Borderlands 2 - PhysX performance possible fix or explaination?

I know it’s well known PhysX runs like crap, but I still can’t help but wonder maybe Gearbox and/or Nvidia could update or fix it in some way. Nvidia not too long ago made PhysX open source (Finally!) So perhaps gearbox could actually fix it up themselves and let AMD users use it. I just think it looks cool but it’s so unoptimized and always has been.


Modern Nvidia graphics cards do not suffer much of a performance hit from PhysX - this is a tale told from old days, when it was true, that is no longer true. Objective testing can confirm this. If you’re not running a video solution that’s already struggling, turning off PhysX won’t make much of a difference. In other words if you are struggling to maintain a smooth 30 fps turning PhysX on high might make your experience noticeably worse because it makes it just that more difficult to maintain that smooth 30 fps, and ANY performance degradation will be significant and make your experience less pleasant.

The only reason I turn down PhysX on my personal rig is that, particularly playing Sal, there ends up being too much visual clutter for me to see as well as I’d like to, particularly when mobbing run-and-gun style.

All that said, BL2 isn’t a well-optimized game for Nvidia hardware (odd since it is an Nvidia title, but true); performance across the board is worse than it should be. Hopefully BL3 will be better tuned. I think it’s likely just because it uses Unreal Engine 4 instead of a highly modified UE3. So, yes, in that light, the entire game’s video optimizations could be done much better than it was in BL2.

ETA - Judging from the support Gearbox got from AMD during their E3 presentation I’m guessing BL3 may be an AMD title and PhysX won’t be developed for - but this is just a guess. I hope it will be available, and well-tuned, since I have Nvidia hardware on my main rig, but the main thing I want is a good experience across the board from both of my computers (one that uses a less powerful AMD video card).

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It is absolutely an AMD title. AMD Logos have been on every possible bit of media since April

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I have a 2080 RTX and fps is still plummeting on “High”.

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I too just noticed a horrible drop in FPS. my BL2 game used to run at around 114 FPS, now I struggle to get 60!
Im on PC too. GTX1080, i7-4770k, windows 8.1

RTX has had a rough time with some games since its launch. All I can say is what I generally know about PhysX and its performance hit (or lack of) in properly optimized games, and that I did not have any appreciable degradation on my GTX 680 nor do I have any on my 1080Ti while playing BL2.

There are countless reasons for FPS drops and as Salvadorable said, rarely is PhysX the reason. Yes it adds a load to the card but it’s more likely some other factor is the cause and PhysX is just the trigger. I only say this from monitoring the PC support section over the last three years.

I’m not a fan anyways : I don’t like the clutter but I appreciate the appeal for some players. It’s also notorious for increasing “floor porosity” (loot falling through the floor).


Day one with my new Graphics card I decided to run Sorcerer with Physx on. It was the only bad spot in the game to me at that point and it was so jittery and sputtered it was ridiculous.

The fight went fine. A lot less things going on meant the entire situation was dedicated to the fight. But I lost some cool looking drops to the floors for sure.

Ever since. It’s been a weird struggle to get the levels right.

Question: does the Ultra Texture Pack increase load issues? Or am I just gonna have to keep tweaking to figure it out?

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No one here has done any before and after comparisons. I’m inclined to say no but that’s not based on anything concrete. Besides, the only things I’ve noticed are what they’ve inadvertently removed from the game (Maliwan sniper glow, target circles in 1000 Cuts and bullet decals).

I’ve not seen any actual improvements. But how many people are actually playing with 4K? Not many.

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That sniper glow removal is a big weird hit too. I’m thinking of rolling it back because it doesn’t feel any nicer at 1080. I really thought I’d had it for a while and was only recently informed I didn’t lok

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I did a bit of googling on this a year or so ago and came to the conclusion it’s not just PhysX causing trouble but BL2’s technical incompatibilty with Windows 10 as well.

If I remember correctly the best guess was something about how the game is run (technically a compatibility mode I think I read somewhere?) and trouble with Ambient Occlusion which is a whole other mess with lighting/rendering what the player can see.

Unlikely to ever be fixed at this point I’d wager.


That’s interesting, I’ve never really heard anybody say they’ve had good performance with PhysX even with a 10 series. Not sure about the 20 series but I doubt there’s an improvement, it’s probably worse. Even then my 970 suffers from huge drops in framerate in heavy combat with PhysX just like my 670 did. I’ve heard that 400 and 500 series runs PhysX fine however anything after the 600 series just dies.

If I remember I think it happened on Windows 7 as well. Unfortunately I don’t have any way to test that now and if I did and it did run well, I wouldn’t switch OS’s for it.

I wonder if AMD secretly developed their own version of PhysX or something. They’ve done it before, think Nvidia Hairworks and AMD TressFX (Now PureHair I think?)

Edit: I believe “Bullet” would be the AMD equivalent to PhysX.

There are plenty of posts in the BL1 and BL2 PC tech support sections complaining about graphics issues, and almost all the recent ones involve 1070/1080/2080 series cards. There are some things that seem to help some people, but no single fix.

Strange, I’d like to think GB would come back and maybe fix the game for Windows 10 but I don’t have any reason to doubt this will probably be left for the community/modders to deal with years down the line.

Two things. On BL3 and Physx and AMD.

According to Randy, amd created a suite called fidelity using rapid packed math to create stunning visuals for BL3, including a planet with light being affected by an asteroid belt.


I just turned off ambient occlusion on BLtps and it’s running thrice as smoothly. Try it.


That sounds pretty cool actually.

I’ll try out turning off AO to see if that helps.

One common theme it seem to be dense particle effects from things like Interspersed Outburst, elemental DoT, etc. @sammantixbb’s suggestion about ambient occlusion makes sense for such things, so it woud also be worth a try in BL2.

I suspect the main problem for the game right now is that it’s 7 years-old, and all the engine optimizations were done with a base OS of Win XP SP3 on the PC side. A LOT has changed since then! The last officially supported (as in, “we’ve tested this and it works”) OS was Win 7…


The reason I tried AO was because someone mentioned that whatever AO algorithm was used doesn’t play nice with Win10, so. Figured it was worth a try!