3D, AMD, Business, Companies, Graphics, Hardware, Intel, Software Programs

Nvidia’s $50 card destroys ATI’s $500 one or “Why ATI sucks in Folding?”

As you might already know, I am a bit enthusiastic when it comes to distributed computing. I’ve been looking for aliens through SETI@home, later with BOINC… but then, Folding@Home showed up and I became an enthusiast for this valuable project from Stanford University. My family had some share of dealings with Alzheimer’s (aka AD) and Parkinson’s diseases (aka PD) and I won’t go here into what psychological and ultimately financial stress that families around the world, including my own – have to endure. Folding@Home is also a project that pioneered the use of GPUs for distributed computing (if I am wrong on this one, feel

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3D, AMD, Companies, Graphics, Hardware, Intel, Software Programs

Badaboom’s CPU utilization issue explained

After the first look here, I managed to again speak with Sam and Mike of Elemental fame, who got back to me regarding my comments on high CPU utilization. I’ve experienced close to 100% load on AMD’s dual-core processor, while AMD’s quad-core worked normally. According to Elemental, CPU utilization can be high on a dual-core processor if you do low-resolution transcodes (which is kinda the natural purpose of this application). This is a natural latency between the CPU and the GPU that happens during moving frames between the GPU video memory and the CPU and its (system) memory. Guys haven’t experienced this on Intel platform,

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3D, CPU, Hardware, Memory & Storage Space, Mobile Computing, Software Programs, Uncategorized

UPDATED: Elemental’s video transcoder rocks the world

Back in May 2008, Nvidia’s Editors Day hosted a presentation by young guys from Elemental Technologies Inc (ETI). The demonstrated software was Badaboom, CUDA-powered video transcoder that demolished Intel’s Core 2 Quad processor when used in conjuction with GeForce 8800GTS. Months have passed, and guys worked hard on developing Badaboom in order to be ready for August release. But, their second project, RapiHD encoder for Premiere CS4 Pro needed some engineering help. So, the guys pushed back the release of Badaboom and Badaboom Pro until after the launch of CS4. It was a tough call, but with the release of Adobe Creative Studio 4 over

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3D, AMD, Business, Companies, Graphics, Hardware, Software Programs

Nvidia makes a “stupid” call with brilliant RapiHD

With the release of Adobe Creative Studio 4, Elemental Technologies finally launched their own RapiHD CUDA-accelerator for Premiere Pro. As team of users of Sony 1080p and RED One (4K FTW!) camera, my guys expected that RapiHD will be a brilliant add-on to my configuration consisted out of two 4-core Intel Xeons@3 GHz, brilliant ASUS Skulltrail-lite motherboard and Nvidia Quadro FX 4600 SDI. SDI is a paramount when working with HD signal and RED camera, since it tremendously speeds up the workflow. I am first to admit that I am not exactly at home with video production per se, but I well know what to

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3D, AMD, Business, Companies, Hardware

AMD and Celsia sign agreement for next-gen GPU cooling

I’ve just read a piece on X-Bit Labs about agreement between AMD GPG and Celsia Technologies. The two companies are developing new generation of coolers for future ATI Radeon graphics cards. After Sapphire successfully used vapor chamber cooling on their Atomic 3870 card (with a certain glitch, described here), ATI took a limited risk and introduced vapor chamber on Radeon 4870X2. As you can see on picture above, GPU0 on 4870X2 is cooled by vapor-chamber cooler, while GPU1 is cooled by the same copper cooler present on 3870X2. Now, Celsia Technologies is developing new coolers that will send conventional heat-pipe technology into oblivion.  On paper,

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3D, Software Programs

The ultimate picture stitch/texture maker app is here!

