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Asus Ageia Physics Card release date?

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All I can find is release set for Feb. Yet here it is half way through Feb...and I cant find anything other than the "feb release"

Anyone find anything more concrete....and as a side note...how many plan on buying it for GRAW?

HACK

Edited by SteelHack

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I dont plan on buying this card, now or in the furture, ATI Nvid are talking already about integration. Software Emul will have to do for now.

Ageia Interview: Part 1

Thursday, 26 January 2006

Xzentech: When will we begin seeing retail PPU boards hit the market?

Manju: I think the answer to that is very soon. We are waiting to get confirmation from some of our leading launch titles so I think that pretty soon you will be able to purchase a PPU card. We would like to announce the date and we will be able to announce the date pretty soon.

Link

Its a really good interview explains a lot about Agiea.

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This is the first and only generation of that boards ... when we have 2007 the physics computing is done by one of our 4 cpu cores. Because they are bored so much at the moment feeling useless in current games. :huh:

Next generation game engines must be multithreaded so there is enough computing power for physics.

We saw all the nice chips and boards in the past doing MPEG/MPEG2 decompression ...

But now our CPU is doing the job again. Current CPU's having no problem with HD video at all, so another PC card chip generation is not coming.

That ppu will have it's place in an scientific enviroment but not on the mainstream entertainment market.

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Two things:

1) I know Asus is making these cards, but I read somewhere within the last week that BFG is going to be the sole manufacturer of AGEIA cards in North America. I can't verify that, but I read it. Maybe Asus is for the rest of the world? I don't know.

2) I was going to buy one of these cards, and I would still say that I am, but my reservation now is DirectX10 and whether or not DX10 will hose it.

--Matthew

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Guys, the CPU will be used for calculations like AI.

The GPU will be used for graphics calculations.

The PPU handle physics calculations.

If you think that a video card can do its job, and on top of that, take care of the physics calculations, my question to you is: How much will a video card cost? 2000$?

The Physics Processing Units are long over due. Let’s keep things separated for better performance. :yes:

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I assure you Physx is coming and it will be worthwhile.

Many new games coming out will support it ;)

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GPU can calculate physics on vertex shaders. They are SIMD units much like PPU. ATI and Havoc are already doing that.

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The Physics Processing Units are long over due. Let’s keep things separated for better performance.  :yes:

Who wants to pay the price for the separation. Casting physics calculations in

a chip is one thing, programm that chip to changing needs the other. Would you like

to buy the next PPU in 2007 only because you want the 2007 state of the art effects?

The PPU is a highly specialized DSP, you can't extend it with software. You have to emulate new functions with CPU power next year.

When I want to simulate a crash test or a bomb explosion then maybe ... but people who need this, have their own number crunchers doing that job.

Now speaking about the commercial success. How many people want to buy that

PPU and card for a price in the range of a gfx card? Keep in mind this is a PC gadget.

Nexgen consoles don't have the chip. They have to delegate all that processing

to the CPU cores.

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All I’m saying is.. why waste a perfectly good CPU or video card because it can no longer handle the demand of calculations, and upgrade our CPUs and GPUs all the time because of the new physics phenomenon that we have been demanding for so long like destructible environments?

Why upgrade everything, when all that needs to be updated is the physics gismo thing?

If we go with GPU physics calculations or CPU physics calculations, just be ready for;

1. Stagnant game technology dev (thing will not improve very much).

2. Rising PC gaming cost.

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Who wants to pay the price for the separation. Casting physics calculations in

a chip is one thing, programm that chip to changing needs the other. Would you like to buy the next PPU in 2007 only because you want the 2007 state of the art effects?

AGEIA says that not the case. They might be lying. It might be marketing. It could be a conspiracy. But right now I'm inclined to trust them. I don't beleive I would find any need to buy a new Physx card in 2007 if I bought one this month.

Now speaking about the commercial success. How many people want to buy that

PPU and card for a price in the range of a gfx card?

They're supposed to be $250-$300

As for the people saying that there's already software doing th job, you're right; there is, but it's CPU intensive. AGEIA recently ran a demo with two 6800GT's in SLI where with their card, it ran at 30fps, but without their card, it ran at close to 1fps. That's nothing to sneeze at.

If developers aren't limited by physics drain on the CPU, they can do much much more with Physics, and they can free up the CPU to do much much more with AI. I don't see how either of those isn't extremely desirable.

--Logos

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You might be true but ... I ask again how many people can buy a current gfx card, sound card, physics card and cpu to play that games you are talking about?

Look in the forums how many crying about the requirements for GRAW. There are

a lot who think about buying a 360 instead of a new PC.

