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post #1 of 270 (permalink) Old 10-10-2009, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
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A lot of people are asking a lot of questions over and over, and some of these are about PhysX -- what cards are supported, which games use the technology, and what configurations in junction with other cards will work. This thread should answer all your questions related.

What is PhysX?

Taken straight from the wiki page;

Quote:
PhysX is a proprietary realtime physics engine middleware SDK acquired by Ageia (which itself was acquired by Nvidia in February 2008) with the purchase of, the ETH spin-off, NovodeX in 2004. The term PhysX can also refer to the PPU add-in card designed by Ageia to accelerate PhysX-enabled video games. Video games supporting hardware acceleration by PhysX can be accelerated by either a PhysX PPU or a CUDA-enabled GeForce GPU, thus offloading physics calculations from the CPU, allowing it to perform other tasks instead—potentially resulting in a smoother gaming experience.
Essentially, some games can take advantage of the technology to produce real-life physics effects. For example, in the game "Mirror's Edge", instead of glass being kicked and having a standard "glass-fall" animation where broken particles just fall to the floor, PhysX will take the broken glass particles and manipulate them to give an animation nearly identical to the effect of that in real life -- the glass will shatter outwards from where it was kicked, and scatter across the ground in such a manner.

What cards can handle PhysX?

Any card that is CUDA-enabled (any card from the GeForce 8xxx-series and above) can be PhysX enabled.

The full list of nVidia cards that support PhysX (if your card is listed here, IT WILL WORK):

GeForce GTX 590
GeForce GTX 580
GeForce GTX 570
GeForce GTX 560 Ti
GeForce GTX 550 Ti
GeForce GT 520

GeForce GT 555M
GeForce GT 550M
GeForce GT 540M
GeForce GT 525M
GeForce GT 520M

GeForce GTX 480
GeForce GTX 470
GeForce GTX 465
GeForce GTX 460
GeForce GTS 450
GeForce GT 440
GeForce GT 430
GeForce GT 420

GeForce GTX 485M
GeForce GTX 480M
GeForce GTX 470M
GeForce GTX 460M
GeForce GT 445M
GeForce GT 435M
GeForce GT 420M
GeForce GT 415M

GeForce GT 340
GeForce GT 330
GeForce GT 320
GeForce 315
GeForce 310

GeForce GTS 360M
GeForce GTS 350M
GeForce GT 335M
GeForce GT 330M
GeForce GT 325M
GeForce 310M
GeForce 305M

GeForce GTX 295
GeForce GTX 285
GeForce GTX 280
GeForce GTX 275
GeForce GTX 260
GeForce GTS 250
GeForce GT 240
GeForce GT 220
GeForce 210

GeForce GTX 285M
GeForce GTX 280M
GeForce GTX 260M
GeForce GTS 260M
GeForce GTS 250M
GeForce GT 240M
GeForce GT 230M
GeForce G210M

GeForce GTS 150
GeForce GT 130
GeForce GT 120
GeForce G100

GeForce G110M
GeForce G105M

GeForce 9800 GX2
GeForce 9800 GTX+
GeForce 9800 GTX
GeForce 9800 GT
GeForce 9600 GSO
GeForce 9600 GT
GeForce 9500 GT
GeForce 9400 GT
GeForce 9400 mGPU
GeForce 9300 mGPU

GeForce 9800M GTX
GeForce 9800M GTS
GeForce 9800M GT
GeForce 9700M GT
GeForce 9650M GS
GeForce 9600M GT
GeForce 9600M GS
GeForce 9500M GS
GeForce 9500M G
GeForce 9300M G
GeForce 9200M GS
GeForce 9100M G

GeForce 8800 Ultra
GeForce 8800 GTX
GeForce 8800 GTS
GeForce 8800 GT
GeForce 8800 GS
GeForce 8600 GTS
GeForce 8600 GT
GeForce 8500 GT
GeForce 8400 GS
GeForce 8300 mGPU
GeForce 8200 mGPU
GeForce 8100 mGPU

GeForce 8800M GTX
GeForce 8800M GTS
GeForce 8700M GT
GeForce 8600M GT
GeForce 8400M GT
GeForce 8400M GS

