Archive for the ‘Articles, Reviews’ Category
EVGA GTX 275 CO-OP PhysX – unique dual card with GTX 275 (G200) and GTS 250 (G92) GPUs – combined on one PCB. While GTX 275 is doing graphics work, GTS 250 is dedicated solely for PhysX. Several benchmarking articles were published on the web today:
Includes package and PCB design overview, power consumption, noise level and GPU temperature measurements, lots of tests with GPU PhysX (Dark Void, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Darkest of Days) and non-PhysX (Crysis Warhead, Fallout 3, etc) games.
Update: recently, this article was expanded – few new GPUs and Hybrid PhysX system (ATI HD 5850 + NV GT220) added to tests.
We are proud to announce our new line of articles, called “PhysX From Inside Out” – view on PhysX SDK from developer’s perspective, within the bounds of certain PhysX based applications.
Or first, pilot article, is dedicated to RayFire Tool – awesome destruction plug-in for 3ds Max. Mir Vadim, RayFire Tool sole developer, has answered some of our questions about RayFire history and PhysX SDK role in plug-in development.
Read The Article - PhysX From Inside Out: RayFire Tool
P.S. I’ve counted on small interview firstly, but Mir Vadim has sended a huge post-mortem like material – must read for every RayFire user and admirer.
Thanks Mir !
Lately, Metro 2033 is more and more often referred as starting title for new GF100 GPUs from Nvidia – due to it’s truly next-gen graphics engine, with DX 11 support and, of course, intensive usage of Physx SDK and hardware accelerated PhysX effects – aspect we are most interested in.
Yuriy Saschuk, 4A Games engine programmer, has joined us today to answer some questions about Metro 2033 in-game physics in general, and PhysX specifically.
PhysXInfo.com: How much physics is involved in gameplay ? Do players have ability to carry physical objects or drag corpses ?
Yuriy: Physics in Metro 2033 has more demonstrative, than gameplay affecting, nature. It’s supposed to enhance game, make it more diverse, realistic and exciting. But actual gameplay isn’t focused on physics.
You can’t carry or throw objects – we’ve decided that there is no need for this, but enemies (and player too) can receive damage as result of certain physical interactions.
PhysXInfo.com: Will Metro 2033 contain destructible objects, and in what quantity ?
Yuriy: Our engine supports destructible environments, and this component is used in the game.
PhysXInfo.com: Tell us a bit about hardware PhysX support in the game. Presence of appropriate Nvidia GPU will simply increase the fps numbers or add some exclusive effects ? Will GPU PhysX content have influence on gameplay ? Which advanced physics effects will be included ?
Yuriy: PhysX hardware acceleration capability of Nvidia GPUs will add performance in the first place. There are two physics modes in Metro 2033 – basic and so-called, “Advanced PhysX”, which will include both enhanced, more detailed effects from basic mode and some additional physics features. Advanced PhysX mode requires appropriate Nvidia GPU to run properly, meanwhile, it will not affect gameplay, just add some immersion.
Or engine support cloth and fluid simulation. By “fluid simulation” we imply various particles system, like lighter- and heavier-than-air gases, smoke, dust, debris from bullet hits, not only liquids.
Today NDA relative to new Nvidia GF100 (Fermi) GPU was partially lifted , and major websites have already published their technological previews of new architecture (without game benchmarks yet). Certain details on GF100 PhysX potentiality and PhysX Technology were stated accordingly, and here is our sum overview:
GF100 Preview by GURU 3D specifies GF100 physics computing capabilities – 2x times faster then GT200 arhitecture in Dark Void, and up to 3x in PhysX Fluid simulation.
The Supersonic Sled Demo uses GPU particles systems for smoke, dust, and fireballs, PhysX physical models for rigid bodies and joints, which are partially processed on the CPU, tessellation is used for the terrain, and image processing is used for the motion blur effect.
Particles are strewn about and objects like a shack, bridge, and rock ledge crumble as the sled jets by. Hundreds of thousands to a million particles can be on the screen at any given time, all being managed by the GPU.
Year ago AMD’s opinion on PhysX was clear enough – it will die, if it remains a closed and proprietary standard.
Recently Bit-tech.net has published massive interview with Richard Huddy, AMD’s Worldwide Developer Relations manager, on game development, competition’s progress, DX11 and other technologies. Of course, few words were said about PhysX – let’s focus on that and see what has changed for the past year.
