Back in 2006 the PC world, gaming or otherwise, saw the very first physics processing unit, or PPU. This technology was light in hardware, cost, and thermal concerns. Having a processor dedicated to handling the physics calculations of games and even scientific software extended to the lifespan of video cards of the time when playing games that were compatible with the hardware. Unfortunately, this hardware and the concept behind it died out shortly after coming on to the scene as the GPU giants began to implement physics processing technology into their GPU cards. While this has definitely worked well, we are beginning to see physics becoming more and more prevalent in the gaming industry. Independent developers of games such as Kerbal Space Program and even triple A companies like DICE with Battlefield 4 are creating games that not only look gorgeous in their own right but are also very physics intensive. So I ask the question; are PPU's still a viable hardware addition to modern PCs in order to lower the workload of the CPU and GPU, eliminating bottlenecks, and smoothing out games while at the same time providing a whole other independent processor to the motherboard that developers can use?
In all honesty this technology could still be relatively light in terms of cost, hardware, and thermal concerns. PPUs could even extend the life of current video cards, and may even prove to be a necessary part of any gaming PC on the market with games that could make full use a dedicated physics card. Games like Cloud Imperium's Star Citizen would definitely benefit from dedicated physics processing unit given that the game has a lot physics calculations that need to be done.
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