Is PhysX fair?

PCgamer81

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I have been thinking an awful lot about Nvidia's "Hardware Accelerated PhysX".

To me, it seems that PhysX effects are purposefully optimized badly to run on the CPU. I have played several games that utilize certain effects handled by the CPU much more efficiently then PhysX games. I have also experienced non-PhysX hardware accelerated effects that are every bit as good, if not better, than the ones that utilize Nvidia's PhysX.

To me, this seems like sabotage. Willful and blatant sabotage. I believe that Nvidia is paying certain developers to do this. Even if they are not paying developers to sabotage these games, the fact that certain features of the actual game are not available is crime enough.

Now, it never made that much of a big deal to me before. But after playing Batman Arkham Asylum, I am shocked , literally amazed at the degree of effects that are intentionally omitted from the game. Effects that could very easily be handled by AMD cards, if allowed.

Not allowing AMD users to access certain features of a game, a game that we paid for, is wrong.

It's extortion.
 

13thmonkey

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It does smack a little of 'for best experience use this hardware' for a particular game, which echoes where 3dfx was at the turn of the century, and we know how that ended up don't we :)
I have a slight bias to the green team, but i'm hoping that now that the red team have created a more compute capable solution that accelerated physics rather than physx becomes the norm. Whether it could have been done on CPU is a question for the coders i'm afraid.
 

Mousemonkey

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PCgamer81 needs to do some research into how and why AMD/ATi lost the ability to use PhysX and that involves doing more than asking for ill informed opinions on a forum website. Try google for starters.
 

crewton

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It would be nice if they'd come out with a PCIe x1 slot card that was just used for physx like they used to have before nvidia bought it. You'd think nvidia would end up making more money that way since most gamers have unutilized PCIe x1 slots.
 

crewton

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That is a work around and I've seen where people even cut it to a x1 bandwith to fit a closed end but I'd rather they just design a card for it. Plus there is the weight issue with a normal size card dangling from the x1 slot.
 

julius 85

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Of course, PhysX is Nvidia's technology, what would be the point if CPU could handle it? Of course, Nvidia pays some devs to integrate PhysX into their games. But it's true that Batman: AA was a sabotage. Like, I'm pretty sure that AMD cards are able to render some hanging cloth.
 

PCgamer81

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Thank you very much.

I run Metro 2033 with PhysX being handled by my CPU (and we all know how demanding Metro 2033 is). I get about 30-100fps totally maxed with PhysX enabled. 30fps in the areas with heavy particles and effects (PhysX), and about 60fps on average everywhere else. Batman, with PhysX set to normal, crumbles down to about 10fps. And what is it rendering? Nothing I haven't seen a million places before.

The message to the customers is clear:

"Buy an Nvidia product or else you don't get the full game you paid for."

Die hard Nvidia fans don't really care about what is fair. They only care about "Nvidia FTW!!!"

And that's sad.
 

PCgamer81

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The problem I have isn't that Nvidia has PhysX and AMD doesn't.

The problem I have is when game developers blatantly and intentionally allocate the rendering of certain, seemingly run of the mill, sequences to the PhysX engine, and then code it in a way to make it impossible to run if you don't have an Nvidia card. These aren't complex explosions and million particle effects I'm talking about, here. I am talking about normal graphics that you would see in any game, such as banners or smoke, and the developers saying, "We will go out of our way to attribute these to PhysX, just so AMD users that purchased the game won't get them".

It's sabotage, and it's extortion.

And I have a very real problem with that.
 

PCgamer81

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Are you referring to BAA or BAC?

If you're referring to the former, then I would assume that they have. I play it in DX11 without any hiccups whatsoever (provided I have PhysX off, but of course).
 

PCgamer81

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Thanks for letting me know, I'll be sure to pass.

But to be honest, I probably wasn't going to purchase it, anyway. And I will probably boycott all other games that use PhysX, as well. Not that I alone matter, but I will do my part, that's all I can do.
 

