Username:
Password:
Remember Me?
   Lost your password?
Search



Mirror's Edge running smooth with Ageia PPU

Mirror's Edge benchmarks with Radeon HD 4870 plus Ageia card - Alternative to Nvidia Physx

Is the Physx card of Ageia still working in modern games? If yes, can Radeon users get the additional effects that are offered by Mirror's Edge for example? We checked it out.
Mirror's Edge running smooth with Ageia PPU
 
Mirror's Edge running smooth with Ageia PPU [Source: view picture gallery]
Mirror's Edge benchmarks - Ageia Card plus Radeon HD 4870: Introduction
Ageia once developed the Novodex physics engine and the appropriate PPU (Physics Processing Unit). The latter was supposed to revolutionize future games with unprecedented physics effects and should become the third main component in gaming PCs besides the graphics card and the processor. While the Novodex Engine is still used today, the PPU wasn't able to establish itself due to poor software support - and finally Ageia was bought by Nvidia. Novodex was renamed to Physx and due to the porting to Nvidia's Cuda it cannot just be run on the processor but also on modern Geforce GPUs.

Old and new Physx Control Panel
 
Old and new Physx Control Panel [Source: view picture gallery]


Mirror's Edge benchmarks - Ageia Card plus Radeon HD 4870: Installation
To use a modern Geforce for Physx calculations you should use the Geforce 181.22 WHQL driver and the Physx software v9.09.0010. You can activate GPU Physx in the control panel - to use a second Geforce is also possible.

If you install v8.09.04 without having deinstlled v9.09.0010 in advance, you will receive this error.
 
If you install v8.09.04 without having deinstlled v9.09.0010 in advance, you will receive this error. [Source: view picture gallery]
But in the case of the Ageia card you cannot use the new Physx software. Uninstall the current version and install the v8.09.04 WHQL after you have installed the PPU into your system. Now you start the "Nvidia Physx Properties” in the Windows start menu and select the Ageia PPU as hardware device in the settings. After that the Ageia card can be used with a Geforce or Radeon graphics card.

The combination of the Ageia PPU plus a Geforce or Radeon card works in older games like Cellfactor and Unreal Tournament 3, but also in the new Mirror's Edge. The idea for testing the Ageia card came up during the benchmarks for our Mirror's Edge: Physx effects benchmark review. Therefore we use the game for our PPU physics test.

Mirror's Edge with additional effects on the Ageia PPU.
 
Mirror's Edge with additional effects on the Ageia PPU. [Source: view picture gallery]
Mirror's Edge benchmarks - Ageia Card plus Radeon HD 4870: Benchmark results
Without additional effects like shattering glass panes and such things all calculations are done by the CPU, even if the Ageia PPU or a Geforce card is selected by hand. This is logical from Nvidia's point of view since the additional calculations would slow the graphics card down.

Mirror's Edge with additional effects on the CPU.
 
Mirror's Edge with additional effects on the CPU. [Source: view picture gallery]
With the additional effects we receive different results: If the CPU has to do the calculations the Radeon HD 4870/1G and the Geforce GTX 260-216 both reach single digit results only. If the Radeon is combined with the Ageia PPU the game runs up to eight times faster - thus the combo beats the Nvidia card with activated GPU Physx. The GTX 260-216 also benefits from the Ageia card and even beats the combination of a GTX 260-216 with a dedicated 9600 GT. It seems like the Ageia PPU calculates faster.






Mirror's Edge running smooth with Ageia PPU
 
Mirror's Edge running smooth with Ageia PPU [Source: view picture gallery]
Mirror's Edge benchmarks - Ageia Card plus Radeon HD 4870: Conclusion
An old broom sweeps clean - Ageia's Physx PPU is faster than a 9600 GT and makes Geforce exclusive physics effects available to Radeon owners. But time will tell if future games will still work with the Physx PPU.

As a Geforce owner you should stick to the GPU(s), since a secondhand passively cooled 9600 GT costs about the same as a actively cooled (and thus louder) Ageia PPU. And in this case the future support with drivers from Nvidia is secured, too.

