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    by Published on 28-01-13 20:22  Number of Views: 19769 
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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 30-12-11 15:16     Number of Views: 21939 
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    AMD Radeon HD 7970 - not unleashing the full potential of Tahiti?

    AMD's recent launch of it's latest and greatest, the Radeon HD 7970, despite taking over the single-gpu performance crown, left quite a few people wondering. Wondering, if that was all; wondering, if there might be performance left on the table somewhere in the drivers; wondering, if the focus on compute did cost to much gaming performance. This was especially true when comparing the number of transistors to it's predecessor Cayman, which already boasted an impressive 2.64 billion little transistors. Tahiti's number was far more impressive though and with 4312 million transistors broke the 4 billion mark. Now, a possible explanation has surfaced in a photograph of what looks like a product catalogue from AMD partner Sapphire.
    Update Jan 3rd, 2012 21:45: According to a story over at Brightsidenofnews.com, Chris Hook, currently „Head of WW Social Media and Ecosystem Communications” at AMD flat out denied, saying
    There are no hidden cores…


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    by Published on 28-12-11 08:00     Number of Views: 20494 
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    AMD Radeon HD 7970 - Tahiti XT

    AMDs recently launched Radeon HD 7970 brought the first installment of „Graphics Core Next“ in the shape of a 4.312 billion transistor processor code named Tahiti. With Graphics Core Next (or GCN for short) AMD has taken a radically different approach to compute than with their former Very Long Instruction Word (VLIW) based micro-architectures. The emphasize not only in the last sentence is on compute because that's the area were the new architecture is set to flex it's ALU muscles first and foremost - for graphics only, AMD remained adamant, VLIW was (and is) a very efficient way of cramping highly potent circuits on a small amount of die space.

    Gaming performance of the Radeon HD 7970 is somewhere between 25 tp 50 percent up from HD 6970 and somewhere from 10 to 30 percent above the former single GPU champ Geforce GTX 580 - no matter if 1,5 or 3 GiB. With that settled, let's take a look at Tahiti in it's XT version and dig a little deeper.
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    by Published on 12-12-11 20:44     Number of Views: 22720 
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    AMD APP SDK 2.6 component versioning

    Just a quickie this time. AMDs developer page has been updated as of now with the checksums of AMD APP SDK 2.6. The files linked there as of this writing are still 2.5, but if you alter the link to point to 2.6 instead of the linked SDK, you get the brand new APP SDK 2.6. But please try and visit their site first - they should have updated it any minute now. In a blog-entry from a couple of days ago, AMDs Mark Ireton apart from revealing today's launch date for the 2.6 SDK, already outlined some of the changes, AMD APP 2.6 will bring. Most notably, Open CL 1.2 will be on the support list for 2012 where AMD is commited to fully support the most important open GPU-Compute standard on both CPUs and GPUs. The APP SDK 2.6 is to include previews on some of OpenCL 1.2's core features according to AMD.
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    by Published on 15-11-11 16:33     Number of Views: 4396 
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    AMD Catalyst 11.11 WHQL Version Numbers

    After last month's very late release of Catalyst 11.10, the November issue of AMDs Radeon graphics drivers, Catalyst 11.11 WHQL is available for download already. AMD also issued the first Catalyst Application Profile, short CAP, for 11.11 release, which adds tweaks for the Battlefield 3 profile in Crossfire multi-GPU configurations, improves Crossfire performance for Global Ops: Commando Lybia and disables Crossfire - probably there have been issues - for Driver San Francisco.
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    by Published on 03-10-11 09:10     Number of Views: 3504 
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    Intel Atom D2700 - Cedar Trail with less-than-anticipated capabilities

    With the official launch of Cedar Trail's desktop variants D2700 and D2500 just a few days ago, more and more details about the (ultra) mobile processor based on Intels Atom mircoarchitecture are starting to appear.

    While you can read about the chip's 1.86 to 2.13 GHz frequency, their 42 - 52 Dollar price, their 32nm manufacturing, their NM10 chipset and similar basics elsewhere, I am going to concentrate on some peculiar facts that either just surfaced or were confirmed through Intels data sheet for Intel's D2000 and N2000 series of Atom processors: The missing DirectX 10.1 support, (almost) no power management for the IGP or the limited video decoding support.
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    by Published on 01-10-11 17:34     Number of Views: 1920 
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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 19:52     Number of Views: 4104 
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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 06-09-11 18:41  Number of Views: 17558 
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    Modern Processors' Power Management

    Modern processors, be they of CPU, GPU, APU or SoC flavour, employ very sophisticated power management techniques in order to better leverage the full potential of their respective functional units in combination with the applied thermal solution. What sounds quite basic is indeed a multi-dimensional topic and can easily mess with any performance analysis that is not taking into account the specifics in each processor. In this article I am giving an outline what contributes to the power management in modern processors.

    A while ago - in IT-time quite an eternity - processors had a certain clock speed which they maintained during all operations. They had a fixed TDP that defined the necessary cooling solutions' capabilities to the fraction of a watt. Of course, power was quite low compared to more recent devices in the desktop space. Mobile devices, being much more dependant on a low power consumption, employed simple techniques like a reduced state for clock speed and core voltage as early as the turn of the millenium. With more recent devices, power has become a much more important issue in more than one respect - even in the desktop space. ...
    by Published on 02-08-11 08:52     Number of Views: 2424 
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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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