• General Processing Units and Technology

    by Published on 31-07-11 15:49     Number of Views: 25562 
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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 02-08-11 08:52     Number of Views: 4905 
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    Non Disclosure Agreement - that's what the three letters NDA stand for. This kind of agreement is usually put in place between people willing to keep their mouth shut until a certain point in the space-time event continuum is reached and someone who has an interest in getting that specific information out to the public in an orderly fashion.
    But not keeping to an NDA can be rewarding, especially if other media helps spreading that information - and that can evolve into a serious problem over time. Why? Read on.
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    by Published on 24-07-11 13:11     Number of Views: 5778 
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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 11:38     Number of Views: 11246 
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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 17:19     Number of Views: 20360 
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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…). ...
    by Published on 01-05-11 11:38     Number of Views: 21343 
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    AMD Catalyst 11.4 WHQL Version Numbering

    With the release of Catalyst driver suite version 11.4 WHQL, AMD has finally gone public with the AMD Catalyst Preview Driver that you have been waiting for! and the driver so impressive it earned its own codename: Mjölnir I. The driver was initially advertised as providing (up to) 70% performance improvement in turn-based DirectX 11 strategy game Civilization V and (again, up to) 49% more Fps in the hugely successful console port Call of Duty: Black Ops which uses DirectX 9; and quite a few other games were also mentioned to profit from the new driver with double-digit percent increases - all of them popular benchmark titles to boot. When the word first hit the street, some reporting websites that got the information early conveniently forgot to mention, that these increases were achieved on a Radeon HD 6870 against the rather oldish Catalyst 10.9; a driver that did not even officially support the card that was launched in October 2010.
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    by Published on 16-04-11 15:22     Number of Views: 10129 
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    AMD recently announced it's new entry-level model in the HD 6000 series, the HD 6450 based on the Caicos-ASIC. It is a nice little PCIe card with 160 Shader-ALUs, 8 TMUs and 4 ROPs all connected with a half GiB of GDDR5- or a full GiB DDR3-RAM via 64 parallel memory bits. The GPU is supposed to sport 370 million transistors and is produced (not manufactured; there's nothing done manually in the process!) in a 40nm process at TSMC. It still uses the known VLIW5-architecture, has UVD3 for decent video capabilities even for HD video. Depending on core clock, which can vary between 625 and 750 MHz depending on SKU, these specs allow for 2.5 to 3.0 Gigapixels of fillrate and twice the amount for texturing operations. Also, the GPU achieves 200 to 240 GFLOPS of processing power, some of which is put to use to enhance video playback for generic HD, Adobe Flash and DivX clips.
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    by Published on 14-04-11 21:57     Number of Views: 7864 
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    Article Preview

    A little later than usual - both from my side and from AMD's - but still well within time, the Catalyst driver suite for AMDs Radeon line of graphics accelerators has been updated to version 11.3 WHQL. The OpenCL driver portion has been promoted to being an integral part of the standard driver package, thus being included in the standard download. AMD touts this as seamless GPU-Compute in their Release Notes for this catalyst driver (which I've also attached as archive in case their website structure is changed and breaks the link). If you really don't want it, you can deselect it in the custom installation procedure. Additionally, the former AMD Stream SDK now called AMD APP SDK for GPU-Computing has been moved to version 2.4. ...

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