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Patch Re-Enables PhysX When ATI Card Is Present

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the until-they-break-it-again dept.

Graphics 130

An anonymous reader points us to a forum posting with the inevitable followup to NVIDIA's crippling of PhysX for users of any other display adapter. "Windows 7 allows two display drivers to be used at once — like in Windows XP. Therefore, it is possible to use an NVIDIA card for PhysX and ATI card for graphics rendering. Sadly, since the release of 186 graphics drivers, NVIDIA has decided to block this feature anytime a Non-NVIDIA GPU is present in the system. In addition, for some incomprehensible reasons, the latest version of PhysX System Software also prevents PPU cards from working if a Non-NVIDIA GPU is present. ... A forum member by the name of GenL has released an experimental beta patch [that] intercepts disable-PhysX-if-Radeon-is-present-code. So far, according to user comments the patch delivers successful results." The forum post has a link to the patch for Windows 7.

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130 comments

tucker max fail! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29637493)

If there do end up being a lot of comparisons, it will go poorly, but not for us. The Hangover is probably one of the best comedies of the last ten years, but all that means is that comedy has sucked for ten years. The days of being able to pass off dogshit like The Hangover as great comedy end on September 25th. We are going to sweep in out of nowhere and shake up the comedy world. The bar will be raised.

And if you doubt me, that's cool. Stand in line behind all the other the doubters--the ones who said I couldn't be a writer, or my website couldn't be a book, or my book wouldn't be a best seller, or I couldn't write a movie, or I couldn't get that movie made, or I couldn't get the movie distributed, etc, etc, etc. They have been wrong every time in the past, and they will be wrong this time.

Get it while you can (4, Insightful)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 4 years ago | (#29637515)

NVIDIA Cease-and-desist e-mails going out in 3...2...1...

Re:Get it while you can (1)

Vahokif (1292866) | more than 4 years ago | (#29637579)

Hopefully they're realize it's stupid and remove it themselves.

Re:Get it while you can (3, Informative)

Splab (574204) | more than 4 years ago | (#29637673)

No, hopefully they will realize it's illegal before the EU helps them on their way.

Re:Get it while you can (5, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#29637881)

No, hopefully they will realize it's illegal before the EU helps them on their way.

Yeah, it's only a matter of decades now.

Re:Get it while you can (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#29638805)

Hopefully when the EU does that we'll not get a torrent of ZOMG THE EU HATES US COMPANIES!!

"Hopefully", I guess, in the same way that hopefully I'll get to take a trip to Jupiter on a three winged sabre tooth tiger named "Punky".

Re:Get it while you can (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 4 years ago | (#29640325)

Hopefully when the EU does that we'll not get a torrent of ZOMG THE EU HATES US COMPANIES!!

Not to mention the flood of "COMPANIES SCREW EU CUSTOMERS!" when the price of their products are 2x the US price from all the consumer-protection laws that have to be supported. E.g., the warranties that can be 5+ years on TVs and consoles - it's like being forced to buy extended warranties with every product because that's what it is.

Anyhow, I'm surprised the ATI-nVidia thing even works - given the amount of deep plumbing hacks these drivers do, it seems unlikely that they'll play nice together.

As for onboard ATI graphics - if you want a full nVidia system - just uninstall the ATI drivers. Even if you can't disable it in the BIOS, if Windows can't drive it, Windows doesn't see it. Then disable the hardware so Windows won't try to PnP install it.

Re:Get it while you can (2, Interesting)

Tawnos (1030370) | more than 4 years ago | (#29640569)

They don't do the deep plumbing hacks as often any more, most of what they used to do is now forbidden in order to be compliant with Connecting and Configuring Displays [microsoft.com] . This is why Vista disabled heterogeneous systems, because prior to our implementation of a unified persistence database and monitor setup APIs, each vendor provided their own solutions, and most were incompatible across vendors. That is largely fixed now, and though we find some places of code that still need fixes, we work hard with the IHVs to ensure your description of their drivers is no longer true.

Re:Get it while you can (1)

Nikker (749551) | more than 4 years ago | (#29641351)

You seem to be a Microsoft employee so I would like to present this burning question to you, when I think of a Microsoft employee I picture a MIT grad being held at gunpoint forced to refactor solitaire. Is this a valid assumption?

