Havok Causes Havoc in GPU Physics

AMD says GPU physics is dead until DirectX 11

PC gamers have been looking for more than just pretty graphics when it comes to their game titles over the last few years. Not only do gamers want realistic graphics, but they want realistic physics as well.
Physics have long been a part of PC and console games to some extent. As games get more complex the mathematical calculations required for accurately rendering things on screen like smoke and explosions gets more complex as well.

GPU makers ATI and NVIDIA both know the value of physics processing and both companies put forth similar ways to tackle physics for video games. DailyTech reported in January of 2007 leaked specifications from ATI showing exactly what would be required for its asymmetric physics processing. Almost a year before those documents were leaked, DailyTech reported on NVIDIA's Quantum physics engine.
Things in the world of video game physics heated up when Intel announced in September that it intended to buy Havok, the company whose physics software is widely used by game developers around the world. Xbit Labs reports today that AMD's Developer Relations Chief, Richard Huddy is saying that GPU physics is dead for now.

View: Full Article @ Daily Tech

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Take a look at the Wii, despite its puny spec when compared to, say, the ps3, it is doing remarkably well -- the idea of putting gameplay above graphics is a paradigm I would like to see continued and developed over the next decade.

if you want fun, play pong or bomberman...
nowadays, you need both graphics and gameplay to be successful. just one of those won't cut it.

there had been many games that are worthy, far cry, half-life 2, IGI2, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Doom 3, Age of Empires 2, 3 and other RTS games that are great.

ajua said,
if you want fun, play pong or bomberman...
nowadays, you need both graphics and gameplay to be successful. just one of those won't cut it.

there had been many games that are worthy, far cry, half-life 2, IGI2, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Doom 3, Age of Empires 2, 3 and other RTS games that are great.

I found Doom 3 to be quite tedious. It was basically a shinier version of Doom 1.

Evolution said,
What's wrong with using the CPU? Modern CPUs have multiple cores, so why not use them all?

because a gpu is much better at vector/matrix calculations than a cpu will ever be

As XerXis said... A CPU is optimized for multipurpose tasks is not good for graphics/3D... A GPU in contrast is more powerful than a CPU but optimized only for graphics and 3D

XerXis said,

because a gpu is much better at vector/matrix calculations than a cpu will ever be

But how many gamers will buy multiple GPUs? The failure of PhysX shows gamers aren't interested in significantly added cost for realistic physics. A multicore CPU would be enough to handle quasi-realistic physics. CPUs aren't even being fully utilized right now. Take a look at your CPU utilization under a typical game if you have a quad-core or ~3.0GHz C2D.

Intel could also make some sort of hybrid CPU-GPU API. So that AMD and Nvidia can't cut them out of the deal. Maybe these companies should stop bickering and cooperate for once, instead of coming up with novel ways of ripping off gamers.

Actually both AMD and Intel are working on systems where users can add on specialized processing units to the CPU/Mobo. a GPU like processor that is specialized in the kind of precesing physics uses and wit the same paraless processing as a GPU would be a good bet for one type of addon this could be used for.

Despite the peopel saying it's just a modern version of the math co-processor of the old 486 era

Yeah, weren't there talks of a hypothetical 'universal' system bus for processors, both generic and specialized? That'd be kind of cool.

Another point I'd like to make: What do you people expect hardware makers to do exactly that will make games any better? The most they can do is just make better hardware tools for the game developers. Besides better graphics, sound and processing capability for AI and stuff what else is there that a hardware manufacturer can be working on?

Although I agree with the comment that gamers want fun games over graphically advanced games, I think most of your comments are way off. There have been some good games that were fun that have come out over the past few years across all platforms. Some of those gems have had amazing graphics (Gears of War) and some were simple and still fun (New Super Mario Bros.).

There were just as many crap games that came out in the late 90's early 2000's as their are now. You guys have just forgot about them.

There have been dozens of fantastic games in the last decade, and hundreds of above-average ones. Perhaps you need to look harder.

aparently very far #4, because When I go to buy a game, I want something thats gonna push my hardware. Yes, I care about gameplay too, but would you go pay 10$ to watch a movie in the theater that was recorded by some guy with a 40$ web cam? I sure as hell wouldn't I want to be really immeressed in the game visually, because the better looking a game is, the more it draws you into the virtual world. Gameplay matters as well, but it's #2 to graphics for me.

anything put out in the last decade has been garbage (with the exception of Half-Life 2, which does not follow this)
its all been about graphics, instead of gameplay

how far can a game get by on graphics alone?

X'tyfe said,
anything put out in the last decade has been garbage (with the exception of Half-Life 2, which does not follow this)
its all been about graphics, instead of gameplay

how far can a game get by on graphics alone?

Half-Life 2 was not that great imo. Nor the source engine. And the SDK is pretty awful to work with.

If you look at the games that came out in 1998-2002, Most of them didn't have OMGWTFBBQ graphical engines. Yet, they had way more gameplay and fun to them than most of the crud thats on the shelf today.
Point in case: Everything Black Isle Studios and Blizzard (North) put out.

Yeah, but the kids today all expect OMGWTGOOBIODIGOO Graphics because they don't remember the era of games that existsed back before the 3D Accelerator came along. You know, back when it was all about how good the GAME was. Nobody gave a **** about graphics back then because what ruled was gameplay. Now the gameplay usually sucks but the graphics are amazing. WTF happened? I'll tell you WTF happened. EA happened.
EA is what's wrong with the industry: A bunch of greedy corporate scumbags who wouldn't know a good game if you beat them over the head with one.

To prove my point, here is a comprehensive list of games published by EA that do not suck:


I rest my case.

Back in 98 to 2002 those games were pretty graphically amazing but. Even today I list Baldurs gate 2 is one of the best artistic achievements in a game I have seen. Sure, it's no longer high res or anything but the environments are absolutely beautifully drawn with a wonderful amount of variety.

But yeah, I think if you look back alot of the classics from those days were indeed very high technical achievers in the day, just time has had its effect on the games in that department yet many are still very fun to play.

PC gamers have been looking for more than just pretty graphics when it comes to their game titles over the last few years.

This is very true. We've been looking for fun games that don't suck. Too bad none of the huge gaming conglomerates can figure out how to make one.

true ... but atleast we have our classics like MAFIA (one of my all time favorite single player games i might add ) to fall back on ... on the PC of course. screw the console version.