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Old 11-11-09, 05:43 AM   #1
LordJuanlo
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Default Did nVidia cap software PhysX?

I have found a very interesting article on Tom's Hardware. On page 10 they test Batman Arkham Asylum using software PhysX, to check the multithreading capabilities of PhysX. As far as I remember, when AGEIA released PhysX, on games that used software PhysX the game reached faster frame rates when you used a dual or quad-core CPU, PhysX libraries were multithreaded and it took a great advantage of multiple cores.

But it looks like software PhysX today is limited to one thread. How can you explain that enabling software PhysX is using less CPU than using no PhysX at all?. If you put PhysX on high in Batman, all CPU cores should be 100% busy struggling to calculate PhysX, but it looks like there is only one thread working.



Look at the threads on the Core i7, you can see 3 threads when PhysX is off, but only one thread when PhysX is on!!!



So... this proves that nVidia has artificially capped software PhysX to make it single-threaded and make the difference between software PhysX and GeForce PhysX even higher?. The numbers seem to say 'yes'.

I have a dedicated PhysX card so this situation doesn't affect me, but other people could get much higher PhysX numbers when using software PhysX. AGEIA made software PhysX multithreaded, but it looks like nVidia has removed this capability.

Quote:
Rather than clearing things up, the results of this testing have only left us more puzzled. We can recall that the PhysX API is supposed to be optimized for multiple threads, yet on the Core i7, only a single thread seems to be stressed when PhysX is cranked up. We're trying to get clarification from the developers at Rocksteady about this phenomenon--it's almost as though the game is artificially capping performance at a set level, and is then using only the CPU resources it needs to reach that level. On the Core i7, PhysX is using fewer resources than it does on the Phenom II. This would make sense if there was an artificial performance cap, as the i7 has shown to outperform AMD's architecture. However, the benchmarks show us a correlation between actual performance and raw CPU speed on either CPU
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Old 11-11-09, 10:31 AM   #2
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Default Re: Did nVidia cap software PhysX?

I wouldn't doubt it at all. Nvidia is being extremely aggressive as of late.
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Old 11-11-09, 12:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: Did nVidia cap software PhysX?

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I wouldn't doubt it at all. Nvidia is being extremely aggressive as of late.
And by aggressive you mean.....wankers right?
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Old 11-11-09, 01:35 PM   #4
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Wink Re: Did nVidia cap software PhysX?

nVidia is doing everything to not make PhysX popular , but its a good thing ! you know why ? because developers will move to DirectCompute instead ! and that works with anything.
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Old 11-11-09, 01:52 PM   #5
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Default Re: Did nVidia cap software PhysX?

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nVidia is doing everything to not make PhysX popular , but its a good thing ! you know why ? because developers will move to DirectCompute instead ! and that works with anything.
Too bad the developers can be bought, I think NVIDIA will have harder time doing so when ATI gets better market share.
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Old 11-11-09, 03:38 PM   #6
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Default Re: Did nVidia cap software PhysX?

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And by aggressive you mean.....wankers right?
Yes
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Old 11-11-09, 03:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: Did nVidia cap software PhysX?

Nvidias exlusive strategy only works for them until someone else eventually provides competition. Just like with SLI compatibility. This is a pretty dirty tactic and could probably mean many people who could enjoy physx cannot.
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Old 11-11-09, 06:22 PM   #8
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Default Re: Did nVidia cap software PhysX?

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Originally Posted by LordJuanlo View Post
... this proves that nVidia has artificially capped software PhysX to make it single-threaded and make the difference between software PhysX and GeForce PhysX even higher?. The numbers seem to say 'yes'...
Yes, i discovered this 'problem' in the Cryostasis Tech Demo too. The software PhysX test was using just 1 core.
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Old 11-12-09, 02:47 AM   #9
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Default Re: Did nVidia cap software PhysX?

I just tested it myself and I can confirm it too. nVidia is playing dirty here, you have got something that is working, and you artificially limit its performance to make GPU PhysX look so much better than CPU.

This shouldn't be the way it's meant to be played
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Old 11-12-09, 03:31 AM   #10
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Default Re: Did nVidia cap software PhysX?

Wow, that's really crappy.

They're playing awful dirty with this Physx stuff.

Its one thing for them to stop their technology from working with competing products, but its another thing entirely for them to artificially limit performance to make their technology look more impressive.

As much as I love nvidia's products, some of the things they're doing are really beginning to leave a bad taste in my mouth. If I could find a 5850 for cheap right now I'd buy one and be using a 9600GT for physx with the hacked driver.

I'd rather have Fermi, but every time I read something like this I feel less inclined to support nvidia and their marketing strategies.
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Old 11-12-09, 07:32 AM   #11
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Default Re: Did nVidia cap software PhysX?

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Originally Posted by CaptNKILL View Post
Wow, that's really crappy.

They're playing awful dirty with this Physx stuff.

Its one thing for them to stop their technology from working with competing products, but its another thing entirely for them to artificially limit performance to make their technology look more impressive.

As much as I love nvidia's products, some of the things they're doing are really beginning to leave a bad taste in my mouth. If I could find a 5850 for cheap right now I'd buy one and be using a 9600GT for physx with the hacked driver.

I'd rather have Fermi, but every time I read something like this I feel less inclined to support nvidia and their marketing strategies.
I wonder whatever happened to nvidia's PR department - maybe they were all let go after the massive loss announced in February. They've almost become as bad as Intel.
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Old 11-12-09, 12:11 PM   #12
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Default Re: Did nVidia cap software PhysX?

Is Physx designed for CPU! Is this game optimized for CPU! Is Nvidia's job to optimize this game for CPU or GPU!

Physx runs through CUDA, so it is completely normal that CPU is off loaded. Do you people remember this:

http://www.nzone.com/object/nzone_cascades_home.html
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