Phoronix on OpenCL Driver Optimization, NVIDIA vs. AMD

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards | December 28, 2012 - 02:43 AM |
Tagged: opencl, nvidia, amd

The GPU is slowly becoming the parallel processing complement to your branching logic-adept CPU. Developers have been slow to adopt this new technology but that does not hinder the hardware manufacturers from putting on a kettle of tea for when guests arrive.

While the transition to GPGPU is slower than I am sure many would like, developers are rarely quick on the uptake of new technologies. The Xbox 360 was one of the first platforms where unified shaders became mandatory and early developers avoided them by offloading vertex code to the CPU. On that note: how much software still gets released without multicore support?

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Phoronix, practically the arbiter of all Linux news, decided to put several GPU drivers and their manufacturers to the test. AMD was up first and their results showed a pretty sizeable jump in performance at around October of this year through most of their tests. The article on NVIDIA arrived two days later and saw performance trended basically nowhere since February with the 295.20 release.

A key piece of information is that both benchmarks were performed with last generation GPUs: the GTX 460 on the NVIDIA side, with the 6950 holding AMD’s flag. You might note that 295.20 was the last tested driver to be released prior to the launch of Kepler.

These results seem to suggest that upon the launch of Kepler, NVIDIA did practically zero optimizations to their older "Fermi" architecture at least as far as these Linux OpenCL benchmarks are concerned. On the AMD side, it seems as though they are more willing to go back and advance the performance of their prior generation as they release new driver versions.

There are very few instances where AMD beats out NVIDIA in terms of driver support -- it is often a selling point for the jolly green giant -- but this appears to be a definite win for AMD.

Source: Phoronix

December 29, 2012 | 05:21 PM - Posted by ezjohny

If AMD wants to compete, they need batter technology that moves data faster and smoother than there present tech. AMD needs to show there competitors they mean business. I am a PC gamer and I do not want AMD to fold.

December 29, 2012 | 06:42 PM - Posted by castlefox (not verified)

Well that is rather awesome to see AMD go back and give older cards better drivers so that they work much better in OpenCL.

I think I will be going with AMD when I build myself a new gaming computer w/ linux and Steam

December 30, 2012 | 09:24 PM - Posted by lyano (not verified)

Ohhh YES. AMD is the BEST ever. Black flickering triangles everwhere (search Youtube all full with => AMD flickering glitch) - to get just a bit higher framerates then Nvidia. BTW. when we all will see stable AMD OpenCL drivers and real physics-based games "evolved by AMD GCN" with real GPU OpenCL? Looking forward for ARMA III with Nvidia Physx - Borderland's 2 already rock's - AMD just suck's !!!

Get "stable" AMD Catalyst 12.11c Beta Hotfix Caps3 Drivers

AMD Support "flickering for free" in every Game for high shuttering frame rates: