• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."

PhysX dedicated GPU...

Bat123Man

Member
Nov 14, 2006
189
4
81
I have been running an SLI rig with 2 8800 GTS 320 MB cards for the past few years. Most games run really well on it. For Batman Arkham Asylum, the game worked beautifully when I cut off the SLI and instead dedicated one of the cards to PhysX. I maintained a 35-40 FPS while still having PhysX effects. Was great. My last couple of games haven't worked quite so well, whether or not I run in SLI or split the cards. Metro 2033 couldn't maintain a playable FPS at any resolution, and I had to turn down quite a few settings on GTA IV Liberty City to make it smooth.

It is time to buy a new GPU. The GTX570 looks to be the best bet if I can find it for under 300. The question is; will this card benefit from a GTS 8800 320 MBs card dedicated to PhysX? It would mean I could offload the PhysX processing to what used to be a very powerful card. Will it improve my FPS, or actually introduce lag since the dedicated card will have to do the calculations and then pass that back to the main 570.

Any ideas? Any sites with benchmarking out there with older Nvidia cards in this type of config?

Thanks,
BM.
 

Seero

Golden Member
Nov 4, 2009
1,456
0
0
There were tests done by NCIX on this subject and was shown that slow PPU will bottleneck performance. However, the test was not done with 570 and 8800GTS, and 8800 still has some juice in them.
 

toyota

Lifer
Apr 15, 2001
12,957
1
0
please list the rest of your specs. if they are as old as the 8800gts 320mb then you will likely need more than just a new video card.

that being said, an 8800gts 320mb would be a pretty inefficient card for physx. that's a big power hungry card just to get 9600gt level performance. it will help but IMO not enough to matter over just letting a gtx570 do both graphics and physx. in fact it could be slower in some cases.
 
Last edited:

notty22

Diamond Member
Jan 1, 2010
3,375
0
0
Get the Mafia 2 demo and you can try it. Imo, it would help. And only help in physX titles (stating the obvious). The new Batman game is rumored to be using physX.
 

Bat123Man

Member
Nov 14, 2006
189
4
81
Get the Mafia 2 demo and you can try it. Imo, it would help. And only help in physX titles (stating the obvious). The new Batman game is rumored to be using physX.
I played through Mafia2 and both DLCs with PhysX on using a card dedicated to it. Had high framerates throughout, never stuttered. Great game, very smooth on my SLI rig. That was, unfortunately, my last great gaming experience on my SLI rig with either dedicated PhysX or using SLI. Since then, I have had to dick around with the game settings trying to optimize it for the cards I have.

Rest of config is :
Asus P5N-E SLI
4 GB PC6400 RAM OCZ
2.13 Dual-core 6420 Socket 775
Intel SSD 80 GB (boot drive)
Iomega 1.5 TB HD data drive
Win 7 64-bit
 

toyota

Lifer
Apr 15, 2001
12,957
1
0
I played through Mafia2 and both DLCs with PhysX on using a card dedicated to it. Had high framerates throughout, never stuttered. Great game, very smooth on my SLI rig. That was, unfortunately, my last great gaming experience on my SLI rig with either dedicated PhysX or using SLI. Since then, I have had to dick around with the game settings trying to optimize it for the cards I have.

Rest of config is :
Asus P5N-E SLI
4 GB PC6400 RAM OCZ
2.13 Dual-core 6420 Socket 775
Intel SSD 80 GB (boot drive)
Iomega 1.5 TB HD data drive
Win 7 64-bit
you had an sli setup on that pc? that cpu alone would not even give decent framerates in some games. even in games that were playable, a 6420 would be a large bottleneck for any decent gpu let alone two of them. I guess with just 8800gts 320mb sli it would not be a massive bottleneck though. still it is way past time to upgrade that cpu.
 
Last edited:

taltamir

Lifer
Mar 21, 2004
13,576
6
76
Your (biggest) problem isn't your video cards, its the lack of CPU power.

An intel core2duo 2.13 ghz is way to little in this day and age. Get an i5 2500K and you will see a world of difference in games.
I actually showed an intel c2d wolfdale E8400 @ 3ghz has micro-stutter on mass effect (hammered both cores 100%) even on 800s640 resolution. Switching it to Q6600 c2q resolved the issue (no more microstutter, tested using fraps not my eyes) and CPU utilization dropped below 100%. Unreal 3 engines are actually pretty good at using a quad core and its not the only one. And even for games that are 2 cores only an i5 will be better, and 2.13ghz is just plain anemic for 2011.

