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AGEIA PhysX and Ghost Recon - Gaming at the next level

By: Shawn Baker | Editorials in Video Cards | Posted: May 8, 2006 4:00 am

BFG PhysX Card


The BFG PhysX card isn't very large at all and won't cause any problems when it comes to installing in your system. The blue PCB is the same as we have seen on some BFG graphics cards in the past and the general layout of the card makes it look very much like a VGA card minus the fact that it has no output ports.



The PhysX card actually generates a little bit of heat when running so as you can see BFG have included an active cooling fan on the card. It is the same cooler that is used on the BFG 6600GT, which it doesn't have any trouble cooling.


The fan also has a blue LED for a little bit of bling! We would recommend that you have good airflow throughout your case as it does get quite hot even with the fan spinning away.



The top right hand corner has a 4 pin molex connector to provide the card with the extra power needed as the PCI slot doesn't offer enough.



Moving to the bottom of the card we can see that it uses just a standard PCI connection. One question which was initially being asked was if the card was going to be PCI or PCI Express. AGEIA have made it clear that at the moment the PCI bus is able to offer enough bandwidth to do the physics calculations. Hopefully we do see a PCI Express version though as some high-end motherboards now come with less and less PCI slots and people want to start making use of those PCI Express slots.



The BFG Tech PhysX card comes with 128MB of DDR3 Samsung 2.0ns memory. We don't know what the memory is clocked at the moment but it will be interesting to see if anyone brings out a program that lets us overclock. How will this affect performance? The memory speed must be important otherwise DDR could have been chosen as opposed to DDR3. Only time will tell what we can do with the PhysX card from BFG Tech.



Turning the card over there isn't a lot to look at. There is no memory on the back, all 128MB is located on the front. The cooler is a simple clip in one so there is no back plate either. Apart from a whole lot of circuitry we have the model and the serial number located on the back.



Due to the card being an early sample, we didn't get an official driver CD so BFG simply included a burnt CD with a driver on it. Before we installed though we had a quick look at the BFG Tech website and noticed that a more recent driver was out so we didn't use the one that was provided with the card.



Support List


Currant games out that support the PhysX card is quite limited but the good news is that there is a good number of games coming out this year - some more exciting than others.


Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter


Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends


Bet on Soldier: Blood Sport


Cell Factor


City of Villains


Unreal Tournament 2007


Gunship Apocalypse


Sacred II






Fallen Earth


Crazy Machine 2


Arena Online




Warhammer MMORPG


Eye of the Storm




Vanguard: Saga of Heroes


Alpha Prime


Some games that really stand out are Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter which is due for release this month along with Cell Factor which has one of the best game trailers we have ever seen. Unreal Tournament 2007 depending how much it utilizes the PhysX card could be the game that really takes this card off. It will be interesting to see how Warhammer MMORPG goes and how the PhysX card works for online play especially in a massive multiplayer environment like Warhammer.

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter for Windows


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