Asus 128mb PhysX Card Review/Preview

Gaming on PhysX: G.R.A.W.

Gaming Testing - Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter

G.R.A.W. is a game that is allows for hardware and software support of the PhysX card. It's the first full retail game that can claim this and as far as I am aware the only game actually out that allows for PhysX card support.

G.R.A.W. is a first person shooter that is heavy on HDR lighting, particle effects and of course: physics effects. It does not put a huge strain on the PC is was using although with it being a slow FPS I found that around 30FPS was acceptable. If your PC can run CoD 2, F.E.A.R. and Oblivion then it can definitely run this game: although I will say that you need to run it at fairly high settings to see all the nice particle physics effects.

I am not here to give a review of the game itself but I will make some comment on the gameplay seeing as the game is bundled with the card.

Gameplay

The game is a tense, tactical shooter. I'll revise that. It's a hard tense tactical shooter. For someone like me who usually plays a game on normal, then on hard it is pretty hard.

The HDR lighting effects are very nice but I feel that the colours are very slightly "washed out" - maybe I haven't got to a bright bit in the game yet. The graphics are very nice altogether and are definitely worthy of a new PC game - perhaps lacking the "sparkle" of games like Oblivion.

The controls are pretty intuitive and I quite enjoy sending my team here and there to kill enemy soldiers.

But, I hear you cry, "What are the physics effects like?"

In my opinion G.R.A.W. has not fully utilised the strengths of the physx card. This is not to say that it does not use them at all, it does use them with sparks flying when you hit metal, cars being destroyed when you shoot them and walls with lots of fragments coming off them.

All is not rosy for those among you who are really wanting to see what PhysX can do. After you shot that wall and the dust settles the fragments disappear and sometimes makes you feel a little non-plussed. But then sometimes you'll have enjoyed blowing up the lorry so much you simply will not care!

However when you do come across some decent explosions the PhysX card takes it all in it's stride and they are very impressive. It's just a shame more isn't made of the physics aspect of the game. Imagine being able to blow down the top of a building and kill several enemy soldiers in the process!

Screenshots and Video's

I have provided you with some screenshots and video's of PhysX in action.

First a comparison of no PhysX and PhyX on destroying a wall:

No PhysX

ageia physx

With PhysX

ageia physx

The gun is different but you get the point: the particles fly all over the place and are much more prevalent than they are without PhysX

Next we see some car/lorry destroying:

ageia physx

Lorry explosion (2 pics sequence)

ageia physx graw

ageia physx graw

Car explosion (2 pics sequence)

ageia physx graw

ageia physx graw

The sparks are a very nice touch and all cars in the game can really be shot and blown up!

Here's a video of a grenade thrown at a van. Click Here to download

And a very nice clip of a lorry I decided to blow up click Here

You can see the effects of a grenade in the game is much more pronounced than in normal games with a lot more debris. I was very impressed with the lorry being blown up in the clip and this was definitely a fun thing to do.

Does G.R.A.W. really take advantage of PhysX?

All in all I think that G.R.A.W. lacks that killer touch when it comes to physics. It is better than your average game but when you take a look at F.E.A.R. and the explosions and effects in that you are a little disappointed in all honesty. However it is good fun destroying lorry's and all sorts of other objects in the game and the game itself grows on you.

Don't be dissuaded yet...read on to see why I think PhysX really is an excellent product...

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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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