A Letter to NVIDIA:Why my Next video card will not be yours

September 25, 2009 1 By ReverEND

58985663jk81st off, I’ll give a dollar to anyone that can pin point what kind of freaking card that is!.  I mean really..what sort of OCD, symmetrical nitpicker built that thing?

Ok, subject at hand.


The battle for the fastest card has been a heated affair ever since 3D acceleration took the mainstage of Computer display. 3Dfx (later renamed…3dfx.) took the early lead with there monsterous Voodoo line of cards. Once 3Dfx err. Sorry 3dfx. Went crazy like a star with too much power (Im looking at you Tom Cruise). NVIDIA was able to steal the crown with there Geforce 256 video card. Which nearly doubled performance of anything 3dfx could do. ATI on the other hand was, in terms of pure performance, always falling into second place. Until the 9700Pro and 9800pro. These cards… Even today! Are great cards. I STILL HAVE a 9700pro. And it plays Left 4 Dead. Seriously.

But, aside from those cards. Nvidia essentially had the speed crown. Which to gamers is a big deal. Even there latest cards are still faster. ATI as of now is the speed leader with there newly announced 5870 card. Not only is it fast. It won’t destroy the wallet! ATI’s new 4770 card is the overall best card in terms of price and performace. It can be had for just 100 bucks and rivals the GT260.

Honestly. All of this is trivial. As it has nothing to do with speed. It’s hypocricy and trying to iron fist and restriction innovation to keep your lead as opposed to just being the best.

NVIDIA has this propietary Physics system called PhysX that allows some of the physics calculations to be done on the GPU rather than the CPU. By doing this. More complex physics can be applied. Resulting in more realistic movement. So far. This has resulted little more than better looking cloth, better fog. Etc. Nothing game changing. But it’s still a cool extra. Some users have even started getting Nvidia 9800GT cards, the first card with a PhysX chip and running them alongside there ATI CARD! While a little exessive. It was working for some. Even the newest Batman game for the PC has a description of it when you are picking how much “Physx effects” you want. “so and so +9800GT secondary”

All this was working until NVIDIA release Forceware 186+ video drivers. In these drivers and all drivers released since. When the NVIDIA drivers find that an ATI card is also present in the system. It will disable Physx on the NVIDIA card. There is absolutely no reason for this other than to punish a user for also having an ATI card. Because before NVIDIA’s 186 driver set. This feature worked. I personally had it working. Running a GTX285 as man. And an ATI 1650Pro as a secondary card to run a little monitor built into the front of my PC. I had to do this at the time. Because ATI has fantastic TV support. While NVIDIA TV support is nearly nonexistant.

NVIDIA’s has been slowly losing there GPU market to ATI for awhile now. And this heavy handed move feels like.. A punishment for using “The enemy”. If that doesn’t sound like a juvenile attack. This does. A quote:

NVIDIA: Aren’t they punishing PC gamers by pushing out the schedule of PC titles such as Dirt 2 in order to support DX11?

AMD: Proprietary standards punish gamers, not industry standards like DirectX11. Why is NVIDIA punishing gamers by putting in proprietary and closed standards like PhysX in games?

Touché ATI.

Until NVIDIA loosens up, plays nice with others. Shares there toys and doesn’t taddle and talk shit about the other teams. I, under good conscience. Buy another NVIDIA product.