Quadro 6000
Quadro 5000
Quadro 4000
Quadro 2000
Quadro 2000D
Quadro 600

Quadro 5010M
Quadro 5000M
Quadro 4000M
Quadro 3000M
Quadro 2000M
Quadro 1000M

Quadro FX 5800
Quadro FX 5600
Quadro FX 4800
Quadro FX 4700 X2
Quadro FX 4600
Quadro FX 3800
Quadro FX 3700
Quadro FX 1800
Quadro FX 1700
Quadro FX 580
Quadro FX 570
Quadro FX 470
Quadro FX 380
Quadro FX 370

Quadro FX 3800M
Quadro FX 3700M
Quadro FX 3600M
Quadro FX 2800M
Quadro FX 2700M
Quadro FX 1800M
Quadro FX 1700M
Quadro FX 1600M
Quadro FX 880M
Quadro FX 770M
Quadro FX 570M
Quadro FX 380M
Quadro FX 370M
Quadro FX 360M

NVIDIA NVS 300
Quadro NVS 290
Quadro NVS 295
Quadro NVS 420
Quadro NVS 450

Quadro NVS 320M
Quadro NVS 160M
Quadro NVS 150M
Quadro NVS 140M
Quadro NVS 135M
Quadro NVS 130M

NVS 5100M
NVS 4200M
NVS 3100M
NVS 2100M

Quadro Plex 7000
Quadro Plex 2200 D2
Quadro Plex 2100 D4
Quadro Plex 2100 S4
Quadro Plex 1000 Model IV
Quadro Plex 1000 Model S4

Tesla S2050
Tesla S1070
Tesla S870
Tesla M2050/M2070
Tesla M1060
Tesla D870
Tesla C2050/C2070
Tesla C1060
Tesla C870

Notes:
* Dual GPU cards (i.e 9800 GX2 and GTX 295) will only utilize one core for PPU/CUDA processing for PhysX. (thanks tha d0ctor!)
* Any GPU that has less than 32 cores is no longer officially supported for PhysX on the latest NVIDIA drivers. Please see this post for possible ways of adding support: Link

What games can utilize PhysX?

Please refer to this wiki page for the list of supported games that can use PhysX.

"If I have XXX card, will YYY card be okay for PhysX?"

PhysX-enabled cards are only practical when you're playing PhysX-compatible games (see above wiki link). Having a dedicated PhysX card is only practical when your main GPU is not capable of doing both duties by itself. In an SLI configuration (with approximately a 9600SO SLI config or above) playing at approximately 1280x1024 or 1440x900, then a dedicated PhysX card isn't practical as the two 9600GSOs can handle the load just fine. However, if you are a benchmark-junkie then most likely you'll want a dedicated PhysX card for those extra few points, or even just for the extra frames-per-second the game can put out.

Another example is a single card configuration with a dedicated PhysX card. Take a 9800GT. You play "Mirror's Edge" a lot and you're not satisfied with your performance with PhysX enabled on your single card, playing at resolutions such as 1440x900 or 1680x1050. You could pick up a card such as an 8600GT or 8600GTS to put in your second PCI-express slot and utilize PhysX on that card, to take the load of PhysX on your 9800GT, which could give you better performance in-game.

For a high-performance setup, such as a GTX 295, a dedicated PhysX card will more-than-likely not give you any gains. The GTX 295 would more-than-likely handle all the load that the game and throw at it, and having a dedicated card for PhysX would probably just be a waste of power. The same can be said for a GTX 285 SLI configurations, and so on and so forth.

In the end, if you have a 8xxx series card or above, no one's going to stop you from using it for a dedicated PhysX card, it's all up to you, it's your hardware .

I have a spare 6600GT, can I use it for PhysX?

No, you cannot use PhysX on your card as it does not support CUDA technology. Only GeForce 8xxx-series and above can utilize PhysX since they are CUDA-enabled chips.

My main GPU is an ATi-series GPU. Can I add a spare 8600GT for PhysX?

