NVIDIA's Roy Taylor responds to claims that the green firm cheats in 3DMark with its new PhysX driver:
During the benchmark install, a runtime library is updated to allow the test to run on the GPU and then during the test, it addresses the benchmark DLLs to the GPU instead of the PPU or CPU. Nothing within the benchmark is changed at all. No software libraries or even a line of code changes in the benchmark whatsoever. The only thing that changes is that installer, nothing else. It has been said that the tests results look different on the screen when running with PhysX enabled on the GPU. And of course this is true, just as the screen results look different when you test on a dual-core CPU versus a quad-core. This isn't a graphics test; it's a physics test. 3DMark Vantage specifically scales more complexity into a scene to take advantage of additional physics compute resources, which of course is why it looks so different/better on a test run with PhysX processing on our GPUs. This is by design in the benchmark and if the folks accusing us took the time to run it, they would know that.
More info at HotHardware, the article also contains a statement from Futuremark and from Mark Rein (Epic Games). Here's a snip from what Mark Rein has to say about NVIDIA's PhysX driver:
"We couldn't care less about synthetic benchmarks. Real players play real games and in this case there is a real performance gain for a large number of users playing our game. The updated drivers that people are talking about allow properly-equipped Unreal Tournament 3 players users to use some amazing UT3 content that was specifically designed to take advantage of hardware-accelerated physics. So now that content works on high-end Nvidia graphics cards, as opposed to Ageia PPUs. This is a great thing as high-end Nvidia cards number in the millions, or tens of millions, compared to Ageia PPUs which obviously numbered far, far less. So Nvidia has done a cool optimization that allows their customers to get more value and performance out of their graphics cards. How anyone could possibly confuse this for a bad thing is beyond me."