Asus 128mb PhysX Card Review/Preview

The Card

The card itself is pretty small – comparable in size to my Creative Audigy 2 ZS. It has a small cooler with an Aluminium heatsink and you can see it requires a molex power connecter. You can see the cooler also cools some of the mosfets so that’s a bonus.

ageia physx
The rear of the card shows that the heatsink is pretty firmly attached so no problems there.
ageia physx
All in all a decent arrangement. Obviously the card does not need a huge amount of cooling.

Naked we can see the PhysX chip and the PCB with 4 x 32mb Samsung K4J52324QC-BC20 chips rated at 500MHz

ageai physx naked
It’s pretty strange seeing a PCI backplate that has no outputs but thats what Ageia’s card has!
ageia physx


There is a general lack of information about the actual tech specs of PhysX on the web but from what I can glean

PCI Interface

* Processor Type: AGEIA PhysX
* Transistor Count: 125 Million
* Silicon: 14 x 13.5mm (some 188mm²)
* Manufacturing Process: 130nm
* Bus Technology: 32-bit PCI 3.0
* Memory Interface: 128-bit GDDR3
* Memory Capacity: 128MB
* Memory Bandwidth: 12Gbytes/sec.
* Memory Clock: 733MHz
* Peak Instruction Bandwidth: 20 Billion Instructions/sec
* Sphere-Sphere collision/sec: 530 Million max
* Convex-Convex (Complex) collisions/sec: 533,000 max
* Adaptor/Cable bundled: Power Cable

Support for up to 32,000 rigid body objects, soft body objects, particle systems containing 40,000-50,000 particles, fluid modelling and collision detection.

Ageia have said that they are going to implement PhysX on PCI-E, but the card is on PCI at present.

Upcoming Games

Can be found here

Here is the list from Ageia’s site.

ageia release list


Ageia provide tools to developers:

PhysX Builderâ„¢

Comprehensive tool set to create, preview, tune, and debug physics content

PhysX Createâ„¢

Includes plug-ins for both 3DS Max and Maya

  • Add physics to game objects
  • Advanced rag-doll creation and editing
  • Creation of cloth and clothing
  • Preview physics interaction in the interactive viewport!
  • Import/Export via binary, ASCII or Collada to content creation tools or game editor/ game engine

PhysX Rocketâ„¢

Enables high-performance preview and tuning of PhysX content

  • Modular and extensible allowing developer to customize to suite own needs
  • Ideal environment for creation, viewing and tuning of fluids and vehicle models
    • Import/Export via binary, ASCII or Collada to content creation tools or game editor/ game engine

PhysX VRDâ„¢

Real-time visual remote debugger

  • Real-time view into the PhysX runtime
  • Captures and plays back PhysX simulation for interactive debugging
  • Stop and inspect data at any point in the simulation
  • Connects via TCP/IP to PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 runtime

So all in all PhysX looks good for what it can do. The exciting thing for me is real time dynamic liquid simulation as well as cloth effects and then the obvious particle behaviour you will notice the most. Ageia have also made the PhysX engine easy to approximate on next-gen consoles so that once deployed in a game this can be a cross-platform development platform.

Basically PhysX accelerates a whole lot of physics in the dedicated hardware. This enables some awesomely cool physics effects – given good game programming.


I was pretty impressed with the Asus bundle with this card.

Included is:

Asus PhysX Card
Molex Power extension cable
Demo of Switchball (small physics puzzle demo)
Demo of Cell factor
Full Version of Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter
Ageia PhysX Drivers
Ageia PhysX installation CD
CD Wallet

ageia physx
This is about as complete as you could get a bundle with the card at this time. Asus has done well with the bundle.
asus physx ageia
The wallet is pretty good quality and this is a nice touch from Asus making you feel that you have bought something a bit special.

Including GRAW is basically a must with this card in my opinion and it is good to see this included in the bundle. It is an AAA title and so this is a definite plus when considering the bundle.

The Cooler

Usually we look at graphics cards coolers in our reviews: so lets take a closer look at Asus’s cooling implementation.

ageia physx

ageia physx

The fan stays on full throughout the time that the PC is on, but the noise does not stand out above even a quiet system with the nice 7900GTX 512mb cooler on it. The fan is an Evercool 12v T125010DM. Obviously this card does not put out much heat as this heatsink and fan combo is pretty lightweight and quiet.

Also note it take up a single PCI slot and so you can fit another PCI card in the bottom slot if you are using a single 7900GTX like I decided to in my review.