VOGONS


First post, by RobDos

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So I got this idea in my head to build a really fast Windows XP system.
Got myself a XFI-Platinum, I7-4790 and a GTX 960 lying around.

I figured this would give me a pretty good Windows XP system with supported drivers, but one of the things I was wondering

nVIDIA's PhyX
Is there any advantage to a second card in that setup, should I get a discrete Ageia PhysX card, go with a second GTX or not bother at all?

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Reply 1 of 16, by vetz

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Some games/software requires the original Ageia (PPU) card to run at all.

Most of the games/demos from the early days of PhysX are available here: http://vogonsdrivers.com/index.php?catid=71

3D Accelerated Games List (Proprietary APIs - No 3DFX/Direct3D)
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Reply 2 of 16, by RetroGamer4Ever

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The PhysX performance of the 960 is superior to the Ageia card and the most recent 960 drivers likely negate any PPU requirement for the older PhysX games that were built around the PPU card.

Reply 3 of 16, by TrashPanda

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RetroGamer4Ever wrote on 2022-01-13, 13:05:

The PhysX performance of the 960 is superior to the Ageia card and the most recent 960 drivers likely negate any PPU requirement for the older PhysX games that were built around the PPU card.

It should let you install the PPU as the nVidia drivers should recognise it and let you choose which PPU/GPU to do the Physx on. Its listed under the Configure Surround, Physx tab in the nVidia control panel. I have not tried this myself as there isn't any point in using the Ageia PPU with modern nVidia GPUs and I have only ever used it with retro ATI/pre Physx nVidia GPUs. If you use it with Pre Physx nVidia hardware then its as simple as using the Ageia drivers for it. (The funny thing is that nVidia simply added the Ageia Physx core to their GPUs early on which is why the drivers are still an independent part of the driver package, later GPUs do Physx via Shader programs and CUDA cores and can ignore the Physx drivers altogether)

I dont think nVidia has done anything with Physx for years now, pretty sure its now just there as legacy for the few games that use it directly without shader programs. (I'm looking at you Borderlands 2)

The Ageia Physx PPU is a fun little card but not terribly useful, the games that could use Physx tend to require hardware that is more modern than retro gaming tends to use. I have used it with a Core 2 Quad and HD4890 X-Fire setup and a 7900 GTX SLI setup and it work quite well but that hardware isn't exactly Retro.

I will say Its fun for playing with the demos and experiments that are on the net for it, especially the fluid/explosion demos.

Edit - Just looking and it seems that version 2.8.3 of the Physx SDK dropped all support for PPUs, which means you will have to find a set of nVidia drivers that still support the PPU or use the old Ageia drivers. (version 8.09.04 of the nVidia Physx software was the last one to support Ageia PPUs)

See link above from Vetz

Last edited by TrashPanda on 2022-01-13, 16:41. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 4 of 16, by mothergoose729

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Late physx games like Batman Arkham night can benefit from a faster nvidia GPU or even a dedicated physx slave. There are also a handful of titles released before Ageia was acquired by Nvidia that only use their PPU.

Even at its peak it never saw much game adoption, and for the games that have it it doesn't add very much. Given the price of graphics cards these days I wouldn't buy a second GPU just for that. As a collectors item the Ageia PPU is neat but not very useful, imo.

You can INF mod the XP nvidia drivers to bring support for the Maxwell Titan cards as well as the 980ti. Years in the future when those cards are cheap you can upgrade to one of those, but I wouldn't buy one now at their inflated prices.

Reply 5 of 16, by vetz

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TrashPanda wrote on 2022-01-13, 13:17:

Edit - Just looking and it seems that version 2.8.3 of the Physx SDK dropped all support for PPUs, which means you will have to find a set of nVidia drivers that still support the PPU or use the old Ageia drivers. (version 8.09.04 of the nVidia Physx software was the last one to support Ageia PPUs)

Can be gotten from here - https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/drivers/physx/8_ … x_8-09-04_whql/
Old Ageia drivers from here - https://drivers.softpedia.com/get/GRAPHICS-BO … ver-71113.shtml

Vogonsdrivers have all the drivers released for the PPU card (see link above). Too bad that isn't what comes up on Google.

3D Accelerated Games List (Proprietary APIs - No 3DFX/Direct3D)
3D Acceleration Comparison Episodes

Reply 6 of 16, by The Serpent Rider

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Is there any advantage to a second card in that setup, should I get a discrete Ageia PhysX card, go with a second GTX or not bother at all?

Don't bother. Ageia accelerator will only slow you down on GTX 960. If recall correctly, even something like 9800GT ECO as dedicated PPU is noticeably faster.

Last edited by The Serpent Rider on 2022-01-30, 16:41. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 7 of 16, by TrashPanda

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vetz wrote on 2022-01-13, 15:30:
TrashPanda wrote on 2022-01-13, 13:17:

Edit - Just looking and it seems that version 2.8.3 of the Physx SDK dropped all support for PPUs, which means you will have to find a set of nVidia drivers that still support the PPU or use the old Ageia drivers. (version 8.09.04 of the nVidia Physx software was the last one to support Ageia PPUs)

Vogonsdrivers have all the drivers released for the PPU card (see link above). Too bad that isn't what comes up on Google.

I didnt know, I can change the links if needed.

Edit - changed my post to point to your post Vetz !