With the current drivers, nVidia locks-out PhysX support for machines with an ATi card present. In addition, for some incomprehensible reasons, the latest version of PhysX System Software also prevents PPU cards from working if a Non-NVIDIA GPU is present. However, some people have had mixed results in tricking the drivers to use PhysX anyway with an ATI card in the system. Of course, you could always try to look for older drivers that don't have the lock out, but only the 185.xx drivers which you can download from Filehippo and nVidia's website. You can still update the PhysX portion just not the display driver for the card and can only be used in Windows XP and Windows 7 at the moment - and of course your results could vary, especially with new cards that are to come out. (Thanks KamuiRSX!)

My motherboard is an Intel/AMD board and does not support SLI. It is not an nForce-based chipset. Can I run a PhysX card?

Yes, you can. Unlike SLI, nVidia does not require you to have an nForce-based motherboard to utilize PhysX support on a dedicated card. Any motherboard with multiple PCI-express slots can use a GPU for dedicated PhysX work.

I have three of these cards, only two are in SLI, can I use the third one for PhysX?

No.
It seems that when the drivers detect three identical cards (even if they aren't Tri-SLI capable), it doesn't let you use the third card only for PhysX because they figure what is the point if you'd rather do Tri-SLI and GPU PhysX. This applies wither or not your cards are Tri-SLI capable or not. It is possible that a driver bug causes this. You'll need a different card to have dedicated PhysX support.

What kind of bandwidth is required for PhysX on my PCIe bus?

According to this, it's apparent that x8 and x4 are fine for PhysX, and that x1 will even work without impacting performance noticeably. Although, it's not recommended to modify your board/card to pull this off, as it will void warranties and could cause a fatal malfunction if not done perfectly.

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post #2 of 270 (permalink) Old 10-10-2009, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Any other typical questions that most people ask, please let me know so I can add it to the FAQ.

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post #3 of 270 (permalink) Old 10-10-2009, 11:56 AM
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*Note*

All of the cards listed should be able to handle dedicated Physx, 2x GPU cards (i.e 9800 GX2 and GTX 295) will only utilize one core for PPU|CUDA processing.

*Note*


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post #4 of 270 (permalink) Old 10-10-2009, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, I'll add that

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post #5 of 270 (permalink) Old 10-10-2009, 12:02 PM
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no problem just trying to help, im sure you could phrase it better but I was just trying to get the point across

at some point I was gonna do a whole post debunking physx and compiling a lot of physx research/benching etc I'll keep u posted so we can consolidate

it's safe to say im a physx fanboy


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post #6 of 270 (permalink) Old 10-10-2009, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tha d0ctor View Post
no problem just trying to help, im sure you could phrase it better but I was just trying to get the point across

at some point I was gonna do a whole post debunking physx and compiling a lot of physx research/benching etc I'll keep u posted so we can consolidate

it's safe to say im a physx fanboy
Awesome, keep me updated via PM

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post #7 of 270 (permalink) Old 10-10-2009, 12:06 PM
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but in order to have the physx, do you need two pci-e ports?
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post #8 of 270 (permalink) Old 10-10-2009, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burton560 View Post
but in order to have the physx, do you need two pci-e ports?
No. PhysX can be enabled on a single-card configuration as well. A dedicated PhysX card will of course need a second PCI-e port though.

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post #9 of 270 (permalink) Old 10-10-2009, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
My main GPU is an ATi-series GPU. Can I add a spare 8600GT for PhysX?

With the current drivers, nVidia locks-out PhysX support for machines with an ATi card present. In addition, for some incomprehensible reasons, the latest version of PhysX System Software also prevents PPU cards from working if a Non-NVIDIA GPU is present. However, some people have had mixed results in tricking the drivers to use PhysX anyway with an ATI card in the system. Of course, you could always try to look for older drivers that don't have the lock out, although your results could vary.
To your last part. You can but only with the 185.xx drivers which you can download from Filehippo and nVidia's website. It can only be used in Windows XP and Windows 7 at the moment.


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post #10 of 270 (permalink) Old 10-10-2009, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KamuiRSX View Post
To your last part. You can but only with the 185.xx drivers which you can download from Filehippo and nVidia's website. It can only be used in Windows XP and Windows 7 at the moment.
Thanks, +1

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