Hardware PhysX Acceleration is Disabled (GeForce or Ageia) when ATI GPU is Present


Radeon Graphics

October 3, 2009:
Here are two important updates about NVIDIA PhysX and ATI Radeon story:

This news seems to confirm a fact I noticed few weeks ago when I did some PhysX tests with the very-upcoming GeeXLab. When an ATI Radeon graphics card is installed and used for graphics rendering, the hardware PhysX acceleration is disabled by NVIDIA drivers. The news says that only users who have an NVIDIA card installed for PhysX and an ATI card for graphics are affected.

Since the release of 186 graphics drivers NVIDIA has decided to disable PhysX anytime a non-NVIDIA GPU is present in the same PC.

The source of this news comes from NGOHQ where we can read this:

“Hello JC,

Ill explain why this function was disabled.

Physx is an open software standard any company can freely develop hardware or software that supports it. Nvidia supports GPU accelerated Physx on NVIDIA GPUs while using NVIDIA GPUs for graphics. NVIDIA performs extensive Engineering, Development, and QA work that makes Physx a great experience for customers. For a variety of reasons – some development expense some quality assurance and some business reasons NVIDIA will not support GPU accelerated Physx with NVIDIA GPUs while GPU rendering is happening on non- NVIDIA GPUs. I’m sorry for any inconvenience caused but I hope you can understand.

Best Regards,
NVIDIA Customer Care”

But how Ageia PhysX PPU owners are affected?

I’ve just done some tests with PhysX FluidMark, a Radeon HD 4850 for graphics rendering and an Ageia PhysX card for PhysX acceleration. Here are the results (benchmark settings: fullscreen, 1280×1024, 60 seconds, no AA):

  • Radeon HD 4850 (Catalyst 9.10 beta) + PhysX in software mode: score = 627 points
  • Radeon HD 4850 (Catalyst 9.10 beta) + PhysX in hardware mode (runtimes 8.08.01 + Ageia PPU): score = 1176 points
  • Radeon HD 4850 (Catalyst 9.10 beta) + PhysX in hardware mode (runtimes 8.09.04 + Ageia PPU): score = 1175 points
  • Radeon HD 4850 (Catalyst 9.10 beta) + PhysX in software mode (runtimes 9.09.0814 + Ageia PPU): score = 630 points – I didn’t manage to enable hardware mode!
  • Radeon HD 4850 (Catalyst 9.10 beta) + PhysX in software mode (runtimes 9.09.14 + Ageia PPU): score = 634 points – I didn’t manage to enable hardware mode!

From this test, Ageia PhysX card is not supported anymore from 9.09.0814. PhysX runtimes 9.09.0814 are the same generation than ForceWare 186.xx…

Conclusion: seems all cards that can accelerate PhysX (GeForce and Ageia PPU) are disabled when a Radeon is present if you use latest NVIDIA drivers (ForceWare or PhysX).

Not cool! Not cool at all! 🙁

25 thoughts on “Hardware PhysX Acceleration is Disabled (GeForce or Ageia) when ATI GPU is Present”

  1. horacio

    These people from Nvidia, getting worse.
    I hope you have Directx 11 or OpenCL success, so do not depend anymore Physx

  2. filip007

    They want less work that’s the problem…

    So why then i must install this PhysX if i want to play The Darkest Day on Radeon it runs just fine on X1950XT?

  3. filip007

    The blocked if you have on XP like one Radeon and one Gefore and install for Geforce just PhysX drivers.

  4. jd

    Another reason not to buy Nvidia products – who knows if they will disable their products any time in the future if they don’t like some other piece of hardware you own? It’s all politics BS and Nvidia doesn’t care if they customer suffers.

  5. Pingback: Nvidia disables PhysX when ATI card is present - Page 19

  6. FormerNvidiaCustomer

    Lifelong customer of Nvidia but now I’m fed up with their shi*. Going to buy ATI for my next card and don’t care if I get physx or not. Bye bye nvidia, and good luck with your failed business tactics and hope you enjoy the community backlash.

  7. Zogrim

    “From this test, Ageia PhysX card is not supported anymore from 9.09.0814.”
    Ageia is supported only on 8.09.04 and earlier. You must install older drivers over 8.09.04 (without uninstall) to get it working. It’s said in every single PhysX driver release notes since then.