Also, how much ram do you have?
 
Last edited:

Bat123Man

Member
Nov 14, 2006
189
4
81
Hmmmm, I don't know about that. I have seen other posts where a CPU upgrade is recommended, only to find that there was very little FPS improvement after blowing 500 bones on an upgrade. A CPU upgrade will happen sometime for me, but not imminently. I deliberately picked the 6420 at the time due to it's 4MB L2 cache. I can certainly play around with OC'ing it, this particular chip goes pretty easily to 3.0 GH (another reason I picked it).

Going to an i5 2500K implies also a new 1155 mobo. If I wanted to go SLI again, that would mean something like the ASUS P8P67. And then if I got that, that would also imply new PC2-8500 RAM or something similar. My single GPU purchase has quickly grown into 1000 bucks which does not even include a new GPU. I can see how a slow CPU may impact performance on an SLI system if a game becomes CPU bound, but I can't see that having much of an impact when talking about a single GTX570, or possibly a 570 linked only to the 8800 for PhysX processing.
 
Last edited:

toyota

Lifer
Apr 15, 2001
12,957
1
0
you must be out of the loop. a E6420 does not even meet the minimum requirements for some games and you think it will not hold back a gtx570? some games will be not even be all that playable with a cpu that slow. and even in games that are playable, you would not even get half of what a gtx570 is capable of in many cases.
 

Qbah

Diamond Member
Oct 18, 2005
3,754
10
81
As toyota said - grab a Core i5 2500K. The most likely reason Metro 2033 tanks at any settings is the slow first-gen Core dual core. A GTX570 is an enthusiast-level card (one of the fastest!) that any dual core will bottleneck, especially in new games. As harsh as it sounds, that E6420 can't hold a candle to the fastest Wolfdales... A modern Sandy Bridge will obliterate it... If you don't plan to upgrade your CPU, buying the GTX570 will be a waste.

Well, you can grab the GTX570, sure, I guess... But don't complain too much if there's not much difference :p You'll probably follow it up with a nice 2500K on a Z68 with 4GB of DDR3 anyway :)
 

Bat123Man

Member
Nov 14, 2006
189
4
81
you must be out of the loop. a E6420 does not even meet the minimum requirements for some games and you think it will not hold back a gtx570? some games will be not even be all that playable with a cpu that slow. and even in games that are playable, you would not even get half of what a gtx570 is capable of in many cases.
Without question, I am out of the loop, man! I used to follow this stuff to the letter, could tell you dates when new cards were coming out, what new chipsets were on the horizon, and could overclock just about anything. Then I got married and had kids. End of story.

Appreciate the replies, guess I'll have to start planning that CPU upgrade sooner than I had thought.

BM.
 

toyota

Lifer
Apr 15, 2001
12,957
1
0
no 6420 but here is a 6400 in Metro 2033. that is with a gtx460 and you can see the massive bottleneck even in this gpu intensive game. heck just in general that cpu is not going to deliver a very playable experience. and you can check it out in other games there too such as BC 2 where it cannot even get 30 fps.


http://techreport.com/articles.x/20188/10
 
Last edited:

happy medium

Lifer
Jun 8, 2003
14,387
475
126
I played through Mafia2 and both DLCs with PhysX on using a card dedicated to it. Had high framerates throughout, never stuttered. Great game, very smooth on my SLI rig. That was, unfortunately, my last great gaming experience on my SLI rig with either dedicated PhysX or using SLI. Since then, I have had to dick around with the game settings trying to optimize it for the cards I have.

Rest of config is :
Asus P5N-E SLI
4 GB PC6400 RAM OCZ
2.13 Dual-core 6420 Socket 775
Intel SSD 80 GB (boot drive)
Iomega 1.5 TB HD data drive
Win 7 64-bit
Ok, I'm gonna save you a boatload of cash. :)

Sell you current cpu for about 40 bucks and one 8800gts for 30$
Just ugrade your cpu to a used quad core (125$), give it a good overclock, and buy a gtx560ti (210$AR).
335$- 70$= 265$

That should give you at least 3x the performance.
Problem solved. :)

Edit: your motherboard specs. Support for 45nm cpu's and quad cores. YAY!
http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_775/P5NE_SLI/
 
Last edited:

taltamir

Lifer
Mar 21, 2004
13,576
6
76
Hmmmm, I don't know about that. I have seen other posts where a CPU upgrade is recommended, only to find that there was very little FPS improvement after blowing 500 bones on an upgrade. A CPU upgrade will happen sometime for me, but not imminently. I deliberately picked the 6420 at the time due to it's 4MB L2 cache. I can certainly play around with OC'ing it, this particular chip goes pretty easily to 3.0 GH (another reason I picked it).

