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Author Topic: nVidia buys AGEIA  (Read 1427 times)
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Daehawk
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« on: February 05, 2008, 02:44:22 AM »

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NVIDIA, the world leader in visual computing technologies and the inventor of the GPU, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire AGEIA Technologies, Inc., the industry leader in gaming physics technology. AGEIA's PhysX software is widely adopted with more than 140 PhysX-based games shipping or in development on Sony Playstation3, Microsoft XBOX 360, Nintendo Wii and Gaming PCs. AGEIA physics software is pervasive with over 10,000 registered and active users of the PhysX SDK.

"The AGEIA team is world class, and is passionate about the same thing we are—creating the most amazing and captivating game experiences," stated Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of NVIDIA. "By combining the teams that created the world's most pervasive GPU and physics engine brands, we can now bring GeForce-accelerated PhysX to hundreds of millions of gamers around the world."
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2008, 03:31:32 AM »

I like this part of the PR:

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NVIDIA, the world leader in visual computing technologies and the inventor of the GPU, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire AGEIA Technologies, Inc., the industry leader in gaming physics technology.

Leader = Only. Tongue

That said...whoopie? Nobody developed anything that required the PhysX card because nobody bought the stupid thing because nobody developed anything because...

I for one want better framerates and smarter AI. Not a few thousand more particle/smoke effects on my screen.
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CeeKay
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2008, 06:03:37 AM »

maybe they'll start making hybrid cards with the PhysX on it too.
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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2008, 07:41:32 AM »

I know it's good for them to corner the market, but it's so small I wonder why they bothered.
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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2008, 08:27:59 AM »

They want the technology for inclusion in some future card.

There's only so much graphics cards can do before they hit a physical silicon limit.  So we'll hit a point where you'll see more cores on GPUs, along with other features like physics processing.
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Blackjack
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« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2008, 02:00:48 PM »

I briefly looked into the AIEGA PhysX card a while back, and the fundamental stumbling block to me is the card does not improve graphics performance/speed in any wayicon_confused I was like, "huh?"

To me the only selling point was the idea (wrong on my part) that it might take some stress either off your CPU or regular graphics card to display PhysX effects, but everything I read said it doesn't improve performance at all (vs. the "non PhysX version" of a game). Only a handful of games (City of Heroes/Villains is one, and I think the late Auto Assault was another, but I've heard little good feedback about the optional effects) support it, and it really seems like an odd acquisition. It makes sense for AIEGA though -- nobody much is buying their cards, and devs aren't clamoring to offer the PhysX support. Unless NVIDIA or ATI/AMD bought into it, it didn't seem like it would ever find widespread support.

Speaking of Auto Assault, dev Netdevil is no doubt praying this means a wider user base for PhysX, because their current free game project Warmonger is focused on it (http://www.warmongergame.com/), though it appears they pulled back on the plan to require PhysX (there's a demo, and PhysX is supported but optional). They've said in interviews though that Warmonger "is not playable" without a PhysX card. Oops.  saywhat
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2008, 02:29:55 PM »

Quote from: Blackjack on February 05, 2008, 02:00:48 PM

I briefly looked into the AIEGA PhysX card a while back, and the fundamental stumbling block to me is the card does not improve graphics performance/speed in any wayicon_confused I was like, "huh?"

Exactly.

That said - its implementation in City of Heroes is just fantastic. I think to how, well, boring the game was without it (a few years back), and it's just perfect in how it's used now. I LOVE tossing people around and watching them slam into walls, over railings (railing kill!), and into other people. biggrin

And food for thought - NVidia has PhysX, and Intel owns Havok. Just imagine the hell that'll happen if both companies refuse to license out anything to ATI/AMD.
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« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2008, 09:36:50 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on February 05, 2008, 02:29:55 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on February 05, 2008, 02:00:48 PM

I briefly looked into the AIEGA PhysX card a while back, and the fundamental stumbling block to me is the card does not improve graphics performance/speed in any wayicon_confused I was like, "huh?"


And food for thought - NVidia has PhysX, and Intel owns Havok. Just imagine the hell that'll happen if both companies refuse to license out anything to ATI/AMD.

my last big new pc (amd 4400/ati 1900) is looking to be the last setup i get using either of those two companies.  sad really, as they were always my favorite brands in their technologies.

long live the IntelNvidia i suppose
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drake113
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« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2008, 11:25:13 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on February 05, 2008, 02:29:55 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on February 05, 2008, 02:00:48 PM

I briefly looked into the AIEGA PhysX card a while back, and the fundamental stumbling block to me is the card does not improve graphics performance/speed in any wayicon_confused I was like, "huh?"

Exactly.

That said - its implementation in City of Heroes is just fantastic. I think to how, well, boring the game was without it (a few years back), and it's just perfect in how it's used now. I LOVE tossing people around and watching them slam into walls, over railings (railing kill!), and into other people. biggrin

And food for thought - NVidia has PhysX, and Intel owns Havok. Just imagine the hell that'll happen if both companies refuse to license out anything to ATI/AMD.


I noted a pretty substantial increase in quality of effects in City of Heroes-- bullet casings, debris from explosions, etc. when I installed the drivers for PhysX, which is particularly remarkable when you consider that I didn't actually have a PhysX card in my computer.  Apparently, the drivers allow a software emulation of the card if your system's got the horsepower for it, which has always struck me as a terrible idea on their part (why would I pay $100 for a card when I can use software emulation with no problem?).
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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2008, 12:40:56 AM »

Maybe Nvidia can make something out of the Ageia tech but I doubt it unless they can incorporate it into their cards without dramatically affecting price. Plus with so much stuff being multi-platform and neither the 360 or the PS3 having the hardware I doubt to many devs are going to take the time to support it that much.
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« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2008, 01:55:32 PM »

Quote from: drake113 on February 05, 2008, 11:25:13 PM

I noted a pretty substantial increase in quality of effects in City of Heroes-- bullet casings, debris from explosions, etc. when I installed the drivers for PhysX, which is particularly remarkable when you consider that I didn't actually have a PhysX card in my computer.  Apparently, the drivers allow a software emulation of the card if your system's got the horsepower for it, which has always struck me as a terrible idea on their part (why would I pay $100 for a card when I can use software emulation with no problem?).

In CoH, I have the PhysX settings set to whatever the maximum is (the one where the game warns you that you shouldn't turn it to that level unless you actually have a card installed) - it doesn't affect my framerates at all, yet gives even more of the fun effects on the screen. I for one love the bullet casings, and especially how they fly around if you hover/fly right over them. biggrin

And yes, the drivers have always had a 'software' version of them for those without a card installed. In theory (which CoH doesn't follow), in games that fully use the hardware, you'll see even more effects.
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« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2008, 05:49:12 PM »

Multi-core CPUs rendered the PhysX card null and void. 

Good idea.  Bad timing.
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