Your input is appreciated.

Re:Get it while you can (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29637675)

Yeah, like what if your motherboard has an onboard ATI video chip are you screwed since you can't remove it?

Re:Get it while you can (1)

AleBaba (1566049) | more than 4 years ago | (#29637833)

Even better: You can't disable your on-board chip because a manufacturer crippled the BIOS.

Re:Get it while you can (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#29637649)

Antitrust lawsuit and consumer backlash lawsuit initiated by me in 3...2..1...

I've already called my preferred class-action group and they're salivating over the prospect of several billion dollars from nVidia over this.

Re:Get it while you can (0, Troll)

trapnest (1608791) | more than 4 years ago | (#29637723)

Too bad you're full of shit.

Re:Get it while you can (1)

Monsuco (998964) | more than 4 years ago | (#29640757)

I've already called my preferred class-action group and they're salivating over the prospect of several billion dollars from nVidia over this.

Good luck with that. Maybe they'll win, in which case they'll get millions and you could possibly have five whole dollars coming to you if you fill out a few forms to get your part of the settlement.

Re:Get it while you can (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#29641463)

Five bucks?

Oh no, I can't say how much but I'm getting far more than that from EA over the Spore debacle.

Re:Get it while you can (5, Interesting)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 4 years ago | (#29637867)

Isn't Nvidia illegally hacking the user's computer? The distribution of software which purports to be a driver update but in reality deliberately breaks functionality of the user's system - sounds like malware on the face of it.

Re:Get it while you can (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29638755)

> The distribution of software which purports to be a driver update but in reality deliberately breaks functionality of the user's system - sounds like malware on the face of it.

Apple got away with it. I mean, I grant it was an iTunes update, not a driver update, but all it did was prevent a competitor's product from working. Updates that do nothing but disable your hardware aren't exactly good things, after all.

Re:Get it while you can (1)

SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) | more than 4 years ago | (#29639535)

I doubt it's illegal. What do you think software license agreements are for?

Re:Get it while you can (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29639607)

If you mean the EULA, they're unenforcable in the UK (and EU I believe). You cant impose conditions after the point of sale.

If it only stops PhysX working if theres an ATI card present then it wouldn't surprise me if its illegal in the US too.
Even if its not illegal, I'm sure ATI would have enough cause to start a lawsuit.

Re:Get it while you can (5, Funny)

Monsuco (998964) | more than 4 years ago | (#29640689)

I doubt it's illegal. What do you think software license agreements are for?

Hell if I know, I didn't read it.

Re:Get it while you can (1)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 4 years ago | (#29639681)

It might seem like that....but no. Since you agree to the draconian TOS when you install the driver you're shit outa luck. Also I'd have to agree with Nvidia on this one since they own part or all of Physx. ATI users have no right to use their intelectual property. Thus the moral of the story ALWAYS BUY NVIDIA.

Re:Get it while you can (0, Flamebait)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#29641469)

Moron. If I have ATi on my motherboard and I *buy* a PhysX card or PhysX-enabled GPU, I have EVERY RIGHT to the advertised features.

What fucked up world do you come from? Go back, we don't need you here.

Re:Get it while you can (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29640843)

Isn't all proprietary software malware these days?

Re:Get it while you can (0)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#29637937)

Or a DMCA lawsuit or some BS. Seems better to just avoid Nvidia products, rather than try to make them suck less.

Not for a patch (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 4 years ago | (#29638371)

They're not doing anything actionable unless they're distributing the whole package. A patch against the nVidia distributed drivers is perfectly legal.

Re:Get it while you can (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29638489)

Shouldn't Microsoft be handing out their own kind of cease-and-desist... revoking nVidia's driver certificate?

Re:Get it while you can (1)

rhook (943951) | more than 4 years ago | (#29639135)

Anti-Trust lawsuit going out in 3...2...1...

Incomprehensible? (4, Insightful)

Rewind (138843) | more than 4 years ago | (#29637553)

In addition, for some incomprehensible reasons,

Greedy maybe, but incomprehensible? I think it is pretty easy to understand, they want you to go buy another nVIDIA card. I don't agree with it either, but thats just a silly word choice.