Going to an i5 2500K implies also a new 1155 mobo. If I wanted to go SLI again, that would mean something like the ASUS P8P67. And then if I got that, that would also imply new PC2-8500 RAM or something similar. My single GPU purchase has quickly grown into 1000 bucks which does not even include a new GPU. I can see how a slow CPU may impact performance on an SLI system if a game becomes CPU bound, but I can't see that having much of an impact when talking about a single GTX570, or possibly a 570 linked only to the 8800 for PhysX processing.
I don't know why you would buy DDR2 1066 RAM for such a system... Just get some plain DDR3 1333mhz 2x2GB ram, should be ~30$.

You don't have to upgrade everything at once. If I were you I would get the CPU upgrade now, keep existing GPU until the 28nm GPUs hit the market (anyway got updated dates on that btw?)
So its really just:
1. CPU - i5 2500K @ 220$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819115072
2. Mobo - ASUS P8P67 (your choice, I haven't researched it) 150-15$ MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131705
3. RAM: under 30$ for DDR3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...E&Pagesize=100
total is 400 - 15$ MIR.

You also get to benchmark a before and after with your new CPU and see for yourself how it influences games and how much you should spend on a GPU upgrade.
 
Last edited:

Bat123Man

Member
Nov 14, 2006
189
4
81
I don't know why you would buy DDR2 1066 RAM for such a system... Just get some plain DDR3 1333mhz 2x2GB ram, should be ~30$.
I wouldn't. That just shows how much I have lost my tech edge. I pulled those specs out of my head, whereas 10 mins of research would have shown me that 4GB of brand-name DDR3 2000 MHz retails for only about 65 bucks.

400 bucks is much more reasonable than 1K. The Z68 seems to be the way to go, although it pushes me up to 200 for the mobo. With the 2500K at 208.79 (cheapest I can find it in Canada before tax, eh), that rounds up to roughly 530 bones with 8GB 1600 MHz memory.

BM.
 

RussianSensation

Elite Member
Sep 5, 2003
19,458
745
126
1. AMD's brand new CPU architecture should come out by end of September, so given how long you hold your CPUs, you may want to check out how it performs before investing so much $ into a new platform.

If you want to buy now:

2. Are you going to be overclocking? Here is a great budget cooler for $30 in case.

3. You don't necessarily need Z68 chipset mobo unless you are going to be using QuickSync feature of HD3000 GPU for video transcoding. If you can find a cheaper P67 mobo/combo, go for it. For instance, here is a 2500k + MSI P67 board that can do CF or SLI for around $300.

4. Your 8800GTS 320mb cards aren't going to cut it either way. Since you are already familiar with using SLI, you may want to consider 2x GTX560s for $165 each OR HD6870 in CF for $160 a piece. I think GTX570 for >$300 in CDN dollars is very poor value at the moment.

5. For ram, there is no real need for DDR3-2000. More important is the voltage. Get Ram with 1.25 / 1.35 or the more common 1.5Vs. DDR3-1600 is sufficient like this one or that one. Do not buy memory with 1.65 Voltage.

6. Here is a quick reference for GPU performance. It's pretty easy to see that at GTX560/560Ti and HD6870 are very good bang for the buck right now, and if you go SLI/CF with them, they'll be faster than a GTX580. I should mention that AMD is aiming to launch HD7000 series soon (supposedly before year end).
 
Last edited:

Bat123Man

Member
Nov 14, 2006
189
4
81
1. AMD's brand new CPU architecture should come out by end of September, so given how long you hold your CPUs, you may want to check out how it performs before investing so much $ into a new platform.

If you want to buy now:

2. Are you going to be overclocking? Here is a great budget cooler for $30 in case.

3. You don't necessarily need Z68 chipset mobo unless you are going to be using QuickSync feature of HD3000 GPU for video transcoding. If you can find a cheaper P67 mobo/combo, go for it. For instance, here is a 2500k + MSI P67 board that can do CF or SLI for around $300.

