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ED#95 : NVIDIA Launches PhysX Rev. 2.0
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ED#95 : NVIDIA Launches PhysX!

When NVIDIA bought AGEIA in February 2008, everyone wondered what the outcome would be. Would the new NVIDIA GTX 280 and GTX 260 come with an integrated AGEIA PhysX processor? Or will NVIDIA just use a software solution? Well, the simple answer to that NVIDIA went the software route. After all, the unified architecture used by NVIDIA since the G80 should have no problem handling physics calculations as well.

Today, NVIDIA officially launched GPU acceleration for PhysX when they released the PhysX driver version 8.06.12 which enables PhysX acceleration for the following cards :

  • GeForce GTX 280
  • GeForce GTX 260
  • GeForce 9800 GTX+
  • GeForce 9800 GTX

You will need to install the latest 177.39 ForceWare driver in addition to the PhysX driver. At this moment, PhysX support has only been enabled for those four GPUs. NVIDIA will progressively enable PhysX support in the other GeForce 9 and GeForce 8 graphics over the next few weeks.


Video Transcode Acceleration

Incidentally, the new 177.39 ForceWare driver also allows the four GPUs to accelerate video transcoding, which is basically the conversion of one video format to another. NVIDIA claims that the video transcoding time can be accelerated by up to 18x using an NVIDIA GPU.

Unfortunately, this feature is NOT free. If you want to accelerate video transcodes, you need to purchase a third-party software like the upcoming BadaBoom video transcoder from Elemental Technologies. Let's get back to PhysX...


GPU Acceleration Of PhysX In Games

GPU acceleration of PhysX is currently supported only in 3DMark Vantage and Unreal Tournament 3. Future games that will support GPU acceleration of PhysX include :

  • Mstar
  • Mirrors Edge
  • Empire : Total War
  • Backbreaker
  • Pwnage

There are other games that use the PhysX API but they do not specifically support GPU acceleration of PhysX. Let's take a look at how fast GPU acceleration of PhysX is in 3DMark Vantage and Unreal Tournament 3.


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Video Transcode Acceleration
GPU Acceleration Of PhysX In Games


3DMark Vantage Test Results


Unreal Tournament 3 Test Results


Getting PhysX Running
177.39 Beta Vista Driver Highlights

177.39 Beta XP Driver Highlights


NVIDIA PhysX Drivers FAQ

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