• GPU

    by Published on 28-01-13 21:22  Number of Views: 25950 
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    The rumor mill has been busy over the last few days. Not only speculating about the Xbox‘ and Playstation’s next installments (and sometimes simply reurgitating blatant fakes), but also about Nvidia’s monster GPU GK110 that’s supposedly being productized in february 2013 as some form of Geforce.

    The 7.1 billion transistor chip was introduced at last years‘ GPU Technology Conference on Nvidias home turf. It was being touted as the next best thing next to sliced bread and first productized as Tesla K20 and Tesla K20X accelerator cards at ISSC in November 2012. Conveniently, it was by then already being put to use in the world’s fastest supercomputer, ORNL’s Titan.

    Speaking of Titan, the rumor mill also has it, that the card that’s gonna be launched in the next few weeks (if correct) also carries this denominator: Geforce Titan – whether this goes with a number (I’d like „Titan 1“) or not or if it’s true at all, is still shrouded in the crystal balls of the fortune tellers. What is equally unknown outside Nvidia is the exact configuration which Titan 1 will be carrying and in this article I am going to explore a few variables and give reason as to why I think Geforce Titan will (or should) be configured this way or another.
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    by Published on 31-10-11 18:32     Number of Views: 13549 
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    AMD Catalyst 11.10 WHQL is out

    Catalyst 11.10 WHQL is finally available and it is the first official driver release for Radeon graphics cards after the final version of this years' most anticipated game, Battlefield 3, came out. Strangely enough, Battlefield 3 is nowhere mentioned throughout the release notes, which you can review for yourself here or use the attached version below (Updated, see below!). AMDs Andrew Dodd, going by the name of CatalystCreator in the microblogging service twitter, recommends to use Catalyst 11.9 CAP4 after installing Catalyst 11.10 WHQL. Catalyst Application Profiles or CAP for short, are linked below as well. He goes on to say, that Catalyst 11.10 WHQL contains the same fixes as are present in the earlier Catalyst 11.10 Preview v3 drivers.
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    by Published on 01-10-11 18:34     Number of Views: 5484 
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    AMD Catalyst 11.9 WHQL

    AMDs Catalyst driver 11.9 WHQL is out and actually preceding it, AMDs Catalyst 11.10 Preview was made available for the Battlefield 3 (Open) Beta. While the former is mostly a welcomed bugfixing driver, the latter brings some changes with it - not counting the performance improvements for the Battlefield 3 Open Beta currently underway.

    The Catalyst 11.9 WHQL driver adds support for some DisplayPort panels in AMDs Stereo API HD3D and apart from that is not very spectacular. It installed without a hitch on my freshly set-up Phenom II system coming from the 11.8 WHQL and features a nice list of improvements with regard to functionality and bugfixes rather than performance improvements. Those seem to be reserverd for the 11.10 driver as the preview version made available for the Battlefield 3 Beta (did I mention it already?) brings some of them along with a few new GUI elements, namely in the Overdrive, CrossfireX and Information Center sections. But first things first.
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    by Published on 13-09-11 20:52     Number of Views: 7294 
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    Nvidia Geforce 405 OEM - a non-Fermi card

    Nvidia has a long history of selling older technology under a new and shiny name to make it more compelling to the less informed customer. The most recent example is the Geforce 405, a supposedly OEM-only model, that is using apparently a GT218-like chip and is not even capable of the same API-level features that Nvidia hypes about it's namesakes of the Geforce 400 series, namely Tessellation, Compute Shader 5.0 and the whole rest of DirectX 11 exclusive technology.

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    by Published on 17-08-11 19:58     Number of Views: 10561 
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    AMD Catalyst 11.8 WHQL version numbers

    AMDs has put up it's Catalyst drivers 11.8 WHQL up for download. This time, they feature some nice performance improvements for DirectX 11 titles like Crysis 2 (up to 10 percent improved framerate) and F.E.A.R. 3 (up to 8 percent higher fps) as well as being up to 30% faster when performing AMDs Morphological Antialiasing.[Update: CAP3 provides many more game profiles, including crossfire improvements for Max Payne 3 - obviously nearing it's release.]
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    by Published on 03-08-11 14:22     Number of Views: 30561 
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    AMD Catalyst 11.7 WHQL Driver Suite