Re:Incomprehensible? (1)

tehSpork (1000190) | more than 4 years ago | (#29637573)

Sarcasm much?

Re:Incomprehensible? (1)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 4 years ago | (#29637655)

Greedy maybe, but incomprehensible?

Yes I would say requiring a specific brand of video card for a stand alone PPU to function is quite incomprehensible. [thefreedictionary.com]

Re:Incomprehensible? (2, Insightful)

Rewind (138843) | more than 4 years ago | (#29637757)

Really? I don't see how it is difficult to understand at all. Someone decided they want to try and force users to go all NVIDIA. I don't agree with it, but I can see how some suit would think it is a great idea.

Re:Incomprehensible? (5, Interesting)

dimeglio (456244) | more than 4 years ago | (#29637731)

So can we return our NVIDIA card because of that un-wanted feature? Choice to control our hardware should not be up to NVIDIA. The patch in question does not circumvent copy protection nor does it infringe on copyrights. This isn't an iPhone for goodness sake, it's a freaking computer. What's next, delete all registry entries under ATI?

Re:Incomprehensible? (2, Insightful)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 4 years ago | (#29638607)

As the ingenuity of GenL shows, it's not up to them. No matter what a company comes up with to try to get things to go their way, there is someone out there equally as smart and creative (if not more) that will break it.

Re:Incomprehensible? (0)

Tynin (634655) | more than 4 years ago | (#29639899)

As the ingenuity of GenL shows, it's not up to them.

I'm unfamiliar with GenL, can you please shed some light on that. Both Google [google.com] and M-W [merriam-webster.com] were no help. The best I can infer is you mean Generation Linux... but that doesn't quite grok.

Re:Incomprehensible? (1)

Tynin (634655) | more than 4 years ago | (#29640107)

::hangs head in shame::

Just noticed who GenL is... wishing /. had a delete option. D'oh!

Re:Incomprehensible? (0, Troll)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 4 years ago | (#29639799)

<quote><p>The patch in question does not circumvent copy protection nor does it infringe on copyrights.</p></quote>

Actually you're wrong. Because Nvidia owns part or all of the company that invented PhysX this is considered infringement of their intellectual property. So in fact there is no legitimate reason why an ATI user should expect to make use of PhysX.

On the other hand I don't agree with the way they block you from using two cards from different manufacturers however I would never do this because that's just asking for trouble. Windows just isn't that good.

Re:Incomprehensible? (1)

Penguinoflight (517245) | more than 4 years ago | (#29640363)

Copyright, and copy protections (through the introduction of the DMCA) are protected under US law. In other regions there are similar laws, although in many regions copy protections are not protected.

Intellectual property on the other hand is in no way protected under law. It is a wholly imaginary designation made up by content owners (corporations who were never supposed to be able to register copyrights or patents.)

Even if Nvidia did own intellectual property pertaining to PhysX, that would not limit an individual's right to do whatever they want with their own computer. In no way does the modification of a driver package to make it more useful infringe on rights (imaginary or real) held by the creator of the driver package.

Your last incorrect comment "no legitimate reason why an ATI user should expect to make use of PhysX." is probably why you were flagged as a troll. I'll let you explain why you feel that way, and how you could come to that ignorant stupid conclusion.

Re:Incomprehensible? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29637891)

To explain it you assumed that NVIDIA didn't realize that their system software is a lawsuit magnet. Are they really that dumb? Their decision is incomprehensible when you look 1 move ahead in the chess game.

Re:Incomprehensible? (0)

mikael (484) | more than 4 years ago | (#29638113)

A similar thing happened with Adlib and Creative Labs. Adlib brought out a sound card that uses a music synthesizer chip. Creative Labs design their own card that is register compatible with the Adlib card plus add a microphone/playback feature for voice sampling. This puts Adlib out of business - didn't matter what they did, Creative Labs board is compatible with all the releases of their software.

Nvidia and ATI are in a similar position. NVidia researches and develops optimized software to perform 3D physics on the GPU hardware. Much to their annoyance, ATI gets smarmy and modifies their drivers so that NVidia PhysX can be natively on their boards, effectively getting NVidia to pay their own engineers to optimize their software to run on their competitors hardware.

