Archive for 2009
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.
Check out Zombie Driver (trailer below) title. Funny gameplay and accurate PhysX SDK implementation. Game was released yesterday.
Zombie Driver Gameplay Trailer HD by ZombieDrivergame
Physics via NxOgre PhysX wrapper, graphics engine – Ogre 3D.
Carmageddon XNA animations by 1amStudios
Second video from XNA Carmageddon reincarnation. All ingame physics is based on PhysX SDK.
Newest PhysX System Software 9.09.1112 was uploaded to Developer Support Center. It contains updated runtimes for some upcoming APEX tools, but most of users and developers won’t see any differences from 9.09.30 System Software.
In addition, according to our sources, PhysX System Software 9.09.1112 will be included into next release of public GeForce drivers.
If you are experiencing trouble with registration of PhysX Developer account, please refer to our registration guide.
Update: as expected, this System Software leaked too – download | Mirror #1 | Mirror #2
Update #2: official WHQL version is available
Under “Would you like to Ask Nvidia A question?” iniative Nvidia employees have answered another portion of questions, this time solely related to PhysX:
#1 – How do you expect PhysX to compete in a DirectX 11/OpenCL world?
By Tom Petersen, Director of Technical Marketing: PhysX does not compete with OpenCL or DX11’s DirectCompute.
PhysX is an API and runtime that allows games and game engines to model the physics in a game. Think of PhysX as a layer above OpenCL or DirectCompute, which in contrast are very generic and low level interfaces that enable GPU-accelerated computation. Game developers don’t create content in OpenCL or DirectCompute. Instead they author in toolsets (some of which are provided by NVIDIA) that allow them to be creative quickly. Once they have good content they “compile” a specific platform (PC, Wii, Xbox, PS3, etc) using another tool flow.
During this process game studios have three basic concerns:
1. Does PhysX make it easier to develop games for all platforms – including consoles?
2. Does PhysX make it easier to have kick ass effects in my game?
3. Will NVIDIA support my efforts to integrate this technology?
And the answer to the three questions above is: yes, yes, and yes. We are spending our time and money pursuing those goals to support developers, and right now the developer community is not telling us that OpenCL or DirectCompute support are required.
At the end of the day, the success of PhysX as a technology will depend on how easy it is for game designers to use and how incredible the game effects are that they create. Batman: Arkham Asylum is a good example of the type of effects we can achieve with PhysX running on NVIDIA GPUs, and we are working to make the next round of games even more compelling. At this time, NVIDIA has no plan to move from CUDA to either OpenCL or DirectCompute as the implementation engine for GPU acceleration. Instead we are working to support developers and implement killer effects.
#2 – Will PhysX become open-source?
Tom Petersen: NVIDIA is investing a lot of time and effort in PhysX and we do not plan to make it open source today. Of course the binaries for the SDK are distributed for free, and source code is available for licensing if game designers need it.
Only partial version is displayed. You can view full answer here
GenL has released updated mod for hybrid PhysX systems – now it works with recent 195.xx GeForce drivers and supports Windows XP/2003
UPDATE: Hybrid PhysX mod 1.03 released – with timebomb fix and lastest drivers support.
- added support for new checks in 195.xx drivers
- added support for XP/2003 drivers
- both x86 and x64 are supported by a single mod now
Notes about the mod:
- Both x86 and x64 are supported by a single file now. If you are using x86 OS, you should just skip patching 64-bit binaries (press No when asked for a search).
- Don’t forget that you must be able to access nvidia control panel. For this connect nvidia GPU to the second input port of your monitor – physically or virtually (i don’t know if this is possible), or any other way you find. There are community-generated tutorials for this, i can’t tell anything because i own only 1 GPU.
- Lite version may come later, if needed. Additionally, i can fix errors if you find them and release it with an update.
Notes about XP/2003 support:
- Only 195.62 drivers are tested for XP/2003 case. I can’t say anything about earlier versions, i didn’t even try them.
- It should work for XP/2003 x64 editions too, would be great if anyone will confirm.
- It will work for 2000 only if original XP/2003 package supports it.