I'm a PC user since the early days but I see that game development is going more

and more over to console. An these consoles don't have a PPU.

We see so much games going the console way, limiting the user (even the PC user)

to the console controller. Precalculating everything to make the most entertaining

effects with that less memory.

Which game dev company will do that extra work without sponsoring?

I'm not against PPU and physics processing but I don't like that hypes.

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You might be true but ... I ask again how many people can buy a current gfx card, sound card, physics card and cpu to play that games you are talking about?

Look in the forums how many crying about the requirements for GRAW. There are

a lot who think about buying a 360 instead of a new PC.

I'm a PC user since the early days but I see that game development is going more

and more over to console. An these consoles don't have a PPU.

We see so much games going the console way, limiting the user (even the PC user)

to the console controller. Precalculating everything to make the most entertaining

effects with that less memory.

Which game dev company will do that extra work without sponsoring?

I'm not against PPU and physics processing but I don't like that hypes.

I agree. With that card priced at the mid-high/high end compaqred to a video card, MOST people won't be able to afford both.

Then you also have to look at the practicality of it, especially if it's something that isn't flashable or upgradeable, only replaceable. That is going to leave a great many gamers without a physics card.

If it came down to choice, definitely the video card. After all, you NEED that for alot more than you'll ever use that physics add-on for.

Granted, the physics card would be nice. I'd love to have one. But right now, there just aren't enough uses, even game-wise for it, to warrant that kind of expenditure.

Better to set yourse3lf up with a dual-core rig for now, and saqve up for that card as a luxury item.

Even if there were 3 or 4 games that would utilize it, it still isn't enough in my mind to warrant that kind of cost. Everything doesn't use it yet.

On the other hand, a high-end video card is always in use.

Edited by Specter

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I am going to break my rule about not buying new products and get one asap. There is absolutely no way you will get your four core processor (especially since if im wrong your talking intel Intel :x) to do what one of these cards can do. I can live with a crappy graphics card, as long as I can get playable framerates even on lower settings I will be happy (obviously I would prefer higher though).

Physics on the other hand are what is actually happening in the game. Who cares how good the happenings look, if the happenings themselves are crappy?

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if i were to get an ageia physics card for GRAW,

1. would it really change the experience enough that it would be worth the money

2. how much does it really cost?

3. what are the downfalls of buying the first type of a new card

4. how would i install it

5. and would this cost me more money?

just a few questions i never could get a straight up answer for...

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In answer to 1 and 2 we dont really know. GRAW should be quite playable with or without the card. If you have the card you will have better effects. We dont know how much better. Unreal Engine 3 will also use this card, so if you play unreal tournament, Americas Army, or any other game that will use Unreal engine 3 then you will see benefits there also. Price is supposed to be $250-$300.

Whenever you buy a brand new product you are more likely to be buying something that will be less functional than if you had waited a while, got a more functional version, and paid less. On the other hand I am going to buy mine when it comes out in order to support this company. I will wait just long enough to see that it works on hardware review sites.

As for installation you would probably just plug it into the slot....? Just a guess. I'm still a little unclear on whether it will be PCI-E 1x or just PCI.

It oughtnt cost you anything to install if thats what you are talking about with 5. Just open up your case and plug it in. Unless of course your motherboard doesnt have the necessary slot(s). That would require an $80-$200 upgrade of motherboard.

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According to MaximumPC magazine, AEGIA said it's determining a new release date bcz, developers haven't finished any titles to use it. So it could be in 1 qtr...who knows.

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My comments and guesses are in blue.

if i were to get an ageia physics card for GRAW,

1. would it really change the experience enough that it would be worth the money

Chances are, right now, it wouldn't be that much.  Not with software carrying most of the load for now.

2. how much does it really cost?

They say 250-300.00USD, form what I heard.

3. what are the downfalls of buying the first type of a new card

Too numerous to actually list.  Go back aways and remeber the Voodoo cards, and the Monster3D Accelerators.  What a pain before they were out a year.

4. how would i install it

Plugging it in woulod be fairly easy, like installing a video card.  Drivers on the otherhand and chipset compatability could be major issues.

5. and would this cost me more money?

Most certainly alot more money, since it's been stated tht it won't be flashable or upgradeable, only replaceable with the next revision.  So potentially, you could be looking at a new one every 6 months or so, depending on how fast software developers jump onboard, and innovations.

Something like this, it would definitely be in your best interest, especially if you aren't made of money, to wait till it's been out 6 months, and check reviews of performance, bugs, etc.

just a few questions i never could get a straight up answer for...

