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Additional system processing power from ATI X1900 GPUs

ATI has announced its new Stream Computing technology. Stream Computing accelerates enterprise computing tasks using ATI’s Radeon X1900 graphics processor. Scientific research, homeland security, financial forecasting, oil and gas, database searching, consumer applications and video games are expected to benefit from ATI’s Stream Computing technology. Scientific research such as Folding@Home benefits from ATI’s Stream Computing by being able to process larger data sets faster—processing three years worth of disease research in a single month. Climate forecasting is expected to benefit from the additional computing power by processing weather forecasts quicker to issue quicker bad weather warnings.

Homeland security will benefit from Stream Computing as security tasks are performed much quicker. Tasks such as facial recognition, communication analysis, airport security, photography and video analysis are expected to receive significant performance improvements. Financial institutions will benefit from faster financial forecasting. Stream Computing is expected to bring quicker and more detailed answers to help make quick financial decisions. ATI expects database searching to significantly improve from the added processing power and greater performance per density.

ATI expects consumers to benefit from Stream Computing as well. With Stream Computing, ATI graphics cards can accelerate any software that requires extra processing power. Lastly there are benefits in video games. Stream Computing will allow game developers to use ATI GPUs for physics processing. This allows physics engines from Havok to take advantage of processing power available in multi-GPU ATI systems. Gamers expecting ATI triple-play physics processing will have to wait as ATI makes no mention when Stream Computing technology will be available for games.



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?
By Scorpion on 9/29/2006 4:03:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
ATI graphics cards can accelerate any software that requires graphics processing power.


Soo... to me this sounds like they've written a driver/application that will allow the GPU to make CPU calculations in order to accelerate calculations just made by the CPU alone. Am I right or wrong on this?

But that quote throws me off... So the software has to require a graphics calculation in order to use this?

I hate how press releases/product annoucements/product advertisements are so ***damn vague about what it is actually doing! And I really don't want to go scouring for white papers... :(




RE: ?
By kamel5547 on 9/29/2006 4:54:20 PM , Rating: 2
Well, it will require (as of my understanding) that the application be written to take advantage of the GPU processing power. Think of the Folding@home GPU client that was just announced. It is specially designed to run on ATI x1900 video cards, but will not utilize the CPU (you need a different client for the CPU). IMO this will be relegated to speciallty applications that have low graphics requirements or will require an additional video card to work. You can't exactly use your GPU for gaming and expect it to perform complex calculations at the same time (well mostly).

I think mostly it is an API that allows use of the card rather than anything else. Of interesting note are the comments from Folding@home that they could not get their application to work on Nvidia cards... hopefully Nvidia will clarify what the issue is.


RE: ?
By Burning Bridges on 9/29/2006 5:22:52 PM , Rating: 2
I dunno, if it can cap the frame rate at, say 50 fps and then use whatever power you have left over for f@h or whatever, it can't be bad.

However there are considerations for cooling and such on running a GFX card at 100% 24/7


RE: ?
By surt on 9/29/2006 5:08:14 PM , Rating: 2
Basically, a GPU is becoming more and more a widely parallel single point precision floating point coprocessor. So any app that will benefit from a lot of parallel floating point can benefit.


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