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Nvidia: No Physx bribery

AMD vs. Nvidia: Nvidia responds to AMD's attack on Physx

Recently AMD criticized Nvidia's Physx and said the Geforce makers would pay to get their physics system integrated in modern games. PC Games Hardware now received Nvidia's answer to those claims.
The PC version of Batman: Arkham Asylum did benefit a lot from graphics cards that support Nvidia's Physx. Later the incident has been referred to as Batmangate.
The PC version of Batman: Arkham Asylum did benefit a lot from graphics cards that support Nvidia's Physx. Later the incident has been referred to as Batmangate. [Source: view picture gallery]
The struggle between AMD and Nvidia about Physx is running for quite some time already. Back in January AMD said Physx lacks proper CPU optimization. Now Nadeem Mohammed, Director of Product Management, Physx, at Nvidia answered questions PC Games Hardware asked as a reaction to AMD's recent claim that Nvidia bribes game developers to have Physx implemented into new PC games.

PCGH: AMD claims that no other developer besides Epic wanted PhysX in their games and that Nvidia pays for every implementation. Is that true?
Nadeem Mohammed: AGEIA had worked with Epic to integrate PhysX into their UE3, and other developers even before the acquisition by NVIDIA. Since that time the popularity of PhysX has increased to a point that it is now the most popular Physics Solution with over 240 games already shipped and many in development. Selecting a physics solution for integration with a game is a major decision on the part of the developer, and one of the most important criteria for selection is the functionality and tools provided for game consoles - and a poor decision/selection of physics solution could have a major impact on the developers means to deliver or even complete their project. Sorry that is a long answer to the simple question, but it's important to understand the overall context - we do not pay developers to select PhysX instead of other physics solution. Once PhysX is selected and the developer plans to have a PC version, we will work closely with them to provide whatever engineering and technical assistance to make the PC version as good as it can be - and hopefully that includes pushing the edge on special PhysX effects which may require GPU acceleration for best performance. We will "invest” our time, energy, expertise and technology to make good games into great PC titles - if that's what AMD is talking about then sure they are right!

When we find games that we think PC gamers are really going to enjoy - weather they have PhysX or not we will test the games in a building full of test servers to find any driver issues upfront - to ensure every GeForce user has a great experience, if our board partners want to bundle games we'll try to broker the deals to try to get the best value to our end users. We work really hard to cultivate good relationships with developers with the single purpose of delivering the best possible gaming experience for all PC gamers - a big chunk of whom are NVIDIA GeForce users. What's AMD doing to help PC gamers?

PCGH: AMD claims that PhysX is proprietary. What's your reaction?
Nadeem Mohammed: PhysX is a complete Physics solution which runs on all major platforms like PS3, XBOX360, Wii, PC with Intel or AMD CPU, and on the PC with GeForce cards; it even runs on iPhone. It's available for use by any developer for inclusion in games for any platform - all free of license fees. There's nothing restrictive or proprietary about that. We have been told that some AMD spokespeople talk about PhysX being like 3DFX's GLIDE API - that's even more of inaccuracy analogy, games written for GLIDE simple would not run on any system without a 3DFX card, whereas PhysX runs on more platforms than any other Physics Solution out there, and comes with tools and plug-ins, like APEX which help developers create content which can actually scale between different solutions. So please try out some of the latest PC titles - and give feedback to the developers on what things gamers really want in games - let's keep on pushing the industry to make killer games together!
If you are interested in the whole story about the Physx struggle, we recommend the following articles:
AMD vs. Nvidia - Physx said to lack proper CPU optimization
AMD - Game devs only use PhysX for the cash (
Exclusive tech interview on Metro 2033

Picture gallery  (enlarge to view source)

Author: Kristoffer Keipp (Mar 12, 2010)


Comments (13)

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ruyven_macaran Re: AMD vs. Nvidia: Nvidia responds to AMD's attack on Physx
Super Moderator
15.03.2010 15:18
Personally I see two companies that are so much centered into getting their opponent down that they forget to do some actual improvements that their should-be-buyers could actually profit from.
Nvidia has done virtually nothing since they bought up Ageia - and Ageia themselves hasn't done much more then developing the PPU and fitting API, since they got the Novodex-engine. So half a decade later we still stand with a engine, that can do hardly anything more, then go'ole Havoc, except calculating excessively high numbers of uselessly small increments, IF provided with excessively powerful, expensive and specialised hardware. So asside from some game developers enjoing Nvidias physics-engine-for-free offer, the whole project is nothing more then a nice topic for magazines to add in a couple of pages with those other benchmarks. To become a real revolution, one would require something that makes a real difference in gameplay, but creates only a 10-20% more load on existing hardware. This would allow game designers to integrate it mandatory, because it will run somehow, but at the same time it would force people to upgrade for best performance. Obviously, this would also require, that one can upgrade. Instead of replace. So no we-won't-allow-you-anything-as-long-as-you-have-bought-anything-from-any-of-our-competitors as Nvidia has been done for years now with virtually any development, that went beyond "display a picture".
But as long, as we only get 321235252 particles were once 1233 were sufficient and even this only on a few selected products and as long as we don't want certain other products...
Thats for Nvidia, who do a lot in marketing but nothing sensible in my opinion. (one might pretty well call their please-ad-laughing-real-to-emphasis-so-called-funny-part "cartoons" their most typical product)

