As you may or may not know, Windows 7 allows two display drivers to be used at once - like in Windows XP. Therefore, it is possible to use an Nvidia card for PhysX and ATI card for graphics rendering. Sadly, since the release of 186 graphics drivers, Nvidia has decided to block this feature anytime a Non-Nvidia GPU is present in the system (Even IGPs). In addition, for some incomprehensible reasons
, the latest version of PhysX System Software also prevents PPU cards (such as BFG PPU) from working if a Non-Nvidia GPU is present. The following is Nvidia's explanation behind their actions:
"Physx is an open software standard any company can freely develop hardware or software that supports it. Nvidia supports GPU accelerated Physx on NVIDIA GPUs while using NVIDIA GPUs for graphics. NVIDIA performs extensive Engineering, Development, and QA work that makes Physx a great experience for customers. 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. I'm sorry for any inconvenience caused but I hope you can understand."
As expected, this move by Nvidia received a lot of criticism from both consumers and even Nvidia's competitors. Luckily, a forum member by the name of GenL has released an experimental beta patch which intercepts disable-PhysX-if-Radeon-is-present-code
. So far, according to user comments the patch delivers successful results. At this stage, the patch only works for PhysX GPU rendering and not PPU rendering. However, the developer claims that work is still in progress.
In response to these latest events, AMD has announced a joint open physics initiative
with Pixelux Entertainment. “Proprietary physics solutions divide consumers and ISVs, while stifling true innovation; our competitors even develop code that they themselves admit will not work on hardware other than theirs,” said Eric Demers, chief technology officer for graphics at AMD. “By working with Pixelux and others to enable open support of physics on OpenCL and DirectX 11 capable devices we are taking the exact opposite approach.”