Nvidia PhysX System Software: What Is It & Do You Need it?

PhysX was initially introduced to the world with Mafia II back in 2010. To give you some background info; PhysX was made by a different company, Ageia, and actually used to be a separate card for processing physics in games.

Similar to GPU and CPU, it was named PPU (Physics Processing Unit). However, it was eventually bought by Nvidia who released what is now known as Nvidia PhysX System Software. In today’s article, we’ll talk about that in detail so let’s get started…

Key Takeaways

  • Nvidia PhysX is an open-source engine/software that simulates the physics of objects in order to produce a more realistic result.
  • It is not necessary to have Nvidia PhysX System Software unless you want to run PhysX in your games.
  • It can now work on AMD graphics cards since it became open-source in 2018, but older PhysX GPU-accelerated games may have issues with AMD GPUs.
  • It can decrease performance by about 20-25% as it increases the load on the graphics card, but the impact can vary depending on the computer.
  • PhysX can run on the CPU, but the best results will come from running it on a GPU with the software installed.
Table of Contents

What is Nvidia PhysX System Software?

Nvidia PhysX is essentially an open-source engine/software which allows you to simulate the physics of fixed objects that are colliding, overlapping, or intersecting with each other in order to produce a more realistic result.

This software is now downloadable through the Nvidia website where everyone can have access to it.

Do I need PhysX System Software?

Nvidia PhysX System Software is a computer program that’s necessary to run PhysX properly. You don’t necessarily need it unless you want to run PhysX in your games. Like any other application, you can always uninstall it if you wish to do so.

Does PhysX Work on AMD Graphics Cards?

Yes, back in 2018 PhysX became open source so all graphics cards have access to it. However, older PhysX GPU-accelerated games still have issues working properly with AMD GPUs since only the versions after PhysX SDK 4.0 are open-sourced.

Does PhysX decrease performance?

Yes, PhysX will decrease your frames per second (FPS) by about 20-25% as it increases the load of your graphics card. However, you should do manual testing as it has a different impact on each computer.

Below you can see the massive visual difference that PhysX can make in a game at the cost of performance.

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Important Notes:

  1. You can also run PhysX on your CPU, although, you’ll have lower framerates since a processor doesn’t have as many cores as a graphics card to handle all the work. For the best experience, running a PhysX GPU with the software installed gives you the best possible result.
  2. PhysX was initially created to help game developers since having a separate physics engine can be time-consuming.
  3. Nvidia introduced PhysX back when they released the 500 series Graphics cards.

Conclusion

In conclusion, having Nvidia PhysX installed doesn’t harm your PC in any way so I would recommend you to just have it on your computer just in case you want to run a game with it.

Have in mind that not many games currently support it but in the future, I am pretty sure that PhysX will be a highly desirable software. That’s all for this topic. I hope I helped you with any related questions. Let me know in the comments if you need any help! Until next time, peace!

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Lampros Koukis
Lampros Koukis

I am Lampros, co-founder of c4re.gr. I am passionate about gaming, technology, and computers. I have been involved in that industry for about 15 years. I have been a tech writer for the last 5 years so I am bringing to you guys the expertise and knowledge I have gathered through the years.

2 Comments

  1. nice bro, thanks for your article. Really readable, you explained everything in easy way and now i got all the infos i needed. Thanks again

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