If you ever worked with combining multiple pictures or creating textures, most of you remember what royal PITA it was. But, with imageSynth utility from Luxology that became a thing of the past – and it didn’t stop there. Luxology just announced imageSynth 2, application that works either as plug-in for Adobe Photoshop CS3/CS4, or as a stand-alone application. Maker claims that imageSynth brings 10x speed increase over previous version, but we wonder how that could be if the company is not supporting GPU acceleration. Well…the secret lies in the fact that Luxology works hard on optimizing threading on all the CPUs, so a quad-core

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3D, Business

ASUS goes for Dell’s jugular with four new FullHD LCD displays

If there was any doubt that two Taiwanese giants are going for Dell and HP, the gloves have come off. After ASUS establishing netbook market with its EEE PC and Acer overtaking HP in notebooks sales in EMEA region, both manufacturers are now complementing their line-ups with attractive add-ons. In case of ASUS, the company announced two 24″ and two 25.5″ displays. All four displays feature resolution of 1920×1200 pixels, 20.000:1 contrast ration, 2ms (gtg) response time, HDMI input and Splendid video engine. What makes this very interesting is the explanation what Splendid video engine actually is. It is obvious that Splendid is a name

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3D, AMD, Business, Companies, CPU, Graphics, Hardware, Memory & Storage Space, Microsoft, Software Programs

New “nForce for AMD” chipsets take shape under GeForce name

Last week, Chinese site Expreview.com published a story about the new generation of nForce chipsets for AMD processors. We managed to find more details through course of the weekend. For starters, the lineup will consist out of three (not two) chipsets with various capabilities. MCP82-S1, MCP82-S2 and MCP82-S3 will round the lineup, all targeting their respective markets (high-end, mainstream and entry-level). The S1 and S2 will support SLI, while S3 targets lucrative OEM/ODM deals – our sources indicate that this variant will be pitched as a successor to GeForce 6150 line that conquered many Dells, HPs and Acers out there. MCP82-S1 targets the high-end, with

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3D, Business, Companies, Gaming, Microsoft, Software Programs

Spore and Warhammer Online rule the sales charts

I’ve been following NPD Sales charts for ages now, and it was always interesting to see how long can a title hold on them. Blizzard and EA/Maxis are long standing legends – in the past eight years, there haven’t been a weekly or monthly sales chart where at least one title from these companies didn’t occupy spot or two. NPD Group decided to combine their weekly charts into monthly ones, probably for easier tracking – and making annual reports will be much more easier. But getting back on the subject, sales results for North America are quite interesting: Top 5 PC Games for September 2008

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3D, Hardware, Software Programs, VR World

Folding@Home team update, new stats page ;)

I’ve been a fan of distributed computing since late 1990s, with SETI@Home running on every computer that I ever had. However, the real attractive proposition to me was running distributed computing applications on graphics cards. GPUs are much more efficient in stream computing than any CPU you could find, and I’ve tried DC apps on computers with DEC Alpha, Intel Pentium onwards, AMD K6-II onwards etc etc., but biggest jump in performance was Folding@Home on ATI Radeon X1800XTX graphics card. With the launch of this blog and the new website, I’ve decided to launch a new group, number 69864. Current name is the name of

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3D, AMD, Business, Companies, Graphics, Intel

AMD reports $1.78B revenue, records first profit in years (non-GAAP)

On Thursday, AMD reported its Q3’2008 results and the company managed to “Experience Black” (marketing slogan behind 4870X2). When we look at overall (non-GAAP) numbers, AMD filed $1.776 billion revenue and a profit of 80 million dollars. This was the first filed profit in seven quarters, and in a way, Hector J. Ruiz kept its promise of AMD becoming profitable by Q3’08. However, the results that Wall Street calculates are GAAP ones, and without that one-time revenue of $191 million (selling equipment to JSC Angstrem, as I first reported here), the company filed a net loss of $67 million on a revenue of $1.56 billion.

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3D, Hardware, Software Programs

Nvidia’s new drivers will finally fix 4 year old “bug”

One of key issues with multi-GPU configurations is the lack of dual-monitor capability. Now, this is not a new issue – ever since SLI and CrossFire came out in 2004/5, we were promised earth-shaking gaming experience omitting the fact that more users have two monitors than they have two graphics cards. So, if you were a high-end user and had for instance, GeForce 6800 Ultra or GTX 280 in SLI, result was unchanged – second monitor would remain blank. Same thing was the case with ATI’s CrossFire. All in all, “user-unfriendly” solutions. A while ago, I reported about Nvidia making Big Bang II drivers, drivers

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3D, Business, Gaming, Hardware

How to name a SVGA projector today? It’s a Wii projector!