Mousemonkey

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The sabotage if you want to call it that was committed by an ATi employee, but I guess you don't want to look into the real facts.
 
I believe back in the day Ageia and ATI had some sort of spat in reference to how they do physics. Then Nvidia bought Ageia and integrated the PhysX technology into their cards. They openly supported using it with other cards, ie. ATI cards. However, integrating a PPU (Physic Processing Unit) and a GPU was difficult. PPU's handle physic great and with good performance as opposed to a CPU or GPU. As Nvidia integrated PhysX more and more into their cards it would have some issues with non-Nvidia cards. So rather than continuing to support PhysX with other non-Nvidia graphics cards they just didn't allow it anymore along with other obvious business reasons. I believe ATI could license PhysX from Nvidia and integrate it into their own cards, but why would they do that? They would probably have to tote the Nvidia PhysX logo along with a fee? Wasn't ATI/AMD working on their own physic engine called Bullet? PhysX built into games looks good and who is to stop a developer from using it other than someone not buying the game? If you don't have an Nvidia card you just don't get those details in game, you can still play it. I don't understand why it is sabotage or extortion? Is this any different than a game being exclusive to one console? You can't play Uncharted on an Xbox, so if you want to play it you must buy a PS3. There are only a handful of titles that REALLY have a big difference when PhysX is enabled or Disabled. It just so happens the Batman titles are BIG and irritates some people.
 

Is that when some head honcho at ATI accused Nvidia or disabling cpu cores with PhysX cards installed to inflate performance? Then said a CPU could handle any physics processing and PhysX was a hoax to just sell more video card?
 

Gothams Finest

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Unfortunately the issue with DX11 has not been solved yet. The issue has improved slightly since the patch (only for 64bit users) but it is by no means fixed. In its current state it is more demanding than BF3 which is a utter joke seen as AC uses the Unreal Engine 3 which is not intensive to run at all.

Very very poor coding and by the looks of things Rocksteady don't seem too eager to fix it. I guess they are too busy counting are money.....


 

Mousemonkey

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Yes, while at the same time that person also demanded that Edios use Nvidia's AA code for ATi cards as ATi couldn't be bothered to supply their own. It's interesting as well that somewhere in the downsizing of ATi that person seems to have lost their job there and is now working for Intel.
 

PCgamer81

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Perhaps I am not as well versed in the history of computer hardware as you.

You are welcome to enlighten me.
 

PCgamer81

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I don't have a problem with PhysX. Why do people seem to think I am arguing against PhysX?

I have a problem with the allocation of otherwise normal renderings to the PhysX engine for the purpose of defeating AMD (greed), and at the expense of gamers.

An example would be...

"Hey Mack, you know these swinging banners?"

"Yeah, John. What about them?"

"I was thinking we would allow PhysX to render them instead our *insert name* engine."

"But John, that is not what PhysX is really used for."

"And? Your point, Mack?"

"Wouldn't that cause AMD users to not be able to have access to a very basic feature?"

"That's what Nvidia's paying us for! And while we're at it, let's code it so that their CPU's cannot handle it worth a crap!"

That is something I have a very real problem with, gentlemen. And I won't tolerate it.
 

Mousemonkey

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Google is your friend in this case, that way you can't accuse me of being bias (I've been down this road before).
 

PCgamer81

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I would do no such thing.

Although we are all a little bias.

I understand now what you are referring to. Yes, that is kind of unfortunate that many gamers have to suffer because of one guy's arrogance, but that still don't justify what is going on now.
 

Mousemonkey

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What's going on now is the fallout from from that guys rant and the fact that as a spokesperson for ATi he stated categorically that ATi users didn't want or need PhysX as ATi were going to be introducing their own physics API soon and as it was going to be open source, every game dev was going to be all over it like a rash. I guess you're still waiting though.
 
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