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Is using a dedicated GPU for PhsX still a thing?

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  3. Is using a dedicated GPU for PhsX still a thing?

User Info: Dragon Nexus

Dragon Nexus
4 weeks ago#11
I remember years ago when PhysX was its own company. Read an article about this new idea in PC gaming. We have a GPU purely for graphics, but why don't we have a card that can handle the in-game physics?

The tech demos they had for the PhysX card were pretty impressive for the time. Gone are the days when shooting a flag would create a generic impact point. Now the flag will tear and move more realistically because the load it put on something other than the GPU! Liquids will flow more realistically, droplets have their own physics, meaning developers don't have to animate liquids!

And good lord will you look at all those decals!

And then NVidia bought the company, adapted the tech into their GPUs, stopped AMD from being able to use the tech with any of *their* cards and soon the tech became kinda obsolete as GPUs became powerful enough to handle it on their own.

Still, I kinda liked the idea of a dedicated physics card.
"Everything popular is wrong." - Oscar Wilde

User Info: arleas

arleas
4 weeks ago#12
The way I understand it, using a weaker card as a PhysX card only holds back the more powerful card as it has to wait for the slower card to keep up with the calculations. Now if you were on a 1080 and using a 1070 for PhysX, that might work fine.. hell a 1060 might... but 1080 with a 960? You might actually see performance decrease

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9nZWEekm9c
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User Info: Judgmenl

Judgmenl
4 weeks ago#13
No really, look at the list of games that support hardware accelerated Physx:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_games_with_hardware-accelerated_PhysX_support
Judge, Nostalgia is a hell of a drug.
You're a regular Jack Kerouac

User Info: Marikhen

Marikhen
4 weeks ago#14
32x2z posted...
Judgmenl posted...
No, GPU Physx isn't really a thing anymore.


This.


Agreed. Hardware PhysX had a lot of potential, but nVidia deciding to lock it down if active AMD GPUs were detective crippled potential adoption rates and reduced the number of players who might ask for developers to include such features in their games.

Dragon Nexus posted...
Still, I kinda liked the idea of a dedicated physics card.

arleas posted...
but 1080 with a 960? You might actually see performance decrease


From what I've seen, the biggest issue with PPUs is synchronous computing. Simply put, so long as game logic, graphics, physics, and so on are all calculated in sequence instead of individually and simultaneously and fed into a master process the usefulness of any PPU is going to be heavily limited by CPU and GPU.

I ran an AMD HD6870 with a GTS 450 for years, and when I bought a GTX 1060 I did some brief testing. During the testing I saw a 10-15% boost in frame rates with the GTX 1060 doing the rendering and the GTS 450 as a PPU compared to the HD6870 rendering while the GTS 450 did physics. At the same time the GTX 1060 by itself got almost twice the frame rate of the HD6870/GTS 450 pair in the same testing scenarios and with the same graphics settings. Most of this testing was done with Borderlands 2, and for all practical purposes the GTS 450 was more than enough to handle the PhysX load.

Unfortunately without a significant shift in how programs are coded we're stuck with the current situation where PhysX (2.0) is locked out for all but nVidia-pure systems and a GPU that is good enough to be a PPU still can't be used as one because it's too mismatched compared to the rendering GPU.
Logic is the antithesis of faith, else why is it that faith defies logic while logic denies faith?

User Info: Judgmenl

Judgmenl
4 weeks ago#15
Marikhen posted...
Unfortunately without a significant shift in how programs are coded we're stuck with the current situation where PhysX (2.0) is locked out for all but nVidia-pure systems and a GPU that is good enough to be a PPU still can't be used as one because it's too mismatched compared to the rendering GPU.


There's a driver bypass that allows you to still do hybrid Physx, but once again the list of games that actually make use of this in any meaningful way is low, especially if you have a modern card.
Judge, Nostalgia is a hell of a drug.
You're a regular Jack Kerouac

User Info: Mogu_Mogu

Mogu_Mogu
4 weeks ago#16
It was never a thing.
In the chronicles of my life
there is a legend in which I change 'history' into 'herstory'.

User Info: therickmu25

therickmu25
4 weeks ago#17
Mogu_Mogu posted...
It was never a thing.


There was a slew of people around 2012 on this forum running 460's and 560's as dedicated Physx cards in games like Borderlands 2 & Mirrors Edge. So you're wrong, it actually was a 'thing'.
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User Info: Damaged7

Damaged7
4 weeks ago#18
If you play Arkham Asylym, it actually recommends a dedicated PhysX card haha.
FC: 1221-0777-4703

User Info: arleas

arleas
4 weeks ago#19
Damaged7 posted...
If you play Arkham Asylym, it actually recommends a dedicated PhysX card haha.

In the video I posted they said that was pretty much the only game that really benefited from having a separate card. The others were a 5fps improvement at most.

Actually they tested Arkham Knight... But I'm sure all the Batman games had heavy PhysX usage.
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User Info: Marikhen

Marikhen
4 weeks ago#20
Judgmenl posted...
There's a driver bypass that allows you to still do hybrid Physx, but once again the list of games that actually make use of this in any meaningful way is low, especially if you have a modern card.


I used the Hybrid PhysX stuff for years, but that doesn't really deal with the point I was trying to make.

My point was simply that current software design for games is at least partly at fault for scenarios such as the one from my testing where pairing my GTX 1060 with my GTS 450 halved frame rates compared to the GTX 1060 alone despite doubling GPU utilization with the GTS 450. I personally don't see any overwhelming reasons why a game can't be rendered at X FPS while the physics calculations are done at Y, even if Y=X/2 so long as Y is equal to or greater than the monitor's refresh rate.

Then again I also don't see why game logic should only update when a frame is rendered thereby resulting in scenarios where a game being rendered at 6,000 FPS has an advantage over one being rendered at 60 FPS even if both are using 60 Hz monitors. I'm probably just a bit strange. /shrugs.
Logic is the antithesis of faith, else why is it that faith defies logic while logic denies faith?
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