Choice of GPU Brand

By seanbennet
Jan 20, 2010
  1. I am contemplating building my own desktop. I have lately been wondering, and it may be an illogical question:

    I have been told that there are people who have multi-card set-ups (Nvidia in SLI, presumably) who have one of their multiple cards dedicated to handling the physics in a game. My question is this:

    On mobos that support both Nvidia and ATI graphics hardware, is it possible to have a card from each of them? I wonder if it is possible to have one of the latest cards from ATI to handle the graphics side of things, and an Nvidia card dedicated to handle the physics in games that support the feature?
  2. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,433   +143

    Waste of money IMO.

    Also, no.
  3. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,258

    Short answer is no.
    If you run an ATI card as the primary graphics and try to run the nVidia card as a PhysX engine the nVidia driver will detect the ATI card and disable PhysX.

    PhysX is proprietry tech that nVidia acquired through the acquisition of Ageia some time back, and between protecting their investment and bloody-mindedness will not allow it to be used with either ATI cards in conventional Intel chipsets, nor in the Lucid Hydra equipped MSI Fuzion.

    Waste of money is a relative concept.
    I bought a GTX280 six months after launch when the card was in a price war with the HD 4890 (which I also own) - cost...50% of initial retail $US290 at todays exchange rate. In September of 2009 I added a second GTX280. Thank's to the recession I had little competition in the online auction. Cost....$US180. All up cost $US470.
    The is no DX9 or 10 game I cannot play at 1920x1080 at maximum detail at less than a playable level....and I mean continous smooth gameplay-no dropout, no stuttering, no tear with a visual quality a HD 5870 cannot match -Yes, I have had one in the same system.
    Is it worth it.....CoD :World at War 1920x1080, max detail 60 fps minimum, 90 fps average.,
    Crysis Warhead...1920x1080, Gamer setting, 2xMSAA, 60 fps ain't cheap, and SLI certainly has it's quirks, but when it works, it flies.......all in all, I'd say yeah, if you can afford it, then why not.
  4. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,433   +143

    I don't its any reason to buy another card, then use it for PhysX.
    I would imagine the only time you would use a dedicated card for PhysX is if you just upgraded and have spare card that your not using, and its too old to sell, or you too lazy to, or you want it as a backup.

    Yes waste of money is relative, but it really isn't the best bang for buck.
  5. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,258

    No, I certainly wouldn't advocate buying a dedicated PhysX card either...especially if seanbennet plans on using an ATI card as well.
    A PhysX card only makes sense if it's dirt cheap, has a Gig of RAM onboard and your primary nVidia card is a beast that can make use of the PhysX component. Most of the time it's just taking up space (and power) for little or no tangible reward since most games don't support PhysX to any great extent.

    As a general rule I don't advise anyone buying a card at it's launch price, regardless of it's intended purpose. Overpriced with buggy drivers doesn't make for a pleasant graphics experience.
  6. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,681   +86

    Also physx alone is not good enough reason to buy nVidia ..... I am not even sure at this point in time that upcoming GF100 (fermi) will be much better than ATI 5xxx. Anyway, have to wait and see for that; and probably once thats out prices of ATI shall come down as well, resulting in much better choices for users :)
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