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NVIDIA APEX PhysX Efficiency: CPU vs GPU

Benchmark Reviews tests NVIDIA APEX PhysX efficiency using Mafia II - compares CPU vs GPU performance.

According to the August 2010 Steam hardware survey, PC gamers are using NVIDIA GeForce desktop video cards nearly 80% more than AMD/ATI counterparts. Great products have come from both GeForce and Radeon brands, yet based on this survey NVIDIA owns almost 60% of the entire graphics market compared to AMD's 33%. Gamers might rely on NVIDIA's hardware for its superior graphical processing power and affordable price point, but it's their gaming technologies that have helped deliver complete market dominance (among Steam users). NVIDIA's "The Way It's Meant to be Played" is a trademarked slogan denoting a direct involvement in software development as much as they focus on hardware. When the Ageia PhysX software physics technology was purchased back in early 2008, that commitment sharpened NVIDIA's growing double-edge sword. Adding 3D Vision only helped consummate their efforts.

In this article, Benchmark Reviews will demonstrate how far PhysX technology has come using the recently-released Mafia-II video game by 2K Games. In this single-player third-person action shooter developed by 2K Czech for 2K Games, players assume the life of World War II veteran Vito Scaletta, the son of small Sicilian family who immigrates to Empire Bay. Mafia II makes use of DirectX-11 extensions on 2K Czech's proprietary Illusion game engine, which introduce NVIDIA APEX PhysX and GeForce 3D-Vision technology enhancements. NVIDIA's APEX PhysX modeling engine adds new Destruction, Clothing, Vegetation, and Turbulence physics into games such as Mafia II. While adding PhysX support to a video game is nothing new for NVIDIA, allowing APEX PhysX features to be computed by the computer's central processor is new territory. For this NVIDIA APEX PhysX: CPU vs GPU Efficiency demonstration, our tests compare GeForce and Radeon GPU's against the Intel Core i7 CPU.
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.ph...=600&Itemid=38

I didn't see this posted, thought the OCN brother'n would enjoy it.
 

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Wonder how PhysX would run if nvidia didn't force it to run on the cores that run the game. :/

Should teach the developers to actually have an unused core render PhysX, I wonder how that would far.

Second of all I wonder how it would fair if they actually used a language that was effecicent on the CPU.

Man do I ever want the new Havok engine to be out and widely used.
 

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well it looks like it pays off to have gpu enabled physX.....even an i7 at 4GHz would struggle by the looks of those framerates
 

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This article seems like a huge advertisement for Nvidia in general. Maybe it's just me, though.

Quote:
2K Games designed Mafia II using NVIDIA's PhysX 2.8.3 SDK, which supports only single-threaded PhysX CPU processing. PhysX SDK version 2.8.4 supports SSE2 instructions (which are not enabled by default for backwards compatibility), allowing updated games to compute PhysX more efficiently if developers enable this function. Finally, the forthcoming PhysX SDK 3.0 is said by NVIDIA to introduce multi-threaded CPU support to PhysX with SSE enabled by default, which could really change the game for everyone.
But honestly, what's Nvidia's motivation to have it run better on the CPU?
 

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Isn't this article stating the obvious?

What I dislike about articles about these are that, yes its about nvidea, but without mentioning the you can do cloth fine using bullet on the cpu, people are brainwashed that nvideas physx is needed on the gpu.


And yes, thats realtime afaik
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sodaholic134 View Post
This article seems like a huge advertisement for Nvidia in general. Maybe it's just me, though.

But honestly, what's Nvidia's motivation to have it run better on the CPU?
I wonder if they actually get more sales with PhysX. It doesn't seem like any game with PhysX actually makes HUUUGE sales. If they made physX more CPU efficient and slabbed it to the consoles it would be a huge success. It surely isn't shinning that well on the PC.

Mafia 2 hasn't made that many sales to begin with. :/

Don't get me wrong, PhysX is actually (the API itself) is a great alternative to Havok. But their business apporach and priorities is just horrifically wrong.

For the PC they should be doing 2 things. 1, shoving a 9600GT equilivant on a board with intel or amd would be wonderful. For systems that only have 1 pci-e slot they can always use the onboard as a dedicated PPU.

Second of all they should have drivers specific for GPU physX so that these integrated chips can work with whatever GPU you throw at it. ATI, as said in teh article, has 33% of the market. If even half these guys buy another nvidia low end card for a PPU their sales would jump up dramatically. Let alone, by the looks of it, they are having trouble with the fermi sales as is (wonder how the price drops would change that next month).

Next they need to make the technology more useful then just eye candy. It should also take the original physics processing and load it off to the gpu. do not just develop it for extreme eye candy situations. this should be universal for all games, have it override physics aggrolthiums and have it process it on the gpu itself.

