View Full Version : PhysX

June 29th, 2006, 01:19 PM

The PhysX PPU (see below) is a chip and SDK that is designed to perform complex physics calculations. It is being designed by AGEIA. On July 20, 2005, Sony signed an agreement with AGEIA to use the NovodeX SDK in the upcoming PlayStation 3. This will allegedly allow developers to design games with complex physics without programming a physics engine, previously a time consuming and extremely difficult process. AGEIA claims that the PhysX chip can perform physics calculations at one-hundredfold that of current CPUs and physics software. Additionally, the game building language Dark Basic Pro will be compatible with the PhysX processor, and will allow its users to execute physics calculations through the PPU rather than the CPU.

In a Reuters news article dated April 28th, 2006 regarding the PhysX processor, the PhysX processor will go on sale in the U.S. in May for $300.00, a price that has people raising eyebrows and asking whether it's worth spending $300.00 on an "unproven technology". Reuters stated that the processor could be well beyond its time because they mentioned a demonstration of the PhysX chip using the game Cellfactor and they said before the demonstration, the graphics level actually needed to be lowered in the game itself because Reuters stated that the PhysX processor "can generate so many objects that even the twin graphics processors in Hegde [AGEIA's CEO]'s top-end PC have trouble tracking them at the highest image quality." Reuters stated that "Hegde is betting that gamers will happily sacrifice some graphical fidelity in exchange for greater interactivity." Reuters also reported that the PhysX chip first debuted in March in high-end gaming PCs from Dell, Dell's Alienware unit, and Falcon Northwest.

is it really worth the $300 when buying a new pc?
Has anybody heared of this thing being supported by linux?


June 29th, 2006, 03:57 PM
It'll be a while before linux gets support for this ppu. But maybe by then, it'll actually be worth the money.

G Morgan
June 29th, 2006, 04:54 PM
Physics processors are the next obvious step in gaming. With games like Oblivion the load is no longer on GFX cards but on the CPU to handle the Physics in the game. Seperating that just makes sense. Since there are no high end games on Linux at the moment they shouldn't worry too much about support for this.

I think Nvidia are in talks with Havok about a combined GFX/Phyiscs card.