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Archive for the ‘Benchmark’ tag

PhysX: Fright or Delight

without comments

Interesting technical article, called “PhysX: Lust, Last oder Frust?” has emerged on Tom’sHardware.de today. It’s purpose is to revisit recent events in GPU PhysX (and CPU execution of PhysX effects) area – thus, basic knowledge of this topic is required.

Update: english version available

x87 vs SSE question gets updated with new CPU instructions tests of Mafia II:

(note: graph is called "vtune_metro2033", so some mistakes may take place)

As new PhysX SDK 2.8.4 with SSE2 compliler option is yet in beta, and Mafia II is based on SDK 2.8.3 – it is still relying on x87 instruction set.

Author correctly remarks, that moving from X87 to SSE usage won’t magically boost performance by 2x times, like several websites are promising, more likely 10-20 % or even less in real applications.

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Written by Zogrim

September 10th, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Benchmarking Tool available for Metro 2033

with 8 comments

Recently released Ranger Pack DLC (will be downloaded automatically via Steam, if auto-update is enabled) for Metro 2033 has brought us not only new Hardcore mode, new achievements and new guns, but also a nice standalone Benchmarking Tool.

It uses intensive firefight sequence from Frontline level, and has well-thought-out interface with lots of settings and additional features, like framerate graphs generation after the test.

Benchmark can be used to measure GPU PhysX performance, since it includes some effects affected by “Advanced PhysX” option, like grenade explosions and particles from bullet impacts (5000+ particles in most intensive scene).

In addition, cloth simulation (several banners at benchmarking sequence start – around 1700 cloth vertices in total) supports GPU acceleration too.

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Written by Zogrim

September 6th, 2010 at 3:17 am

Posted in PhysX Games

Tagged with ,

Mafia II is not using GPU for PhysX Clothing simulation ?

with 27 comments

Everyone who played Mafia II will eventually notice, that enabling special APEX PhysX content will not only bring you flowing clothing and particle debris, but also significantly reduce framerate – even if you have a proper NVIDIA GPU and latest PhysX System Software.

Update: APEX Clothing in numbers

Update #2: Tests with dedicated PhysX GPU added – PART III.

While preparing our PhysX tweaking guide we have discovered that physically simulated clothing on characters is affecting performance the most. Why that ? Cloth is one of the basic effects, used intensively in many GPU PhysX games – just remember Mirror’s Edge and it’s countless tearable banners and flags. Two answers come to mind:

  • Clothing simulation in Mafia II is so detailed and so high-resolution, that only top dedicated GPUs can run it at proper fps.

Unlikely. Even in most intensive scenes total cloth vertices count is not exceeding 8000, while framerate is crawling around 20 fps – on GTX 470.

  • Clothing simulation is running on CPU, while it is supposed to be hardware accelerated on GPU.

Plausible. But, as our further tests have revealed, proved to be true for single GPU systems only.

Combine it with facts that a) Cloth in PhysX SDK is not using all available CPU resources by default b) Clothing is heavy computational task in any case – and you’ll see the probable reason of poor performance. Let’s check this theory.

PART I – MAFIA II BENCHMARK.

For the first part of tests we’ll use benchmark, built into Mafia II, running with two sets of APEX effects – Clothing only (Particles are disabled using methods from tweaking guide) and Particles only (Clothing is omitted) – and PhysX acceleration enabled/disabled from NVIDIA Control Panel.

Settings: 1680x1024, AO/AA On, AFx16, APEX High. System: C2Q 9400, GTX 470, 4GB RAM, Win 7 x64, 198.32 GPU drivers, PSS 9.10.0513

Interesting results. While Particles are benefiting from GPU acceleration without doubt, PhysX switch is not affecting Clothing simulation at all.

It seems our assumption was correct – APEX Clothing is calculated on CPU in any case – but let’s confirm it with some deeper research.

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Written by Zogrim

August 30th, 2010 at 9:19 pm

Mafia II: PhysX Reviews roundup

without comments

Mafia II is about to hit the shelves in US, and since it is, probably, most heavyweight title in 2010 GPU PhysX games line, we can expect a lot of detailed reviews about APEX PhysX special effects, added to the game.

We’ve already posted an benchmarks overview for Mafia II Demo, so let’s focus on final version now:

[23.08.10] Mafia II: Perfection for NVIDIA’s Graphics Plus Technologies ? by HardwareCanucks

APEX effects decription and comparison are pretty basic, and only two GPUs [GTX460/GT240 dedicated] were used for testing, but enough attention was paid to CPU scailing [i5/i7] and CPU usage graphs.

According to benchmarks results, Mafia II is pretty playble on CPU even with APEX set to High.

Conclusion:

In the past NVIDIA and their developers took an incredible amount of flak over the use of GPU-processed physics due to the utter lack of optimizations the PhysX API had for the CPU. With Mafia II’s use of the open-minded APEX routines, a corner seems to have been turned because we finally see that it is possible to run these calculations quite smoothly with only a few hiccups on a multi core CPU.

The GPU is still more efficient at physics processing but in some cases you will likely want all of the rendering horsepower it brings to the table. This feature is still nothing more than eye candy but if you can run it, we suggest you do so because it does increase the overall believability of certain scenes.

