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Old May 8, 2004, 07:39 PM   #1
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Socio
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Default Now that Intel is going dual core perhaps we will finally see SMP enabled Cat’s

Now that Intel is going dual core perhaps we will finally see SMP enabled Cat’s

I read this article "Intel Changes Course on Desktop, Server Chips " and it got me thinking;

We all know the X800XT is CPU limited but what would happen if CAT drivers were SMP aware? Would there be a major improvement in performance perhaps even making the X800XT GPU limited instead? If so why has ATI not done it, which would be major bragging rights and a huge selling point if they did?

If not then with both Intel and AMD producing dual core processors one would think SMP aware CAT’s would be a necessity to make use of the new dual core processors in the future and it will be interesting to see how dual core effects graphic performance.
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Old May 8, 2004, 08:01 PM   #2
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Default Re: Now that Intel is going dual core perhaps we will finally see SMP enabled Cat’s

Quote:
Originally posted by Socio
Now that Intel is going dual core perhaps we will finally see SMP enabled Cat’s

I read this article "Intel Changes Course on Desktop, Server Chips " and it got me thinking;

We all know the X800XT is CPU limited but what would happen if CAT drivers were SMP aware? Would there be a major improvement in performance perhaps even making the X800XT GPU limited instead? If so why has ATI not done it, which would be major bragging rights and a huge selling point if they did?

If not then with both Intel and AMD producing dual core processors one would think SMP aware CAT’s would be a necessity to make use of the new dual core processors in the future and it will be interesting to see how dual core effects graphic performance.
I sinceraly hope so.... its been nice to finally have some recent games coming out that support dual processor rigs... to have SMP in the CATS as well would certainly be a welcome addition.
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Old May 8, 2004, 08:02 PM   #3
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welcome to old news about the intel dual cpu's but im really sad that you left out AMD and there ability to do dual cores in their current design.

AMD is truly a better compainy than intel and for many reasons.... but its hard to compeat against someone with so much money, and communication with other oems and various fan boys such as yourself.

plus... there are already multiple CPU workstations out there. if they wanted to do something with the drvers and dual CPU's then they would have already. ALSO to note is that a workstation which would most likely include a FireGL and usually dual CPU's... now why havent they included the support in that?

what performance increases do u think it will make? im guessing 64bit will be far better anyways, which AMD also introduced.

guess i just dont see why its so importiaint that intel comes out with dual cores(in the future) when AMD already has it working in their own architechture.
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Old May 8, 2004, 08:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by MindlessOath
guess i just dont see why its so importiaint that intel comes out with dual cores(in the future) when AMD already has it working in their own architechture.
Probably the fact that they will be Pentium-M based.

Edit: By the way, imagine a Dual Core Pentium-M Dothan at 2.2GHz with SSE-3 support and an 800MHz FSB (probably 1200MHz in 2005).

Last edited by ShiningArcanine : May 8, 2004 at 08:26 PM.
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Old May 8, 2004, 09:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by MindlessOath
welcome to old news about the intel dual cpu's but im really sad that you left out AMD and there ability to do dual cores in their current design.

AMD is truly a better compainy than intel and for many reasons.... but its hard to compeat against someone with so much money, and communication with other oems and various fan boys such as yourself.

plus... there are already multiple CPU workstations out there. if they wanted to do something with the drvers and dual CPU's then they would have already. ALSO to note is that a workstation which would most likely include a FireGL and usually dual CPU's... now why havent they included the support in that?

what performance increases do u think it will make? im guessing 64bit will be far better anyways, which AMD also introduced.

guess i just dont see why its so importiaint that intel comes out with dual cores(in the future) when AMD already has it working in their own architechture.
OMG, and you have the nerve to call the original poster a "fanboy"!?

The thing is, Socio DID mention AMD in his original post, if you had actually bothered reading it - instead, you saw the name "Intel" and immediately went into Fanboy Mode with a quick top ten of why AMD is the better company. Like anybody here cares.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to SMP in the Cats as well - that combined with SMP games should be a nice little boost. Little being the key word , but a boost nonetheless.
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Old May 9, 2004, 07:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by mavis
Anyway, I'm looking forward to SMP in the Cats as well - that combined with SMP games should be a nice little boost. Little being the key word , but a boost nonetheless.
I would hope for better than a "little boost"!