Re:Incomprehensible? (1)

psm321 (450181) | more than 4 years ago | (#29638411)

Umm, the complaint is about the drivers refusing to allow PhysX on an _NVidia_ card, if an ATI card happens to be in the system (being used for the display for example)

Re:Incomprehensible? (1)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 4 years ago | (#29638521)

You don't know what you're talking about. This isn't about running PhysX on an ATI card, this is about running PhysX on an nVidia card while an ATI card runs the graphics. Disabling PhysX in that situation is ridiculous.

Re:Incomprehensible? (0)

mikael (484) | more than 4 years ago | (#29639033)

Thanks for the correction - it's the same outcome. Some developers may want to have both Nvidia and Ati boards in a desktop at the same time. Maybe even some users. Nvidia doesn't want to be pigeonholed as the maker of physics-accelerator boards.

Though, it just seems a little bit queeny of them to go "we're not going to let you use our board for physics unless you use it for graphics as well."

I do use an Geforce 8800 card, so I am familiar with the physics acceleration on those cards.

Re:Incomprehensible? (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#29638123)

Yes, but as another poster pointed out there are quite a few of us out there with built in ATI IGP, like the 780v board I'm typing this on. This stupid stunt by Nvidia just made sure that the only cards I put in my new machine will be ATI. Smart move there Nvidia, and after the bad solder fiasco way to build the good will!

Re:Incomprehensible? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#29638717)

Yes. It's quite comprehensible. It's possibly illogical. It does rather assume that someone will decide to buy two nVidia cards rather than one to supplement an existing ATI card, which doesn't seem all that likely. I'd be inclined to go without PhysX until I needed a new card in that situation, and I suspect I'm not alone in that opinion.

A free ride. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29637575)

"Sadly, since the release of 186 graphics drivers, NVIDIA has decided to block this feature anytime a Non-NVIDIA GPU is present in the system. "

He who writes the code...", oh wait.

Nvidia should make a sensible compromise (4, Insightful)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 4 years ago | (#29637601)

Why don't they just put an option to disable this check in a configuration file, with a comment above it that says : UNSUPPORTED FEATURE, ENABLE AT OWN RISK. It would cost a negligible amount of programmer time (I assume there will be people reading this comment that could write in this feature in under 10 minutes)and it could HELP nvidia. If it's possible to get more value out of Nvidia products, even if you also have a competitor's card in your machine, you are going to increase sales for nvidia products in the long run. Furthermore, if the effective install base for PhysX is larger, there's a greater chance that it will become a standard.

Re:Nvidia should make a sensible compromise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29638507)

In this case, Nvidia's biggest fear would be that ATI develops a low cost high performance card that runs PhysX well.

Re:Nvidia should make a sensible compromise (1)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | more than 4 years ago | (#29638901)

The reason this went in in the first place was to disable attempts to run PhysX on ATI hardware, but the check was a little overzealous. If they made it fairly easy to disable with a single configuration tweak, the ATI driver installer would probably perform the tweak automatically, defeating the whole point of NVIDIA's lockdown.

Re:Nvidia should make a sensible compromise (1)

timothyf (615594) | more than 4 years ago | (#29640123)

I don't see why ATI couldn't distribute this sort of patch directly, anyway. As has been mentioned elsewhere, nVidia's just made it a bit harder, and doing this sort of reverse engineering should be completely legal anyway (IANAL).

Ah, that's the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29638923)

It would cost a negligible amount of programmer time (I assume there will be people reading this comment that could write in this feature in under 10 minutes)and it could HELP nvidia.

Yyyyeah. Go to executives in a company of that size and say "I have a project that could really benefit the company. It takes 0.00009* man-years!" and they will laugh you out of the meeting!

(*: Assuming ~1800 man-hour long man-years)

Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29637615)

whats with all the M$ stories lately, who cares about these cards for windows 7??? we all know its going to fail anyway. Please, more LINUX! just saying what's everyones thinking..

Re:Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29637681)

Yeah, Linux... it has a great history with graphics drivers, after all. Wait a sec....

