Originally Posted by shadow001
Only those with SLI setups get to use high quality graphics and GPU physics with good performance overall.
That's another point where Fermi comes into play. It's not like Nvidia didn't do their homework in some points, they spent a lot of work on parallelization. That's why it's such a huge monster. AMD will surely go the same way with their next generation hardware (in 28nm if possible though).
This is not strictly Nvidia/ATI related: I think what we currently see in games is just the tip of the iceberg. GPU physics are used to blow things up, tesselation is used to make things round. And because it has to be noticable, it doesn't look realistic at all. It's not impressive because it's been done over and over before. It's more of a design problem.
The next generations of games will use those advanced technologies to actually make the virtual world more realistic. GPU physics won't be used for debris, but smoke, cloth and fluid simulations. This is also the point where CPU based physics simply won't be able to keep up since they are what they are, general purpose hardware with a very limited number of cores and simultaneous processing.
It's up to the extremely parallelized hundreds or even thousands of cores of GPUs to efficiently render real time particle physics. The same is true for tesselation, developers are just playing around with it in current implementations, the real power of displacement mapped subdivision surfaces will show in future generations of games and hardware. It allows extreme levels of detail while providing real LOD, it saves huge amounts of memory and bandwidth, it allows blending and morphing and perfectly integrates with physics.
This won't happen with the current generation of hardware and games, but that's why I hope ATI will actually come up with their open GPU physics solution and real DX11 cards (which means they need a programmable tesselator) soon. I don't think so because their hardware isn't capable of it yet, but maybe next year.