ATI FirePro V8700 and V3700 reviewed and compared to Quadro FX 3800 and Quadro FX 370, respectively

Posted by Tony DeYoung on January 12, 2010

imageExpreview benchmarked the FirePro V8700 and V3700 under Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit and compared it against the current high-end NVidia Quadro cards. The results are impressive anywhere where the application takes advantage of the GPU including Microstation, Cinebench (60% better OpenGL performance!), Lightsmark, SPECviewperf 10, and SPECapc SW/Maya/ LW.

Summary: “We’re really impressed with the outstanding performance delivered by ATI FirePro V8700, which outperformed Quadro FX 3800 by a large margin. Even if Quadro FX 4800 steps up, we don’t think the situation would change much. But as we see, the catch is the high power consumption.”

“ATI FirePro V3700 also performed great enough to fight against Quadro FX 370 which is more expensive. Its greatest highlight is the affordable price.”

And remember, the V8750 is actually the top of the line FirePro card!

Over 2 million DirectX 11 Radeon cards shipped

Posted by Tony DeYoung on January 11, 2010

imageReally it was just this cool cake from CES that caught my attention.  Then I noticed the text:  “Over 2 million DirectX 11 graphics cards sold!”.  So I checked out the press release and the following quotes (referencing the new mobility Radeon!).

“Fifteen weeks ago we introduced the ATI Radeon HD 5800 series graphics cards to the world, the first to support DirectX 11 and powerful capabilities like ATI Eyefinity multi-display technology, with support for Direct Compute 11.  Over the course of the last few months, we’ve shipped tens of thousands of DirectX 11-capable graphics processors a week to technology partners who in turn put them into consumers’ hands.  With this week’s introduction of the DirectX 11-capable notebook counterparts to our desktop family in the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5000 series, an even larger base of users will enjoy the best visual computing experience available today.”

Tags: DX11, Hardware

ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870 notebook graphics breaks the teraFLOPS barrier

Posted by Tony DeYoung on January 08, 2010

AMD announced a fresh lineup of DirectX 11/ OpenGL 3.2 mobile GPUs at CES. The ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870 notebook graphics processor is the top of the line, and hands down the top performing mobile chip out today. At 40nm,  it should also squeeze out more battery life and dissipate less heat.  Why aren’t these announced for MacBook systems yet!

ATI Stream SDK 2.0 with OpenCL CPU and GPU support final release

Posted by Tony DeYoung on December 22, 2009

imageThe first production release of ATI Stream SDK with OpenCL 1.0 support is out for Windows XP, Vista, 7 as well as openSuse 11.0 and Ubuntu 9.04. The ATI implementation of OpenCL lets developers use combined CPU and GPU power for accelerating applications. This release supports all FirePro workstation cards, as well as the consumer Radeon HD 4XXX, HD 5XXX, and Mobility HD 4XXX .

What's new in ATI Stream SDK 2.0?

  • First production release of ATI Stream SDK with OpenCL 1.0 support.
  • New: Support for OpenCL ICD (Installable Client Driver).
  • New: Support for atomic functions for 32-bit integers.
  • New: Microsoft Visual Studio 2008-integrated ATI Stream Profiler performance analysis tool.
  • Preview: Support for OpenCL / OpenGL interoperability.
  • Preview: Support for OpenCL / Microsoft DirectX 10 interoperability.
  • Preview: Support for double-precision floating point basic arithmetic in OpenCL C kernels.
  • Updated OpenCL runtime to conditionally load ATI CAL runtime libraries to allow execution on compatible CPUs without ATI Catalyst installed.
  • Updated OpenCL runtime to allow simultaneous use of OpenCL and ATI CAL APIs in a single user application.
  • Updated cl.hpp from the Khronos OpenCL working group release.
  • Various OpenCL compiler and runtime fixes and enhancements

OpenCL path tracer / ray tracing demo using the AMD OpenCL Beta SDK

Posted by Tony DeYoung on December 18, 2009

SmallptGPU  is a small and simple Path Tracer demo written in OpenCL in order to test the performance of this new standard. Path tracing is essentially a form of ray tracing whereby each ray is recursively traced along a path until it reaches a light emitting source where the light contribution along the path is calculated. This recursive tracing helps for solving the lighting equation more accurately than conventional ray tracing (definition courtesy of Wikipedia).