Hate to say it, but a lawsuit is coming. (5, Interesting)

Bruha (412869) | more than 4 years ago | (#29637641)

If a users buys hardware to perform a function they expect it to perform said function. Nvidia comes along and disables the function because for whatever reason you have a competitor's graphics card inside the system. I know some people who do this because a ATI card may be better at certain tasks outside of games. Either way Nvidia should be held accountable, the license you agreed to by opening the box says nothing about installing competitors cards into your machine. In fact I do not see how they can dictate what hardware you put into your box. It's been held that auto makers can not void your warranty for using non manufacturer parts or if they say it will the law states they have to provide the part for free. How is this any different than mixing champion and bosch ignition parts. "We refuse to spark because the distributior cap is nor our brand"

Re:Hate to say it, but a lawsuit is coming. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29639185)

What about the people that buy a PC/Laptop that have the ATI chip built in...

Component and "not supported" messages (5, Interesting)

Laebshade (643478) | more than 4 years ago | (#29637659)

I had a similar problem with a driver update for Nvidia, though it had nothing to do with using another video card. My HTPC setup connects my PC with an 8600GT with component cables to my TV, an old, Samsung flat-screen CRT. I bought it used for cheap, the color is fantastic, and it does 640x480p. In combination with the horizontal/vertical TV adjustments, I also used the equivelant adjustments built into the Nvidia software to get the perfect screen size with no overscan.

For about a year I had been using it in that setup. I usually check the nvidia website for driver updates, and had been through at least 2 since I set it up with no problems. The latest driver update, 190.62, suddenly disabled the prized feature I was using, stating it was not supported with my particular setup. I had to downgrade to the earlier version to get it working correctly.

I'm not sure if Nvidia did this on purpose to try to get me to upgrade to a newer/better card, or if it was just some unintentional bug that was overlooked, but I've learned not to always upgrade to the newest driver.

Re:Component and "not supported" messages (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29637737)

Indeed. Any TV set computer should be looked at like an appliance, and viewed with the attitude of if it isn't broke, don't fix it.

Re:Component and "not supported" messages (5, Interesting)

antdude (79039) | more than 4 years ago | (#29638857)

NVIDIA pisses me off. They removed the TV out's fullscreen video overlay so I couldn't watch videos fullscreen with the newer drivers and cards. I also use my computer like a media center. A lot of people complained about this in NVIDIA's forum. NVIDIA readme said this was done for DRM. Bah!

I went to ATI and happy now. I hope ATI never pulls this feature.

Re:Component and "not supported" messages (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29639201)

And as is typical not a link to these forum posts is offered.

Re:Component and "not supported" messages (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29639865)

If you're interested, go look 'em up yourself, you lazy fuck.

Re:Component and "not supported" messages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29640703)

Sadly, this was done as a requirement for passing the driver validation crap from Microsoft when they moved to the new driver model with Vista.

Or at least, that's what my research turned up a few years back when I first hit this "feature change".

Re:Component and "not supported" messages (1)

Monsuco (998964) | more than 4 years ago | (#29640737)

I hope ATI never pulls this feature.

You mean like when ATI nixed support for all graphics cards not made within the past year or so, thus making them unusable on recent versions of X server and on Windows 7?

Face it, Intel is the only company with good support for Open Source, and generally their embedded cards are supported for a while. The problem is of course, Intel's embedded cards are crap. They may be crap performing at its best, but it is still crap. Fortunately rumor has it Intel is headed for the performance market soon, so we'll see.

Re:Component and "not supported" messages (0, Redundant)

antdude (79039) | more than 4 years ago | (#29640777)

Intel video sucks for gaming, OpenGL, etc. though. :(

Re:Component and "not supported" messages (1)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | more than 4 years ago | (#29638915)

I'm still using driver version 94.24 because anything newer causes random graphics corruption now and then when running dual screen setups on my 7600GS. This forces me to stick with XP on that machine until I move to a large single screen instead of dual screens because the earliest supported driver for Vista starts in the 100 range.

Re:Component and "not supported" messages (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#29639015)

The new drivers (beyond 185.xx) use a new type of installer as well, which isn't as compatible with slipstreaming into XP CDs. That was my big annoyance.

