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Patch Re-Enables PhysX When ATI Card Is Present 130

An anonymous reader points us to a forum posting with the inevitable followup to NVIDIA's crippling of PhysX for users of any other display adapter. "Windows 7 allows two display drivers to be used at once — like in Windows XP. Therefore, it is possible to use an NVIDIA card for PhysX and ATI card for graphics rendering. Sadly, since the release of 186 graphics drivers, NVIDIA has decided to block this feature anytime a Non-NVIDIA GPU is present in the system. In addition, for some incomprehensible reasons, the latest version of PhysX System Software also prevents PPU cards from working if a Non-NVIDIA GPU is present. ... A forum member by the name of GenL has released an experimental beta patch [that] intercepts disable-PhysX-if-Radeon-is-present-code. So far, according to user comments the patch delivers successful results." The forum post has a link to the patch for Windows 7.
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Patch Re-Enables PhysX When ATI Card Is Present

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  • by fastest fascist ( 1086001 ) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @03:49PM (#29637515)
    NVIDIA Cease-and-desist e-mails going out in 3...2...1...
    • Hopefully they're realize it's stupid and remove it themselves.
      • by Splab ( 574204 ) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @04:10PM (#29637673)

        No, hopefully they will realize it's illegal before the EU helps them on their way.

        • by Jurily ( 900488 ) <jurily&gmail,com> on Sunday October 04, 2009 @04:38PM (#29637881)

          No, hopefully they will realize it's illegal before the EU helps them on their way.

          Yeah, it's only a matter of decades now.

        • by MrNaz ( 730548 ) *

          Hopefully when the EU does that we'll not get a torrent of ZOMG THE EU HATES US COMPANIES!!

          "Hopefully", I guess, in the same way that hopefully I'll get to take a trip to Jupiter on a three winged sabre tooth tiger named "Punky".

          • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

            Hopefully when the EU does that we'll not get a torrent of ZOMG THE EU HATES US COMPANIES!!

            Not to mention the flood of "COMPANIES SCREW EU CUSTOMERS!" when the price of their products are 2x the US price from all the consumer-protection laws that have to be supported. E.g., the warranties that can be 5+ years on TVs and consoles - it's like being forced to buy extended warranties with every product because that's what it is.

            Anyhow, I'm surprised the ATI-nVidia thing even works - given the amount of deep plu

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Tawnos ( 1030370 )
              They don't do the deep plumbing hacks as often any more, most of what they used to do is now forbidden in order to be compliant with Connecting and Configuring Displays [microsoft.com]. This is why Vista disabled heterogeneous systems, because prior to our implementation of a unified persistence database and monitor setup APIs, each vendor provided their own solutions, and most were incompatible across vendors. That is largely fixed now, and though we find some places of code that still need fixes, we work hard with the IH
              • by Nikker ( 749551 )
                You seem to be a Microsoft employee so I would like to present this burning question to you, when I think of a Microsoft employee I picture a MIT grad being held at gunpoint forced to refactor solitaire. Is this a valid assumption?

                Your input is appreciated.
                • It's more like having to design a house, and in the last 5 minutes we tell you it's a house for a family of giraffes.
                • by Tawnos ( 1030370 )
                  Nah, there are too many anti-gun people here for it to be at gunpoint. Really, they just threaten to get rid of the free coffee and soda, and we'll do anything. It's like the bounty hunter in Stargate SG1 who was addicted to a substance that he'd die without. The soda and coffee comes with a special ingredient. More seriously, the work environment is actually really good. I'm not sure about previously, but working on the last 1/3 of Windows 7 was a great experience, and it's been amazing to see how some of
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Yeah, like what if your motherboard has an onboard ATI video chip are you screwed since you can't remove it?

    • by Khyber ( 864651 )

      Antitrust lawsuit and consumer backlash lawsuit initiated by me in 3...2..1...

      I've already called my preferred class-action group and they're salivating over the prospect of several billion dollars from nVidia over this.

