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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: 3 cards?
By z3R0C00L on 6/9/2006 12:16:59 PM , Rating: 2
ATi's x1K physics solution.

Single x1K (graphics and lower precision physics).

Crossfire x1K (1 card for Graphics the other for Physics, load balancing between graphics and physics for the second card, High precision Physics, both the same card).

Dual x1K (1 Card for graphics the other for Physics, can be different makes/models, x1600 or higher required).

Triple Play (2 Graphics cards in Crossfire for Graphics, 1 Graphics card for Physics, two graphics cards in Crossfire for graphics must be same model, single graphics cards for physics can me a different model, make but must be x1600 or higher).

This is ATi's stance on Physics. Another thing worth noting is that ATi will have several different API approaches. ATi's own API is being worked on WITH Microsoft (so nVIDIA will eventually have to adopt it) above that ATi is, like nVIDIA, supporting Havok's engine.

In other words.. ATi has a TRULY TRULY winning combination. It seems they've covered all there bases. Might I add that x1300 and x1600 are being released for PCI Express x4 slots? (HIS reference boards, of course x1600 on higher rule still applies) This means more current motherboards can already support Tripleplay (from a technical perspective).


RE: 3 cards?
By Strunf on 6/9/2006 1:39:33 PM , Rating: 2
A PCI-E 16x card can be used on a PCI-E 4x slot as long as the slot isnt "closed"...its very possible to motherboard makers to use PCI-E 16x slot even when not all the connections are connected, they did this very often at the beginning of the SLI using a PCI-E 16x slot when it only had the PCI-E 8x lanes connected, if you have a board with a PCI-E 4x you just need to cut a bit of plastic so the PCI-E 16x can fit in, and it should work (unless there's a need for a special driver but I doubt it).

Anyway I’m really looking forward for the ATI solution more so than the nVIDIA one that seems a lot more elitist…


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