I rarely extol the virtues of giant computer companies, except perhaps, when they give out delicious candy for free in the way nVidia has. Being a supporter of their brand of graphics cards over their competitor, ATI, when I built my last PC I opted for the then top of the line GeForce 8800 GTS 512. Time passes and nVidia buys physics card maker Ageia and their line of PhysX products. That was nice, I assumed that in the next generation we’d see integrated GPUs and PhysX chips working together. Apparently, all PhysX chips are are regular old GPUs with drivers meant to support physics rendering. Why? Because nVidia, through a driver update, just added PhysX features and support to their already existing line of cards. If you own a 8000, 9000 or new GTX 200 series card, you’ve already got the capability of having really cool physics acceleration.
nVidia released a whole host of stuff which you can find here. They’re calling it their “Force Within” pack. We get a new Forceware driver (v177.83) plus a couple game demos, fluid physics tech demos, the UT3 physics upgrade pack and a full game called Warmonger.
Like I said, I’m not one to usually heap praise on big companies, but this is pretty cool. nVidia said they were going to fully support PhysX, the gaming community and more and it seems like they’ve actually delivered.
So, if you’ve got a graphics card from the past two years, check it out. Just thought I’d pass it on.