      • by Monsuco ( 998964 )

        I've already called my preferred class-action group and they're salivating over the prospect of several billion dollars from nVidia over this.

        Good luck with that. Maybe they'll win, in which case they'll get millions and you could possibly have five whole dollars coming to you if you fill out a few forms to get your part of the settlement.

    • by Asic Eng ( 193332 ) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @04:37PM (#29637867)
      Isn't Nvidia illegally hacking the user's computer? The distribution of software which purports to be a driver update but in reality deliberately breaks functionality of the user's system - sounds like malware on the face of it.
      • I doubt it's illegal. What do you think software license agreements are for?

      • It might seem like that....but no. Since you agree to the draconian TOS when you install the driver you're shit outa luck. Also I'd have to agree with Nvidia on this one since they own part or all of Physx. ATI users have no right to use their intelectual property. Thus the moral of the story ALWAYS BUY NVIDIA.
        • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

          by Khyber ( 864651 )

          Moron. If I have ATi on my motherboard and I *buy* a PhysX card or PhysX-enabled GPU, I have EVERY RIGHT to the advertised features.

          What fucked up world do you come from? Go back, we don't need you here.

    • They're not doing anything actionable unless they're distributing the whole package. A patch against the nVidia distributed drivers is perfectly legal.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Shouldn't Microsoft be handing out their own kind of cease-and-desist... revoking nVidia's driver certificate?

      • What nVidia's doing isn't against any of the agreements or practices they have with Microsoft. It's not illegal, either. It's dirty and underhanded, but they can quite easily and simply justify it by saying that there's known issues in game X where the PhysX acceleration doesn't play friendly with the ATi hardware, and until ATi updates their drivers, they have disabled PhysX to prevent crashing.

        They can also disable the functionality on the grounds that they have not been able to test the functionality wit

    • by rhook ( 943951 )
      Anti-Trust lawsuit going out in 3...2...1...
    • Nvidia customers switching to other brands because of stupid decision making at the highest level in 3.. 2.. 1..

      - Ok, so it isn't as catchy as the one before, but hey.. this is definitely going to make me consider NOT to buy Nvidia, if they really think they can get away with artificially limiting the purchasers choice to gain a few more bucks.

  • Incomprehensible? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rewind ( 138843 ) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @03:55PM (#29637553)
    In addition, for some incomprehensible reasons,

    Greedy maybe, but incomprehensible? I think it is pretty easy to understand, they want you to go buy another nVIDIA card. I don't agree with it either, but thats just a silly word choice.
    • Sarcasm much?
    • Greedy maybe, but incomprehensible?

      Yes I would say requiring a specific brand of video card for a stand alone PPU to function is quite incomprehensible. [thefreedictionary.com]

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Rewind ( 138843 )
        Really? I don't see how it is difficult to understand at all. Someone decided they want to try and force users to go all NVIDIA. I don't agree with it, but I can see how some suit would think it is a great idea.
      • When the brand you're requiring is the brand you sell, I'd say it's quite comprehensible. It does the owner of the machine no good, but one can easily see how the writers of the driver think it'll do lots of good for them.

    • Re:Incomprehensible? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by dimeglio ( 456244 ) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @04:19PM (#29637731)

      So can we return our NVIDIA card because of that un-wanted feature? Choice to control our hardware should not be up to NVIDIA. The patch in question does not circumvent copy protection nor does it infringe on copyrights. This isn't an iPhone for goodness sake, it's a freaking computer. What's next, delete all registry entries under ATI?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Ihmhi ( 1206036 )

        As the ingenuity of GenL shows, it's not up to them. No matter what a company comes up with to try to get things to go their way, there is someone out there equally as smart and creative (if not more) that will break it.

        • by Tynin ( 634655 )

          As the ingenuity of GenL shows, it's not up to them.

          I'm unfamiliar with GenL, can you please shed some light on that. Both Google [google.com] and M-W [merriam-webster.com] were no help. The best I can infer is you mean Generation Linux... but that doesn't quite grok.

