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No games are being announced that supports ATI's method, says AGEIA

Earlier this week at Computex, DailyTech reported that ATI officially announces its solution to physics processing. Called Triple Play, ATI's solution depends on three Radeon X1K series cards, two of which operate in CrossFire mode while a third card is configured for physics processing. The Triple Play solution, says ATI, uses the raw gigaflop performance of the Radeon X1K series to process physics, but users are concerned at the approach. The fact that customers are forced to buy three ATI boards ended up being questionable for many users as costs quickly escalate.  A system with two Radeons can still use one for physics calculations, but it is no longer dubbed Triple Play.

FiringSquad this week reported a response from AGEIA which attempts to explain the lack of value in ATI's solution. According to AGEIA, measuring the performance of physics processing by simply looking at the number of gigaflops in a GPU is analogous to saying that "the more wheels I have on my car, the faster I will go." AGEIA's vice president of marketing,  Michael Steele, said to FiringSquad:
  • Graphics processors are designed for graphics. Physics is an entirely different environment. Why would you sacrifice graphics performance for questionable physics? You’ll be hard pressed to find game developers who don’t want to use all the graphics power they can get, thus leaving very little for anything else in that chip.
  • “Boundless Gaming” is actually enabled by AGEIA’s Gaming Power Triangle in which the PhysX processor adds true physics to the mix instead of leaving it to a repurposed graphics processor.
AGEIA further says that developers are announcing more and more games that support its PhysX product, while no one is announcing support for ATI's method. Steele also mentioned that while he's glad that ATI has agreed that physics is important, ATI is delivering a "questionable" solution to physics processing.

Steele also emphasized that PhysX is available now while ATI's solution is not.

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RE: 2 not 3
By HDBanger on 6/9/2006 9:30:37 AM , Rating: 2
Even says right in this article above..

"ATI's solution depends on three Radeon X1K series cards"

RE: 2 not 3
By KristopherKubicki on 6/9/2006 9:33:32 AM , Rating: 2
Well ATI's TriplePlay requires three cards. I do think he is correct in saying you can use one card for graphics and one for physics if you want, but the material for this hasn't surfaced yet.

RE: 2 not 3
By Marlowe on 6/9/2006 9:39:09 AM , Rating: 2
I've read elsewhere that this is true.. no need for 3 cards..

RE: 2 not 3
By Marlowe on 6/9/2006 9:45:33 AM , Rating: 2
Like from the ATI press release..
CrossFire offers gamers a choice of physics configurations rather than being locked into symmetrical setups. This flexible architecture allows asymmetrical configurations as unlike cards can be used for physics processing in both 1+1 and 2+1 setups where one or two graphics cards are used for game rendering, while another card is used for physics. This open architecture accommodates all gamers, whether they want to use a high-end graphics card for physics, or a mainstream card.

RE: 2 not 3
By Marlowe on 6/9/2006 10:00:27 AM , Rating: 2
Also, as far as I know, Microsoft is working on a API for physics acceleration.. like they've done for 3D.. so PhysX/Havok may be competitors at the moment, but I bet it'll end up the same way as with OpenGL and DirectX

RE: 2 not 3
By AndreasM on 6/9/2006 4:39:00 PM , Rating: 2
Also, as far as I know, Microsoft is working on a API for physics acceleration.. like they've done for 3D.. so PhysX/Havok may be competitors at the moment, but I bet it'll end up the same way as with OpenGL and DirectX

They are:

This part is especially interesting:

You will be a member of the core engine team who will be primarily responsible for working closely with our Direct3D team, helping to define, develop and map optimized simulation and collision algorithms onto data structures that are optimized for the GPU.

I think it's possible that DirectPhysics will support CPU, GPU and PPU acceleration. This would be the best solution IMO. Ageia has stated in interviews that they are prepared to add support for a physics API if Microsoft comes up with one; this would pretty much kill off Havok though, as they would become redundant.

RE: 2 not 3
By gersson on 6/9/2006 10:09:50 AM , Rating: 2
Yep, You can use 1 card for vid 1 card for physics or 2 vid and 1 physics.

In my rig, I'd just have to add an x1600 for $130 -- way cheaper than the aegeia card.

Physics would be mostly visual but then again, who wants to pay for something they can hardly notice?

"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
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