Hardware Podcast 6 – Nvidia has a Fermi, snigger, and the new F3 is epic

Posted on 8th Oct 2009 at 19:35 by Podcast with 10 comments

The sixth Hardware podcast sees Antony, Clive, Harry and Rich chat about all the latest hardware goings on. Discussed in the episode is Nvidia’s new GPU architecture, Fermi. Yes, yes, Nvidia’s got a Fermi – stop sniggering at the back!

However, Tim’s put us in line about the technical side of things, so this is actually how the MIMD stuff works. Just like previous Nvidia GPUs, the whole chip can either operate in graphics mode or compute mode. In graphics mode, it can do all the rasterisation stuff – pixel, vertex shading and so on – but if you want to run compute-type tasks through the GPU, you need to wait till all that’s done before slinging PhysX instructions (oh, OK, kernels) through the GPU.

However, Fermi can accept two sets of work simultaneously (as long they’re both intended for graphics or compute) and can run 16 kernels of that work concurrently. So if you’ve got two Compute tasks, one with six kernels (think ‘threads’ as a simplification) and the other with ten, then Fermi can handle all of that work at once. This makes Fermi very flexible, in contrast with its name.

I’m sure even that’s an over-simplification, but I’m tired and this pod isn’t going to cast itself… Tim can correct things in the Comments section.

Also discussed is the brilliant Samsung SpinPoint F3 and how we create our Hardware Buyer’s Guide every month.

Listen in for your chance to win Zeno Clash, and don’t forget all our other competitions:
Win a Sapphire Radeon HD 5870 Vapor-X
Win £600-worth of hardware in the reader survey

Discuss your thoughts in the forums.


Discuss in the forums Reply
Combinho 8th October 2009, 22:30 Quote
Yay, I won. That's the first thing I've ever won (apart from a Kit-Kat chunky). And it's pronounced as it's spelt; single 'o', hard 'b'.
Jamie 9th October 2009, 10:11 Quote
Wait a minute, did Nvidia just invent a new meaning for Kernel?
logan'srun 9th October 2009, 11:22 Quote
is it just me, or is there a lot of reverb in this podcast? Why can't the sound issues ever get sorted? Still very low. . .

Other than sound complaints I continue to enjoy the podcasts and find them informative.

Here's a suggestion for competition prizes - give away what you describe!!!!
Combatus 9th October 2009, 11:36 Quote
Originally Posted by logan'srun
Here's a suggestion for competition prizes - give away what you describe!!!!

Good idea but we have to describe samples we've reviewed and as such they've usually been sent back a while ago as well as not being ours to give away in the first place ;)
Ola.l 9th October 2009, 13:43 Quote
I liked this hardware podcast more than the others because of the added laughter and jokes. The beginning was rrrrrrreally good :)
Tim S 9th October 2009, 15:08 Quote
This is pretty funny to listen to (still listening), as it's all about the stuff I've been doing for the last few weeks. Unfortunately, I was too busy to be on the recording, which was a bit of a shame! :(

I hope to be on the next one to talk more about Fermi/Cypress, as we should have a detailed Fermi analysis out by then. ;)
wuyanxu 9th October 2009, 16:02 Quote
it's very nice that you didn't try to dumb down too much during the SIMD and MIMD talk.

about the Samsung SSD's. can i just make sure i didn't hear this incorrectly: No full format at all?

indeed, RAM prices are crazy, the £135 8GB Corsair Dominators im using now are now £81 for 4GB, making over £160 for 8GB im using now.
roblikesbeer 9th October 2009, 17:05 Quote
Entertaining podcast as usual - don't edit out all the silly stuff as that is just as good as the proper content!

My only quibble is the low quality of sound - there is no need to compress it down to 64kbps as it sounds utterly awful if you've got a decent set of headphones!
Yoy0YO 10th October 2009, 06:01 Quote
*iconic swirl*
Awesome voicing Harry! You should think about a pro-wrestling-voicer career!
Delicious burp to whomever it was.
I look forward to the F3's coming soon to NZ!
l3v1ck 14th October 2009, 10:05 Quote
You said you could set the page file to the outer portion of a HDD. How do you do that? I thought Windows just picked a place and that was that.
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