Owners of NVIDIA branded video cards have waited for a while now for the company to announce its PhysX enabled drivers that will allow higher-end video cards to process physics on the GPU. Today NVIDIA officially announced the drivers that enable PhysX technology -- free on any GeForce eight series or higher GPU.
NVIDIA says that by integrating PhysX technology into its GeForce eight series video cards, game designers can now build more compelling and realistic game environments with components like water and smoke that react as they would in the real world. NVIDIA says that its PhysX technology is already being used in more than 140 shipping titles on the Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii. The GeForce Power Pack released today now activates PhysX on the PC platform.
In addition to the driver that activates PhysX on eight series GPU's, the GeForce power pack also includes free demos and applications that take advantage of PhysX on the GPU. NVIDIA claims that the GPU can handle 10 to 20 times more visual complexity than what is possible on today's traditional PC platforms using the CPU.
NVIDIA also says that more than 20 top-tier PC titles are expected before the year-end holiday season that will be PhysX enabled. Owners of eight series GeForce video cards can also get a glimpse of PhysX will bring to the future games with special levels for Unreal Tournament 3 where damage effects greatly enhance gameplay based on PhysX processing.
Mark Rein, Vice President of Epic Games said in a statement, "Game physics is essential in enabling deeper interactivity and real-world effects in any game. Epic is pleased to offer PhysX as a standard feature within Unreal Engine 3 to enable such effects. The introduction of GPU acceleration for PhysX promises both additional potential effects and faster performance. You can get a glimpse of the possibilities of what PhysX is the able to do with the special levels for Unreal Tournament 3 where damage effects greatly enhance the gameplay."
The GeForce Power Pack includes a full version of Warmonger where the player destroys walls, floors, and entire buildings to open new paths and close existing ones. Also included are NVIDIA's Fluid Tech demo, NVIDIA's The Great Kulu tech demo, and a sneak peak at an upcoming game called Metal Knight Zero.
In addition to enabling PhysX on the GPU, NVIDIA also released new software that takes advantage of its CUDA architecture to improve performance beyond applications for gaming on NVIDIA GPU's. NVIDIA released what it calls a Consumer Application Pack, which includes consumer applications that are not gaming based. These applications include Stanford University's folding@home distributed computing application and a trial version of Elemental Technologies' Badaboom video transcoder.
NVIDIA also announced today a new Quadro Plex D SeriesVisual Computing System featuring CUDA parallel computing processor technology designed to turn workstations and servers into visual supercomputers. NVIDIA says the new Quadro Plex features 480 processing cores, CUDA programmability, and 8 GB of graphics memory.
NVIDIA says the new Quadro Plex series offers 100% performance improvement over previous versions. Several versions of the Quadro Plex D series will be offered including Quadro Plex 2200 D2 VCS, which houses dual Quadro FX 5800 GPUs and provides 480 CUDA parallel computing cores. The device can also be had with up to for Quadro FX 4700 GPU's. Pricing for the Quadro Plex D Series VCS will start at $10,750 with availability in September.
quote: I did notice a framerate increase in Age of Conan with the new 177.79 driver installed.