          • by Tynin ( 634655 )
            ::hangs head in shame::

            Just noticed who GenL is... wishing /. had a delete option. D'oh!
    • by mikael ( 484 )

      A similar thing happened with Adlib and Creative Labs. Adlib brought out a sound card that uses a music synthesizer chip. Creative Labs design their own card that is register compatible with the Adlib card plus add a microphone/playback feature for voice sampling. This puts Adlib out of business - didn't matter what they did, Creative Labs board is compatible with all the releases of their software.

      Nvidia and ATI are in a similar position. NVidia researches and develops optimized software to perform 3D phys

      • by psm321 ( 450181 )

        Umm, the complaint is about the drivers refusing to allow PhysX on an _NVidia_ card, if an ATI card happens to be in the system (being used for the display for example)

      • You don't know what you're talking about. This isn't about running PhysX on an ATI card, this is about running PhysX on an nVidia card while an ATI card runs the graphics. Disabling PhysX in that situation is ridiculous.
        • by mikael ( 484 )

          Thanks for the correction - it's the same outcome. Some developers may want to have both Nvidia and Ati boards in a desktop at the same time. Maybe even some users. Nvidia doesn't want to be pigeonholed as the maker of physics-accelerator boards.

          Though, it just seems a little bit queeny of them to go "we're not going to let you use our board for physics unless you use it for graphics as well."

          I do use an Geforce 8800 card, so I am familiar with the physics acceleration on those cards.

    • Yes, but as another poster pointed out there are quite a few of us out there with built in ATI IGP, like the 780v board I'm typing this on. This stupid stunt by Nvidia just made sure that the only cards I put in my new machine will be ATI. Smart move there Nvidia, and after the bad solder fiasco way to build the good will!
    • Yes. It's quite comprehensible. It's possibly illogical. It does rather assume that someone will decide to buy two nVidia cards rather than one to supplement an existing ATI card, which doesn't seem all that likely. I'd be inclined to go without PhysX until I needed a new card in that situation, and I suspect I'm not alone in that opinion.
  • by ShooterNeo ( 555040 ) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @04:01PM (#29637601)
    Why don't they just put an option to disable this check in a configuration file, with a comment above it that says : UNSUPPORTED FEATURE, ENABLE AT OWN RISK. It would cost a negligible amount of programmer time (I assume there will be people reading this comment that could write in this feature in under 10 minutes)and it could HELP nvidia. If it's possible to get more value out of Nvidia products, even if you also have a competitor's card in your machine, you are going to increase sales for nvidia products in the long run. Furthermore, if the effective install base for PhysX is larger, there's a greater chance that it will become a standard.
    • The reason this went in in the first place was to disable attempts to run PhysX on ATI hardware, but the check was a little overzealous. If they made it fairly easy to disable with a single configuration tweak, the ATI driver installer would probably perform the tweak automatically, defeating the whole point of NVIDIA's lockdown.
      • I don't see why ATI couldn't distribute this sort of patch directly, anyway. As has been mentioned elsewhere, nVidia's just made it a bit harder, and doing this sort of reverse engineering should be completely legal anyway (IANAL).

  • by Bruha ( 412869 ) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @04:07PM (#29637641) Homepage Journal

    If a users buys hardware to perform a function they expect it to perform said function. Nvidia comes along and disables the function because for whatever reason you have a competitor's graphics card inside the system. I know some people who do this because a ATI card may be better at certain tasks outside of games. Either way Nvidia should be held accountable, the license you agreed to by opening the box says nothing about installing competitors cards into your machine. In fact I do not see how they can dictate what hardware you put into your box. It's been held that auto makers can not void your warranty for using non manufacturer parts or if they say it will the law states they have to provide the part for free. How is this any different than mixing champion and bosch ignition parts. "We refuse to spark because the distributior cap is nor our brand"

  • by Laebshade ( 643478 ) <laebshade@gmail.com> on Sunday October 04, 2009 @04:09PM (#29637659)

    I had a similar problem with a driver update for Nvidia, though it had nothing to do with using another video card. My HTPC setup connects my PC with an 8600GT with component cables to my TV, an old, Samsung flat-screen CRT. I bought it used for cheap, the color is fantastic, and it does 640x480p. In combination with the horizontal/vertical TV adjustments, I also used the equivelant adjustments built into the Nvidia software to get the perfect screen size with no overscan.

