Asus 128mb PhysX Card Review/Preview

The Card, Specs and Bundle

The Card

The card itself is pretty small - comparable in size to my Creative Audigy 2 ZS. It has a small cooler with an Aluminium heatsink and you can see it requires a molex power connecter. You can see the cooler also cools some of the mosfets so that's a bonus.

ageia physx

The rear of the card shows that the heatsink is pretty firmly attached so no problems there.

ageia physx

All in all a decent arrangement. Obviously the card does not need a huge amount of cooling.

Naked we can see the PhysX chip and the PCB with 4 x 32mb Samsung K4J52324QC-BC20 chips rated at 500MHz

ageai physx naked

It's pretty strange seeing a PCI backplate that has no outputs but thats what Ageia's card has!

ageia physx

Specifications

There is a general lack of information about the actual tech specs of PhysX on the web but from what I can glean

PCI Interface

* Processor Type: AGEIA PhysX
* Transistor Count: 125 Million
* Silicon: 14 x 13.5mm (some 188mm²)
* Manufacturing Process: 130nm
* Bus Technology: 32-bit PCI 3.0
* Memory Interface: 128-bit GDDR3
* Memory Capacity: 128MB
* Memory Bandwidth: 12Gbytes/sec.
* Memory Clock: 733MHz
* Peak Instruction Bandwidth: 20 Billion Instructions/sec
* Sphere-Sphere collision/sec: 530 Million max
* Convex-Convex (Complex) collisions/sec: 533,000 max
* Adaptor/Cable bundled: Power Cable

Support for up to 32,000 rigid body objects, soft body objects, particle systems containing 40,000-50,000 particles, fluid modelling and collision detection.

Ageia have said that they are going to implement PhysX on PCI-E, but the card is on PCI at present.

Upcoming Games

Can be found here

Here is the list from Ageia's site.

ageia release list
































Development

Ageia provide tools to developers:

PhysX Builder™

Comprehensive tool set to create, preview, tune, and debug physics content

PhysX Create™


Includes plug-ins for both 3DS Max and Maya

  • Add physics to game objects
  • Advanced rag-doll creation and editing
  • Creation of cloth and clothing
  • Preview physics interaction in the interactive viewport!
  • Import/Export via binary, ASCII or Collada to content creation tools or game editor/ game engine

PhysX Rocket™


Enables high-performance preview and tuning of PhysX content

  • Modular and extensible allowing developer to customize to suite own needs
  • Ideal environment for creation, viewing and tuning of fluids and vehicle models
    • Import/Export via binary, ASCII or Collada to content creation tools or game editor/ game engine

PhysX VRD™


Real-time visual remote debugger

  • Real-time view into the PhysX runtime
  • Captures and plays back PhysX simulation for interactive debugging
  • Stop and inspect data at any point in the simulation
  • Connects via TCP/IP to PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 runtime

So all in all PhysX looks good for what it can do. The exciting thing for me is real time dynamic liquid simulation as well as cloth effects and then the obvious particle behaviour you will notice the most. Ageia have also made the PhysX engine easy to approximate on next-gen consoles so that once deployed in a game this can be a cross-platform development platform.

Basically PhysX accelerates a whole lot of physics in the dedicated hardware. This enables some awesomely cool physics effects - given good game programming.

Bundle

I was pretty impressed with the Asus bundle with this card.

Included is:

Asus PhysX Card
Molex Power extension cable
Demo of Switchball (small physics puzzle demo)
Demo of Cell factor
Full Version of Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter
Ageia PhysX Drivers
Ageia PhysX installation CD
CD Wallet

ageia physx

This is about as complete as you could get a bundle with the card at this time. Asus has done well with the bundle.

asus physx ageia

The wallet is pretty good quality and this is a nice touch from Asus making you feel that you have bought something a bit special.

Including GRAW is basically a must with this card in my opinion and it is good to see this included in the bundle. It is an AAA title and so this is a definite plus when considering the bundle.

The Cooler

Usually we look at graphics cards coolers in our reviews: so lets take a closer look at Asus's cooling implementation.

ageia physx

ageia physx

The fan stays on full throughout the time that the PC is on, but the noise does not stand out above even a quiet system with the nice 7900GTX 512mb cooler on it. The fan is an Evercool 12v T125010DM. Obviously this card does not put out much heat as this heatsink and fan combo is pretty lightweight and quiet.

Also note it take up a single PCI slot and so you can fit another PCI card in the bottom slot if you are using a single 7900GTX like I decided to in my review.
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Most Recent Comments

11-07-2006, 09:42:46

FarFarAway
We have the card you're all trying to win! We see if it's really worth buying into Physics technology

Click here for the full review

11-07-2006, 09:49:47

Dav0s
w00t, been waiting for this, lemme have a read

11-07-2006, 10:01:22

Raging
sweet reveiw

those physics look muchos tasty

can i ask a favour though?

would you mind checking if the card has the following ram chips on it?

and how many it has.

