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CaptNKILL
10-29-09, 04:12 AM
I recently installed a new motherboard and a 9600GT for Physx. I haven't played any physx games yet but I plan on getting into Cryostasis soon.

I'm curious about overclocking though. My 9600GT seems to have pretty decent cooling and its getting decent ventilation where it is. Has anyone seen any performance numbers related to overclocking the shaders of a GPU being used for dedicated Physx? I assume the shader processors are the only things that have any real effect on Physx speed since there isn't any rendering being done.

I'm just wondering if its even worth it to bother messing with this once I start playing some Physx games.

LordJuanlo
10-29-09, 07:19 AM
Mmm, that's one thing I would like to try. Before the 9600GT I tried a GTS 250 card that was a little bit faster on the Batman benchmark, not by much, but it was faster. However the card died in a couple of days, and after reading the forums I decided to get a 9600GT, this card runs cooler and does not need power connectors from the PSU. It may be worth a little bit of overclock.

What program do you use for it, Riva Tuner?

newparad1gm
10-29-09, 10:25 AM
I think Batman is really the only game that will strain a 9600 GT when you have the PhysX option set on high. The Cryostasis PhysX benchmarks here: http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/cryostasis_techdemo_performance/page5.asp show that going from a 9600 to a 9800 doesn't really yield any benefits, but the 9600 and 9800's shaders have generally the same clocks, so maybe the PhysX doesn't make use of the extra shaders on the 9800, but would benefit from overclocking.

I would just overclock the 9600 GT with NVIDIA's System Tools if you want to try that out.

CaptNKILL
10-29-09, 11:35 AM
I normally use EVGA Precision, but I haven't installed it yet. I just installed Windows 7 Pro yesterday.

Also, the firingsquad benchmark is very helpful but I think they should have used a faster primary GPU. The 9800GTX is probably the bottleneck at 1600x1200, so faster Physx cards wouldn't have much of an effect.

snowmanwithahat
10-29-09, 12:13 PM
Since a 9600 GT isn't too different from an 8600 GT in performance I'll assume things I'm saying are fairly accurate for your situation... but I can only tell you i've done this with an 8600, not a 9600, so take that into consideration

I exerperienced SIGNIFICANT performance decreases while using the 8600 GT for physx in contrast to using my GTX 285 for physx + graphics in Cryostasis. Heavy water scenes will put an unbearable amount of strain on these weakerd cards with less than 512mb of memory and weaker cores... I know what I'm saying sounds borderline ridiculous but Cryostasis during a flash-back literally brought my system to a slide show with physx enabled becuase the 8600 GT was bottlenecking it so much.

SOMETHING IMPORTANT to consider is that my motherboard doesn't support 16x pci-e when you are using more than one card. So that may be part of the reason that I saw performance increases when going from GTX 285 (gfx) and an 8600 GT (physx) to just using a GTX 285 (physx / gfx)

Regarding overclocking...

I personally didn't mess with it although I was tempted. The 8600 GT that I had was one of the ones that pretends to be a powerful card... it had a 2-slot zalman like heatsink which was far more than enough for it. I ended up unplugging the fan to cut down on the noise though since the rest of my system is extremely quiet and the fan had a bad bearing.

If temps allow it I'd probably recommend the same... unplug the fan if the cooler can support it, run it as a passively cooled card.

But overall, I'd really recommend just not using it, some games more than likely will max it out, and if / when they do you will see a huge performance drop, far more than if you were running it on a good GTX 2xx series card... I don't think I'd recommend using dedicated physx with anything less than a 8800 for that reason.

Personally I've decided to dedicate the 8600 GT to an old AMD system and SLI it with my friends... but if it weren't for that I'd likely sell it


*EDIT* - I just saw we have the same motherboard Capn... yours will exhibit the same behavior of going to 8x in each pci-e slot when you have another card in... this might make my experience and advice especially relevant to you since I don't know how a physx card would play out if it didn't cripple my gfx card to 8x pci-e... it may have been a much different story

CaptNKILL
10-29-09, 12:38 PM
I'm not too worried about the PCI-E speed. I've been using a PCI-E 1.1 board for the past two years so switching to x8 on PCI-E 2.0 will give the same bandwidth. I don't think there's a problem there.

As for the performance, you're probably thinking of the 9500GT. Those are pretty similar to the 8600GT, where as the 9600GT is almost three times as fast. It has a 256bit memory bus and 64 SPs (compared to 128bit and 32 SPs in the 8600 and 9500) with much higher clock speeds. Also the 8600GT is only PCI-E 1.1 so the 8x speed would have been more limiting on that card.

EDIT: After looking at some more reviews I'll probably take that 9600GT out when I'm not playing a Physx game. There is a small performance drop in some games when going from x16 to x8 with a decent graphics card installed. Its probably not noticeable in most cases but there's no reason to slow things down and use more power when I'm not using the card.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pci-express-2.0,1915-10.html

http://www.techsupportforum.com/hardware-support/video-card-support/418481-radeon-4870-pcie-2-0-x8-vs-x16.html

newparad1gm
10-29-09, 02:08 PM
Yeah, the 9600 GT is much more powerful than the 8600GT/9500GT. I think NVIDIA has taken the lower PhysX performance on these lesser cards into consideration and actually prevented PhysX in their latest drivers from running on anything with 32 SPs or below.

As for me, I'm running my 9600GT for PhysX at x4 on my motherboard, and its running perfectly well for all the PhysX games I've played (plus I use it to run additional displays), so I don't think running PhysX cards at below the full PCI-E 16 lanes has a terrible effect (unless you are running at x1). But then again, it isn't adversely affecting my other two PCI-E slots when installed.

Is there a way to just disable the PhysX card and return the full 16 lanes to your main video card when you aren't running a PhysX game, so you don't have to play video card DJ with your machine?

bob saget
10-29-09, 03:42 PM
Interesting idea, and yea cryostasis is mindblowing. Let us know how it works.

CaptNKILL
10-29-09, 03:59 PM
Is there a way to just disable the PhysX card and return the full 16 lanes to your main video card when you aren't running a PhysX game, so you don't have to play video card DJ with your machine?

I'm not sure, but I'm definitely going to look into it.

I wish I could have the board split the lanes differently though. Like 12\4 rather than 8\8.

CaptNKILL
10-30-09, 02:46 AM
Wow... the Arkham Asylum demo runs really smooth with this 9600GT doing the Physx. I can run it with high physx at 1920x1200 with 2xAA and everything else maxed and it runs at 40-60fps constant. :drooling:

It ran good with medium physx on my 260 but it runs better with the 9600GT on high. :)

Still, I think I'm going to take it out for now so that I can take full advantage of my GTX 260 (with PCI-E 2.0 x16) in the non-Physx games I'm playing right now. Risen is really GPU heavy, so I need all the rendering power I can get. Once I'm done with that I'll try Cryostasis and Mirror's Edge. And I'll have to pick up Batman too. :thumbsup:

bob saget
10-30-09, 02:50 AM
:) cool.