Make it more CPU efficent and tap into the console market. If they demostrate the engine to be more useful then simply eye candy then you could go really far on the console market. Red Faction Guerrila was a freakin good game. Imagine something like that but running on PhysX (well, until the new Havok engine is released around).

PhysX is like the equilivant to the problems (few) people were experiencing with the ATI drivers for the past 3 months. Not that I ever had a problem (except for 10.6 performance), but it surely seems like these guys are not putting in much effort behind it actually being used.

edit: super tired. sorry for horrible sentence structure and spelling. xD
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by .:hybrid:. View Post
Isn't this article stating the obvious?

What I dislike about articles about these are that, yes its about nvidea, but without mentioning the you can do cloth fine using bullet on the cpu, people are brainwashed that nvideas physx is needed on the gpu.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVnHE...eature=related

And yes, thats realtime afaik

lol right, back when ageia was in charge they worked on a gpu option as well as an option for CPU, now..not anymore. BUY GEFORCEZ!!! oh noez, you haz ATI? BUY GeofRCEZES
 

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All the more reason to disable PhysX altogether (which I continue to do).
I've never felt it added "enough" to the experience to account for the impact it has on FPS.
 

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nVidia is really good at saying things like, "a Phillips head screwdriver is better at unscrewing a cross-head screw than a flat-head screwdriver."

Yea.....good job at pointing out the obvious.
 

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Originally Posted by P.J View Post
So what's the benefit of PhysX?

there is no benefit.......it's eye candy......just think of it this way......it's just like adding graphical enhancemets in games......if you have a powerful gpu then your game looks good........if you don't then it wont.......if you have nVidia gpu then you'll get special effects and graphical enhancements.......if you don't then you won't
.......the low fps in the graph show that if you want to use cpu physX then you better have nothing short of an excellent cpu.....atleast a 4GHz+ i7........the gpu physX path will be cheaper
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Domino View Post
Wonder how PhysX would run if nvidia didn't force it to run on the cores that run the game. :/

Should teach the developers to actually have an unused core render PhysX, I wonder how that would far.

Second of all I wonder how it would fair if they actually used a language that was effecicent on the CPU.

Man do I ever want the new Havok engine to be out and widely used.
It's a DX11 game, therefore probably optimised for multicore CPU's. So there probably aren't any unused cores.

Havok isn't some saviour.

Quote:

Originally Posted by SpykeZ View Post
lol right, back when ageia was in charge they worked on a gpu option as well as an option for CPU, now..not anymore. BUY GEFORCEZ!!! oh noez, you haz ATI? BUY GeofRCEZES
Haha!

Ageia had their own card for Physx which they dubbed the PPU (Physx/Physics Processing Unit) and they did not allow CPU Physx. Their whole model was that you bought their PPU to run the effects.

2008 and Nvidia bought Ageia and later enabled CPU Physx.

And like the article says, Physx is an open standard. AMD can add Physx support to their GPU's and run Physx off an AMD GPU. But, they haven't. So if it wasn't for an AMD refusal to use Physx you wouldn't have to buy a Geforce card.

Additionally, everyone was talking about Mafia II like Nvidia ruined this game. In actual fact, this was going to be a console exclusive and Nvidia ponied up the cash for a PC port. They then added Physx and 3D Vision support for FREE as they always do (well, in exchange for TWIMTBP logos to be placed within the game's title and on any retail boxes).

If it wasn't for Nvidia there would be no Mafia II PC game for Nvidia or ATI users. So any PC user, like myself, should think themselves lucky that we can play this title.
 

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Watching that physx demo makes me realise im missing nothing lol, nvidia`s agressive physx marketing campaign actually makes us believe were missing out on something really spectacular - bits of debris flying and falling about? Think ill pass lol. Cant believe how much of a resource hog it is aswell, as if its coded horribly on purpose as some sad attempt to make us buy their cards which its optimised for.

Sad Sad Sad Nvidia, not a wonder ati radeon didnt bother adding such a crap wastefull feature

edit: They completely ruined Need for Speed Shift for ati users through implimenting physx aswell as it runs horribly - [email protected]!rds!

Its nearly illegal
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Juliancahillane View Post
Watching that physx demo makes me realise im missing nothing lol, nvidia`s agressive physx marketing campaign actually makes us believe were missing out on something really spectacular - bits of debris flying and falling about? Think ill pass lol. Cant believe how much of a resource hog it is aswell, as if its coded horribly on purpose as some sad attempt to make us buy their cards which its optimised for.

Sad Sad Sad Nvidia, not a wonder ati radeon didnt bother adding such a crap wastefull feature

edit: They completely ruined Need for Speed Shift for ati users through implimenting physx aswell as it runs horribly - [email protected]!rds!

Its nearly illegal

I have three points for this post.

1. I'm in total agreement that I think Nvidia is poorly optimising Physx for current hardware. I personally reckon if you've got a GTX460 in your system you shouldn't need much more than a 9800GT to run all the effects properly and without getting sluggish.

