Please educate me on Physics?


Limp Gawd
Jul 10, 2007
I'm currently in the process of putting together a build-list for a new gaming build. I haven't built a new PC in about 5 years so I'm still in the process of re-educating myself about the newest, latest, greatest video cards, RAM, etc.

My build list so far, is pretty solid, but I had some questions regarding Physics Processing.

I don't know very much about Physics Processing and its pretty new to me. On my current system, in the Nvidia driver panel, I see a radio button that allows me to enable the GPU for Physx Processing. I never touched it...and that button is enabled by default...I'm assuming my system now is doing Physx Processing on the video card and I don't even know it.

A while ago, I was reading a thread where someone asked advice on a new video card to get...and whether they should sell their old video card. I could have sworn someone told them to use the old card for dedicated physx processing.

So that led me to wonder about my new build I'm working on.

What do you guys think I should do for Physx? The new system is either going to have a single 680, SLI'd 680's, or a single 690. I haven't decided which yet...but it will be one of those.

On my shelf here...I have a couple of old GeForce 8800 Ultra's that are just sitting there. Are they of any use to me with regards to Physx stuff? Should I consider installing one of those in my new build just as some sort of dedicated physx processor?

I'm sorry if its a silly question...I just really don't know much of anything about Physx, how its handled, or how its setup. Right now, its just a mysterious radio button that I see in my Nvidia panel that I've left at default. So I was just hoping for some advice as I aseemble this new build.

Those old cards will actually slow your system down if you use them for PhysX (at least with PhysX supported games). Most games don't have hardware PhysX support so it won't make a difference in that case. Either way, you will probably be fine with just a single 680 running both graphics and PhysX.
I think you have to look at the big picture. The 8800 Ultra was a fast GPU at one time but the GTX 680 will probably be just as fast without getting help with PhysX (if you use an 8800 Ultra). When you consider the extra heat/noise/power that an old 90nm GPU like that will generate, it's a much better idea to just use the 680 by itself.

Or OTOH if you're feeling adventurous just plug it in and try it. Write down your performance figures and you'll know if it's worth it.