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In spite of the fact that Nvidia Corp. once promised to enable processing of physics effects made using PhysX application programming interface (API) on any graphics processing units (GPUs), the company recently started to disable PhysX support on systems that use ATI Radeon graphics cards for rendering and Ageia PhysX or Nvidia GeForce processors for physics effects computing.

Starting late July, 2009, and ForceWare 186.x drivers, Nvidia decided to disable PhysX whenever ATI graphics card is used for graphics rendering. Even though it was definitely not a trivial task to make both ATI Catalyst or Nvidia ForceWare drivers or Nvidia PhysX system software work on the same system at the same time in order to run graphics rendering on ATI Radeon and PhysX on Nvidia GeForce or Ageia PhysX physics processing unit, some people could still use such a configuration.

“PhysX is an open software standard any company can freely develop hardware or software that supports it. Nvidia supports GPU accelerated Physx on Nvidia GPUs while using Nvidia GPUs for graphics. […] For a variety of reasons – some development expense, some quality assurance and some business reasons Nvidia will not support GPU accelerated PhysX with Nvidia GPUs while GPU rendering is happening on non-Nvidia GPUs,” said a specialist from Nvidia customer care, reports web-site.

Nvidia’s move is rather strange, considering the fact that it officially positions its PhysX as an open standard that can be utilized even by its arch-rival ATI, graphics business unit of Advanced Micro Devices. On the other hand, for Nvidia, PhysX and Stereo 3D Vision technologies are tremendously important these days since they are exclusive for company, who cannot offer an alternative to ATI Radeon HD 5800-series graphics cards, the only DirectX 11 GPUs at the moment.

For Nvidia, the primary task is to sell its multimedia chips. Formally, the company should hardly care whether its GPUs are installed into systems featuring other graphics cards to process PhysX or make other tasks since it still gets its revenue for its products. Cutting PhysX support for not “all-Nvidia” systems may be rather dangerous since this limits PhysX support to exactly the installed base of the GeForce and does not allow to use it on machines featuring even other graphics accelerators. On the other hand, this ensures that those, who need PhysX should only upgrade to Nvidia graphics boards while keeping the old card for PhysX.

Tags: Nvidia, PhysX, ATI, AMD, Radeon, Geforce, GPGPU


Comments currently: 13
Discussion started: 09/29/09 10:27:01 AM
Latest comment: 02/03/10 08:11:21 PM
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In other news, AMD are going to disable any CPU processing on any PC system installed with anything else than ATI/AMD products. Intel have not commented on the new story, however some independent sources claim they might opt for a similar ban of other companies' technologies when paired with their own hardware. Some other sources claim all this has already happened, will happen again, and is really nothing spectacular to write home about.
0 0 [Posted by: MyK  | Date: 09/29/09 10:27:01 AM]

lol to the sarcasm above* , but does this mean people who own physx standalone cards and ati graphics accelerators will no longer be able to use their physx cards? or will there just be an old driver for people with physx stand alone cards , that basically never gets updated, cause nvidia has no intentions to support people who bought physx cards earlier.

Horray nvidia just ensured a microsoft dx physics will most likely win the physics battle, or intel's havok since it isnt as proprietary.
0 0 [Posted by: cashkennedy  | Date: 09/29/09 01:18:50 PM]

Terrible PR move, even if it only effects a few people. Hopefully they'll reverse this quickly - it was working fine.
0 0 [Posted by: Dribble  | Date: 09/30/09 02:22:01 AM]

@cashkennedy - Sarcasm aside and in short translation: If you output your video to your monitor (rendering) through any other than nVidia's card, the PhysX processing on any other nVidia card in the system will be disabled in drivers. So much for hoping to keep one of nVidia's previous generation cards in the system to do independent PhysX processing and upgrade to latest ATI's 5000 series offerings for rendering latest generation (DX11 anyone?) games faster. It's anti-competitive move that will surely be addressed by their competitors and can in effect prove a bit too suicidal for nVidia. Especially considering they won't have DX11 parts on market till late 1st quarter of 2010 and will without doubt be even greater power hogs than they already are with their DX10 parts. It might also mean that those vendors producing both camps' parts are going to have to decide what single GPU producer will they manufacture and distribute for. Either case, if true, a sad news for any graphics enthusiasts out there.
0 0 [Posted by: MyK  | Date: 09/30/09 03:34:15 AM]

Boy everyone forgot the stray coder that made physx RUN on ati card, and nvidia supported him, and ATI SUED like a little brat.I'm SO GLAD PHYSX DOES NOT RUN WITH ATI IN THE SYSTEM! THaNK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU NVIDIA!I've heard hundreds of little red rooster ati fans screaming in my face that PhysX SUCKS!!!!So now the little red roosters can't use it, SERVES THEM RIGHT!I'M SURE NVIDIA SAW AND HEARD THEM AS WELL.True justice, for once !The PhysX candy bar is now taken away red roosters! BWAHAHAHAHHAAAA
0 0 [Posted by: SiliconDoc  | Date: 09/30/09 01:59:32 PM]

It's truly unfortunate Nvidia had to resort to such a knee-jerk move just to stay competitive; if only they thought of their consumers. If they want PhysX to stay mainstream, it's not a smart move to restrict the user base.