  8. JeGX Post Author

    Maybe there is something I missed but in PhysX systems oftware @ NVIDIA it’s written:

    Runtime upgrade ONLY for AGEIA PhysX processors users. (New AGEIA PhysX processors installations should install older PhysX system software such as version 8.09.04 – prior to installing this update). Note – AGEIA PPU acceleration support for 2.8.1 SDK or earlier, and Windows Vista and Windows XP only.”

    What I understand is you have to install firstly driver 8.09.04 and after you can install a new version like 9.09.0814 to have an upgrade for Ageia PhysX PPU.
    It’s not said that new version doesn’t support PhysX PPU…

  9. Zogrim

    “It’s not said that new version doesn’t support PhysX PPU”
    PhysX System Software cointains several components – PhysX SDK libraries (all that 2.3.x-2.8.x folders), GPU PhysX CUDA layer, and – Ageia PPU firmware, that is ommited from PhysX drivers older than 8.09.04. So you need to install those 8.09.04 drivers prior everything else to get your PPU recognised as a device.

    Have you done all this steps correctly while testing ? I haven’t system with ATI card in my sight, so I can’t check it too.

  10. JeGX Post Author

    Yes Sir, I’ve done all steps. I even installed directly the version 9.09.0814 without a prior install of 8.09.04. And in that case, Ageai PhysX card is not detected and it’s correct according to NVIDIA release notes. But when I first install 8.09.04 and just after I install 9.09.0814, Ageia PhysX card is properly detected. So with 8.09.04 + 9.09.0814, hardware acceleration should be enabled for Ageia card.

    Zogrim, if you have an Ageia card (with a GeForce for graphics) , could you please check if the Ageia card is supported with 8.09.04 + 9.09.0814?

  11. Zogrim

    Hmm.. that’s strange.

    Sure, I’ll check it, but little later, as I’ll need to free some slots to install my old PPU)

  12. JeGX Post Author

    Cool 😉

    As soon as I shutdown my dev station (currently with a GeForce GTS 250), I’ll plug the Ageia card inside.

  13. Zogrim

    JeGX, I think it’s not comments, but e-mail talk. I’ll try to gather some volunteers with different configurations, to do some extensive testing.

    If it’s all true even I at PhysXInfo won’t stand aside, but it need more investigation.

  14. jadfa

    Perhaps such a hack could be use to enable PhysX with ATI card as a main adapter?
    (yes, in fact my HD4870 is a GTS260 😉

  15. Pingback: ATI + PhysX ban: even Ageia PPUs are affected ? | PhysXInfo.com - PhysX News

  16. Pingback: AMD Vs Intel » AMD comments on NVIDIA dropping PhysX support when ATI hardware is present

  17. david

    didn’t you guys read the email from tech support at nvidia? they admitted they were no longer supporting physX with ati. How hard can it be to understand?

  18. WacKEDmaN

    I demand a refund from nvidia…i purchaced a geforce9 just for physx..now they pull support and im left with a card i cant use..

    if nvidia dont do a backflip on this soon…they will never see any $$ from me or my customers ever again

  19. Pingback: A Patch to Re-Enable Hardware PhysX When ATI Card is Present | The Geeks Of 3D - 3D Tech News

  20. angryman!!!!

    well i bought a physx card and had a geforce 6600 gts.. now i own a sapphire hd4890 vapor x(highly recommended..great card-cool running and no jet engine cooler like the nvidia gtx275 and 285!).. they should still allow the physx hardware card to work with any gpu card, after all every bought one before nvidia bought them out.. we all know why theyve done it but dont have the balls to say it!.. the physx card should always have its own driver.. nvidia are the facists of the gpu market!!! lol

  21. jim

    idiots this thing disables physx in nvidia ion too,stupit nvidia i should go with ati.

  22. Pingback: Geeks3D – 2009 Retrospective | The Geeks Of 3D - 3D Tech News

  23. Pingback: [TEST] R257.15 Can Fix Everything: Radeon and GeForce Cards Can Now Work Again Together Side-by-Side for 3D and PhysX! - 3D Tech News, Pixel Hacking, Data Visualization and 3D Programming - Geeks3D.com

Comments are closed.