As for AMD: All they do is bicker about Nvidia and release a bit of hot air, when nvidias marketing gets to much attention (read: every couple of days). The last time, I've seen something new coming purely from the direction of ATI, was back when they tried (and failed) to introduce their curved-surface implementation. The rest of the time they just made hardware, that fits a new DirectX level (okay: They also participate in the development of these, but there are several more players their und we would be only half as dependend on them, if ATI would put any efforts in OpenGL for their desktopproducts). Now this would be completely fine - we need companies that simply just offer a affordable, well desigend product capable of the basic functions. But AMD can't hold just one week from bragging, how they are the most advanced and revolutionary company to hit the globe since, sometimes resorting to pure insulting, if nothing else comes to minds (remember the real&faked quadcore campaign? Though the AMD vs. Intel CPU-bickering would be complete seperate, although quite similar story).

(please note: this personal opinion was asked for and is not based on representative tests, but on a couple of personal experience and mostly on the frustating pasttime "beeing mod in a forum full of nvidiafanboys and fanATIcs" that makes one feel every single press release like a slap in the face)
scavv Re: AMD vs. Nvidia: Nvidia responds to AMD's attack on Physx
13.03.2010 12:06
A much more interesting read: AMD and PhysX: history of the problem
And some figures:

Advanced physics in games are a growing market. AMD/Ati failed to jump on the boat and now they want "open" physics. Meanwhile the good games that use hardware PhysX are still few and far between. Will something new eventually emerge from all the corporate crap ?
ruyven_macaran Re: AMD vs. Nvidia: Nvidia responds to AMD's attack on Physx
Super Moderator
12.03.2010 23:45
Quote: (Originally Posted by UnreGGistered)
I don't care about what AMD is complaining about in the first question, but the second one... I am a bit confused... Why does Nadeem Mohammed say PhysX is not proprietary? Free licensing is different than proprietary software. If it is indeed not a proprietary software, then let it's open source be accessible for modification or changes.

Dunno, software licensing, rules and regulations change frequently and some are not so clear for me.

I'm used to the term "propietary" applied only to interfaces that are limited to one manufacturer. So GLide was propietary-api to 3dfx because they didn't allow any other hardware to use it. PhysX on the other hand runs on PPU, Cuda, x86 and Power architectures and if I understood nvidia correctly, it could rund on even a lot more, if the manufacturers of these devices developed a physX implementation. (or, in the case of ATI, even if they "just" opened all the information necessary to implement Cuda on Radeon)

"open source" is familar to me for software, whose code is freely avaluable for anyone to use as they please.
So first its a lot opener: You may not just implement it in your own project, you may even enhance it, take only parts and generally profit in all thinkable ways of the knowledge and work of someone else, without giving anything back, not even your help to establish a widely comaptible basis. (taking the physX example: You would be allowed to use the full GPU-PhysX-kernel, rename all the commands so that it gets incomaptible and market it under your name -lets say: DirectPhysics- while at the same time forbid Nvidia to use your new command names, so they might at least have the marketing benefit of compatible hardware)
Secondly it applies to Software, not APIs. Softwarecode actually represents a lot of intellectual work. An API like PhysX on the other hand is just a defined set of commands. Using an existing set will not give a competitor any advantages or savings aside from beeing compatible with existing solutions (an advantage, that works both ways), but he still has to create his own code that will either give the defined commands or be able to do the requiered calculations. (In case of PhysX, the former one -the PhysX-physicsengine- can actually be licenced for 0$, but it is not openly avaluable. Though no matter how you stretch the term, you could not call it propietory, as it is issued to wide range of developers. On instance of the later one, the PhysX-hardware implementation in Nvidias drivers and GPUs on the other hand is highly closed. No one has access, no one can manipulate or adopt it for his own hardware. So you might call this "propietory" if you have to. But you would not address the PhysX-API in this case)

Quote: (Originally Posted by spectral)
physx effects do not deliver "the best possible gaming experience for all PC gamers". atm a game with physx means extra (demanding) fluid, cloth & particle effects if you have a geforce card, and leaves anyone using a radeon card up s**t creek. some games even recommend 2 geforce cards to make those extra effects playable (darkvoid, batman AA, cryostasis).

Actually most PhysX games to neither feature demanding fluid, demanding cloth or exceptionally demanding particle effects and behave exactly the same, wether you have a geforce, radeon or gma. (well: okay, with gma that usually behave exceptionally crappy graphic wise, but the physics stay the same )

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