order to make sure our customers have a great experience, we QA every release of our PhysX or Graphics drivers by testing approximately 14 NVIDIA GPUs for graphics processing with 8 GPUs for PhysX processing on 6 common platforms with 6 OS’s using 6 combinations of CPU and memory. This is over 24000 possible configurations. While we don’t test every possible combination, it should be clear that the work and cost to NVIDIA is substantial. AMD does not support PhysX for their customers. Adding AMD GPUs would significantly increase the necessary work and cost for NVIDIA. We prefer to invest in inventing new technologies that give our customers great new experiences.
PhysXInfo: But to achieve hardware PhysX acceleration, ATI users still need to buy appropriate NVIDIA GPU, and there is no hack or tick here. So what are the benefits for NVIDIA and for NVIDIA consumers in this situation?
Nvidia: For the reasons explained above we only support configurations that we know work. This ensures that our customers will have a great experience. But the real issue is that AMD needs to get serious about their own specific investments in GPU accelerated physics and in GPU computing technologies in general. It is time for them to stop complaining about the things we offer that they do not.
PhysXInfo: Do you have any plans to change your mind in the near future, or even release a dedicated GPU-based pure PhysX card?
Nvidia: Not at this time, given the reasons we mentioned above.
PhysXInfo: What are your plans to support the Ageia PPU?
Nvidia: The AGEIA PPU is supported for Windows XP and Vista. We will continue to support the AGEIA PPUs in these OS’s, but not in Windows 7. For example, we are looking at a bug now for PPU support on XP and expect to have an updated driver for that shortly.
Support for hybrid configurations was restored by enthusiast’s mod recently, but it seems it won’t live long, according to Nvidia position.