updated 03:45 pm EDT, Thu September 21, 2006
ASUS Leaks NVIDIA Physics
Improving physics is quickly becoming a priority for hardware manufacturers and game developers. As games improve in visual accuracy, the expectations of object behavior increase at the same time. Initial experiments with dedicated hardware, however, have been mixed. The Ageia PhysX pioneered the technology but has often been criticized for slowing performance. ATI recently announced that it would address this problem by letting users repurpose Radeon X1600 cards as physics processors; today, news has surfaced that its opponent NVIDIA will build a dedicated physics card that may outperform either solution. In announcing its new P5N32-SLI Premium mainboard for Core 2 Duo systems, ASUS accidentally included mention of "NVIDIA's upcoming Physics card," writes The Register. The leak occurred in ASUS' description of the board's unique third PCI Express X16 slot, indicating that NVIDIA is planning an adapter that would take advantage of the full bandwidth available to the peripheral format. Both Ageia and ATI limit their own physics processing to the much more limited X1 speed. Little else was disclosed in the announcement, but the information is likely intended to accompany a physics card launch in the near future.