Personal thoughts…

Tech, Hockey, and random thoughts…

PhysX add-in card pricing announced

Xbit Labs is reporting that AGEIA has set pricing on its PhysX add-in cards.
The PhysX chip will be manufactured with 0.13 micron technology at TSMC, and the die will host 125 million transistors

Apparently PCI only initially, and priced between $250-300 US. Retail availability in 4Q 05'.

Frankly, I don't see it selling at all at such a price point. Price it at $100 and you'll get the hardcore gaming enthusiasts. Get it integrated into high end motherboards and you'll get a solid installed base.
Sell it at $250 and only the rich that must have the best at all times will even glance at it.

Active cooling, auxiliary power, 125M transistors on a .13u process… clearly these aren't cheap for them to manufacture.
Too expensive and far too complex to integrate onto graphics cards, or motherboards to get a quick installed base so that developers will have reason to utilize them.
Without a solid installed base software developers aren't going to code for a Physics processing unit, without a decent selection of games supporting it consumers aren't going to buy them… it's an unfortunate catch 22.

It doesn't help them any that in 2006 the market will be flooded with DualCore processors, and developers will be looking towards multithreading. We will buy dualcores for prices of single cores. And what's one of the easiest elements of a game to multithread? Physics calculations.
That extra core will be begging to be utilized and physics are one of the easist elements to code for thread level parallelism.

I wish them luck, but to be blunt Ageia hasn't a prayer in selling many of these and they'll be awfully hard pressed to convince many software developers to actively support, endorse and develop for it.

May 21, 2005 - Posted by | Misc. Computer Hardware

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