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Nvidia blames AMD for dropping Physx support

Runs out of valid excuses
Mon Jun 14 2010, 13:28

DESIGNER OF WARM GPUs Nvidia has blamed AMD for its stance on disabling Physx on a mix of AMD and Nvidia hardware.

Previously users could use a Nvidia card as a secondary "physics board", dedicated to computing game physics, which made use of the firm's hardware Physx support. Sensing it was giving business away to AMD, last September Nvidia pulled support for cross-vendor operation meaning that either gamers had to get an all Nvidia setup or be stuck on an old driver release.

The Green Goblin, like some schoolboy defending himself against a teacher, whimpered a load of guff about how it performs "extensive engineering" and "quality assurance" to justify its move. A customer care representative for the firm went further, detailing that it dropped support "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." Remove the padding and you'll find the nub of the issue, "business reasons".

So imagine the embarrassment for Nvidia when a few weeks ago the firm, with all its "quality assurance" practices, uploaded a beta version of its Forceware drivers that supported the very thing that it said adds to its cost and brings down the quality of Nvidia's products. Like cross-vendor Physx support, Nvidia dropped the driver quickly, though not fast enough because punters and review sites managed to grab copies to see what the current state of play was with AMD's well received Radeon 5870 and 5970 cards.

When the lads at Tweaktown went to, er, town with a couple of AMD's finest, the results were not all that surprising. As AMD's Radeon HD 5970 is pretty much the fastest GPU money can buy and doesn't require you to live next door to Sellafield, the writing was on the wall for Nvidia.

Whil the straight talking author concluded that, "if people want the fastest single card on the market, you can't look past the HD 5970", it led Nvidia's PR mouthpiece Brian Burke to tweet that, "if AMD wants their customers to have Physx, AMD should test it and support it so AMD's customers can have a good experience."

Given that Tweaktown's reviewers and many other gamers had absolutely no problems using AMD's cards for rendering and Nvidia's for physics computation, one wonders why, other than behaving like a petulant child, Burke decided to spout off deferring the blame to a company that loses nothing if it were to support Physx.

Though the beta drivers were pulled from Nvidia's site, a quick search will find the drivers, but don't expect Nvidia to change its stance anytime soon, after all it needs something to try and pull in the punters. µ



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