If I had to guess... on purpose. But it could be one manager making the call - not the entire company, or even any of the top guys.

Re:Component and "not supported" messages (1)

InvisiBill (706958) | more than 4 years ago | (#29640187)

The new drivers (beyond 185.xx) use a new type of installer as well, which isn't as compatible with slipstreaming into XP CDs. That was my big annoyance.

People use the driver installers? Just unzip them and point Windows at the .inf file...

Re:Component and "not supported" messages (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#29640277)

People use the driver installers? Just unzip them and point Windows at the .inf file...

...which isn't possible starting with 186.xx and 190.xx :/

The new installers are not unpackable by programs like 7-zip or WinRAR. Even Universal Extractor [legroom.net] fails.

If you know of a way to unpack the new installers, please let me know.

Re:Component and "not supported" messages (1)

starfire83 (923483) | more than 4 years ago | (#29641465)

Once you launch the installer it unpacks EVERYTHING to C:\NVIDIA\\\\. You can delete the PhysX installer, 3D stereoscopic service installer, HD Audio installer, NV control panel installer, etc. It's all there and it stays there since it isn't deleted once installation is done. You can just cancel the installer when it comes up and use that folder however you want. I thought everyone knew that. My laptop currently has 190.38 and 191.03 there. Might want to go check it out before posting false info.

Performance against cost (3, Interesting)

stimpleton (732392) | more than 4 years ago | (#29637661)

Playing devils advocate here I can sort of see Nvidia's beef.

Their attitude to features and drivers is quite progressive and starts back with the old TNT32 when competing with voodoo. IMHO, we now have a similar situation where ATI is making good performing card at cheap prices yet are not maintaining the robust driver feature set of NVidia.

If a game is having a few glitches with shadows, chances are its with an ATI card.

NVidia's point of difference are their drivers, and I can at least see engineers being a bit miffed.

Re:Performance against cost (4, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#29637751)

It was quite progressive, but at this point they're pretty much the only ones that insist on binary blobs. Intel, as bad as there graphics cards were, did provide a whole lot of documentation and support for OSS years ago when nobody else of note was. These days AMD is working on releasing all the code they can. Which leaves nVidia in the sort of position where they'll write drivers for a platform but won't provide any of the source for developers to do it on their own if it's going to be a long wait.

Re:Performance against cost (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#29640331)

Well, their binary blobs still work better than the ATI equivalents with source. Until that stops being the case, I'm sticking with a single Nvidia card.

Re:Performance against cost (2, Funny)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#29637765)

If a game is having a few glitches with shadows, chances are its with an ATI card.

Funny. In my past experience, if a game is glitching on graphics in some way, chances are it's an Nvidia GPU. Doubly likely if it sounds like a someone turned on a vacuum cleaner inside your box whenever you start a game...

Re:Performance against cost (1)

DarkestDream (848582) | more than 4 years ago | (#29638297)

I agree with Moryath. I owned a nvidia card and it really glitching bad everytime you start a game that require full 3D. i never had a problem with ATI card

Re:Performance against cost (5, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#29637807)

Playing devils advocate here I can sort of see Nvidia's beef. Their attitude to features and drivers is quite progressive and starts back with the old TNT32 when competing with voodoo. IMHO, we now have a similar situation where ATI is making good performing card at cheap prices yet are not maintaining the robust driver feature set of NVidia. If a game is having a few glitches with shadows, chances are its with an ATI card. NVidia's point of difference are their drivers, and I can at least see engineers being a bit miffed.

If they honestly believed that ATI made inferior video hardware, they would feel no need to deliberately sabotage interoperability like this. That's especially true when merely a warning along the lines of "this feature works best with 100% nVidia hardware" would have been sufficient. No, this kind of deliberate and underhanded bullshit is the action of a company that has no confidence in its ability to compete in an open market on a level playing field. Personally I like nVidia's products and I am not eager to see another lawsuit in an already-litigious society. However, I hope they do get sued over this (by either their customers or the government) and I hope they lose big. This kind of shit needs to be made as expensive and unprofitable as possible.