If I may theorize; being that the X8000XT is CPU limited would mean that the part of the graphic work load being done by the CPU is slower than the GPU portion and the GPU is having to wait. Now having that same CPU work load being done by two CPU's would get it done twice as fast letting the GPU run at up to maximum speed or perhaps even the CPU's now wait because the GPU can't keep up.


ShiningArcanine,

How about a dual processor system using two Dual Core Pentium-M Dothan's at 2.2GHz with SSE-3 support and an 800MHz FSB or even 1200MHz!
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Old May 9, 2004, 07:29 AM   #7
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The CATs work fine on an SMP system. I don't think they could be any more SMP aware, it's the games themselves that need to be multithreaded - nothing to do with ATi.
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Old May 9, 2004, 09:50 AM   #8
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Default Two CPU Spanner in the works

This talk of dual-core dies or even higher makes an old techie like me pretty excited. Anyone remember the Transputer? Only about 20 years ahead of its time, sadly.

Anyway, back to the main point. Intel is making noises that I interpret to mean that dual-CPU is gonna be a mainstream product within 2 years.

Dual-CPU is a much much much bigger deal than 64-bit. It also opens the floodgates to consumer multi-CPU dies, 4-way or even 8-way. Games are perfectly suited to multi-CPU parallelism. Imagine having a CPU dedicated to in-game AI. And a pair of CPUs taking on a half each of the graphics. I suppose the 3-CPU design of the XBox2 tallies with these thoughts.

Anyway, with dual-CPU being so close now, it makes all worries about future-proofed upgrades to socket 939 or Prescott pretty much redundant. You can be sure that your next mobo after 939 will be different. No point of thinking about future-proofing. This year's high-end single core CPUs are the end of the line.

Also it means that DDR3/4 is gonna be essential really soon.

I suppose X Box 2 is a sign of the future. It's a bit of shame that it takes 3 CPUs to keep up with the graphics card, huh?

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Old May 9, 2004, 10:01 AM   #9
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Its the GAMES that need SMP support and not Catalysts... If the game doesnt take advantage of dual cores then i cant see what the graphics driver can do to boost things up.

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Old May 9, 2004, 11:21 AM   #10
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AFAIK, only one cpu is being used to handle 'applications' (drivers) running in kernel mode. Why? When only one cpu is being used, there's no need for expensive memory barriers that are neccessary to make sure that cpu cache is coherent when passing data between two cpus.

For games, I don't expect to see proper use of threads any time soon. Parralel processing adds whole bunch of new algorithms that developers need to learn to utilize. It's possible and likely, that at first there will be applications that process physics in on thread. and once it finishes processing the frame, it passes data to rendering thread. Step further, is to process physics of same frame in multiple threads... but that's much more complex, since objects may interact with each other. (you would propably want to put objects that are likely to interact with each other inside same thread)
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Old May 9, 2004, 11:31 AM   #11
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Default Re: Two CPU Spanner in the works

Quote:
Originally posted by Jawed
Dual-CPU is a much much much bigger deal than 64-bit. It also opens the floodgates to consumer multi-CPU dies, 4-way or even 8-way. Games are perfectly suited to multi-CPU parallelism. Imagine having a CPU dedicated to in-game AI. And a pair of CPUs taking on a half each of the graphics. I suppose the 3-CPU design of the XBox2 tallies with these thoughts.
Rendering image using more than one thread would require game engine to render things in tiles. Sure, it's possible, but there's no point in doing so: cpu-time spent on rendering is only fraction of what physics and AI consume.
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Old May 9, 2004, 02:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pe-Te
Its the GAMES that need SMP support and not Catalysts... If the game doesnt take advantage of dual cores then i cant see what the graphics driver can do to boost things up.

