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Official Nvidia position on hybrid ATI+NV PhysX configurations

with 19 comments


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.

Written by Zogrim

October 9th, 2009 at 10:44 am

19 Responses to 'Official Nvidia position on hybrid ATI+NV PhysX configurations'

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  1. Shame!!!




    9 Oct 09 at 2:45 pm

  2. This is total BS. Sure, they don’t have to support it, but they also don’t have to go out of their way to disable it either. Anyway, I’m done with nvidia…at least as a render card. Just bought a 5850 and plan to use my 9600gt as a physx gpu with modded drivers of course. Thanks GenL! After finishing Batman will probably take out the 9600gt and smash it with a hammer.



    ByeBye Nvidia

    9 Oct 09 at 6:07 pm

  3. Well thank you so much Nvidia. I hope more companies pick up on your brilliant strategy for the sake of us customers. AMD and Intel could for example disable support for Nvidia graphics cards for their processors. After all, the CPU and GPU is interdependent and it’s hard and expensive for them to test their processors with all possible configurations involving Nvidia cards. I’m sure they want to be able to ensure a great experience for their own customers, and the only way I can see that happening is to disable Nvidia hardware. It’s good to know that Nvidia will support such a decision completely.




    9 Oct 09 at 6:31 pm

  4. ByeBye Nvidia: Don’t smash the card with a hammer. Just sell the card. I sold a 9800GTX+ I had intended to use for PhysX with a 5870 over this. Hopefully cannibalizing a 250 sale for Nv in the process. If we all sell our old Nv cards, that we planned to use for PhysX, it is bound to hurt sales of the high margin renamed parts, like the 250, at least a tiny bit.




    9 Oct 09 at 9:28 pm

  5. Other official position from Nvidia support:

    “PhysX is an open software standard any company can freely develop hardware or software that supports it. Nvidia supports GPU accelerated Physx on NVIDIA GPUs while using NVIDIA GPUs for graphics. NVIDIA performs extensive Engineering, Development, and QA work that makes Physx a great experience for customers. For a variety of reasons – some development expense some quality assurance and some business reasons NVIDIA will not support GPU accelerated Physx with NVIDIA GPUs while GPU rendering is happening on non- NVIDIA GPUs or even if a an ATI card is in the PC. I’m sorry for any inconvenience caused but I hope you can understand. This is not something we control or can change via this support forum.”




    10 Oct 09 at 12:42 am

  6. Well put he before me larrabee is gona bring down the curtains on physx anyway due to its mega support of dx11 compute where will physx be in ten years Gone like a bad only worked on 5 games smell know this Nvidia the PC is here today n great due to people working together on standards for things ,so that They Work your self seperation will lead to 1 thing Nowt MIne Mine MIne they sound like school kids



    Mr K

    10 Oct 09 at 3:34 pm

  7. Bye Bye Nvidia.No need to buy new NVIDIA card. I am going to use old 9800GTX+ and buy new ATI 5870. Thank you GenL for the patch.




    11 Oct 09 at 7:14 pm

  8. Sad that Nvidia and ATI and eventually Intel couldn’t work together on this. Cudos for Nvidia spending the time, energy and resources to bring GPU physics on the forefront. Intel killed Havoc GPU physics after they bought them out, go figure. Since Nvidia has not only further developed Ageia physics but also penetrated the gaming market and developers. It actually makes sense for ATI to help this process along and support PhysX, that is if Nvidia is truely open about the standard and not restrict other hardware configurations once they are developed for. Trust. I can’t believe Nvidia would try to hinder ATI/AMD because that would be like cutting one’s own throat since Nvidia needs ATI/AMD for a platform to stick there GPU’s on. At least yet they do.




    12 Oct 09 at 6:44 pm

  9. So rather than allow(!) me to buy a PhysX card for my next computer, they’ll ensure that (as a happy ATI customer) I never buy an NVidia card for _anything_.

    I have a dedicated PhysX 100 card in my XP machine, but it looks like I can’t have one in my new Win7 box next week.

    Thank you for playing.




    20 Oct 09 at 6:41 pm

  10. Sometimes i wish i was a lawyer in the U.S.A……..
    But for now … because of your policy i’ll never buy
    a card from you again , even if it’s better than competition.
    And of course i’ll tell the story to all my friends……

    Sincerely, OFF




    30 Oct 09 at 3:57 pm

  11. PS.

    I used to be on your side, because Intel is still selling “enhanced multicore Pentium 3’s” as “modern” CPU’s – that’s what an Intel Quad Core is. Therefore stalling technology for the benefit of their pockets.
    But you’re even worse. SLI was your idea eh ?????
    Believe me i’ve been a software engineer for the last 25 years and i know VERY well who’s idea SLI was. And so on…. As Seven mentioned above AMD and Nvidia should H/W DISABLE support for your cards.

