by Nadeem Mohammad

Recently, an interview ran with an AMD developer relations manager, who claimed that NVIDIA (after acquiring Ageia) had purposely reduced the performance and scalability of NVIDIA PhysX technology, with regards to CPU core utilization.


I have been a member of the PhysX team, first with AGEIA, and then with NVIDIA, and I can honestly say that since the merger with NVIDIA there have been no changes to the SDK code which purposely reduces the software performance of PhysX or its use of CPU multi-cores.


Our PhysX SDK API is designed such that thread control is done explicitly by the application developer, not by the SDK functions themselves.  One of the best examples is 3DMarkVantage which can use 12 threads while running in software-only PhysX. This can easily be tested by anyone with a multi-core CPU system and a PhysX-capable GeForce GPU. This level of multi-core support and programming methodology has not changed since day one. And to anticipate another ridiculous claim, it would be nonsense to say we “tuned” PhysX multi-core support for this case.


PhysX is a cross platform solution. Our SDKs and tools are available for the Wii, PS3, Xbox 360, the PC and even the iPhone through one of our partners. We continue to invest substantial resources into improving PhysX support on ALL platforms–not just for those supporting GPU acceleration.


As is par for the course, this is yet another completely unsubstantiated accusation made by an employee of one of our competitors. I am writing here to address it directly and call it for what it is, completely false. NVIDIA PhysX fully supports multi-core CPUs and multithreaded applications, period. Our developer tools allow developers to design their use of PhysX in PC games to take full advantage of multi-core CPUs and to fully use the multithreaded capabilities.


There is a lot more I could say on this topic; however, I really have to get back to my day job, which is working to help make gaming great for all users! And today that includes cracking open a new copy of Dark Void, the latest PhysX title, which incorporates some awesome particle weapon effects, an insane Disintegrator gun with fluid particles and jetpack with physical smoke turbulence . I know, hard work, right? But someone has to do it!


Happy 3D gaming!