Current state of PhysX? Is it well and truly dead?

Discussion in 'Physics Processing' started by NoxTek, Apr 22, 2018.

  1. NoxTek

    NoxTek The Geek Redneck

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    I've come to a point where I'm fortunate enough to have several 'back up' GPUs at my disposal should my Asus Strix GTX1080 fail at a time when crypto miners have run the prices up to astronomical levels. I've got a couple of GTX 660s, a GTX 770, a GTX 780, a GTX 980, and I think even a lowly GTX 560 floating around here now.

    So I started considering dropping one of the above extra cards in my machine as a dedicated PhysX card and I thought surely the landscape has evolved in the few years since I last took a look. Seemingly nope. The last AAA title that had PhysX support appears to be Fallout 4, and before that really it's just all of the Batman Arkham games and the Borderlands Sequels with a bunch of no-names sprinkled in.

    Why the hell has PhysX stagnated so much? When it's done right it really does add awesomeness to a game (see: Batman Arkham Asylum/City/etc). Is it that hard to code for? Does nVidia charge an exorbitant licensing fee or something?

    Meanwhile I'm still pondering throwing one of these extra cards in just to replay the few titles that do support it. Or maybe somehow offload streaming / encoding to the secondary GPU....
     
  2. cybereality

    cybereality 2[H]4U

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    It's still alive, in some sense, but the GPU accelerated portion is not widely supported. On the CPU side, many popular engines do use PhysX (both Unity and Unreal do).

    The basic issue is not the cost. It's free for PC, but I believe there is an extra fee for consoles (not sure if this changed).

    Mainly the problem is that the GPU acceleration only works on Nvidia cards, and big engines like Unity and Unreal are hesitant to integrate proprietary features into their code. In that same vein, developers are not eager to spend time and money on a feature only a portion of their customers can use (even if Nvidia is fairly dominate on PC). Some studios have still went with GPU PhysX, maybe due to relationship with Nvidia, or because they want to push the envelope, but it's far and few between. The situation will likely not get any better, and engines like Unreal have their own GPU particle physics now, leaving developers with less reason to integrate PhysX.

    That said, some older games can still support it, and it's awesome when it's working. I had a great time with Alice Madness Returns and Mirror's Edge, and there are probably other games that are worth going back for. I just wouldn't expect many more titles given the current situation.
     
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  3. Brian_B

    Brian_B [H]ard|Gawd

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    It gets GPU support when nVidia decides to pay a developer to implement it.

    Similar to Gameworks.
     
  4. Aenra

    Aenra Limp Gawd

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    Did you mean Hairworks?
    I won't have you slandering technological marvels and their unprecedented effects just for fun.

    #hairmatters

    Ironically, i'm bald, LOL
     
  5. Brian_B

    Brian_B [H]ard|Gawd

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    Hairworks is a subset of Gameworks. Technically, PhysX is also now under the Gameworks umbrella.

    Not to be confused with AMD's TressFX, which is AMD's version of Hairworks.
     
  6. Aenra

    Aenra Limp Gawd

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    Now i have to wonder if your notion of irony is truly up there, or if you mistook my jesting for an actual argument.
     
  7. Brian_B

    Brian_B [H]ard|Gawd

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    I think I understand the meaning of irony but if there was a joke there I apologize, I missed it and thought you were trying to make a correction on my part.
     
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  8. Aenra

    Aenra Limp Gawd

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    Not in the slightest! And no worries :)
     
  9. EVIL-SCOTSMAN

    EVIL-SCOTSMAN [H]ardness Supreme

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    I remember when PhysX first came out, got’s me an Ageia 128 megabyte PhysX card a few weeks before they went on sale.

    The only games that had it at that time was ghost recon and a few apps from ageia and a game, forgot the name.

    The fan died and I sent it back to bfg, this was just as they were folding, they sent the card back unfixed.

    I am sure I could find a fan or ghetto mod it but when the fan broke physx was basically dead.

    I still have the card, maybe someday it might be worth some money to some collector ?