    For about a year I had been using it in that setup. I usually check the nvidia website for driver updates, and had been through at least 2 since I set it up with no problems. The latest driver update, 190.62, suddenly disabled the prized feature I was using, stating it was not supported with my particular setup. I had to downgrade to the earlier version to get it working correctly.

    I'm not sure if Nvidia did this on purpose to try to get me to upgrade to a newer/better card, or if it was just some unintentional bug that was overlooked, but I've learned not to always upgrade to the newest driver.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Indeed. Any TV set computer should be looked at like an appliance, and viewed with the attitude of if it isn't broke, don't fix it.

    • by antdude ( 79039 ) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @06:57PM (#29638857) Homepage Journal

      NVIDIA pisses me off. They removed the TV out's fullscreen video overlay so I couldn't watch videos fullscreen with the newer drivers and cards. I also use my computer like a media center. A lot of people complained about this in NVIDIA's forum. NVIDIA readme said this was done for DRM. Bah!

      I went to ATI and happy now. I hope ATI never pulls this feature.

      • by Monsuco ( 998964 )

        I hope ATI never pulls this feature.

        You mean like when ATI nixed support for all graphics cards not made within the past year or so, thus making them unusable on recent versions of X server and on Windows 7?

        Face it, Intel is the only company with good support for Open Source, and generally their embedded cards are supported for a while. The problem is of course, Intel's embedded cards are crap. They may be crap performing at its best, but it is still crap. Fortunately rumor has it Intel is headed for the performance market soon, so we'll se

    • I'm still using driver version 94.24 because anything newer causes random graphics corruption now and then when running dual screen setups on my 7600GS. This forces me to stick with XP on that machine until I move to a large single screen instead of dual screens because the earliest supported driver for Vista starts in the 100 range.
    • The new drivers (beyond 185.xx) use a new type of installer as well, which isn't as compatible with slipstreaming into XP CDs. That was my big annoyance.

      If I had to guess... on purpose. But it could be one manager making the call - not the entire company, or even any of the top guys.

      • The new drivers (beyond 185.xx) use a new type of installer as well, which isn't as compatible with slipstreaming into XP CDs. That was my big annoyance.

        People use the driver installers? Just unzip them and point Windows at the .inf file...

        • People use the driver installers? Just unzip them and point Windows at the .inf file...

          ...which isn't possible starting with 186.xx and 190.xx :/

          The new installers are not unpackable by programs like 7-zip or WinRAR. Even Universal Extractor [legroom.net] fails.

          If you know of a way to unpack the new installers, please let me know.

          • Once you launch the installer it unpacks EVERYTHING to C:\NVIDIA\\\\. You can delete the PhysX installer, 3D stereoscopic service installer, HD Audio installer, NV control panel installer, etc. It's all there and it stays there since it isn't deleted once installation is done. You can just cancel the installer when it comes up and use that folder however you want. I thought everyone knew that. My laptop currently has 190.38 and 191.03 there. Might want to go check it out before posting false info.
            • Those are the exact same files 7-zip can extract, which fail to slipstream properly the easy way.

              Missing DLL errors on install, caused by failing to unpack the cab files. If you had actually done any slipstreaming, you'd have noted the vast drop in uncabbed DLL files from 185.xx, and figured out a way around it - and you'd also be unhappy about it, like I am.

