BFG/Ageia Physix card
Posted by: Mac on: 09.05.2007 00:00:00 [ Print | 0 comment(s) ]
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Today I am going to be looking at a technology offering from Aegia / BFG. I am going to be looking at the BFG PhysX Card powered by the AGEIA PhysX processor.
So what exactly is a PhysX processor? Well, to put it in layman’s terms, it is more or less exactly what is says it is e.g. it’s a separate processor that works out the physics of what is going on on the screen leaving your cpu and graphics card to concentrate on their own specific jobs. Here is some more in depth info taken from the Aegia website.
What is Physics? Physics is all about how objects in your game move and react. It's not just how things look, but how they behave. In many of today's games, objects just don't seem to act the way you'd want or expect. Most of the action is limited to pre-scripted or canned animations.
Even the most powerful weapons leave little more than a charred smudge on the thinnest of walls; and every opponent you take out falls in a strangely familiar way. Serious gamers are left with a fine game, but one with a missing sense of realism to make the experience truly immersive. Until now, only limited software physics has been integrated in games. That means physics computation has been handled by the general purpose CPU that is already burdened with the ever increasing demands of today's advanced games including game logic and AI.
Meanwhile, the highly specialized graphics processor is fully engaged with handling the rendering requirements of cinematic visuals at interactive frame rates. As a result, physics in games has been limited to a few objects in a scene, one-off "effects" or visual trickery that just mimics real physics. Now for the first time, the AGEIA PhysX Processor delivers the computing horsepower necessary to enable true, advanced physics in games.
What is Aegia PhysX? Delivering physics in games is no easy task. It's an extremely compute-intensive environment based on a unique set of physics algorithms that require tremendous amounts of mathematical and logical calculations supported by massive memory bandwidth. Simply put, it requires the AGEIA PhysX processor: a specialized accelerator dedicated solely to delivering rich immersive physical gaming environments with features such as:
• Explosions that cause dust and collateral debris • Characters with complex, jointed geometries for more life-like motion and interaction • Spectacular new weapons with unpredictable effects • Cloth that drapes and tears the way you expect it to, • Lush foliage that sways naturally when brushed against • Dense smoke & fog that billow around objects in motion
The only way to get real physics with the scale, sophistication, fidelity and level of interactivity that dramatically alters your entertainment experience is with the AGEIA PhysX processor, which was developed from day one to accelerate the highly specialized physically based simulations. And the only way for serious gamers to get true mind-blowing physics in gaming is with a PhysX Accelerator add-in card.
The Gaming Power Triangle. The AGEIA PhysX processor is the critical hardware element required for optimised game physics and is the third engine of the Gaming Power Triangle, which will drive a new era in exciting and immersive gaming. This new triangle consists of the central processing unit (CPU), graphics processing unit (GPU) and Physics Processing Unit (PPU) working together to balance the extensive computing demands of game logic, graphics and physics. Within this balanced triangle the CPU "thinks and orchestrates" to drive game artificial intelligence and logic, the general purpose GPU "renders and displays" to deliver beautiful 3D imagery, and the third leg of the triangle, the new AGEIA PhysX Processor, "moves and interacts" to take gaming to the next level with pervasive dynamic motion and interaction.
It may seem that Xtreme Computing are a bit behind the times in getting round to reviewing a PhysX card but there is a reason behind this. We wanted to wait a while for the technology to mature a bit, wait for the drivers to improve etc, and for more games to come out that support the PhysX processor, and now seems to be about the right time as the technology is a little more established now and the list of games is growing all the time.
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