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Reply 8 of 16, by The Serpent Rider

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So I've got original PCI version of Ageia PhysX and can confirm that it's mostly useless, aside from historical/collectors value. Just running PhysX on a 9800GTX+ without any help from dedicated PPU ranges from being somewhat faster to overwhelmingly faster. So I imagine that dedicated G92 based or faster card would be much better. In some cases, like Nurien demo (early Nvidia PhysX showcase), even moderately overclocked Core 2 Duo E7500 was faster than dedicated PPU, although I suspect that 128 Mb of onboard PPU memory was just not enough.

Scenarios where you would want to use it are very limited:

1) Incompatibility with any Nvidia PhysX libraries, so it's impossible to run on anything but AGEIA. Stuff like CellFactor (which runs like crap anyway) and early tech demos.
2) You want to use specifically PCI version to play some PhysX games on your overpowered AGP system (Athlon 64 x2/Phenom II/Core 2) with Radeon 3850.

Last edited by The Serpent Rider on 2022-02-15, 21:28. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 9 of 16, by TrashPanda

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The Serpent Rider wrote on 2022-02-15, 20:06:
So I've got original PCI version of Ageia PhysX and can confirm that it's mostly useless, aside from historical/collectors value […]
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So I've got original PCI version of Ageia PhysX and can confirm that it's mostly useless, aside from historical/collectors value. Just running PhysX on 9800GTX+ without any help from dedicated PPU is ranges from being somewhat faster to overwhelmingly faster. So I imagine that dedicated G92 based or faster card would be much better. In some cases, like Nurien demo (early Nvidia PhysX showcase), even moderately overclocked Core 2 Duo E7500 was faster than dedicated PPU, although I suspect that 128 Mb of onboard PPU memory was just not enough.

Scenarios where you would want to use it are very limited:

1) Incompatibility with any Nvidia PhysX libraries, so it's impossible to run on anything but AGEIA. Stuff like CellFactor (which runs like crap anyway) and early tech demos.
2) You want to use specifically PCI version to play some PhysX games on your overpowered AGP system (Athlon 64 x2/Phenom II/Core 2) with Radeon 3850.

IIRC anything after the 7000 series of nVidia GPUs had PhysX built into the GPU core, soo it would be mostly useless after the 7950 GTX.

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Reply 10 of 16, by stamasd

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From some benchmarking I did many years ago, even a GT9600 is still much faster when used as secondary for physx than an Ageia card. And it doesn't need a supplemental power cable either. I can't see any reason (except incompatibilities) for using an Ageia card instead of a GT9600

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Reply 11 of 16, by BitWrangler

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A decade or so ago, I checked out that PhysX tester/benchmark program on a 3ghz X2 machine with a HD4650 in it... and then again with a PCI 9400GT in a PCI slot and just that was 4x as fast as PhysX on the CPU... but I dunno how that compared to the Ageia card.

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Reply 12 of 16, by The Serpent Rider

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TrashPanda wrote:

IIRC anything after the 7000 series of nVidia GPUs had PhysX built into the GPU core

LOLno. PhysX is not a hardware feature. In fact, it was added to all DX10 capable Nvidia cards after Ageia buyout in 2008, as part of GPGPU (Nvidia CUDA, if to be specific). Only AGEIA PPU, allegedly, was hardware based accelerator.

BitWrangler wrote:

A decade or so ago, I checked out that PhysX tester/benchmark program on a 3ghz X2 machine with a HD4650 in it... and then again with a PCI 9400GT in a PCI slot and just that was 4x as fast as PhysX on the CPU... but I dunno how that compared to the Ageia card.

Oh, totally forgot that PCI GeForce 9400GT was a thing. Well, if you still have that card and can run StarTales PhysX benchmark, I can tell exactly how faster/slower it is.

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Reply 13 of 16, by TrashPanda

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The Serpent Rider wrote on 2022-02-15, 21:05:
TrashPanda wrote:

IIRC anything after the 7000 series of nVidia GPUs had PhysX built into the GPU core

LOLno. PhysX is not a hardware feature. In fact, it was added to all DX10 capable Nvidia cards after Ageia buyout in 2008, as part of GPGPU (Nvidia CUDA, if to be specific). Only AGEIA PPU, allegedly, was hardware based accelerator.

You can look it up yourself.

Anything before the gtx8000 series never had on die Physx, NVidia initially had hardware integrated into the gpu core but switched to doing it via shaders.

On August 12 2008 they released drivers that turned it on for 8000, 9000 and gtx200 cards.

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Reply 14 of 16, by The Serpent Rider

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There's no "on die PhysX". Nvidia PhysX was always a part of GPGPU, i.e. software feature.

Last edited by The Serpent Rider on 2022-02-15, 21:54. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 15 of 16, by TrashPanda

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The Serpent Rider wrote on 2022-02-15, 21:46:

There's is no "on die PhysX". Nvidia PhysX was always a part of GPGPU.

I do believe that is indeed hardware, unless cuda is some mystical thing that operates without hardware.

Lack of hardware is why nothing before 8000 series gpus can do Physx without the ppu.

Split hairs all you wish, cuda is hardware.

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Reply 16 of 16, by The Serpent Rider

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CUDA is proprietary GPGPU API. General-purpose computing. DX10+ GPUs are just that much more flexible and can do physics without any specifically tailored silicon.

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