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My comments and guesses are in blue.

thats my thoughts too :rocky:

There is absolutely no way you will get your four core processor (especially since if im wrong your talking intel Intel :x) to do what one of these cards can do. I can live with a crappy graphics card, as long as I can get playable framerates even on lower settings I will be happy (obviously I would prefer higher though).

btw. I don't have a 4 core proc atm. I was talking about the geek machines in 2007

currently I have a Athlon64 X2 and that for development reasons not for gaming.

What do you expect from that physics computing done by the PPU? There are no

qualified infos what the PPU is doing for GRAW.

Most of the physics effects are bound to the gfx so I can't understand what you

expect and why you want to play on low or average gfx settings.

Here are my ideas for the proc but I don't see them coming because they need much

much memory too.

- particle effects (dust, dirt and garbage flying around by the wind) like in

the beginning of the second dev diary trailer

- realistic (not predefined and precalculated) destruction of buildings, landscape, cars, ...

- realistic clouds and weather

What can be in short term without much memory.

- vehicles driving physically correct

- vehicle damage (not destruction piece by piece)

- ballistics, not only projectiles

- dirt like in the PS3 motor storm trailer

- all the stuff we saw in HL2

The last list can be done by the cpu. You will see these features on consoles

too, whithout PPU.

Edited by Striker-1991

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None of those effects you described should really take all that much memory. At least not compared to graphics cards. Graphics cards have to know where stuff is, and store the textures for that stuff. Almost all of that data is textures. Physics processing doesnt require those textures, just the locations, shapes, and interaction characteristics of all of the particles being dealt with. You can keep that to a relatively small amount of data by categorizing it. You will generally have quite a few identical particles so you just have a category for that type of particle, then within that category x, y, z and orientation values (if they arent sphereical) for each particle.

So while you would still need some memory (prefferably onboard obviously, otherwise it would take all day to load each calculation) it shouldnt be anything like what graphics cards need. Thats simply because with a graphics card you have to do a little bit of processing to a lot of stuff, whereas with physics you do a lot of processing to a little bit of stuff.

I havent actually seen one of these cards obviously so all of this is speculation on my part, but I have done some programming and all of it would seem to make sense.

Anyway you are right, it seems like for GRAW most of what you will get from this card is visual effects. I am mostly just excited because the thing that I want more than anything in a game is fully destructible terrain, and I see this card as the best way to go about that. In fact, if we dont have it by default (I would assume we wont otherwise it would be all over their website) maybe modders could do it?

Wow that was a long post.

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IIRC the Asus cards were going to have 128MB onboard, I don't know if that's a set figure, or if there could be different brands/models with more or less. Either way that's a huge amount of memory simply for storing object positions and behaviours.

I think that even with quad cores, I think it'll be a long time before general purpose CPUs can compare to the vector processing capabilities of a specialised processor, if they could then quad cores would be touted as graphics card replacements too.

I'm hoping to buy one myself but I'll probably wait a few months for revised models to come (and revised prices too).

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3. what are the downfalls of buying the first type of a new card?

Anywhere from zero to, as Specter said, too many to count.

The danger here, though, is not as much in buying the first type of new card; the danger is being one of the first people to buy the first type of a new card.

If you're one of the first people, you simply don't know what you're getting. It might be everything promised, truly revolutionary, OR it might be bug-infested and nearly worthless even when it is working. You simply won't know at the time you plop your money down if you're one of the first people.

Wisdom would suggest that you should wait until it's out for a while and see what the early adoptors (read:beta-testers) have to say.

--Logos

Edited by Logos

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OKay, I double-posted and had an empty post here, so I'm filling it with these thoughts.

a) There are demo videos over at the AGEIA site that everyone should see. They're not pretty, but then again, it's not a graphics company. What they do show is some pretty impressive physics that wouldn't suck up your CPU if you had their card.

b) The card ostensibly supports 30,000 simultaneously moving rigid body objects, which I'm pretty sure would currently send all of our computers straight to their desktops.

c) AGEIA has said before that these cards would not need upgrading at the rate of our current graphics cards. Who knows? But I'm inclined to believe until I see otherwise.

d) I read some time back that AGEIA is doing something with SONY for the Playstation 3, which might turn out to be software based or hardware-based. I suspect the former, but don't be too quick to say the next-gen consoles don't use this technology.

e) I could easily see these PPU's going the route of soundcards -- dedicated cards, or motherboards having onboard PPU's.

f) CD-players used to be over $100. I think they're $20 now. PPU cards won't be $250-$300 forever.

g) Intel or AMD should buy this company and start planning a PPU core.

h) That new Lara Croft has a cartoonishly long neck.

--Logos

Edited by Logos

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