Articles :: Mirror’s Edge PhysX Review ::

Doc Overclock · 01-26-2009 · Category: Tech-planations

PhysX Features

  • CUDA
  • Compute Processor
  • GeForce GTX 295 480 Compute Processors/480 Stream Processors
  • Explosions that cause dust and collateral debriss
  • Characters with complex jointed geometries for more lifelike motion and interaction
  • Spectacular new weapons with incredible new effets
  • Cloth that drapes and tears naturally
  • Dense smoke and fog that billow around objects in motion

Graphics based physics has long been a dream of any graphics professional. After all, while a CPU can do everything that a graphics card can regarding physics, the CPU does not have the horsepower to run both physics and gameplay at the same time in most instances. Ageia built a PhysX card, but the problem was the target audience for the card didn't buy into it and they were bought by NVIDIA last year.

CUDA is NVIDIA's trademark for their compute processing engine found on their GeForce 8 and later GPUs. With the introduction of the GeForce 8800GTX in 2006, NVIDIA set two modes for their graphics card, the graphics mode that we know and love, and the compute mode which allows software programmers to use the C language for CUDA to develop software.

The GeForce GTX295 has two 240 SP GPUs which means that the two chips can do a total of 1788 GigaFLOPS a second of calculating power. This has applications in Folding@Home and other computing programs. But what about games, which are the primary, reason a person buys a video card unless they need professional graphics? Here's where PhysX comes in and companies like Electronic Arts and THQ have announced that they will support PhysX in upcoming titles. Among the myriad of effects that PhysX can do are: Glass Destruction, Cloth, Smoke, banners, and fog. You can also do complex geometric characters with life-like motion and animation, big explosions that can cause debris and destructible environments that are persistent. One of the first A-list games is Mirror's Edge from Electronic Arts and this game is what I will cover in the rest of the article.

Banner no PhysX

Banner PhysX

Smoke no PhysX

Smoke PhysX


  1. Introduction
  2. PhysX Features
  3. Mirror's Edge PhysX Effects
  4. Performance in Mirror's Edge
  5. Conclusion