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Physics Accelerator Card

Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 5:54 am
by LazyCoder
I was wondering if the AGEIA® PhysX® physics accelerator card was compatible with Blender's physics engine.

Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2006 5:00 pm
by z3r0_d
I belive ageia's physics engine [novodex?] is the only one that will get any benefit from that card

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 1:23 am
by LazyCoder
Dang, that would really come in handy for really big explosions and such.

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 9:07 am
by joeri
Maybe even for water simulations etc.

Posted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 3:20 pm
by fiammy
I agree, it might take some seconds off the rendering code (or even speed up the visualisation in the editing windows), but that would mean rewriting the physics engine. I can't help remembering what happened with 3Dfx: they dominated the 3D graphics card scene for several years, with ATI, S3, Matrox and nVidia not even at their heels. But then it collapsed, and nVidia took over.

Whether the collapse was due to the fact that 3Dfx wanted to sell the cards themselves (and not through the normal distributors such as Asus, Creative etc..., which, as a consequence, dropped the chips in their product lines), or the fact that the Voodoo 3 and later were huge dissapointments will never be known. Fact is, we're stuck with some games that use only the 3Dfx drivers, which makes them unusable under current 3D cards.

This seems to be starting the same way. the Novodex PhysX library is one of many physics engines, and this one happens to be powered by a specific chip. There is also the alternative of using the GPU on the graphics card to handle the physics (ATI and nVidia are experimenting)

My advice would be to wait a bit before committing resources towards a specific technology, given the fact that the playing field hasn't stabilised yet. the Novodex PhysX engine seems nice, but one needs the market share to survive. I'm not sure if ageia has that market share.