              • I generally don't slipstream very often, I admit. But I don't really have a need to. I've only had to do it for specific server installs that required RAID drivers and specific sets of drivers across several servers. Most of the time I just use the tried and true Norton Ghost. Also, when did it become uncommon to unpack cabs? I mean, I generally check them for DLLs if there is a lack of the usual DLLs in the unpack folder. I'm not unhappy about a simple extra step, honestly. That's just unneeded nitpicking
    • I checked my e-mail today to see a message from Nvidia:

      from Timothy Bornemisza
      to "laebshade@gmail.com"
      date Mon, Oct 5, 2009 at 3:49 PM
      subject Saw your /. post
      mailed-by nvidia.com
      hide details 3:49 PM (33 minutes ago)
      Hi laebshade-

      I saw your /. post below - can you give me some more details about what changed 190.62? I can definitely check and see if we did this intentionally :) We're feeling pretty good about the 190.xx series of drivers and but if there's a regression, we would certainly w

  • by stimpleton ( 732392 ) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @04:09PM (#29637661)
    Playing devils advocate here I can sort of see Nvidia's beef.

    Their attitude to features and drivers is quite progressive and starts back with the old TNT32 when competing with voodoo. IMHO, we now have a similar situation where ATI is making good performing card at cheap prices yet are not maintaining the robust driver feature set of NVidia.

    If a game is having a few glitches with shadows, chances are its with an ATI card.

    NVidia's point of difference are their drivers, and I can at least see engineers being a bit miffed.
    • by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @04:23PM (#29637751)
      It was quite progressive, but at this point they're pretty much the only ones that insist on binary blobs. Intel, as bad as there graphics cards were, did provide a whole lot of documentation and support for OSS years ago when nobody else of note was. These days AMD is working on releasing all the code they can. Which leaves nVidia in the sort of position where they'll write drivers for a platform but won't provide any of the source for developers to do it on their own if it's going to be a long wait.
      • Well, their binary blobs still work better than the ATI equivalents with source. Until that stops being the case, I'm sticking with a single Nvidia card.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Moryath ( 553296 )

      If a game is having a few glitches with shadows, chances are its with an ATI card.

      Funny. In my past experience, if a game is glitching on graphics in some way, chances are it's an Nvidia GPU. Doubly likely if it sounds like a someone turned on a vacuum cleaner inside your box whenever you start a game...

    • by causality ( 777677 ) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @04:30PM (#29637807)

      Playing devils advocate here I can sort of see Nvidia's beef. Their attitude to features and drivers is quite progressive and starts back with the old TNT32 when competing with voodoo. IMHO, we now have a similar situation where ATI is making good performing card at cheap prices yet are not maintaining the robust driver feature set of NVidia. If a game is having a few glitches with shadows, chances are its with an ATI card. NVidia's point of difference are their drivers, and I can at least see engineers being a bit miffed.

      If they honestly believed that ATI made inferior video hardware, they would feel no need to deliberately sabotage interoperability like this. That's especially true when merely a warning along the lines of "this feature works best with 100% nVidia hardware" would have been sufficient. No, this kind of deliberate and underhanded bullshit is the action of a company that has no confidence in its ability to compete in an open market on a level playing field. Personally I like nVidia's products and I am not eager to see another lawsuit in an already-litigious society. However, I hope they do get sued over this (by either their customers or the government) and I hope they lose big. This kind of shit needs to be made as expensive and unprofitable as possible.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        They do not necessarily believe that ATI makes inferior hardware, they believe that ATI makes inferior software.

        • by Targon ( 17348 )

          But the logic is still flawed because they don't say it won't work with ATI cards, they make it not work with NVIDIA hardware if AMD/ATI hardware is also in the system.

          • Really? It sounded like you could not use an nVidia card to do rendering for display on an ATI card, not that you could not use an nVidia card to do rendering for display on another nVidia card while there was also an ATI card in the system.

            They do not allow using their software with ATI's hardware.

        • ATI DOES make inferior software. Have you ever tried to use their driver packages? Eeeurghh...

