by Anton Shilov
08/13/2008 | 10:13 PM
Nvidia Corp. on Wednesday said it had enabled support of physics effects processing using PhysX application programming interface (API) on its GeForce graphics processing units. The support of PhysX sounds promising and will add a selling point to Nvidia’s graphics processing units (GPUs), however, right now end-users will have very few benefits of the PhysX feature.
Starting today, any owner of a GeForce 8-, 9 or GTX 200-series graphics card can download special ForceWare 177.83 drivers along with certain demos, games and mods from Nvidia’s web-site and enjoy improved quality of physics effects created using PhysX engine developed by Ageia and which is now used in many different scenarios.
“Seeing really is believing and is the reason why we compiled all of this great PhysX content into a free download for our end users. We want GeForce owners to experience for themselves these amazing effects to get an idea how PhysX will make games much more lifelike in the years to come. Physics-accelerated content is already here, and there are a ton more titles on the way. We can’t wait for our customers to jump in, get wet, and tell us what they think!” said Ujesh Desai, general manager for GeForce GPUs at Nvidia.
But while Nvidia seems to be confident that all the DirectX 10-compatible GeForce owners will take advantage of PhysX technology, there are practically no games that take massive advantage of PhysX. In fact, the vast majority of titles benefit very slightly from PhysX engine.
Nevertheless, end-users are likely to benefit from PhysX support going forward, provided that Nvidia works hard to persuade game developers to take advantage of GPU-accelerated physics processing. Actually, adding more objects into a scene of a game not only means necessity for more raw computing horsepower, but also for more graphics processing power. Therefore, the actual benefit of GPU-accelerated PhysX may not be obvious on certain types of hardware.