2. ATI have the oppertunity to implement Physx instructions on their GPU's and, if the above is true, put Nvidia to shame on their own technology.

3. These new APEX features are actually quite great. It's about immersion more than anything else. Making the world you're playing in feel that bit more great.

I'm not accusing you of anything, but I'm just going to point out that your posts makes you look like a really disinterested fanboy focusing on trashing Nvidia. As a user of all GPU's both present and past I can say I don't affiliate myself with any such company and as such allow myself to enjoy both forms of technology. It's a lot better being a PC gamer when I allow myself access to both sides. And trust me, when I was younger I was a real ATI and AMD nerd (before AMD bought ATI).
 

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Thats really great for you, I actually thought physx was a really great idea and feature I couldnt live without for a while there, but after that video - honestly? what was I thinking.......have you actually watched it? bits of shoddy looking debris have basically been multiplied by x100, I dont think theres any real improovement of immersion there son.

- Its an ill refined marketing feature, and nothing more

Physx actually ruins games for non - nvidia users, which is immoral and a tactic which shouldnt be allowed within the industry.

Its nearly like making the game optimised for a different platform - rediculous. Nvidia must have to pay the game developers a serious amount of cash to make up for lost revenue from ati users whos experience of the products quality is seriously degraded in some cases - Need for Speed Shift.

Then again it saves the company money by not having to used their own rendering instrument.

Again this is not fair practice and something should be done to prevent it.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Juliancahillane View Post
Thats really great for you, I actually thought physx was a really great idea and feature I couldnt live without for a while there, but after that video - honestly? what was I thinking.......have you actually watched it? bits of shoddy looking debris have basically been multiplied by x100, I dont think theres any real improovement of immersion there son.

- Its an ill refined marketing feature, and nothing more

Physx actually ruins games for non - nvidia users, which is immoral and a tactic which shouldnt be allowed within the industry.

Its nearly like making the game optimised for a different platform - rediculous. Nvidia must have to pay the game developers a serious amount of cash to make up for lost revenue from ati users whos experience of the products quality is seriously degraded in some cases - Need for Speed Shift.

Then again it saves the company money by not having to used their own rendering instrument.

Again this is not fair practice and something should be done to prevent it.
You're sorely mistaken. Mafia II is playable without Physx effects and this doesn't ruin the game for ATI users. Game plays fine for me. Nvidia doesn't pay developers to use Physx nor do they get paid to use Physx. They pay for Nvidia engineers to support developers in writing code, FOR FREE. They don't charge the developer anything.

Please don't call me "son" in an attempt to patronise me. I'm probably old enough to be your father.
 

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What I find really weird is that if i turn APEX PhysX on high on Mafia II, my CPU at 4.0 gives me around 45-50fps average, but at 4.3 I have 60-75fps average, I don't have any sort of physx card either, and i thought non gpu physx brought systems to a crawl, regardless.. does anyone else get these sorts of results without a physx card & a AMD 6core?

(1080p completely maxed, physx high).
 

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Haha dont take things so personally son
. Being the mature adult that you are an all.

I didnt say ruin I said product experience can be degraded through using code thats only optimised for half the market segment. Or course Nvidia is going to allow use of its coding as this makes the game bias toward their hardware.....

Allow me to explain....

Its like a petrolium company giving a car manufacturer a specific engine design that is optimised for their petrol......and which will stutter and fail to run its best using other companies fuel......this is generally bad and immoral practice, its a sneaky attempt to force the consumer, (US) to buy their product.

This is increadibly lazy of the game developers, whom are more than capable of creating their own physx engines, thus creating an obstruction to potential users of their product who dont own a Nvidia card, creating many unhappy customers in the process.

I will say again that the end user has little voice on the matter, and this practice should be outlawed. It creates a split in the market, which is supposed to be and is branded as all the same platform.

Not on.

Im sure metro 2033 sales figures would have doubled had they not allowed Nvidias bias code into the game engine.......

Do you see what im getting at here?

We will hopefully see the end of this sneaky , aggressive and what should be illegal marketing tactic with the coming of sandy bridge, which can reportedly run nvidias multi-core based coding even faster than nvidia can! meaning that physx may run fine on our cpu.....

too bad nvidia
 

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they should show an ati paired w/ a cheapass nvidia card like a 9600gt/gts240/gts250.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Gabkicks View Post
they should show an ati paired w/ a cheapass nvidia card like a 9600gt/gts240/gts250.
Yes thats how ati users are getting around nvidias attempts to monopolise the market these days, through buying their perferred gpu (ati) then pairing it with a cheap nvidia card to enable the physx rendering.

This was denied by nvidia through a lock on their drivers untill they were hacked.............thankfully


edit: can you play need for speed smoothly?
if so i think ill be doing the same as you
 
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