Pe-Te
OK, does the game engine split the render load between the CPU and the GPU or does it send the render to the GPU and the GPU in turn send part of the process to the CPU. I thought it was the latter because it is when the GPU finishes its part faster than the CPU that causes the CPU limitation as seen in the X800XT correct?
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Old May 9, 2004, 05:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Socio
OK, does the game engine split the render load between the CPU and the GPU or does it send the render to the GPU and the GPU in turn send part of the process to the CPU. I thought it was the latter because it is when the GPU finishes its part faster than the CPU that causes the CPU limitation as seen in the X800XT correct?
When talking about being cpu-limited, people mean that amount of cpu-time spent on rendering is only a fraction of what physics & AI consume. When application spends more time per frame (in %) on waiting for cpu than it spends on waiting for vpu, it is more cpu limited that vpu limited. The smaller the percentage of vpu wait time gets, the more cpu bound application has become.

I'm not a graphics developer myself, but logical assumption would be that in most cases application does not need to know exactly what it has rendered. One case where command may block until vpu has finished processing it, is buffer flipping. Usually it just passes commands to driver (which puts them in fifo queue), and proceeds to next operation. When driver queue gets full, application has to wait for vpu.
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Old May 9, 2004, 08:06 PM   #14
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I still don't get this "Dual Core" thing.

It is not like truly having two independent CPU's, right?

Kind of a "meet in the middle" approach between HyperThreading and
actually having two independent chips, correct?

Sounds sorta mickey-mouse at first thought. Too bad they can't build
chips that can crank with a single dedicated CPU. Also too bad if games
and apps have to be rewritten in order to actually make use of it.
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Old May 9, 2004, 08:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by TheMonkeyBoyz
I still don't get this "Dual Core" thing.

It is not like truly having two independent CPU's, right?

Kind of a "meet in the middle" approach between HyperThreading and
actually having two independent chips, correct?

Sounds sorta mickey-mouse at first thought. Too bad they can't build
chips that can crank with a single dedicated CPU. Also too bad if games
and apps have to be rewritten in order to actually make use of it.
Dual core is very much like 2 independant cpu's except that they would share the same die rather than having a seperate socket on a motherboard.
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Old May 9, 2004, 08:38 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by AlphaWolf
Dual core is very much like 2 independant cpu's except that they would share the same die rather than having a seperate socket on a motherboard.
Huh. That could be interesting. But software would have to be re-written to take
advantage of that, right? And the OS would have to support multiple processors?

MS likes to charge extra for multi-processor support, right?
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Old May 9, 2004, 10:44 PM   #17
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Default

i think all NT based OSes are native to SMP, so HT, SMP an dual cores should work fine in NT/2K/XP/2K3..
Tho i think only a few games supports SMP atm, since its not all that comon on consumer PCs, someone said its not that useful today as it was before when CPUs where slower, dont really gain alot on SMP support in games today..
I guess you could if you split everything up as mentioned where one CPU handles AI and so on..
Tho there were some drawbacks or risks doing that, with syncing or what it was, dont remember..

I think you do get some little push from better handling of background processes while playing perhaps, more of a sideeffect tho hehe..

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Old May 9, 2004, 10:48 PM   #18
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CPUs almost have nothing to do with graphics nowadays. They work on other things while GPUs render scenes.

There are other things besides graphics in modern video games.
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Old May 10, 2004, 02:55 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by jolle
i think all NT based OSes are native to SMP, so HT, SMP an dual cores should work fine in NT/2K/XP/2K3..
Tho i think only a few games supports SMP atm, since its not all that comon on consumer PCs, someone said its not that useful today as it was before when CPUs where slower, dont really gain alot on SMP support in games today..
I guess you could if you split everything up as mentioned where one CPU handles AI and so on..
Tho there were some drawbacks or risks doing that, with syncing or what it was, dont remember..

I think you do get some little push from better handling of background processes while playing perhaps, more of a sideeffect tho hehe..
What a hassle it may end up being. I think I'd rather stick with a single processor
or going with a true, full-on second processor instead of this half-way kind of deal.