    Catalyst Drivers 11.7 WHQL and 11.8 Preview have been readied for download and AMD has moved their APP-SDK for accelerating OpenCL applications to version 2.5, now finally supporting Double Precision/Doubles/FP64/watchamacallit via cl_khr_fp64. The caveat though: It's only included for Cypress-based GPUs, not Cayman and not older chips capable of 64 bit precise calculations. According to AMD, APP 2.5 now also leverages AVX, Advanced Vector Extensions on CPUs supporting it, namely Intel's Sandy Bridge and AMD's upcoming Bulldozer. The first CAP release for 11.7 also includes optimizations for the alpha-version of Battlefield 3. Additionally, AMD has posted a preview driver for Catalyst 11.8 which promises speed improvements in DirectX 11 mode for Crysis 2 and Fear 3, 30 percent faster MLAA and HD3D-support for DP monitors.
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    by Published on 31-07-11 16:49     Number of Views: 25984 
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    Nvidia Logo

    Largely unnoticed, Nvidia has added support for OpenCL 1.1 to it's publicly available Geforce driver 280.19 - only months, 9 to be precise, after AMD has outfitted their Catalyst driver suite with that OpenCL revision in 10.10 release and only weeks after Open CL 1.1 has been officially introduced. To be fair though, Nvidia has provided registered developers with earlier driver releases featuring OpenCL 1.1 for quite some time now. But it seems as if all the beta testing did not reveal the performance issues surfaced with the first open installment of Release 280 Geforce drivers. At least in the OpenCL space, performance has drastically been reduced for some applications. Luxmark 1.0 for example sees my trusty Geforce GTX 480 now at 62 to 65 percent of it's former potential, ...
    by Published on 24-07-11 14:11     Number of Views: 5848 
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    AMD Company Logo

    AMD has published their quarterly earnings for fiskal Q2/2011 on July 21st and industry as well as analyst uptake seems to be quite positive on their performance and expectations for the future. One of the contributing factors next to the pretty successful line of APUs seems AMD's early transistion to 28 nm production for their GPUs - probably marketed as Radeon HD 7000 series - at TSMC's foundries. But with new Bulldozer performance figures, this respective outlook is not as great as it seemed earlier this year for AMD's new micro architecture still on schedule to be shipping in the third quarter 2011.
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    by Published on 18-06-11 12:38     Number of Views: 11493 
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    Chipmaker AMD has a concise portfolio of CPUs, GPUs and as a combination of both in one silicon die APUs.

    AMD has put it's Catalyst driver suite 11.6 WHQL on its way a few days ago. With the official integration of AMD Steady Video, which I've reported on earlier already, the company is starting to pick some more or less low-hanging fruits from it's Fusion-platform. Steady Video leverages the processing power of the GPU in order to remove shakiness from cheap internet video aka Youtube - more on this further down the page. This 11.6 Catalyst WHQL driver is intended for all HD-Radeons capable of DirectX 10, 10.1 or 11 as well as Fusion-APUs from the Brazos-Series (C-50, E-300, E-450) and the recently introduced Llano quadcore-APUs (A4,- A6- and A6-series).

    [Update July, 9th 2011: AMD has rolled out two hotfixes for Catalyst 11.6 Radeon drivers and has made available an early preview of Catalyst 11.7 on it's Developer's website. The hotfixes add support for AMD's A-Series APUs (Hotfix 11.6a) and resolve bluescreens (BSOD) when a Radeon graphics card is connected via HDMI or Display Port instead of DVI.
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    by Published on 09-05-11 18:19     Number of Views: 20590 
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    AMD Catalyst 11.5 supports all HD 6000 cards now

    AMD's driver department seems to long for a prolonged vacation this year, so they bolted down the new Catalyst Driver Suite 11.5 WHQL in record time in the first third of the month already and uploaded them on their servers. The announcement on their download site should be live any minute now. According to packaging and Catalyst Control Center timestamp, this WHQL-Driver for all HD-Radeons (yay! finally) capable of DirectX 10, 10.1 or 11, was finalized only two weeks after the official Mjölnir-Release. Unfortunately, this release can not compete in astonishing number in terms of performance increases with Mjölnir also, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. AMD's software engineers seem to have concentrated on fixing bugs and adding a new and improved control panel for the video section - I have a side-by-side comparison below (it's almost like I've had a hunch…). ...

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