4. Your 8800GTS 320mb cards aren't going to cut it either way. Since you are already familiar with using SLI, you may want to consider 2x GTX560s for $165 each OR HD6870 in CF for $160 a piece. I think GTX570 for >$300 in CDN dollars is very poor value at the moment.

5. For ram, there is no real need for DDR3-2000. More important is the voltage. Get Ram with 1.25 / 1.35 or the more common 1.5Vs. DDR3-1600 is sufficient like this one or that one. Do not buy memory with 1.65 Voltage.

6. Here is a quick reference for GPU performance. It's pretty easy to see that at GTX560/560Ti and HD6870 are very good bang for the buck right now, and if you go SLI/CF with them, they'll be faster than a GTX580. I should mention that AMD is aiming to launch HD7000 series soon (supposedly before year end).
1). Purchase doesn't have to be immediate, I can wait. If the new line of AMD chips are coming out in Sept, that should mean a drop in price for the Intel line.
2). No overclocking. I used to do that with every CPU purchased, but no longer. Can't stand the fan noise, and slower larger fans require massive heatsyncs, so am happy to just run at spec.
3). Cool, I'll look into that mobo, was only going Z68 because it is the latest.
4). Yeah, I have come to the same conclusion. 8800 is past its prime. The reason I like SLI is that I can buy one now, and then when next gen cards comes out, buy a second identical card to the one I have at a steep discount to improve perf by 60%. That worked beautifully with the 8800 GTS. The first one I bought for an absurd amount of money, but then added the second one a year or 2 later for 50 bucks.
5). Didn't know that about RAM, very interesting. I'll look into the voltage question. Tks.
6). I based my choice of a 570 on benchmarks for Metro2033, which I have sitting beside me but can't play. I play at 1920*1080, and want to max it all out. Less than a 570 seemed to drop below 30 in some of the benchmarking, but I never considered the 560Ti. I'll look into it.

BM.
 

taltamir

Lifer
Mar 21, 2004
13,576
6
76
it should be noted that the HD5xxx & 6xxx as well as nVidia GTX5xx (and IIRC also GTX4xx series, not sure) all suffered severely from unexpected cancellation of 32nm process by both Foundry Company and TSMC. leaving them to do last minute retooling of the architectures into the older 40nm. the new 28nm process chips are probably going to be a huge improvement because:

1. Had full proper development not a rushed last minute retool.
2. Enjoy the efficiency improvement of a full node and a half decrease in one single swoop.

If I had to guess the future I would bet that the improvement from current gen GPUs to next gen is probably going to be one of the greatest ever, percentage wise, due to that very unusual circumstance.
 

cusideabelincoln

Diamond Member
Aug 3, 2008
3,268
7
81
2). No overclocking. I used to do that with every CPU purchased, but no longer. Can't stand the fan noise, and slower larger fans require massive heatsyncs, so am happy to just run at spec.
If you're planning to go with the 2500K or not, I would advise you pick up an aftermarket heatsink. The stock one can get audible (a small whiney sound) when the processor is going full tilt. You can get good aftermarket cooler for $20-$30 just to keep noise down and cool better than the stock fan, overclocking or not. Most coolers should be compatible with both sockets anyway, so you might consider picking one up now.


4. Your 8800GTS 320mb cards aren't going to cut it either way. Since you are already familiar with using SLI, you may want to consider 2x GTX560s for $165 each OR HD6870 in CF for $160 a piece. I think GTX570 for >$300 in CDN dollars is very poor value at the moment.
The 8800GTS 320 definitely won't cut it even with a CPU upgrade. In GTA4 you're (@ the OP) going to easily run into the framebuffer limit using just medium settings. On top of that your processor cannot handle shadows being turned on. GTA4 eats dual cores for breakfast when shadows are on (shadows also put stress on the video card). So if you upgrade your processor, GTA4 will run well but you will be stuck at lower settings and lower textures and maybe you can turn on shadows. If you just upgrade the video card, you should be able turn on high textures, have view distance no more than 20, keep shadows off and get a playable framerate. You really need to do both. 320MB is not enough VRAM for 1080p in most games.

