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View Full Version : Which GeForce card for discreet PhysX?


saturnotaku
08-11-08, 05:24 AM
Been contemplating throwing in a dedicated NVIDIA GPU for PhysX support. I can't imaging needing a ton of processing power (eg 8800GT or above) but don't know if a card such as an 8400 would be too little. Would an 8600 GT or 9500 GT suffice? I'm going to be constrained a bit by my P35 chipset board, as its second PCI-E slot only is x4, but that shouldn't hurt performance too much. Heck, the original PhysX cards were PCI. Any insight is appreciated.

CaptNKILL
08-11-08, 05:33 AM
Since its the stream processors that do the physics calculations, I think you'll want the card that has the most SPs for the price. A 9600GSO is probably awesome at physics and its fairly cheap. It has 96SPs, which is 32 more than the 9600GT and 64 more than the 8600GT and 9500GT.

You can get them for around $100. 9500GTs and 8600GT are only $20-$30 cheaoer for 1/3 of the SPs.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&Description=9600%20GSO&bop=And&Order=PRICE

I'm not sure how much your PSU can take since you already have a GTX 280, but the physx card will probably be idle most of the time so I don't imagine it'll take too much power.

DSC
08-11-08, 05:37 AM
I'd wait for the value($99) or midrange($199) chips based on GTX 200 architechture instead of using 9500GT etc. GTX 200 chips are better suited for PhysX processing since they're much more powerful and have better processing capabilities. Or even better, wait for Nvidia DX11 GPUs for better PhysX support.

saturnotaku
08-11-08, 05:51 AM
Since its the stream processors that do the physics calculations, I think you'll want the card that has the most SPs for the price. A 9600GSO is probably awesome at physics and its fairly cheap. It has 96SPs, which is 32 more than the 9600GT and 64 more than the 8600GT and 9500GT.

You can get them for around $100. 9500GTs and 8600GT are only $20-$30 cheaoer for 1/3 of the SPs.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&Description=9600%20GSO&bop=And&Order=PRICE

I'm not sure how much your PSU can take since you already have a GTX 280, but the physx card will probably be idle most of the time so I don't imagine it'll take too much power.

That link doesn't work, but I did check out the 9600 GSO. It looks good, but I'd prefer to not use a card that requires external power.

I'd wait for the value($99) or midrange($199) chips based on GTX 200 architechture instead of using 9500GT etc. GTX 200 chips are better suited for PhysX processing since they're much more powerful and have better processing capabilities. Or even better, wait for Nvidia DX11 GPUs for better PhysX support.

Again, I'm constrained by the rest of my system. I'd like to keep what I have for as long as possible. Going this route would certainly require a PSU upgrade, and possibly a motherboard change.

If what CaptN says is true, I'll check out a spec chart for which GPUs have the most SPs but don't require external power.

CaptNKILL
08-11-08, 05:59 AM
That link doesn't work, but I did check out the 9600 GSO. It looks good, but I'd prefer to not use a card that requires external power.



Again, I'm constrained by the rest of my system. I'd like to keep what I have for as long as possible. Going this route would certainly require a PSU upgrade, and possibly a motherboard change.

If what CaptN says is true, I'll check out a spec chart for which GPUs have the most SPs but don't require external power.

There aren't many choices. The 8600GT has 32SPs, and so does the 9500GT, and neither of those need external power. There aren't any options between those and the 9600GT which has 64SPs and the 9600GSO which has 96, and both of those require 1 6pin connector.

I'd go with a 9 series card myself, since they're slightly more up to date and efficient.

If you don't want to risk having any power limitations, go with a 9500GT. It'll have about one third of the shader\physics processing power of a 9600GSO, but it'll use a lot less juice and create less heat.

saturnotaku
08-11-08, 06:16 AM
There aren't many choices. The 8600GT has 32SPs, and so does the 9500GT, and neither of those need external power. There aren't any options between those and the 9600GT which has 64SPs and the 9600GSO which has 96, and both of those require 1 6pin connector.

I'd go with a 9 series card myself, since they're slightly more up to date and efficient.

If you don't want to risk having any power limitations, go with a 9500GT. It'll have about one third of the shader\physics processing power of a 9600GSO, but it'll use a lot less juice and create less heat.

Cool. I'll do a bit more research on those. Maybe it wouldn't be too much more of a strain on my PSU to have a card that needs 1 6-pin PCI-E connector. This OCZ 600W one has been rock solid with the equipment in my sig.

BTW Cap - how do you know that the SPs handle PhysX? I'm not asking this in a smarta** way, but would rather like to read up on it a bit. Expand the mind, that sort of thing. ;)

EciDemon
08-11-08, 07:22 AM
Gonna do a bit of thread hijacking here ;) OT.
saturnotaku> Seeing as you have a simalar setup as me, I was wondering how that G280 performs in your rig, do you think CPU is holding back much or any at all?

saturnotaku
08-11-08, 07:54 AM
Gonna do a bit of thread hijacking here ;) OT.
saturnotaku> Seeing as you have a simalar setup as me, I was wondering how that G280 performs in your rig, do you think CPU is holding back much or any at all?

I'm pretty happy with it on the whole. It should be a nice upgrade from your 8800GT. The 280 can handle most anything at my monitor's native 1680x1050 with 4xS AA (forced through nHancer) and 16x AF. I can run Crysis with a tweaked config at the same resolution and 2x AA, which still looks pretty good and gives solid performance all around. My card is OC'ed to 650/1175. I think it can go higher but haven't had the time or patience to try.

To be honest, my CPU could probably go much higher than I have it now. It's the RAM that's holding me back. If the FSB is set any higher than the RAM's rated DDR-800, it's unstable. The memory is only rated for 1.9v, and it doesn't like any more. It's also unstable even if the timings are relaxed at a higher FSB.

If you have the money to spend, a GTX 280 would be worth your while.

saturnotaku
08-11-08, 08:12 AM
The 8800 GS has the exact same specs as the 9600 GSO but is $10 cheaper. I might go that route instead, as I can buy it at the local TigerDirect retail store, and thus be able to return it easily if it doesn't work. If it does work out, there's a $40 MIR on it, so it would be $70+tax. Not a bad deal at all.

Delbert
08-11-08, 09:02 AM
The second PCIe slot on my Abit IP35 Pro is only 4x lanes.
Will this impact the performance if used for Physx ? ( want to use my 8800GTS when i upgrade later this year "

MaXThReAT
08-11-08, 09:12 AM
I've also been considering picking up another card for PhysX. I came to the same conclusion, 9600GSO is a pretty sure bet. I'll hold off for now and see how this all works out and get one when needed though. It's funny to see the PPU now as low as $119. Had Agiea priced their PPU more reasonably from the start who knows where they would be.

EciDemon
08-12-08, 01:47 AM
I'm pretty happy with it on the whole. It should be a nice upgrade from your 8800GT. The 280 can handle most anything at my monitor's native 1680x1050 with 4xS AA (forced through nHancer) and 16x AF. I can run Crysis with a tweaked config at the same resolution and 2x AA, which still looks pretty good and gives solid performance all around. My card is OC'ed to 650/1175. I think it can go higher but haven't had the time or patience to try.

To be honest, my CPU could probably go much higher than I have it now. It's the RAM that's holding me back. If the FSB is set any higher than the RAM's rated DDR-800, it's unstable. The memory is only rated for 1.9v, and it doesn't like any more. It's also unstable even if the timings are relaxed at a higher FSB.

If you have the money to spend, a GTX 280 would be worth your while.

Thanks for the info man :)
My monitors native res is also 1680x1050. I think the cards are still a bit too pricy for me, but im sure it'll drop a bit more, but also im a bit worried about the heat issues. Gonna have to do some more research about that.

CaptNKILL
08-12-08, 02:42 AM
Cool. I'll do a bit more research on those. Maybe it wouldn't be too much more of a strain on my PSU to have a card that needs 1 6-pin PCI-E connector. This OCZ 600W one has been rock solid with the equipment in my sig.

BTW Cap - how do you know that the SPs handle PhysX? I'm not asking this in a smarta** way, but would rather like to read up on it a bit. Expand the mind, that sort of thing. ;)

http://www.nvidia.com/object/physx_faq.html

Why is a GPU good for physics processing?
The multithreaded PhysX engine (originally from AGEIA) was designed specifically for hardware acceleration in massively parallel environments. While AGEIA's PhysX processor had tens of cores, NVIDIA's GPUs, have as many as 128 cores today, so they are well-suited to take advantage of PhysX software. More importantly, the GPU architecture is a more natural fit than a CPU because of the highly parallel and interactive nature of game physics. PhysX will provide gamers even more value utilizing either today's or tomorrow's GPUs.

The only thing that nvidia cards have (had...) 128 of are shader processors. And unified programmable shaders are pretty much the base for the big jump from the "GPU" to the "general purpose GPU" that is getting so much attention these days. There are still separate components that do all of the rendering and determine fill rate, but the SPs do all physics, CUDA and shader processing.

Digital_Trans
08-12-08, 04:27 AM
So what time will these damn drivers be available?

SLippe
08-12-08, 06:51 AM
How do you get dedicated PhysX handling on one card?

newfiejudd
08-12-08, 10:08 AM
I have an Asus 8800 GTS 640 kicking around. Could I use that for my Physics card with my GTX 280.

CaptNKILL
08-12-08, 10:28 AM
The drivers are in the Forceware forum and so is all the other Physx info. I think using a dedicated Physx card without SLI is what most people are doing right now. I don't have a second card (or slot) to do it myself, but its probably as easy as clicking a check box once you have a second card installed.

SH64
08-12-08, 01:24 PM
I have a spare 8800U , should i use it for physX ? :o

Feyy
08-12-08, 01:42 PM
I'm using an 8400GS atm, still need a game to properly test it though ;)

saturnotaku
08-12-08, 04:15 PM
I'm using an 8400GS atm, still need a game to properly test it though ;)

The Unreal Deal pack on Steam is just that - a deal. That will net you UT3, which has PhysX support. $44.99 seems a bit steep, but I think that price is worth it for Unreal Gold alone. ;)

G-Man
08-12-08, 06:07 PM
Nvidia just rls'd the powerpack drivers today, physX software and new 177.83 drivers, you can download it now, but you'll need a G80/G92/GTX200 video card to take advantage of it.

GeForce Power Pack System Requirements
In order to enable GPU PhysX or CUDA acceleration, a GeForce 8-series or later GPU is required. Also required is a graphics driver which supports both PhysX and CUDA. GeForce v177.83 graphics driver supports PhysX and CUDA on the following desktop GPUs:
GeForce GTX 280
GeForce GTX 260
GeForce 9800 GX2
GeForce 9800 GTX+
GeForce 9800 GTX
GeForce 9800 GT
GeForce 9600 GT
GeForce 9600 GSO
GeForce 9500 GT
GeForce 9500 GS
GeForce 9400 GT
GeForce 9300 GS
GeForce 9300 GE
GeForce 8800 Ultra
GeForce 8800 GTX
GeForce 8800 GTS 512
GeForce 8800 GTS
GeForce 8800 GT
GeForce 8800 GS
GeForce 8600 GTS
GeForce 8600 GT
GeForce 8600 GS
GeForce 8500 GT
GeForce 8400 SE
GeForce 8400 GS
GeForce 8400
GeForce 8300 GS
GeForce 8300
GeForce 8200
GeForce 8100 / nForce 720a
GeForce 8100 / nForce 720a

saturnotaku
08-14-08, 01:23 PM
Just ordered an eVGA 8800 GS from Newegg. $79.99 AR and free shipping.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130332