Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Storage | May 11, 2011 - 07:58 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: SQL, developer, CUDA
Programmers are beginning to understand and be ever more comfortable with the uses of GPUs in their applications. Late last week we explored the KGPU project. KGPU is designed to allow the Linux kernel to offload massively parallel processes to the GPU to offload the CPU as well as directly increase performance. KGPU showed that in terms of an encrypted file system you can see whole multiple increases in read and write bandwidth on an SSD. Perhaps this little GPU thing can be useful for more? Alenka Project thinks so: they are currently working on a CUDA-based SQL-like language for data processing.
CUDA woulda shoulda... and did.
SQL databases are some of the most common methods to store and manipulate larger sets of data. If you have a blog it almost definitely is storing its information in a SQL database. If you play an MMO your data is almost definitely stored and accessed on a SQL server. As your data size expands and your number of concurrent accesses increases you can see why using a GPU could keep your application running much smoother.
Alenka in its current release supports large data sets exceeding both GPU and system RAM via streaming chunks, processing, and moving on. Its supported primitive types are doubles, longs, and varchars. It is open source under the Apache license V2.0. Developers interested in using or assisting with the project can check out their Sourceforge. We should continue to see more and more GPU-based applications appear in the near future as problems such as these are finally lifted from the CPU and given to someone more suitable to bear.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | May 11, 2011 - 12:36 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: UE3, graphics engine, gaming
Since 2006'a Gears of War, Epic Games' Unreal Engine 3 has provided both console and PC gamers hours of game play packed with graphical prowess. The now 5 year old graphics engine has enjoyed constant evolution to remain viable. At 2011's Games Developers Conference, Epic Games unvieled its Samaritan demo, proving to the world that not only could Unreal Engine 3 deliver graphics capable of fully utilizing current gen hardware but a huge evolution in graphical prowess that would require next gen hardware to in order to utilize all of it's features.
Using a three-way SLI GTX 580 powered gaming system, Epic Games was able to showcase some of the engine's newest features. Taking eight months of development, the engine contains a slew of lighting, reflection, and shadow improvements as well as realistic hair and cloth physics.
Bokeh Depth of Field has been a popular artistic choice in Hollywood Films for many years. Seen as out of focus but identifiable colored shapes in the background, bokeh objects serve to enhance a scene and influence viewers' moods. Epic was able to improve upon earlier methods of rendering bokeh objects, though they admit that real time rendering of bokeh objects as seen in Hollywood films will necessitate next gen hardware. Currently, the bokeh effects will be best used in cutscenes where developers can control and pre-render the objects to the best storytelling effect.
Epic has also greatly enhanced the ways that light and reflections are handled. Collectively called Image Based Reflections, Epic has implemented Point Light and Billboard Reflections. These are then coupled with both static and dynamic Reflection Shadows to achieve a look resembling the real world. While the graphics horsepower is not available today to allow Epic to mirror the way light works in the real world exactly, they are able to achieve a very close representation. For example, they are not able to render the road to be as detailed as real life. The road shown in their Samaritin demo was much less un-uniform. This is so because the hardware required to calculate reflections on a road as un-uniform as in real life (in real time) is simply not available today.
Read on for more details...
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | May 10, 2011 - 08:52 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: nvidia, jpr, gpu, amd
The last quarter of 2010 saw shipments totalling 18.84 million units. In 2011, shipments rose slightly by 2% to 19.03 million add-in cards. According to JPR (Jon Peddie Research), while Q1 of 2011 behaved similarly to past years seasonally, it did not fair as well overall as shipments did not exceed those of Q1 2010. Where AMD increased units shipped by 5.7% versus the previous quarter (Q4 2010), NVIDIA saw a 2% decrease.
JPR notes that while increase in units shipped versus Q4 2010 was rather slight, it remains a positive change due to Q4 2010 behaving irregularly regarding the seasonal cycle.
The increased units shipped further reflect changes in market share for the two largest discrete graphics card makers. Versus last quarter, NVIDIA lost 2.7% of the market while AMD gained 4.4%. JPR states that AMD has gained 16.6% market share while rival NVIDIA lost 8.4 on a year-to-year basis.
JRP's reported market shares over time.
John Peddie Research notes that of the 19.03 million discrete graphics cards shipped, NVIDIA was the clear market leader, thanks in part to sales of CUDA and GPU-Compute cards used in scientific and data research. The add-in board market is further composed of three main segments that amount to the 19.03 million boards shipped. On the high end rests the enthusiast gamer (approx. 9 million sold per year) and GPU-compute markets which exists as lower volume of sales but higher price per card. The majority of graphics card shipments come from the mainstream market which is a balance of price and volume. Finally, the workstation segment which is smaller than even the enthusiast gaming market but traditionally sees higher average asking prices for the hardware that is shipped.
