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Archive for the ‘Driverless’ tag

The Evolution of PhysX System Software

with 3 comments

Almost any user, who played games utilizing PhysX SDK physics engine (either with GPU acceleration support or software only), must be familiar with PhysX System Software (PSS, also known as PhysX Driver) – special package that includes core DLL libraries for physics engine to operate correctly and some firmware components, and is required for installation regardless of whether you have NVIDIA GPU or not.

This is how it works: PhysX Loader, located in game’s directory, loads corresponding core DLLs of PhysX engine from PSS installation folder. GPU acceleration DLLs (PhysX and CUDA Device Managers) are acquired from PSS distribution, if required. Supplementary libraries (like Character Controller DLL), in comparison, can be stored in local folder.

Note: one must have noticed that many older games store core engine libs locally, but still require a PSS installation.

For the most part, pre-2.8.4 PhysXCore.dll files in game directories are the result of special requirements of certain engines (like UE3) or installers that include unneeded DLLs.

PhysX System Software installation requirement was firstly introduced by Ageia in 2006, and obviously such approach has its own advantages and disadvantages.

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Written by Zogrim

October 7th, 2012 at 4:08 am

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