Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

NVIDIA graphics drivers to go multithreaded

Filed under
Software

techreport.com spoke recently with Ben de Waal, NVIDIA's Vice President of GPU software, and he revealed that NVIDIA has plans to produce multithreaded ForceWare graphics drivers for its GeForce graphics products.

Multithreading in the video driver should allow performance increases when running 3D games and applications on dual-core CPUs and multiprocessor PCs. De Waal estimated that dual-core processors could see performance boosts somewhere between five and 30% with these drivers.

Most imminent on the horizon right now is ForceWare release 75, which will bring a number of improvements for SLI performance and 64-bit Windows, among other things, but release 75 will not be multithreaded. The next major iteration of the driver, release 80, is slated to bring support for multiple threads. We may not see this version for a few months; NVIDIA hasn't given an exact timetable for the completion of release 80.

Out of curiosity, I asked de Waal why NVIDIA's drivers don't already take advantage of a second CPU. After all, the driver is a separate task from the application calling it, and Hyper-Threaded and SMP systems are rather common. He explained that drivers in Windows normally run synchronously with the applications making API calls, so that they must return an answer before the API call is complete. On top of that, Windows drivers run in kernel mode, so the OS isn't particularly amenable to multithreaded drivers. NVIDIA has apparently been working on multithreaded drivers for some time now, and they've found a way to fudge around the OS limitations.

De Waal cited several opportunities for driver performance gains with multithreading. Among them: vertex processing. He noted that NVIDIA's drivers currently do load balancing for vertex processing, offloading some work to the CPU when the GPU is busy. This sort of vertex processing load could be spun off into a separate thread and processed in parallel.

Some of the driver's other functions don't lend themselves so readily to parallel threading, so NVIDIA will use a combination of fully parallel threads and linear pipelining. We've seen the benefits of linear pipelining in our LAME audio encoding tests; this technique uses a simple buffering scheme to split work between two threads without creating the synchronization headaches of more parallel threading techniques.

Despite the apparent gains offered by multithreading, de Waal expressed some skepticism about the prospects for thread-level parallelism for CPUs. He was concerned that multithreaded games could blunt the impact of multithreaded graphics drivers, among other things.

Source.

More in Tux Machines

Adapting to the Mobile World

Now more than ever companies are gaining a mobile presence due to the popularity of smartphones and tablets. It is important to any company’s success to become part of the mobile world if they want to build business. Consumers used to look up companies in the phonebook, but now the first action consumers take when they need to find a company is to look them up online. If consumers cannot find a company online, they are likely to find a different company instead of continuing the search through other means. Because the Internet is so easily accessed from mobile devices now, consumers use their devices to find their favorite companies so a strong mobile presence is a must if companies do not want to lose business. Hasbro goes mobile According to Mobile Marketer, Hasbro has decided to create a mobile presence in order to keep up with video games. So far Hasbro’s Monopoly application has been a great success because it promotes family and friend engagement and users can personalize the app by uploading pictures of themselves to use as game pieces. Consumers like personalization, and so if companies want to see success from their mobile marketing strategies they should consider personalizing them to consumers in some way. Companies hesitate to go mobile because they are set in their ways, and they might already be seeing success, however as technology advances all companies should consider building a mobile presence if they want to continue to be successful. Successful mobile marketing techniques Thanks to mobile devices there are a number of ways companies can reach out to consumers who use them. SMS advertisements are a great way to personalize advertising for consumers making them feel important and ultimately driving in business. Marketing applications are another way companies can engage with consumers on a more personal basis. Consumers like to be in control, and applications are a great way they can control the type of marketing they receive. If apps are intriguing enough, consumers are likely to promote them to friends and family, which will ultimately promote business. Convenience of being mobile Consumers like the convenience of being able to locate and engage with their favorite companies from their mobile devices, so it is important that companies maintain that presence. Consumers are looking for ways to make their lives easier, and being able to purchase products with the click of a button or pay bills on the fly will only increase business for companies because consumers are always looking for convenience. Being mobile can benefit companies in several ways, but one way that is especially appealing to companies is the ease of keeping track of business thanks to their mobile presence. Mobile devices and websites help companies to keep track of important data such as which marketing strategies are working the best and where most of the sales are coming from. Being mobile can enhance business in several ways and should be a priority for all companies. Mobile Technology News brought to you by businesstexter.com Source: mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/gaming/18437.html

Why we use open source - Australia’s Immigration agency explains

Why choose open source? “In some ways, [the open source software used by the agency] is effectively more capable” than commercial products, he said. “In terms of cost-effectiveness, [it] wins hands down: no license/maintenance fees, extensible architecture [and] global open source R&D.” The team uses an open source software package called ‘R’. Read more

Emacs & the obsessive email mongerer

I had already mentioned in passing here that I am using Emacs for a variety of tasks: outline, project management and planning with Org-Mode, IRC (go figure, my default email client on all my machines is Emacs’ ERC), notes editing or quick scribbling with the Scartch buffer (happens to me all day long), and regularly, albeit less frequently than in 2013, various editing of html pages, javascript and sometimes even Python when I dare to edit one or two things in Python scripts. A consequence of all these use cases is that I have Emacs open almost everyday on almost any of my machines. Read more

MIPS tempts hackers with Raspbery Pi-like dev board

Hard to choose between Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone Black, and MinnowBoard Max? Now there’s another choice: the open source MIPS-based “Creator CI20″ dev board. In a bid to harness some of the energy and enthusiasm swirling around today’s open, hackable single board computers Imagination Technologies, licensor of the MIPS ISA, has unveiled the ISA’s counter to ARM’s popular Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone Black SBCs. These days, every processor vendor simply must have a community supported dev board in order to engage with the developer communities. (Incidentally, Intel’s is the MinnowBoard Max and AMD’s is the Gizmo.) Read more