You can download PhysX mod 1.02 directly from our server (not available) *
Mirror #1 (thanks to Alexandr82)
Update #2: 1.02 mod is working with new 196.21 drivers.
Update #4: 1.02 mod may not work properly with 196.75/197.xx drivers, users are also reporting incompatibility with 9.10.0222 PhysX System Software.
In addition, original post contains mod for PhysX drivers 9.09.30, that allows to use original Ageia PPU with ATI cards.
Please use commentaries to this post or thread at NGHQ forums to report errors, if they’ll occur. Reports with positive results are also appreciated.
Update: Installation instructions – Link#1 | Link#2 | Link#3 (Please note that most of them refer to old PhysX mod 1.01 – use 1.02 mod instead, download link above) | Link#4 | Link#5 (video guide) | Link#6 (specific details) | Link#7 (Italian video guide) | Link#8 | Link#9 (detailed) <- it’s recommended to start from newer links.
Update #3: Catalyst 10.2 and extended display error fix – in addition, you’ll be able to use dedicated NV GPU for PhysX without necessity to extend display.
* PhysXinfo is not responcible for any harm this file can cause to your system. Use it for your own risk.
YouTube was unusually rich in interesting PhysX related videos this week.
Warm Gun Ragdolls by EmotionalRobotsInc
Funny video of ragdolled characters from Warm Gun mod for UT3.
RayFire Tool: building demolition with 3151 objects by Hondash3
House demolition sample made with Rayfire Tool plug-in.
November’s Nvidia Developer Newsletter #49 has brought some very interesting material – 50 min. long video of “Creating Immersive Environments With NVIDIA APEX” session from SIGGRAPH 2009 conference.
It contains in-deph overview of all APEX Modules (FYI, APEX is artist focused framework on top of PhysX SDK), new details and demos, never shown before. Must watch for PhysX developers and people who are simply interested in PhysX future.
Download video (197 mb.)
Following guide contains information on how to register the developer account at PhysX/APEX Developer Support website and gain access to PhysX SDK, APEX SDK and accompanying tools.
Please be advised.
Public downloads can now be accessed only through GameWorks Developer Program.
STEP 1. Go to PhysX/APEX Developer Support website and click “Create a New Account” button.
STEP 2. Fill-in provided questionary.
STEP 3. Wait until your account will be approved.
You will be notified via e-mail upon completion.
STEP 4. Log-in under your account. PhysX and APEX files will be located under “Downloads” tab.
While being in “Downloads” section, you can use the menu, located on the right side of the screen, to navigate through different folders.
Note #1: If you have trouble with new account registration or existing account (dissapearing downloads, unable to log-in, etc) you can send your problem description to (with subject – “PhysX account”) – we’ll try to provide a shortcut to PhysX dev. team.
Note #2: PhysX Developer Center and NVIDIA Developer Zone require separate accounts !
PhysX Visual Debugger, debug and visualization tool for PhysX SDK based applications, was updated to version 1.1.9.
Main fix in this update – compability with PS3 version of PhysX SDK 2.8.3.
You can download PhysX Visual Debugger here
Using a mid- or low-end GPU as dedicated PhysX card is quite popular idea today (even among ATI owners), while PCI-E bandwidth requirements for dedicated PhysX GPU are not absolutely clear. Everyone knows, that x8 and even x4 would be enough, but what about PCI-E x1 ?
PCPOP.com has published article today, that investigates PhysX performance of GTX295 + 9800GT setup, with 9800GT used in PCI-E x1/x4/x8 cases (unnecessary pins were taped).
And, surprisingly, even PCI-E x1 usage isn’t affecting performance as much as it should at a glimpse.
You can read rest of the article here
BTW, users with old mobos (or lack of free full scale PCI-E slots) are asking sometimes – “What if I just put my old 9600GT in PCI-E x1 slot ? Would that be enough for PhysX ?“. Now they have some clarity. Of course, mechanical “adjustment” will be needed to make it fit, that can result in GPU/mobo malfunction, so we don’t recommend even to think about it until you are clearly sure.