    • Engineers being miffed if users want to use a nVidia card with a feature it's supposed to be used with?
    • by strstr ( 539330 )

      nVidia's drivers are worse than ATI's. Microsoft released data showing that nVidia drivers cause 30% of all Windows crashes, greater than any other source, whereas ATI's less than 10%. I have had the chance to test nVidia GeForce Go 7900 GS and ATI Radeon Mobility X1400 in the same laptop and have seen some signifcant difference, with the GeForce graphics are a lot worse, things like image tearing and flickering, lines and pixels where the mipmap levels are, and in Aero blocks and corrupted graphics while r

      • Nvidia also has 67% of the desktop video card market share, compared to about 30% for ATI. It's normal that you see more crashes from Nvidia drivers.

        First google search link : http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardware/2009/04/30/nvidia-increases-market-share/1 [bit-tech.net]

        • Nvidia have 67% of the market and ATI have ~30%.
          30% of crashes are caused by Nvidia drivers and 10% by ATI.
          ATI drivers should be causing ~15% of crashes to match Nvidia, so it looks like Nvidia have 50% more crashes per card.

          My last Nvidia card had such a crap installer that I couldn't use it, I gave it to my uncle and switched to ATI. I can't comment on recent Nvidia drivers but their installers are useless.
  • by Sj0 ( 472011 ) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @04:30PM (#29637811) Journal

    This seems like a lose-lose scenario for NVidia. Either they support other GPUs and risk getting smacked down with conspiracy theories or "lol nvidia is crap" when the famously shitty drivers from companies like S3 break PhysX, or they lock out competitors GPUs to maintain their reputation and get smacked down with conspiracy theories or "lol nvidia is crap".

    But it does seem like win-win for nvidia in a sense if they take the first option. If PhysX takes off but ATI has a better gpu, then Nvidia still gets a sale from the hardcore crowd who want an accelerator. If Nvidia has the better gpu, then Nvidia gets the sale anyway.

    It's a smart idea becoming an essential part to all PCs.

  • This is competition taken to unhealthy levels.

  • But the corporate chicken shits will be issuing DMCA take down notices by the dozen. Notice how that it is illegal for Ford and GM to cripple their engines such that they can only use certain parts and exclude others. If GM made an engine that ceased to function if you used a Slappy's Air Filter, there'd be a hue and cry raised - not that you'd necessarily want to use a second rate component in your car. HMMM - I wonder. Has the hardware/software lobby become too powerful?
    • I daresay that the Nvidia execs are unaware of that bit of car legislation, all driving company cars and having them serviced at registered brand outlets.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I swear, all tie-wearing brainless drones that come up with such bullshit need to be shot in the head!

    I'm sick of those mouth-breathers standing in the way of good engineering.

    Where could the world be if those slimy bastards wouldn't be holding back the bright people?

  • by xiando ( 770382 ) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @05:48PM (#29638415) Homepage Journal
    My old box had two NVidia cards, one AGP and one PCI. That worked great. Current box has motherboard with AMD (ATI) IGP. XOrg lets me use just the NV PCI card or just the AMD PCI-E IGP, but I can not use both at the same time using the free radeon driver and the nvidia blob - and the blob is the only choice here since TV-out would be the whole point of using this card. This may not be nvidias fault, but I suspect that it is since their driver is a binary blob. I also feel like complaining that I never got the NVidia card to do tv-out or 3D using free software, those features require the binary blob. The AMD IGP does OpenGL 3D (using 2.6.32-rc1-git6/xorg git) and multihead HDMI+VGA all (ab)using free software, no binary blob required. I will never buy a NVidia product until or unless they provide some documentation and source, they are pretty much the only big player who has not done so at this point. AMDs half-assed documentation release gave us free software support for 3D and faster 2D than their binary blob in a very short time.
  • by jimicus ( 737525 ) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @06:12PM (#29638595)

    Why is it necessary for the nvidia driver to even know what other graphics cards are available?