Re:Performance against cost (2, Insightful)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 4 years ago | (#29638587)

They do not necessarily believe that ATI makes inferior hardware, they believe that ATI makes inferior software.

Re:Performance against cost (1)

Targon (17348) | more than 4 years ago | (#29639045)

But the logic is still flawed because they don't say it won't work with ATI cards, they make it not work with NVIDIA hardware if AMD/ATI hardware is also in the system.

Re:Performance against cost (1)

BeeRockxs (782462) | more than 4 years ago | (#29637879)

Engineers being miffed if users want to use a nVidia card with a feature it's supposed to be used with?

Re:Performance against cost (1)

strstr (539330) | more than 4 years ago | (#29638349)

nVidia's drivers are worse than ATI's. Microsoft released data showing that nVidia drivers cause 30% of all Windows crashes, greater than any other source, whereas ATI's less than 10%. I have had the chance to test nVidia GeForce Go 7900 GS and ATI Radeon Mobility X1400 in the same laptop and have seen some signifcant difference, with the GeForce graphics are a lot worse, things like image tearing and flickering, lines and pixels where the mipmap levels are, and in Aero blocks and corrupted graphics while resizing and moving windows around. With the Radeon graphics quality looks a lot better all around, textures have more detail, trilinear texture filtering is real trlinear texture filtering, mipmaps and textures don't shimmer, and on the desktop things like flash, windows resizing, and going from page to page and window to window are faster with no graphics distortion.

nVidia drivers responsible for nearly 30% of Vista crashes [engadget.com]

Understandable in a sense. (3, Interesting)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 4 years ago | (#29637811)

This seems like a lose-lose scenario for NVidia. Either they support other GPUs and risk getting smacked down with conspiracy theories or "lol nvidia is crap" when the famously shitty drivers from companies like S3 break PhysX, or they lock out competitors GPUs to maintain their reputation and get smacked down with conspiracy theories or "lol nvidia is crap".

But it does seem like win-win for nvidia in a sense if they take the first option. If PhysX takes off but ATI has a better gpu, then Nvidia still gets a sale from the hardcore crowd who want an accelerator. If Nvidia has the better gpu, then Nvidia gets the sale anyway.

It's a smart idea becoming an essential part to all PCs.

Competition (1)

WilyCoder (736280) | more than 4 years ago | (#29637843)

This is competition taken to unhealthy levels.

Love it (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 4 years ago | (#29637905)

But the corporate chicken shits will be issuing DMCA take down notices by the dozen. Notice how that it is illegal for Ford and GM to cripple their engines such that they can only use certain parts and exclude others. If GM made an engine that ceased to function if you used a Slappy's Air Filter, there'd be a hue and cry raised - not that you'd necessarily want to use a second rate component in your car. HMMM - I wonder. Has the hardware/software lobby become too powerful?

Re:Love it (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 4 years ago | (#29638133)

I daresay that the Nvidia execs are unaware of that bit of car legislation, all driving company cars and having them serviced at registered brand outlets.

FINALLY !! GEEK NEWS TO USE !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29637913)

1 in a million it right !!

Shoot all marketers! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29637963)

I swear, all tie-wearing brainless drones that come up with such bullshit need to be shot in the head!

I'm sick of those mouth-breathers standing in the way of good engineering.

Where could the world be if those slimy bastards wouldn't be holding back the bright people?

Nvidia PCI cards do not work when ATI card present (3, Interesting)

xiando (770382) | more than 4 years ago | (#29638415)

My old box had two NVidia cards, one AGP and one PCI. That worked great. Current box has motherboard with AMD (ATI) IGP. XOrg lets me use just the NV PCI card or just the AMD PCI-E IGP, but I can not use both at the same time using the free radeon driver and the nvidia blob - and the blob is the only choice here since TV-out would be the whole point of using this card. This may not be nvidias fault, but I suspect that it is since their driver is a binary blob. I also feel like complaining that I never got the NVidia card to do tv-out or 3D using free software, those features require the binary blob. The AMD IGP does OpenGL 3D (using 2.6.32-rc1-git6/xorg git) and multihead HDMI+VGA all (ab)using free software, no binary blob required. I will never buy a NVidia product until or unless they provide some documentation and source, they are pretty much the only big player who has not done so at this point. AMDs half-assed documentation release gave us free software support for 3D and faster 2D than their binary blob in a very short time.

Re:Nvidia PCI cards do not work when ATI card pres (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29641255)

Actually it's a bigger issue than that: Nvidia's Binary Blob also replaces the Mesa libGL file with an nvidia specific one, since they don't use DRI.

ATI's FGLRX driver used to do the same thing, but I believe the latest catalyst releases now use a DRI module, just like the open source drivers and simply hook against the installed version of MESA, although I *MAY* be wrong.

Purely out of curiosity... (2, Informative)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#29638595)

Why is it necessary for the nvidia driver to even know what other graphics cards are available?

Don't jailbreak it (2, Interesting)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#29638657)

Just don't buy it in the first place. They want to make their product of limited use, let 'em. Someone else will fill the void. Hell they may even change their minds. But only if we don't buy their crap.

Re:Don't jailbreak it (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 4 years ago | (#29639637)

what if 2 months ago, before all of this you bought one? say you can't return it; do you A) toss it out, and spend another 500 on a new card, or B) use the "hack" mentioned in TFA. If you happen to have the spare ~500 I know a good place for you to donate it (my checking account)

Re:Don't jailbreak it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29640051)

Good idea! I won't bother buying an ATI graphics card that I have to hack, now.

Much easier to stick with nVidia this gen.

Re:Don't jailbreak it (1)

LesFerg (452838) | more than 4 years ago | (#29640181)

But game manufacturers are now putting out software with dependency on a physX dll. The support sites suggest that it is (paraphrased) a bit like DirectX, you just have to install the latest version, and it is completely hardware independent.

If physX is in fact crippled and useless on my ATI based system, why should I have to install it to make a game run? Why are game manufacturers making software that is dependent on a specific hardware manufacturer's drivers? I thought that mentality went away decades ago.

Also disables the stand alone PPU? (4, Interesting)

brandorf (586083) | more than 4 years ago | (#29639397)

I hadn't noticed this when the original story broke. But this change also apparently disables Physx processing on Physx dedicated physics cards, i.e. the things Agiea was making before Nvidia bought them out. I know those weren't the most popular addon, but I happen to know of a school with a computer lab full of those Physx cards, and the majority of them have ATI/AMD cards for graphics. For them at least, this update renders all those standalone cards useless.

Use free software (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29639533)

All the more reason to avoid proprietary software and use free software. Protect your freedom. Freedom is a feature.

Re:Use free software (1)

Zan Lynx (87672) | more than 4 years ago | (#29640409)

Free software is great and freedom is definitely a feature.

It's too bad that it seems to be impossible to fund decent free software development. Because, hey, it's free so why pay for it?

The only competitive free software is that which actually has full time paid developers working on it. No one has made a way to get paid developing free graphics yet.

anti-trust (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29639687)

should be filed for nv

frist 45ot? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29640329)

You down. It was Election TO the

How many woodscrews does this patch require? (1)

fragMasterFlash (989911) | more than 4 years ago | (#29640415)

Based on comparing actual submissions to headlines making the front page I find this article to be rather deficient in the woodscrew content.

*glaring@you, soulskill*

Why stop there? (1)

blazemonkey (1197125) | more than 4 years ago | (#29640791)

Why would nvidia stop there? they should tighten things up all across the board. What they should to is start disabling Physics on AMD cpu's all together. then they could start looking at preventing nvidia graphics from working on amd systems. the next logical step would be to prevent any of the competitions hardware from working with any nvidia hardware, because that is the way it is meant to be played.

Two Battles to Watch (2, Interesting)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 4 years ago | (#29641101)

So now I've got 2 battles to follow this week:

1: Apple iTunes verses Palm Pre.
2: Nvidia PhysX verses the whole rest of the non-Nvidia world.

Good By Nvidia. (1)

Quzak (1047922) | more than 4 years ago | (#29641127)

Hello ATI. For many years I have been a hardcore believer in NVidia products. Since I build computers for a living I always recommended them to my clients. Now I will be informing people what NVidia is trying to do and why nobody should buy their products now. Also release open source drivers or gtfo.
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