SmallptGPU was originally written for Linux using the ATI OpenCL SDK beta4.  But there are now Windows 32 & 64 bit builds in this thread 4th post from top. Since it is OpenCL, the code should work on any platform/implementation.

The following video shows the demo running on a Radeon 4870. You see the progressive rendering raytracing technique in action. 
Keep in mind that a Radeon 5970 should be at least 4 times faster. Moreover an OpenCL renderer should scale across as many cards as you can cram onto a board.

One-man shop uses FirePro V8750 and MachStudio Pro to produce 3D animated TV commercials in a week

Posted by Tony DeYoung on December 18, 2009

FX, lda, a one-man TV production studio in Mozambique, released the second in their series of 3D CG animated TV commercial for “Arroz Leao” brand of rice. What makes these commercials particularly interesting is that they were all produced from start to finish - the audio, modeling, lighting, rendering and client review - in one week. 

The tools: ATI FirePro V8750 as the backbone for graphics acceleration; 3ds Max for modeling; MachStudio Pro for lighting and rendering (Pal frames rendered at 1.2 sec/frame!); After Effects for foreground and background compositing; and Premiere Pro for audio and final editing.

Check out this “Natal” holiday commercial and then try to fathom producing this all in a week (music is punkish so take control of your speaker volume before playing).

Video from November Eyefinity Challenge putting mutli-monitor gaming to the test

Posted by Tony DeYoung on December 17, 2009

The November Eyefinity Challenge in Dallas, TX hosted by AMD and HardOCP put multi-monitor gaming to the test. 100 members from the HardOCP community had the opportunity to experience “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” multiplayer on a single-monitor and three-monitor desktops powered with ATI Radeon 5800-series video cards. Other systems available to play included 6-display setup for Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. and a 3-display setup for the GRID racing sim. Last, but certainly not least was a wall of projection screens displaying a seamless Modern Warfare 2 frag-fest.

The video shows highlights from the event and includes interviews with attendees to get their impressions of ATI Eyefinity in action,

Seminar at the Bejing Film Academy on GPU rendering in the animation industry Dec 12th

Posted by Tony DeYoung on December 11, 2009

Asia is a booming market for CG animation. While everyone knows about Bollywood, I’m not sure everyone is aware just how impactful it is (just listened to a TED podcast about this).  China is also a fast growing center for high-end digital content creation.  Related to this I just received an alert about an upcoming event at Bejing Film Academy sponsored by reseller Sinotoon,  Kingtoon Film & Animation and Bejing Li-Yang Light Technology on using ATI FirePro V8750 and MachStudio Pro in high end visualization and CG animation production .

Intel retreats on Larrabee in the face of the new Evergreen GPU designs

Posted by Tony DeYoung on December 07, 2009

DailTech has a good summary about Intel’s decision to cancel the Larrabee GPU project as a retail product. (Larrabee was supposed to merge the parallel throughput of a GPU with the general programability of a CPU.)  In the last few days, many news sites have reported on this story, with the takeaway being that the GPU market, specifically AMD’s Evergreen line in the Radeon 5XXXs, delivered such high price/performance, that the current Larrabee designs simply wouldn be competitive. Compare: Larrabee was targeting to deliver two teraFLOPS of performance, when it was scheduled for release.  The recently released ATI Radeon HD 5970 delivers over 5 teraFLOPS and is available today.

Tags: Hardware

Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program - free software for early stage green startups

Posted by Tony DeYoung on December 07, 2009

Just in time for the climate summit in Copenhagen, the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program grants free design and engineering software to early-stage clean technology companies in North America who are working to solve some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. The grant gives you up to five licenses each of Inventor, Revit, Vault, Showcase, NavisWorks and Alias Design.  Kudos to Autodesk! Would like to see more companies put their money where there mouth is.

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