Ageia PhysX Available

Posted on June 7, 2006 by Jon Bach

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Puget added the Ageia PhysX card to our line yesterday, you can configure it into your gaming computer at https://www.pugetsystems.com/configgaming.php !

Here's a great mini-review from William:

The newest expansion card on the proverbial block, Ageiaís PhysX card is designed to do for physics what modern video cards have done for 3D video game graphics. The idea is that having a separate card to handle physical interaction between a computer user and his or her virtual environment will allow for more realism in gameplay, without overloading a computerís main CPU.

In our testing, we have encountered a few ways that this card is being used in games today. First, there are games (like Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter) where it is simply used to make things like explosions and weapons fire more detailed. Second, there are games where some physics calculations are handled by the CPU normally, and having a PhysX card takes a bit of that load off in the hopes of increasing performance. And third, there are some games coming (notably Cell Factor) that are designed around the idea of interacting with objects in the environment and will require a PhysX card to be present in a system for them to run at all.

There are some things to keep in mind when considering whether to purchase a PhysX card:

1) Most important, and perhaps one that many people are not aware of, is that with more objects moving around in games there will be more things for a video card to do. Consequently, it may be necessary to get a better video card in order to play a game that uses the PhysX card at the same frame rate as one that doesnít use it.

2) The PhysX card, like any component in a computer, puts out heat. It is very similar to a video card in this respect, and even comes with a small heatsink and fan. This means that a system with a PhysX card will run slightly hotter than an identical system without, and is something to take into consideration when you are choosing what case and mods to purchase. During some testing time here in or office we decided to see if we could liquid cool these cards, and sure enough a standard video card waterblock fit right on. This is great news for anyone looking to buy a top-of-the-line gaming rig, especially in our custom TJ07 setup.

3) Similar to point #2 above, having a PhysX card also causes a system to use more power than it would otherwise. Our preliminary testing indicates about a 10-20W increase in overall system power draw. This isnít going to be a huge deal for most people, but if you would already be nearing the limits of a power supply then it might be a good idea to step up if you choose to get a PhysX card.

4) Lastly, there is the space issue. A motherboard has a limited number of PCI slots, and depending on the choices you make about video cards, sound cards, and other accessories there may not be room to fit a PhysX card in your system. If you are concerned about this, or if you want to have a lot of expansion cards in your computer, be sure to speak with one of our customer service reps so that you can be sure everything will fit properly.

Here are some pictures I took of the liquid-cooled test system we did with the PhysX card, SLI video cards, and a Creative X-Fi.

Posted on 2006-06-08 10:54:31
MaxMercury

Great info and photos, William. :thumbsup

For people interested in reading other articles on the PhysX, Gus Bell and I have posted some links in another thread here at Puget:

http://forums.pugetsystems.com...

-- Max

Posted on 2006-06-08 23:40:51
Semper Fuzz

Hey! That looks like my 4 GiGs of Corsair XMS 3500LL Pro you are pimping in that rig :wig

Do i get royalties for that ?

Posted on 2006-06-19 19:58:14
mlbpro417

Here are some pictures I took of the liquid-cooled test system

I think test was the keyword :-D

Posted on 2006-06-19 22:30:05

Actually, Semper Fuzz, that was just some extra 'Corsair XMS TWINX2048-3200C2PRO' that we had in stock. Sorry to burst your bubble :(

Posted on 2006-06-20 08:22:35

In that case, royalties should go to me. I accept VISA, MC, and cookies.

Posted on 2006-06-20 08:24:18
Gefras

Wow!! Very Nice looking system there guys... Looks very tight... obviously thats not gonna work with a pair of 7950's but what video cards do you have in there? And can you get any use out of any of the other pci slots if you run dual 7950's?

Posted on 2006-06-26 07:41:32

These cards were either 7900GTs or GTXs, I can't remember which now.

We are still waiting to get our hands on a liquid-cooling solution for the 7950 GX2, but with air-cooling at least it does restrict the use of most other expansion slots. Depending on the motherboard you use, you can usually at least fit a sound card (PCI slot) and sometimes have another (PCI or PCI Express 1x) slot available. Liquid-cooling may make the situation worse, but I don't know yet.

Posted on 2006-06-26 09:03:11
Gefras

Man.. you guys must have fun slapping test rigs together and testing them as new stuff comes out... must be nice :type

Posted on 2006-06-28 06:43:33