--
Author: Marc Sauter (Jan 26, 2009)






Advertisement

Comments (26)

Comments 23 to 26  Read all comments here!
ruyven_macaran Re: Mirror's Edge benchmarks with Radeon HD 4870 plus Ageia card - Alternative to Nvidia Physx
Super Moderator
04.01.2010 00:39
I haven't heard of any such tests. Technically, it would be possible, to display 3d-images at 2x30Hz on a monitor, but Nvidia might block this option, as it offers catastrophic ergonomics (your eyes probably won't stand in for more then a couple of minutes) and probably a limited 3d experience when the brain starts to notice, that the eyes don't see slightly different images, but in fact one eyes sees an image and the other sees nothing.
Even if you can set it to 60Hz, if you can't switch the 120Hz-upscaler off, it might ruin the 3d-effect either by mixing/blurring (120Hz-scale usually interpolates every second image from the leading and following one, which is a bad idea, if these are meant for different eyes) and/or lagging (the shutter-glasses need to be in sync with the display, but a scale-up needs time and the following picture, so there should be some lag between in- and output that the 3d-vision software doesn't know of)
rafarataneneces Re: Mirror's Edge benchmarks with Radeon HD 4870 plus Ageia card - Alternative to Nvidia Physx
Junior Member
29.12.2009 09:20
Quote: (Originally Posted by ruyven_macaran)
You have a displayrate of 120Hz, so the display refreshes every 1/120th of a second (or at least it tries. I have yet to see a LCD, that manages an acutally response time below 15ms, let alone below 10ms).
What you probably not have, is an input that can master a signal with 120Hz. The TV uses a normal 60Hz input and scales it up to 120Hz by inserting frames. (after all there have been no sources in the past, that required more. in home entertainment there aren't even one, that can deliver more)
A pity that this won't help with 3D, as obviously every second frame is for the other eye and therefore can't be reconstructed but has to be transmitted.

As for trying Nvidias 3D vision: I have heard (though never seen), that they want(ed?) to demonstrate 'em at big electronic stores. Perhaps they do it in the USA (the definetly don't do it in Kiel, S-H)
The other option are big expos, where there probalbly will be several companies trying to show off (Nvidia themselves, graphic card companies, display companies,... - cebit2009 offered easily half a dozen possibilities from groups of 22" to nvidias 100+" dlp)
I definetly recommend, to test before buying or not buying at all (I will stick to the later one). Alternatively I don't know, wether the new 3D drivers reintroduced support for the good old Elsa revelator (nvidia skipped their long tradition of 3d-drivers with the introduction of 1xx-forceware), but if they do: revelator wasn't half as expensieve as 3d vision even when new, so they should be offered at reasonable prices on eBay (or not at all) and the technology is virtually the same. (the 3d vision googles look a bit more stylish and they shutter the whole glass -revelator only the central part-, thats all)


As of ATI: I haven't heard of any plans and I couldn't remember to ever have heard of an 3d-driver for ATI cards. But on the other hand it's not a very complicated principle, so they might crank it out within a few months or their might be 3rd party solutions once 100+Hz displays become more common.


Ok so your explanation is clear

now, one question

if I would buy the Nvidia 3D Vision
1) will I have a bad 3D image?
2) or will the software refuse to run?

My question is, even though my hardware is not optimal, has anybody already tried with 120Hz monitors (not 120Hz input monitors), and Nvidia 3D vision?
ruyven_macaran Re: Mirror's Edge benchmarks with Radeon HD 4870 plus Ageia card - Alternative to Nvidia Physx
Super Moderator
17.12.2009 22:41
You have a displayrate of 120Hz, so the display refreshes every 1/120th of a second (or at least it tries. I have yet to see a LCD, that manages an acutally response time below 15ms, let alone below 10ms).
What you probably not have, is an input that can master a signal with 120Hz. The TV uses a normal 60Hz input and scales it up to 120Hz by inserting frames. (after all there have been no sources in the past, that required more. in home entertainment there aren't even one, that can deliver more)
A pity that this won't help with 3D, as obviously every second frame is for the other eye and therefore can't be reconstructed but has to be transmitted.

As for trying Nvidias 3D vision: I have heard (though never seen), that they want(ed?) to demonstrate 'em at big electronic stores. Perhaps they do it in the USA (the definetly don't do it in Kiel, S-H)
The other option are big expos, where there probalbly will be several companies trying to show off (Nvidia themselves, graphic card companies, display companies,... - cebit2009 offered easily half a dozen possibilities from groups of 22" to nvidias 100+" dlp)
I definetly recommend, to test before buying or not buying at all (I will stick to the later one). Alternatively I don't know, wether the new 3D drivers reintroduced support for the good old Elsa revelator (nvidia skipped their long tradition of 3d-drivers with the introduction of 1xx-forceware), but if they do: revelator wasn't half as expensieve as 3d vision even when new, so they should be offered at reasonable prices on eBay (or not at all) and the technology is virtually the same. (the 3d vision googles look a bit more stylish and they shutter the whole glass -revelator only the central part-, thats all)


As of ATI: I haven't heard of any plans and I couldn't remember to ever have heard of an 3d-driver for ATI cards. But on the other hand it's not a very complicated principle, so they might crank it out within a few months or their might be 3rd party solutions once 100+Hz displays become more common.

Copyright © 2014 by Computec Media GmbH      About/Imprint  •  Terms/Conditions