Going through dozens of e-mails can only lead to depression… or revelation. I’ve encountered a press release stating that BenQ is releasing two short throw DLP projectors: MP512ST and MP522ST. The former is targeting gaming market with quotes such as “ideal for playing the Wii”, while the latter should excel in business and education. Or so the press release goes. The fact of the matter is that MP512ST is geared towards the Wii because it sports a resolution of 800×600 pixels (SVGA), and if it stayed there, we would be happy. But the release continued quoting that an 800×600 projector is ideal for “PlayStation 3

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3D, Business, CPU, Hardware

nForce is dead: Zotac releases its GeForce 9300 motherboard

I saw first motherboards based on MCP7-series chipset back on Computex 2007. Yup, after a year and half nVIDIA is finally releasing MCP7 series to market, featuring GeForce 8-class GPU for Intel processors. It is hard to understand what kind of problems delayed this part for over a year, but one of theories could be that nVIDIA didn’t want to cannibalize the sales of GeForce 8400 and 8500 series, which is give-or-take the performance that you’re going to get with GeForce 9300/9400 chipset. Zotac is well known manufacturer of nVIDIA graphics cards, and also known as the company that produced highest clocked 8800Ultra, 8800GT and

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3D, Gaming, Software Programs

Looking forward to Left 4 Dead

I just got news from Doug Lombardi that Left 4 Dead is available for pre-purchase. All that I can say is – YES!!! It’s been a while since we saw a good co-op game that will shake up small LAN parties (such as office brawls), and this game has everything that’s needed. I had the opportunity to play the game at this years’ E3 Summit in Los Angeles, and honestly – I was delighted. The game has everything that’s needed to be great: it is fun, fast-paced, survival horror themed game. Of course, Left 4 Dead has single player and multiplayer modes, but the real

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3D, Software Programs

Adobe ships GPU-accelerated Creative Studio 4, Flash Player 10

After reading countless previews and hearing the marketing buzz about some GPU-accelerated aspects of Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects and others, Adobe Systems announced immediate availability of whole CS4 package (Amazon.com still thinks these versions will be available in November). CS4 is divided into six new versions, as well as stand-alone versions. Adobe divided the packages to suit different content creators, thus package is divided into following: CS4 Design Premium CS4 Design Standard CS4 Design Web Premium CS4 Design Web Standard CS4 Design Production Premium CS4 Design Master Collection As you can imagine, these packages somewhat nothing else but “Premiere-in, Premiere-out” and so on. Professionals will

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3D, Business, Hardware

EVGA completely moving to custom board design

One of largest Nvidia partners out there decided the time has come to turn the screw back on engineering, and reduce its dependency on current parts that are mostly built by Flextronics and similar ODM giants. The company acquired engineers from now-defunct EPoX and started working hard on creating products that are not of now typical “sticker stamper” kind. After introducing the 790i Ultra SLI FTW motherboard with own layout and features (digital power regulation, to name a few), EVGA is now coming to market with a series of own-designed graphics cards. Under a current plan, every product is slowly being upgraded to an own

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3D, Hardware

Sparkle’s excellent idea: Cheap PCI Express x1 cards

One of more interesting niche markets is the one named “how to fix the computer crippled with integrated graphics?”, and the solutions that are being sold in that area. We saw interesting products coming from Albatron, Sparkle, MSI and others, but it is a rare occasion to see a card in sub-$50 range that offers DX10 support. The company released a series of PCIe x1 cards for those unlucky owners of motherboards without PCI Express x16 slot. Sparkle released no less than eight models based on GeForce 8400GS graphics chip. Sadly, memory controller is limited to 64-bit, but this was Nvidia’s doing. Memory is either

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3D

Single slot cooling is a dream…or a nightmare?

In the world of graphics cards, one of most debated arguments is just how the fat cooler is. In almost every debate I saw, single-slot was touted as “the” cooling to go for. In arguments between X800 and 6800, X1800/1900 vs. 7800/7900, 3870 vs. 8800GT – every time I saw discussions about how great the single-slot cooling is, how that means that the chip is cooler etc. However, there is also a question of maintenance. Single slot boards are more prone to accidental deaths (overheating “accidents”), thus those boards have to be kept clean, or spew or RMAs is ahead (GeForce 7800GTX, 8800GT). Fast forward

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