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Written by Zogrim

August 24th, 2010 at 10:25 am

Mafia II Demo: PhysX Benchmarks roundup

with 5 comments

Mafia II demo version was released only few days ago, but several websites have already prepared some benchmarking and testing articles, focused on APEX PhysX part of the game.

Update: Mafia II Final version – PhysX Reviews roundup.

[11.08.2010] Mafia II – Public Demo GPU test by gamegpu.ru

Russian article. Includes game overview and detailed testing part, with various settings and used ATI/NV GPUs.

[11.08.2010] Mafia II Performance Benchmarks: PhysX and 3D Vision Tested by HiTechLegion

Decent review, with some PhysX benchmarks. Author’s conclusion – “I would rather trade graphical quality than play the game in its highest settings with PhysX disabled.”

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Written by Zogrim

August 12th, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Mafia II Benchmark: PhysX Comparison

without comments

If you haven’t played Mafia II demo, and still wondering what are differences between APEX PhysX effects setting, we have prepared a small video, showcasing several APEX settings using built-in benchmark.

Update: Tweaking PhysX in Mafia II – huge fps increase without noticable difference.

Update #2: comparison PhysX videos for final version, covering APEX Clothing and APEX Particles modules usage in details.

As you may notice, when APEX is set to “High” – a lot of dynamic particles (impact debris, chunks from explosions, smoke) are added, and simulated clothing for characters as well. Detailed effects description is available here.

Unfortunately, this one is not even close our usual detailed comparison videos, so – our apologies.

Full scale APEX Effects comparison is planned only after Mafia II release.

Written by Zogrim

August 10th, 2010 at 7:31 pm

Posted in PhysX Games

Tagged with , , ,

GeForce GTX 480 with GTX 465 for PhysX Benchmarks

with 5 comments

It seems that TweakTown loves testing monstrous (and thus redundant for regular user) PhysX configurations. Previously it was HD 5970 + GTX 480, and now – GTX 480 for graphics along with GTX 465 working as dedicated PhysX card.

Update: and yet another article from TweakTown – GTX 480 vs GTX 470 + GTX 260 in PhysX games.

Read the full article.

Performance numbers are great, but GTX 465 does not seems to be a good candidate for such role because of heat, noise and high power consumption. I’m personally waiting for low-end Fermi based GPUs, to reinforce my new GTX 470 ;)

Written by Zogrim

June 7th, 2010 at 3:03 pm

PhysX FluidMark 1.2 ready for download

with 10 comments

New version of PhysX FluidMark, benchmarking and testing aplication for GPU PhysX systems, was finally released to public.

  • New: added support of multi-core CPUs (PhysX simulation is spread over several threads). New checkboxes are also available to control this feature.
  • New: added a checkbox to set the number of particles.
  • New: added a checkbox to force CPU PhysX.
  • New: added Heavy PhysX mode: to make modern systems with GPU PhysX happy
  • New: added point sprite based rendering for particles (keys F2, F3 and F4).
  • New: added keyboard-based camera control in stability test mode.
  • Change: compiled with NVIDIA PhysX SDK 2.8.3.21.
  • Change: updated with the latest version of ZoomGPU for graphics hardware detection.

Update: limitations of GPU PhysX simulation

Update #2: Async mode details

Update #3: FluidMark 1.2.2. available

We’ve already did more or less detailed features overview in our FluidMark 1.2 Beta preview article (in addition, more technical details are available from original post), so this time we will just point on certain changes in release version in comparison to beta one.

Main window haven’t underwent much changes..  (click to view full picture)

.. while benchmarking process was improved, to achieve results standardization. Every benchmarking sequence now starts with so called “Warming-Up” state, to ensure that all particles are emitted on the scene. In addition, default settings are now set to 60 000 particles and one minute timed run.

Moreover, new FluidMark 1.2 is now officially approved by Nvidia. According to JeGX, FluidMark developer, NV engineers have helped with bug fixing and overall optimizations, but have not influenced development process in order to give an advantage to GeForce GPUs or penalize CPUs.

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Written by Zogrim

May 21st, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Posted in PhysX Tools

Tagged with , ,

Hybrid PhysX: HD 5970 plus GTX 480 System benchmarks

with 8 comments

Pretty decent article emerges on TweakTown recently – it contains benchmarks of monstrous Hybrid PhysX system with Sapphire HD 5970 TOXIC card for graphics and GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 480 for PhysX calculations, coupled with Core i7-980 @4.2 GHz CPU and 6 GB of RAM.

Update: Another article from TweakTown. HD 5970 and HD 5870 with GTX 465, GTX 285 and GTX 260 as PhysX cards.

Hardly many people can afford such system, but at least, it is interesting read.

Written by Zogrim

April 30th, 2010 at 2:22 pm

MKZ GPU PhysX Benchmark version 2.2

with 16 comments

Our readers may remember Metal Knight Zero Online (MKZ – chinese online-FPS title by Object Software) benchmark, released in mid 2008 as part of GeForce PowerPack #1.

Now, new and enhanced MKZ Benchmark version 2.2, specially developed for Fermi GPUs launch in China, is available.

Compared to previous version, graphics is looking much nicer, game physics (destructible rigid body objects, particles, tearable cloth) is looking more solid and accurate.

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Written by Zogrim

April 28th, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Posted in PhysX Games

Tagged with ,

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