JPR estimates that the add-in market will fall 4.5% to $19.8 billion USD despite positive increases in the number of cards shipped due to "a gradual decline in the ASP."
As the chart illustrates, NVIDIA still remains the market juggernaut, shipping 11.25 million cards; however, AMD has made a lot of headway in the past year. With both the AMD 6950 and Nvidia 560ti proving to be the cards of choice by many gamers worldwide competition is healthy and enthusiasts have only to benefit from the market's positive increases.
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 9, 2011 - 02:51 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: catalyst, amd
AMD has released its latest Catalyst display drivers today. The new 11.5 drivers focus mainly on bug-fixes and interface improvements. The new features of the driver package include improvements to Hydravision for Eyefinity setups:
- HydraGrid is now awar of user created bezels.
- HydraGrid now includes an "Automatic Grid" that aligns itself to a user defined Eyefinity display layout.
Other important aspects of this driver release are bug fixes for the Windows 7 and XP operating systems:
A number of bugs have been fixed for Windows 7, notably:
- Windows Media Player no longer randomly hangs or displays a black screen after playing VC1 (WMV) video files for over 4 hours.
- Bioshock no longer displays visual corruption with Vsynch and MLAA enabled.
- Transcoding MPEG-2 video to H.264 no longer causes an application crash.
- Transcoding H.264 to AVCHD no longer generates lagging video.
Winows XP on the other hand, has only recieved a single bug fix. A crossfire issue has been fixed so that Civilization V " no longer stops responding during game launch when Crossfire is enabled."
More information on bug fixes for Windows 7 as well as installation help can be found in the release notes here.
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 9, 2011 - 10:30 AM | John Davis
Tagged: optimus, linux
It looks like we have an answer for Optimus, even though it is unofficial support. Linux users have been wondering for almost a year now wether or not we would get Optimus. Now it looks like we have an unofficial answer to these questions in for form of bumblebee.With this feature, even though experimental, we could potentially see an increase of cpu offloading in Linux, such as Firefox web acceleration potentially.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | May 6, 2011 - 05:25 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: linux, kgpu, gpgpu
PC Per has discussed using the GPU as a massively-parallel augment to the CPU for a very long time to allow the latter to focus on the branching logic (“if/then/else”) and other processes it is good at that GPUs are not. AMD and Intel both have their attempts to bundle the benefits of a GPU on to their CPU parts with their respective technologies. Currently most of the applications outside of the scientific community are gaming and multimedia; however, as the presence of stronger GPUs saturates, we are seeing more and more functions relegate to the GPU.
So happy together!
KGPU is an attempt to bring the horsepower of the GPU to the fingertips of the Linux kernel. While the kernel itself will remain a CPU function, the attempt allows the kernel to offload the parallel stuff to the GPU for large speed-ups and keep the CPU free for more. Their current version shows whole multiple speedups of eCryptfs, an encrypted filesystem, in terms of maximum read and write bandwidth by allowing the GPU to deal with the AES cipher.
We should continue to see speedups as tasks that would be perfect for the GPU are finally allowed to be with their true love. Furthermore, as the number of tasks relegated to the GPU increases we should continue to see more and stronger GPUs embedded in PCs which should decrease the fears for PC game developers worried about the number of PCs capable of running their applications. I am sure that is great news to many of our frequent readers.
Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | May 6, 2011 - 01:09 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: tri-fire, crossfire, sli, triple, sandybridge
Not too long ago [H]ard|OCP examined the price to performance ratio between a triple SLI GTX580 system and a Tri-Fire HD6990 and HD6970 and discovered that as far as value goes, NVIDIA could not touch AMD. A reader of theirs inquired if it was the aging Core i7-920 that was holding the cards back even with the overclock of 3.6GHz. A SandyBridge system with a Core i7-2600K and an ASUS board with the NF200 bridge chip was used to revisit the performance of the two vendors GPUs. The result; we can hardly wait for the Z68 boards to come out!