6). I based my choice of a 570 on benchmarks for Metro2033, which I have sitting beside me but can't play. I play at 1920*1080, and want to max it all out. Less than a 570 seemed to drop below 30 in some of the benchmarking, but I never considered the 560Ti. I'll look into it.
The 560 Ti, 560, and HD 6870 should come close to doing the trick. The HD 6950 2GB is also a good choice for Metro..

no 6420 but here is a 6400 in Metro 2033. that is with a gtx460 and you can see the massive bottleneck even in this gpu intensive game. heck just in general that cpu is not going to deliver a very playable experience. and you can check it out in other games there too such as BC 2 where it cannot even get 30 fps.


http://techreport.com/articles.x/20188/10
L2 cache makes a big difference for Core 2 Duo, and the E6400 only has half of the E6420. So if he were willing to overclock he could put his numbers up there with the Pentium G6950 and Phenom 565. At high settings the GTX 460 starts becoming the bottleneck with the Phenom II 565 on their chart of Metro @ 1680x1050. The OP is at 1080p so his would-be overclocked chip would provide similar performance to faster processors with a GTX 460 class card.
 

toyota

Lifer
Apr 15, 2001
12,957
1
0
If you're planning to go with the 2500K or not, I would advise you pick up an aftermarket heatsink. The stock one can get audible (a small whiney sound) when the processor is going full tilt. You can get good aftermarket cooler for $20-$30 just to keep noise down and cool better than the stock fan, overclocking or not. Most coolers should be compatible with both sockets anyway, so you might consider picking one up now.




The 8800GTS 320 definitely won't cut it even with a CPU upgrade. In GTA4 you're (@ the OP) going to easily run into the framebuffer limit using just medium settings. On top of that your processor cannot handle shadows being turned on. GTA4 eats dual cores for breakfast when shadows are on (shadows also put stress on the video card). So if you upgrade your processor, GTA4 will run well but you will be stuck at lower settings and lower textures and maybe you can turn on shadows. If you just upgrade the video card, you should be able turn on high textures, have view distance no more than 20, keep shadows off and get a playable framerate. You really need to do both. 320MB is not enough VRAM for 1080p in most games.



The 560 Ti, 560, and HD 6870 should come close to doing the trick. The HD 6950 2GB is also a good choice for Metro..



L2 cache makes a big difference for Core 2 Duo, and the E6400 only has half of the E6420. So if he were willing to overclock he could put his numbers up there with the Pentium G6950 and Phenom 565. At high settings the GTX 460 starts becoming the bottleneck with the Phenom II 565 on their chart of Metro @ 1680x1050. The OP is at 1080p so his would-be overclocked chip would provide similar performance to faster processors with a GTX 460 class card.
yeah but it still shows that a stock cpu about his level would be a massive bottleneck for a gtx570. it also still shows that a stock cpu around his level will barely get 30 fps in some game. a gtx570 at 1920x1080 is faster than a gtx460 at 1680x1050 so the bottlenecking would actually be worse. even if he were to oc, it would be pretty large limitation for a gtx570.
 
Last edited:

Bat123Man

Member
Nov 14, 2006
189
4
81
yeah but it still shows that a stock cpu about his level would be a massive bottleneck for a gtx570. it also still shows that a stock cpu around his level will barely get 30 fps in some game. a gtx570 at 1920x1080 is faster than a gtx460 at 1680x1050 so the bottlenecking would actually be worse. even if he were to oc, it would be pretty large limitation for a gtx570.
OK, just for fun I overclocked the CPU. Set FSB to 375 (up from 266.67), enabled Sync Mode for the RAM which actually set it to 750 whereas it used to be at 800 MHz, and bumped the vcore up to 1.35v (from the default 1.31something). CPU-Z is correctly showing 3000 MHz, and CoreTemp is showing it running at 55C with low load. My son is playing Tiberium Sun, which is an old game which will not stress the CPU. If that goes well, I'll run some graphical benchmarking before/after to see how much of an improvement it made, and to see if it is stable at the higher FSB. Still have the stock heatsync, may have to do something about that.

BM.
 

Bat123Man

Member
Nov 14, 2006
189
4
81
3DMark Vantage score at original 2.133 GHz, SLI mode = 5687
3DMark score overclocked to 3 GHz, same settings = 6612

Mafia2 benchmark, AA off, PhysX off, Occlusion on, Shadows Low, Anis. Filt 4X = 38 FPS on average over 3 runs.
Same Mafia2 settings with CPU at 3 GHz = 41.6.

Ran each test 3 times in succession. Result in Mafia2, improvement of 3.6 FPS or roughly 10%. Improvement in 3DMark = 925 or roughly 16%.

So real world improvement is 10% improved FPS.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY