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Does a Dedicated PhysX Card Actually Help?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well, if you know me, you know I rarely just ask questions

Rather, as I am prone to do, in this post I will endeavor to give an answer to that question, at least insofar as it applies to one of the most popular GPU-PhysX titles, Batman Arkham Asylum.

This first post is a look at the results of various configurations of running PhysX in the benchmark for the game Batman AA, using a single card for Rendering. The second post will look at the impact of a dedicated card on SLI results.

The bench was run w/all settings maxed out, including 16xQAA. All NVCP settings were at defaults. The rendering card was a GTX470 at 700/1740.

The four configurations for which I show results for are as follows:
1) GTX470 + PhysX forced to CPU via NVCP
2) GTX470 + PhysX forced to run on the same GTX470 via NVCP
3) GTX470 + PhysX forced to run on a dedicated 8800GT via NVCP
4) GTX470 + PhysX forced to run on my other GTX470 via NVCP

The usage graphs show the four runs in the above order, moving from left to right.

The results pic shows the min/max/avg for the four runs, as well as the FPS graphs over time, done using Fraps to record the FPS of each run.

I will let others go ahead and make comments about the results before I give my opinion/interpretation of the results.


USAGE GRAPHS


BENCH RESULTS




Edited by brettjv - 5/24/11 at 2:28am
    
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post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 
I hear you already:

"Yeah, those look like pretty decent gains, Brett, but that's with a single card for rendering. What about in SLI? I often hear people say that when you have a couple of good cards in SLI, adding another card for PhysX is totally pointless, in fact, it may even lower your FPS unless you use a PhysX card that really flys. What is the truth about this scenario?"

So, here's the evidence ... this time I did the same test, only I also (maybe) added some additional overhead to make it interesting ... not only is everything maxed in the game settings, but I also forced 8xTRSSAA in the NVCP (which I have no idea if it works ... it may not actually )

The two scenarios tested were:
1) SLI 470 + PhysX forced onto dedicated 8800GT via NVCP
2) SLI 470 + PhysX forced onto Card 2 of the SLI set via NVCP

Sorry, forgot to grab a screenie of the usage graph for this one.

BENCH RESULTS



Edited by brettjv - 5/24/11 at 2:49am
    
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post #3 of 13
I remember laughing at the BM:AA options when it suggested a 260GTX for Physx. I ran it great, at the time, with an 8800GT SLI setup, running single mode and having one GPU as Physx. Ran great, looked great, laughed at NVidia's suggestion.
    
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post #4 of 13
Nice info! Good variety of testing
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post #5 of 13
Hmm, so an 8800GT is still good enough for physx? Nice.
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post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Bump for the morning crowd
    
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post #7 of 13
Which would be suitable Physx card for a single 580 3GB?
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post #8 of 13
I use my GTX 280 as a dedicated physx card due to my use of it to also run my other 2 1920x1080 monitors, and use my 570 only for my main monitor wich runs at 1900x1200
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post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin7898 View Post
I use my GTX 280 as a dedicated physx card due to my use of it to also run my other 2 1920x1080 monitors, and use my 570 only for my main monitor wich runs at 1900x1200
I was thinking of 460 1gb or maybe 560ti,which would be more suitable?
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post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas73 View Post
I was thinking of 460 1gb or maybe 560ti,which would be more suitable?
For a single 580? You won't need anything that powerful.

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