    This is my Official Position.
    Sincerely, Off Again




    30 Oct 09 at 4:09 pm

  12. its a complete stack of BS!
    i own R 5770 and Ageia dedicated card.
    in borderlands graphis is co dramaticly crippled, that i cant belive its UT3 engine!
    and last drivers that workes with Ageia cards are 8.10.06
    newer drivers simply igoners card, and everything is rendered on ATI GPU!

    i hope nvidia die, and all their ‘brainiacs’ responsible for this mess will rot in hell.




    5 Nov 09 at 2:25 pm

  13. ah, yes.
    I have windows 7, and AGEIA PPU works flawlessly!
    for egzample crazy machines 2 or Sacred 2

    i personally finished playing with nvidia at GF2 , when gigabytes ‘golden samples’ were on top…
    and what a supprise… my brother`s much cheaper readeon 9600 destroyed this GF.
    and from this time nvidia sucks big time.




    5 Nov 09 at 2:32 pm

  14. Idiots. I was actually planning on buying a geforce to using alongside my crossfired radeons for PhysX. That’s at least one less sale nVidia will see.

    nVidia, does it really make sense to arbitrarily remove 30% of the potential market for PhysX GPUs?




    27 Dec 09 at 8:48 pm

  15. Are you people not understanding what’s going on here?

    NVIDIA stated that they were willing to work with ATI with PhysX but ATI doesn’t want to work with them and they don’t want to support it. NVIDIA doesn’t want to spend more time on getting something that’s not supported, working so they declined supporting the ATI + Hybrid PhysX.

    It makes sense and it doesn’t hold them accountable for user’s problems. It’s safer and easier for them to remove functionality otherwise they’d be bombarded with user’s questions.

    Had ATI said they wanted to work with NVIDIA to support Hybrid PhysX, you people would be happy because there wouldn’t be these conflicts.




    20 Apr 10 at 4:01 am

  16. god dammit does this all means that i cant play mafia 2 on my specs are core 2 duo2.66.3gb ram ati 4350 graphics and 250 gb hd.god noooooooo please help people.can i play this game on my pc




    11 Sep 10 at 2:30 pm

  17. OK guys first of all Nvidia Physx is Great stuff the performance and graphic improvements are great but there is one big differece….they are selling their product to all game producers and other comapnies….ok that is what they should do to have profit BUT they cant say “ok we will disable hybrid configurations because ati did not make their physics engine or so what”…..ok guys you will lost your profit and community will just go for ati…why?……they are sick of those games and wars between ati and nvidia…they are leading a war and the community is the one who feels the biggest imapct of this war…….ok nvidia spend more time in faulty drivers corecting and develping new engines and other stuff….i had nvidia 8600gt and bought ati 4870 and now 5870…and do you know what? i am sick of those BSOD’s and GSOD’s and so on and on….ati is responsible of their lazyness and shity drivers and faulty gpu’s…..i am considering to go over nvidia but with this mod i don’t want to go……so nvidia is in front of ati that is obvious….they are more responsible and bigger workers than ati….but nvidia is not offering they are buying the market and forcing us to buy new gpu’s and stuff just to be able to play some game with their new technology which is released almost every year…..i am not nvidia fanboy niether ati….but this madness is just enough…nvidia dont want to share market with other competition that’s why they are releasing new stuff and claiming that it has new effect’s and quality and so on and on….that is not way it should go….and ati must be more competitive not lazy to make their grafics work….spend more time in QA and testing try to develop new technologies that will compete nvidia’s try to make us believe that ati is brand that we should support and buy because nvidia is doing it already but in much much more aggresive way….




    12 Oct 10 at 10:24 pm

  18. Hya Been reading the above articles and noticed that its has an Ageia card working flawlessly with Win 7. I am stuck with AGP motherboatd and have a Nvidia 7950 GTX 512 mb. I was thinking of getting an agiea PCI PPU to run along side but will it work with win 7 or is it just a case of finding the right drivers? If so anyone got any suggestions

    Thx in Advance



    Peers Cawley

    19 Dec 10 at 5:14 pm

  19. Peers Cawley
    I was thinking of getting an agiea PCI PPU
    There is a good video about PPU’s place in current reality.




    21 Dec 10 at 8:38 am

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