Archive for the ‘gpu’ tag

We've just witnessed the last days of large, single chip GPUs

Posted on 31st Mar 2010 at 11:15 by Richard Swinburne with 33 comments

Richard Swinburne
Just as with the 65nm manufacturing process used for GT200, I'm certain Nvidia overestimated what the 40nm node would offer when it first designed Fermi and that this miscalculation has played a huge part in the fact that the GeForce GTX 480 is so hot and uses so much power.

We know each major architecture change for GPU development takes at least a few years to mash out, so fabless companies such as Nvidia need to guess where fabrication partners - TSMC in this case - will be.

As it stands, TSMC has had more than a rough year with its 40nm node and there's been considerable stress for both ATI and Nvidia - however, to ATIs advantage, it started on 40nm with the Radeon HD 4770. It's clearly not forgotten the lesson came at the expense of the HD 2900 XT, which first arrived on a massive 80nm die, before being respun into TSMCs then upcoming 55nm node at a more digestible price.

Luckily for Nvidia the GTX 480 isn't quite up to the HD 2900 XT par of failures; at least it's faster than the previous generation and, negating the lateness and practical engineering issues, the die size and power use are truly massive.

The thing is, TSMC hasn't yet demonstrated how commercially viable its next fabrication node (likely 28nm) is, so while we fully expect Nvidia to 'pull an ATI HD 3000 series' in six months time and re-do Fermi with a smaller process, resulting in a much more power efficient GPU, TSMC's troubles - and the fact Nvidia is desperate for a new process - means Nvidia is likely looking to Global Foundries, the manufacturing firm spun off from AMD last year.

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Thoughts from AMD's GPU Technology Conference

Posted on 29th Jan 2010 at 11:08 by Richard Swinburne with 6 comments

Richard Swinburne
Last week in London, AMD gathered just over a dozen journalists from all over Europe at an event entitled its "GPU Technology Conference". We sat down with Richard Huddy, Worldwide Developer Relations, and Neal Robison, Global Director of Developer Relations from AMD, as well as Adrian Thompson Vice-President of Global Marketing from Sapphire, Gareth Thomas, Senior Programmer from CodeMasters and Chris Kingsley, CTO from Rebellion, in a round-table discussion about all things AMD GPU.

For the most part, we've covered AMD's position on a lot of topics in our interview with Richard Huddy, AMD Worldwide Developer Relations Manager, so we didn't feel the need to reiterate them again.

That's not the only reason why I've opted for this blog post, though; the second reason is that I feel AMD runs out of steam once it covers DirectX 11 and Eyefinity, and that its "open" attitude might appear noble but it's covering up for other inadequacies.

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Nvidia posts picture of a real Fermi card

Posted on 18th Nov 2009 at 15:48 by Alex Watson with 22 comments

Well, this time it's real - probably. Nvidia PR man Brian Burke just posted a picture of a Ferm-based graphics card - which he called the GeForce 100 - on Twitter.

In the tweet, Burke says it's running the "Unigine Heaven" DX11 benchmark.

Nvidia posts picture of a real Fermi card
Here it is!

You may now commence your speculations about how it will stack up against the new Radeon HD 5970.

And speaking of Twitter, don't forget you should follow bit-tech!

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Cool Modding Stuff #2

Posted on 13th Nov 2009 at 12:26 by Antony Leather with 4 comments

Antony Leather
Having recently received a few emails from companies shouting about new shiny stuff (one being Mod of the Month Sponsor Quiet PC), I thought it's about time for the second installment of
Cool Modding Bits.

If you missed my last blog where I listed a few interesting gadgets I'd found on my travels, you can see it here.

As I'm still sporting some heavily overclocked DDR2 in my main rig at home, I've been worried about how hot it gets so I've been looking around for a few products that might set my mind at ease.

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Turning up the heat on GPUs

Posted on 5th Aug 2009 at 11:18 by Mark Mackay with 47 comments

Mark Mackay
The first graphics card I ever bought as a stand-alone purchase was an ATI Radeon 9800 Pro with an Arctic Cooling VGA Silencer bolted to it. The game that I was oh-so-thoroughly addicted to at the time was one of my first PC games, and my first MMO, Asheron’s Call 2.

The effects and textures of AC2 were exceptionally advanced, especially for an MMO and especially for one released that many years ago. When you cranked up the detail settings and AA, it was very demanding on the hardware of the day.

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Noise versus performance

Posted on 20th Jul 2009 at 08:59 by Antony Leather with 34 comments

Antony Leather
With the hot but undoubtedly brief summer finally making an appearance here in the UK, I imagine that plenty of bit-tech and Custom PC readers have had to ramp up their PC's fan speeds to keep the machine cool. Maybe you've even had to buy new cooling hardware to keep that shiny new overclocked Intel Core i7 system under control?

In any case, most of us have had to alter our PC's cooling at one time or another but what's always surprised me is how varied noise tolerance is from person to person and how different their goals are when tweaking their PC to enhance its cooling capability.

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AMD could move all ATI GPUs to SOI at 32nm - here's why

Posted on 9th Jun 2009 at 10:58 by Tim Smalley with 7 comments

Tim Smalley
One of the most interesting discussions we had last week was with silicon manufacturing firm Global Foundries, and it talked about its future following its separation from AMD.

Naturally, we talked about process technology and where the industry is heading, and bit-tech came away with a good idea of how Global Foundries hopes to succeed where AMD couldn’t, becoming a leader in silicon manufacturing technology.

Ever since AMD acquired ATI, the new combined company has talked at length about its plans to integrate the GPU onto the CPU die. This decision has been greeted with polarised reactions; Nvidia argues that the integrated GPUs will be ‘outdated’ while AMD and Intel, which later announced its intention to do the same, say it’s the natural progression of technology as CPUs becomes more parallel and GPUs become more general purpose.

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Episode 19 - Larrabee, DirectX 11 and violent games

Posted on 17th Jul 2008 at 14:40 by Podcast

The 19th episode of the Custom PC podcast features the panel reacting to the latest rumours about Larrabee, and how the Pentagon might be helping Intel design a GPU, and discussing Blizzard’s announcement of Diablo 3. The team also discuss instancing in MMOs and how it’s a problem for Conan, a first glimpse of DirectX 11 and whether it’s a good idea to revist Colonization. There’s also the guess the game music competition, with a bundle of Formula 1 related prizes to be won. Also, as you can see from the picture above, we’ve got a smart new logo!

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