Will it Live or Die? And is it worth it! Posted 66 months ago
A lot of hype from hardcore gamers and enthusiast has been going around surrounding not so old hard ware company Ageia and their PhysX PPU (Physic Processing Unit). Ageia has been around since 2002 and has recently released their Generation 2 PhysX card. The main question surrounding this revolutionary technology is whether it is needed or not with the new Quad Core processors now on the market. Such games as Unreal Tournament 3, and Ghost Recon: Advanced War Fighter have incorporated this technology enabling them to add more detailed destructive amd regular physics to the game, with Unreal it came in the form of a pretty impressive mod.
The way they work is basically like an additional separate core to run all the physics in game, enabling the GPU to focus on graphics and the cpu to focus on all the background of the game(loading environments, animations whatnot). The card itself runs a standard PCI-E 8x slot, which we are seeing more and more of on boards that already have 2 16x slots, for a total of 3 PCI-E. A lot of explosions and other dramatic physics in games today are handled by pre-rendered animation sequences, something we have been doing with games since Doom. The PhysX card allows these explosions and other collateral damage effects to be ran in real time, accurately displaying what would really happen if say a rocket tore through a large piece of cloth and then smashed into a wall. The cloth would tear, light on fire or get singed a bit, wave around drastically and the wall would end up with a big hole in it with chunks of debris flying everywhere, some maybe into the cloth which would react accordingly. All of this happens without slowing down your CPUor GPU cause its handled by an independent card, the PPU, which gives seamless smooth frame rates through the most intensive situations.
With what video footage I found online and was able to research the PhysX card can drastically increase FPS and general performance of a game even when running with a Quad Core. Sometimes it can lower frame rates in situations where the PhysX effects are taking place compared to the Quad running alone without the affects but I can see this as an acceptable factor given its normally by no more than 5-10 fps, and much more is now going on in the sequence.
Another big issue that Ageia seems to be facing is the fact that the game developers must program the games to work with the Ageia cards and the consumer must purchase yet another piece of hardware. Both things are not that appealing. One thing to note though is the PS3 is already equipped with the PhysX technology which says something of how Sony feels about the company and its new technology.
I'm asking FiringSquad to review these amazing little pieces of equipment and assess the need for them, as well as the assessment of how the general population feels.
Do you think they are worth it?
Do you think they are the future of gaming?
Do you think the game developers with go with the flow of more programing?
Lets here your thoughts people.External Link: http://www.ageia.com