About Batman Arkham Asylum (Link)
[Nvidia] put PhsyX in there, and that’s the one I’ve got a reasonable amount of respect for. Even though I don’t think PhysX – a proprietary standard – is the right way to go, despite Nvidia touting it as an “open standard” and how it would be “more than happy to license it to AMD“, but [Nvidia] won’t. It’s just not true! You know the way it is, it’s simply something [Nvidia] would not do and they can publically say that as often as it likes and know that it won’t, because we’ve actually had quiet conversations with them and they’ve made it abundantly clear that we can go whistle.
However, PhysX is a piece of technology that changes the gameplay experience and maybe it improves it. What I understand is that they actually invested quite a lot, Nvidia put in a hefty engineering time and they tried to make a difference to the game. So, in that aspect, I have respect for it; it’s a reasonable way to handle the situation given the investment in PhysX. Nvidia wanted a co-marketing deal and put forward PhysX, and Rocksteady and Eidos said, OK, as long as you do it – which they did.
Our commentary: It’s now hard to call PhysX irrelevant, when you have played Batman, isn’t it ? Another interesting part is different look on that ATI-NV PhysX licensing situation.
They don’t want to QA it. The PC is an open platform, though – you’re meant to take any two parts and put them together. Intel don’t say “we’re not prepared to QA our CPUs with Nvidia or AMD’s graphics parts” when they obviously spend time QAing them because you want to build a system that works.
Our commentary: Yes, it’s looking, let’s say, not right for us too. That’s why we are doing our best to support PhysX Hybrids idea.
Finally, it’s time to tally up a total – here is our brief summary on what PhysX Technology has achieved over the past year.
To be honest, situation with GPU PhysX games was not as good as Nvidia promised us previously. Far from “25 [games] between January and March 2009“, not to mention that previously announced hardware PhysX support was suspended in some titles, like Bionic Commando or Terminator Salvation.
Speaking of CPU PhysX – it’s adoption was growing rapidly, mostly thanks to asian developers and their countless MMOs. First iPhone games with PhysX engine saw light of day in Q1 2009 – now their library include more then 25 titles.
PCPOP.com website has published a bunch of benchmarks where GT 240, low-end 40nm GPU from Nvidia, is used as dedicated PhysX card alongside with GTX 260. System used for tests.
Performance with PhysX content, running on dedicated GT 220 (marked yellow on graph) is compared to a single GTX 260, calculating graphics and PhysX effects simultaneously (marked green).
Batman: Arkham Asylum.
Hardware website PCPOP.COM has published an overview article about various GPU technologies and features, like 3D Vision, Stream, Eyefinity, OpenCL, etc. Article itself isn’t valuable much unless you know Chinese, but it has interesting poll included, with question “In addition to gaming performance, which technologies are you interested in ?” and decent number of votes already.
Users put features like low noise and power consumption (功耗、发热、噪音、节能) in the first place, DX11 support goes second, hardware accelerated PhysX on third place, Anti-aliasing (抗锯齿技术) comes fourth.
Recently, bunch of PhysX related articles have emerged on several chinese websites, like yesky.com or EXPreview.com. They all have similar structure and idea – benchmarks of Nvidia GPUs vs ATI GPUs in games with hardware accelerated PhysX content. Typical result is looking like this..
.. and can mislead inexperienced user – “How can it be, that low-end GT240 outperforms hi-end HD5850 ?! Is GT240 better thus ? I’ll buy it as Christmas present instead“. Answer is simple – in ATI’s case supplementary PhysX content is calculated on CPU, while accelerated on GPU in Nvidia case. Therefore, playing with extra GPU PhysX effects enabled on ATI GPU will result in low fps regardless what setup you have – old X1800XT or two HD5970 in crossfire.
Appropriate Nvidia GPU – it’s the only way currently to enjoy games with GPU PhysX support. Is it worth ? It’s up to you to decide. And don’t forget compromising solution - officially unsupported, but popular Hybrid PhysX systems.
End of the year is proper time to gather some statictics and summarize what PhysX SDK has archieved in past 4 years. So, we woud like to present our new article “Popular Physics Engines comparison: PhysX, Havok and ODE“, in which we are trying to compare PhysX SDK with other physics engines presented on the market not in terms of features, quality, performance or something like that – but released game titles.
Article includes basic statistics for Bullet and Newton physics engines, and advanced statictics for PhysX SDK, Havok and ODE – released games quality, platform distribution, and release dynamics for past years.