@SiliconDoc - Why so vindictive? It's not like they insulted you on a personal level.
0 0 [Posted by: Broadway  | Date: 09/30/09 02:38:50 PM]
- collapse thread

I thought it would be apparent by what I said. I've seen a thousand PC repeated lies by the little red rooster ati rooters, they spew their lies and tales, all over the net, most the review sites create or repeat the tantric mantras, and I'M SICK OF READING LIES, in what is supposed to be a scientific analysis.
After I point out the massive fudging, fibs, and outright lies, the red roosters, instead of REFUTING, shriek and scream things like " PhysX sucks !" and of course call me a troll and fanboy.
Sorry, if they spew lies for ati, they of course are trolling and fanning, and pointing it out is the right thing to do.
So I'm VERY HAPPY they won't be able to run PhysX, since they say it sucks anyway. SERVES THEM RIGHT.
Since it sucks so badly, they can CELEBRATE their lack of ability to use it.
There, answered for you ? Hope so.
Now for you:
Since you're an "internet e-marketing maven and stock broker bottom line economist" for NVIDIA there in your comment, I'll point something out you've omitted.
"If the red rooster raving, raging, clucking red wants to run PhysX, they HAVE TO BUY NVIDIA HARDWARE "!
This of course shows NVIDIA is plenty CONFIDENT that PhysX is WORTH IT to end users, no matter how many reds shriek "it sucks!"
The reds will of course shut their silly biased pieholes and slink off to buy the nvidia card quietly, and wallow in their shame, then probably "change" their online persona - and NVIDIA will get RICHER !
If you were nvidia would you want some hardcore red rooster using PhysX, then claiming "it SUCKS!" ?
It seems to me NVIDIA knows a lot more about "sales" than you do, since they are awash in cash, as the red roosters so often WHINE (greedy green corpo profit pig overcharger!)
So they will do just fine with this decision. It's not the END of Nvidia over it, like I'm sure all the cluckers have already stated, and for a dozen other things for the past 5 years.
Nvidia has been making profits, while ati has lost a billion plus every year. It has lost value since it's acquisition by AMD.
It is bleeding in the red, losing dollars with every single card sale.
So much for "red based cheapo crap economics".
Might as well call up a good red commie, and hear "sell at a loss! to "gain favor with the proletariat!"
Hope the bailout tax money is spent wisely.
Also, it is likely there are unmentioned legal wranglings going on behind the scenes (not just likely but CERTAIN).
Think also LUCID - the MSI P55 chip add that can run ANY combo of cards together in W7.
I suspect there is something going on there as well.
0 0 [Posted by: SiliconDoc  | Date: 09/30/09 04:56:28 PM]

Boy everyone forgot the stray coder that made physx RUN on ati card, and nvidia supported him, and ATI SUED.
I've heard hundreds of little red rooster ati fans screaming in my face that PhysX SUCKS!!!!
So now the little red roosters can't use it, SERVES THEM RIGHT I'M SURE NVIDIA SAW AND HEARD THEM AS WELL.
True justice, for once !
The PhysX canday bar is now taken away red roosters! BWAHAHAHAHHAAAA
0 0 [Posted by: SiliconDoc  | Date: 09/30/09 03:02:21 PM]

@silicondoc : except that they didn't sue him at all.

i didn't see it then and i can find no evidence for it now.
0 0 [Posted by: Countess  | Date: 09/30/09 04:05:51 PM]
- collapse thread

lol - they threatened to sue and shut him down. Nvidia supported, and ati came in and raped him. He quietly went away crushed.
I have no idea if he settled or paid them, or had to turn over all his work and sign a legal paper saying he would never speak nor spread it ever again ( LIKELY all that happpened )
You live in the modern world or not ?
I mean get a clue, really.
0 0 [Posted by: SiliconDoc  | Date: 09/30/09 04:59:04 PM]

Here we have yet another bonehead move by a majority company losing market share. Perhaps if Nvidia hadn't sat on it's laurels after ATI released the 2000s, denied the overheating notebook GPUs and essentially rebadged their previous releases they wouldn't be painted into such a corner. I'm all for competition, but this move is rather counter-intuitive. PhysX was touted as being able to run on any hardware, yet the game dev's would have to pay to use it in their games. Inhibiting the PhysX engine from the game the developer made (after said developer paid the licensing fee) from the end user just because Nvidia decides they don't like all the shiny new red PCBs out there now is more than a little anti-competitive.

Or perhaps I haven't had my morning coffe yet.
0 0 [Posted by: jklauderdale  | Date: 10/01/09 05:51:51 AM]

oh no, whereas i've just saw the beautifull picture of phsx with ati as a primary.. hikzz....
0 0 [Posted by: thoger_kaskus  | Date: 12/15/09 08:44:13 PM]


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