GDC 14: NVIDIA, AMD, and Intel Discuss OpenGL Speed-ups

Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | March 22, 2014 - 01:41 AM |
Tagged: opengl, nvidia, Intel, gdc 14, GDC, amd

So, for all the discussion about DirectX 12, the three main desktop GPU vendors, NVIDIA, AMD, and Intel, want to tell OpenGL developers how to tune their applications. Using OpenGL 4.2 and a few cross-vendor extensions, because OpenGL is all about its extensions, a handful of known tricks can reduce driver overhead up to ten-fold and increase performance up to fifteen-fold. The talk is very graphics developer-centric, but it basically describes a series of tricks known to accomplish feats similar to what Mantle and DirectX 12 suggest.

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The 130-slide presentation is broken into a few sections, each GPU vendor getting a decent chunk of time. On occasion, they would mention which implementation fairs better with one function call. The main point that they wanted to drive home (since they clearly repeated the slide three times with three different fonts) is that none of this requires a new API. Everything exists and can be implemented right now. The real trick is to know how to not poke the graphics library in the wrong way.

The page also hosts a keynote from the recent Steam Dev Days.

That said, an advantage that I expect from DirectX 12 and Mantle is reduced driver complexity. Since the processors have settled into standards, I expect that drivers will not need to do as much unless the library demands it for legacy reasons. I am not sure how extending OpenGL will affect that benefit, as opposed to just isolating the legacy and building on a solid foundation, but I wonder if these extensions could be just as easy to maintain and optimize. Maybe it is.

Either way, the performance figures do not lie.

Source: NVIDIA
March 22, 2014 | 10:57 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Looks like they all want to be on the Steam Train to better gaming, with a cross platform standard. Steam OS is great for gaming, and has introduced more healthy competition into tha marketplace. The days of OS lockin are fastly becoming a thing of the past. OpenGL is the graphics API for many open source software applications, so a better and more efficient OpenGL, OpenCL and other Open APIs/HALs will benifit more than just gamers. It's time to give M$ the ultimate street fighter kick in the A$$. I look forward to the entire gaming equation to be completely moved onto the PCI card, in the future, with descrete GPUs becoming merged with the CPUs and entire gaming platforms, gaming OS, engine and all residing on the PCI card with plenty of GDDR5 memory and the CPU/GPU sharing a fat GPU style data bus, and memory controller, just throw in a large on die RAM to host the vital gaming engine and OS functions and the system will be complete. No big latency issues with the CPU shareing the same die as the GPU and communicating over the internal highest speed data bus, and that big on die RAM.

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