  • Don't jailbreak it (Score:3, Interesting)

    by syousef ( 465911 ) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @06:19PM (#29638657) Journal

    Just don't buy it in the first place. They want to make their product of limited use, let 'em. Someone else will fill the void. Hell they may even change their minds. But only if we don't buy their crap.

    • by cynyr ( 703126 )
      what if 2 months ago, before all of this you bought one? say you can't return it; do you A) toss it out, and spend another 500 on a new card, or B) use the "hack" mentioned in TFA. If you happen to have the spare ~500 I know a good place for you to donate it (my checking account)
      • Cards don't really cost $500 anymore unless you really need the most expensive card out there with meager gains over the $200 cards. The 4800-series ATI cards are all under $200 with 1GB of memory on-board. The 5000-series aren't even up that high and they just hit the market and are quite literally double what the 4800-series had to offer. But you really won't see much use out of those since nothing is really using DX11. At most you'd see higher frames in games. Nvidia's top end cards barely out-perform t
      • The only Nvidia card costing $500 is the GTX295, well at least for the market we are discussing. It's still quicker and slicker than any of ATI's current offerings so why, pray tell, would you be trying to mix it with an ATI at this point? I have one and, well, couldn't imagine any reason to waste RAM/CPU on multiple video drivers.

        If you are talking about getting a $500 video card and sticking it on a board with integrated video, well, you've got some priority issues that you'll have to work out on your own

    • by LesFerg ( 452838 )

      But game manufacturers are now putting out software with dependency on a physX dll. The support sites suggest that it is (paraphrased) a bit like DirectX, you just have to install the latest version, and it is completely hardware independent.

      If physX is in fact crippled and useless on my ATI based system, why should I have to install it to make a game run? Why are game manufacturers making software that is dependent on a specific hardware manufacturer's drivers? I thought that mentality went away decades

  • by brandorf ( 586083 ) <brandorf@brandorf.com> on Sunday October 04, 2009 @08:23PM (#29639397) Homepage
    I hadn't noticed this when the original story broke. But this change also apparently disables Physx processing on Physx dedicated physics cards, i.e. the things Agiea was making before Nvidia bought them out. I know those weren't the most popular addon, but I happen to know of a school with a computer lab full of those Physx cards, and the majority of them have ATI/AMD cards for graphics. For them at least, this update renders all those standalone cards useless.
    • ...I happen to know of a school with a computer lab full of those Physx cards, and the majority of them have ATI/AMD cards for graphics. For them at least, this update renders all those standalone cards useless.

      The article says this problem is in the new forceware drivers, not the standalone physx drivers [nvidia.com]. If the computer does not have an NVIDIA card, why would they be installing the forceware drivers?

  • Based on comparing actual submissions to headlines making the front page I find this article to be rather deficient in the woodscrew content.

    *glaring@you, soulskill*
  • Why would nvidia stop there? they should tighten things up all across the board. What they should to is start disabling Physics on AMD cpu's all together. then they could start looking at preventing nvidia graphics from working on amd systems. the next logical step would be to prevent any of the competitions hardware from working with any nvidia hardware, because that is the way it is meant to be played.
  • Two Battles to Watch (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Monday October 05, 2009 @01:46AM (#29641101)
    So now I've got 2 battles to follow this week:

    1: Apple iTunes verses Palm Pre.
    2: Nvidia PhysX verses the whole rest of the non-Nvidia world.
  • Hello ATI. For many years I have been a hardcore believer in NVidia products. Since I build computers for a living I always recommended them to my clients. Now I will be informing people what NVidia is trying to do and why nobody should buy their products now. Also release open source drivers or gtfo.
    • If this is how you decide which hardware is best for a user, then I feel sorry for the people you build computers for. Microsoft, ATI, Nvidia, Logitech, Intel have all done shitty things but I don't intentionally give my clients sub-par configurations over personal, short-sighted grudges.

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger