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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: Reminds me of...
By Lakku on 6/10/2006 6:14:24 PM , Rating: 2
1) Before I get to Iscabis's post, I have ot say I agree with a couple things and first off, until the PPU gets to around 200 or below, or gets more then one killer title, it will remain unpopular.

2) IMO, a PCI-Express version would be beneficial, due to its bi-directional nature. This seems like a good idea when you need to update the world and move data constantly.

3) NO game out now was built from the GROUND UP to use the PPU. It was tacked on later. GRAW uses Havoc as its physics API, and I doubt they took the time to implement the PPU correctly. This is NOT a good test. Cell Factor is a poor test as well, simply because it is unpolished graphically and a lot of the performence issues are due to the visual complexity and not just physics complexity. It's poorly coded it looks like, so the new beta should be looked at to compare. Either way, someone needs to do an 'official' test to see the PPU and non-PPU performence on CF. People who have done so vary on their reports, but many claim there is a 10 to 15fps drop without a PPU. Point being, everyone is saying it degrades performence but it has not yet been properly utilized.

4) Without the PPU, CF has no cloth or fluid physics. This has the possibility to add even more immersion. No software solution has effectively done these, so some kind of hardware is going to be needed. GPU or PPU? Who knows, but I know I damn sure don't want to waste any GPU power on physics. ATi has a neat idea, but I will remain skeptical.

The PPU has known titles coming out to use it, so reserve judgement until then, because GRAW is NOT a good example, and if they really do have dozens of titles coming that use it, they will be a year or two ahead of everyone else and have many titles to their name. I don't own one and won't until I see more, or until a PCI-E version comes out.


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