"Samsung K4J52324QC-BC20 16 Mbit x 32 GDDR3 500 MHz FBGA 136 M54P"

cheers.

11-07-2006, 10:08:55

FarFarAway
May I ask why? Pretty sure it has those chips on it but why?

11-07-2006, 10:09:37

Dav0s
nice review...didnt realise they were that expensive tho!

11-07-2006, 10:14:52

masterblaster
best review I've seen for ages.

well done

11-07-2006, 10:24:33

Raging
because it may infact have 256mb of memory and not 128mb

please check?:eyes: hehe

cheers J.

11-07-2006, 10:27:38

masterblaster
probably because it is 256mb but Aegis had some UK exclusive agreement on the chipset so they had to advertise it as 128mb to avoid being sued.

or so I'm told

11-07-2006, 10:29:02

Dav0s
thats why kemp

11-07-2006, 10:30:20

FarFarAway
OK

Lemme switch off and yank it out then

11-07-2006, 10:37:00

JN
Yeah thats what i heard from somewhere too

11-07-2006, 10:45:37

Raging
indeed it is ,and thx in advance for checking

11-07-2006, 11:02:15

FarFarAway

11-07-2006, 11:07:22

Raging


shame on ocuk though,they claim on their forums that they had the only 256mb ones because of a deal with asus,thats bad.

nice to see the addition about the ram chips on the reveiw-again a great reveiw matt

so it looks like all the asus physx cards are 256mb

now a 256mb physx card,graw and all those other extras is pretty good for the price now

cheers.

11-07-2006, 11:48:26

FarFarAway
So....4 x 32mb = 256??

How does that work?

Their single sided DIMMs

11-07-2006, 11:54:42

|3ourne
bloody nice review mate. Still doesnt seem like it deserves me money just yet. Im waiting for ATI's physix solution .

11-07-2006, 12:04:02

Raging
my mistake...oh well maybe they might have the only 256mb ones

are you sure though because the pics of ocuk ones has four and looks the same:eh:

11-07-2006, 13:05:58

FragTek
so does this mean that the card we are giving away is possibly a 256 rather than a 128 then?

ill check out the review when I get home, looks intense mate!

11-07-2006, 13:29:31

glocktodahead
That was a very well done review Matt. I am going to hold off purchasing one until Unreal Tournament 2007 comes out because if that game utilizes the physX card fully then I will definately go out and buy one Lets hope new games continue to come out with support for them. I can just imagine how sweet games are going to look with DirectX10, PhysX capability and a sweet graphics card.

12-07-2006, 08:19:51

PV5150
w00tage, awesome review Kemp I just wanted to ask a couple of questions if I may:

1)Do you believe that the PhysX card will add another level to future game immersion?

2)Did you find the game physics realistic enough; was it just as easy to throw a large object, as a small object?

3)Does the debris stay around where it fell after an explosion (like it should), or does it fade away like most 'console' games do?

12-07-2006, 08:35:23

FarFarAway
Quote:
Originally Posted by PV5150
w00tage, awesome review Kemp I just wanted to ask a couple of questions if I may:

1)Do you believe that the PhysX card will add another level to future game immersion?
Yep I sure do if devs can implement it like it is in Cell Factor...and thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='PV5150'
2)Did you find the game physics realistic enough; was it just as easy to throw a large object, as a small object?
Physics are incredibly realistic and they interact as it seems they should do in real life as regards size/shape and weight

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='PV5150'
3)Does the debris stay around where it fell after an explosion (like it should), or does it fade away like most 'console' games do?
G.R.A.W. does not stay as stated but Cell factor the bigger parts stayed and general debris did too. Some did disappear but I imagine this would be due to an efficiency Algorithm on the PPU so that the GPU doesn't have too many game "objects" to rendor (which would reduce framerates to unplayable levels)

All answered?

12-07-2006, 08:39:16

PV5150
Excellent mate...thank you. Soz I must have missed where you stated in the review, my bad

12-07-2006, 11:41:06

FragTek
Just got done reading the review and damn Kemp! That is a wicked little addition. If I still had a gaming computer you can bet the bank I'd have a PhysX card in it.

Absolutely killer review too mate, very well put together. A+

03-09-2013, 16:40:53

T3chwarri0r
I just read ur review but there are no more pics in it its all empty. I wannted to time travel and see what PhisX was about in 2006. Do you have these images still somewhere?

03-09-2013, 19:36:57

jamesriley94
Quote:
Originally Posted by T3chwarri0r View Post
I just read ur review but there are no more pics in it its all empty. I wannted to time travel and see what PhisX was about in 2006. Do you have these images still somewhere?
Bumping a thread from 2006 for that?

It's not unusual for images to disappear over such a long time.

Nobody who's posted in this thread is still around on the forums today - so I highly doubt your question will be answered.

04-09-2013, 03:57:20

SuB
lol Holy Necro Post batman! That said, I still have a PhysX card lying about somewhere and from what I remember they are still better than using a GPU. Mental little things.

04-09-2013, 04:10:23

ObscureParadox
Mother of all necro bump XD
Reply
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