"We have re-tested performance between GTX 580 3-Way SLI and Radeon HD 6990+6970 Tri-Fire with a brand new Sandy Bridge 4.8GHz system. Our readers wanted to know if the CPU speed would improve performance and open up the potential of this triple-GPU performance beasts. To put it succinctly, they were right. The results completely turn the tables upside down and then some."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Triple Monitor Gaming: GeForce GTX 590 vs. Radeon HD 6990 @ TechSpot
- Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 and HD 5830 1GB Xtreme @ Tweaktown
- XFX HD Radeon 6790 Review @ OCC
- PowerColor HD 6950 Vortex II 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- HIS Radeon 6870 IceQX @ XSReviews
- HIS Radeon HD 6790 1GB IceQ X Turbo @ Tweaktown
- AMD Radeon HD 6670 1GB and HD 6570 512MB GDDR5 @ Hi Tech Legion
- AMD Radeon 6990 4GB Graphics Card Review @ eTeknix
- MSI R6950 Twin Frozr II/OC, MSI R6870 Hawk, MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II @ iXBT Labs
- May 2011: Gallium3D vs. Classic Mesa vs. Catalyst @ Phoronix
- How to overclock a graphics card @ eTeknix
- i3DSpeed, April 2011 @ iXBT Labs
- MSI GTX560-Ti OC SLI @ OC3D
- Zotac GeForce GTX 560 Ti AMP! Edition 1GB Video Card Review @ ThinkComputers
- GIGABYTE GTX 580 Super Overclock @ OCAU
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Systems, Storage | May 4, 2011 - 06:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ssd, everest, benchmarking, benchmark, aida64, aida
BUDAPEST, Hungary - May 04, 2011 - FinalWire Ltd. today announced the immediate availability of AIDA64 Extreme Edition 1.70 software, a streamlined diagnostic and benchmarking tool for home users; and the immediate availability of AIDA64 Business Edition 1.70 software, an essential network management solution for small and medium scale enterprises.
The new AIDA64 release further strengthens its solid-state drive health and temperature monitoring capabilities, and implements support for the latest graphics processors from both AMD and nVIDIA.
New features & improvements
- LGA1155 B3 stepping motherboards support
- Preliminary support for AMD “Bulldozer” and “Llano” processors
- Intel 320, Intel 510, OCZ Vertex 3, Samsung PM810 SSD support
- GPU details for AMD Radeon HD 6770M, Radeon HD 6790
- GPU details for nVIDIA GeForce GT 520, GT 520M, GT 550M, GT 555M, GTX 550 Ti, GTX 590
Pricing and Availability
AIDA64 Extreme Edition and AIDA64 Business Edition are available now at www.aida64.com/online-store. Additional information on product features, system requirements, and language versions is available at www.aida64.com/products. Join our Discussion Forum at forums.aida64.com.
Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | May 3, 2011 - 10:37 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: jpr, nvidia, gpus, amd, Intel
In a mixed report coming from Jon Peddie Research, information about the current state of the GPU world is coming into focus. Despite seeing only 83 million PCs shipping in Q1 2011 (a 5.4% drop compared to Q4 2010), the shipment of GPUs rose by 10.3%. While this no doubt means that just as many in the industry have been predicting, the GPU is becoming more important to the processing and computing worlds, there are several factors that should be considered before taking this news as win for the market as whole.
First, these results include the GPUs found in Intel and AMD’s CPU/GPU combo processors like the Sandy Bridge platforms, AMD’s Fusion APU and the more recent Intel Atom cores as well. If a notebook or desktop system then ships with a discrete solution from AMD or NVIDIA in addition to one of those processors, then the report indicates that two GPUs have shipped. We can assume then that because ALL Sandy Bridge processors include a GPU on them that much of this rise is due to the above consideration.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | May 3, 2011 - 11:54 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: e6760, embedded, gpu, amd, eyefinity
Usually reading off a list of the abilities of an embedded GPU are fairly quick ... determine if it can handle YouTube in high definition and maybe play WoW and move on. APUs offer a bit more interest for enthusiasts with interesting load sharing applications with a discreet GPU and the rise of SandyBridge and Bobcat seem to spell the end of the GPU embedded on a motherboard. However there are still a few tricks left before the end of the line, the new Radeon E6760 isn't going to win many speed races but it can support up to 6 monitors, a nice trick when you consider that many of these chips will be running displays in casinos, airports and medical imaging. The E4690 is finally retiring, meet the new E6760 at AnandTech.
"Kicking off our coverage of embedded GPUs is AMD’s Radeon E6760, which is launching today. The E6760 is the latest and greatest AMD embedded video card, utilizing the Turks GPU (6600/6700M) from AMD’s value lineup. The E6760 isn’t a product most of us will be buying directly, but if AMD has it their way it’s a product a lot of us will be seeing in action in the years to come in embedded devices."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- SandForce SF-2141 Controller & Intel Z68 Chipset: Destined to be Together @ Tweaktown
- It's Official: AT&T Broadband Subscribers Wake Up Today with Data Caps @ Techgage
- The day before BlackBerry World 2011 kicks in @ t-break
- Nvidia offers low-end laptop as replacement for Bumpgate victims @ The Inquirer
- Android Ice Cream Sandwich OS draws closer @ The Inquirer
- Win a GIGIABYTE 2GB Radeon HD6950 @ Bjorn3D