Reason being that you have to rewrite things to work with it, you might as well go
all out and get the 2 processor solution, I reckon'.
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Old May 10, 2004, 04:55 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by TheMonkeyBoyz
What a hassle it may end up being. I think I'd rather stick with a single processor
or going with a true, full-on second processor instead of this half-way kind of deal.

Reason being that you have to rewrite things to work with it, you might as well go
all out and get the 2 processor solution, I reckon'.
You may have no choice in a few years. Dual (multiple) cores are now the way IBM, Intel and AMD appear to be heading.

There are advantages of dual core over dual processor. They should be able to handle (at least some of) their interraction without going through a much slower bus. Also it should be quite a bit cheaper to produce a dual core cpu as opposed to the cost of producing 2 cpus. Less pins, less packaging, less cost. It will also mean you only need one socket on your mainboard, reducing its cost as well.
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Old May 10, 2004, 05:11 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by AlphaWolf
You may have no choice in a few years. Dual (multiple) cores are now the way IBM, Intel and AMD appear to be heading.

There are advantages of dual core over dual processor. They should be able to handle (at least some of) their interraction without going through a much slower bus. Also it should be quite a bit cheaper to produce a dual core cpu as opposed to the cost of producing 2 cpus. Less pins, less packaging, less cost. It will also mean you only need one socket on your mainboard, reducing its cost as well.
I guess you have a good point or two. I'm just frustrated. I mean - how many times
have these guys changed direction on us? Remember the move to Slot 1 and Slot A?
Seemed swanky at the time - self contained CPU / Heatsink combo, just pop it into a
slot and you were off and running. Then back to socket, only now flip-chip, meaning
it was easier to crack chips when applying the heatsink. SDR then Rambus then DDR,
socket 754 or something, then socket 939, you get Overdrive chips that allow you to
drop in upgrades, then they take that away, then you get IDE then Serial ATA but
SATA sucks so they go SATA II, then USB 1.1, Firewire 400, USB 2.0, Firewire 800,
AT form factor, ATX form factor, BLAH!!!!

Some of these technologies take YEARS to actually get all the pieces in place, and
by the time they do, its time to move on to something else. As a consumer, it does
get frustrating. At least with the Athlon 64, your 32 bit investment is still protected
and you can take advantage of 64 bit as it comes out. But with these dual core
products, until everything takes full advantage, you are getting less performance
than you are paying for, right? Or am I missing something?

thanks
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Old May 10, 2004, 06:39 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by TheMonkeyBoyz
But with these dual core
products, until everything takes full advantage, you are getting less performance
than you are paying for, right? Or am I missing something?
Yes, with current applications you get less performance than you paid for. But like always with revolutionary changes in hardware, transitional stage will take a while. Until balance shifts from single cpu to multicore systems, you shouldn't expect developers to start planning engines that run in several threads. (remember that writing engine, takes several years.. and in this case, they will be forced to write many things from scratch)

My questimate for first game engine (in major title), that is actually able to use full potentiial of more than one logical cpu, is ~3-4years after first dual core cpu is introduced.
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Old May 10, 2004, 06:41 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by snowwhite
Yes, with current applications you get less performance than you paid for. But like always with revolutionary changes in hardware, transitional stage will take a while. Until balance shifts from single cpu to multicore systems, you shouldn't expect developers to start planning engines that run in several threads. (remember that writing engine, takes several years.. and in this case, they will be forced to write many things from scratch)

My questimate for first game engine (in major title), that is actually able to use full potentiial of more than one logical cpu, is ~3-4years after first dual core cpu is introduced.
Well, I think I'd rather go with a true Dual Processor system and an OS that supports that.
Then you can enable multi-threading and stuff and get max benefit, right?

I guess you are right about the delay. Maybe if I just suck it up and stick with AMD
I can hold out a little longer...

Thanks for the reply.
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Old May 10, 2004, 12:15 PM   #24
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Just out of curiosity, when will game developers start to take advantage of Intel's HT? I think by the time they do, I would have an Athlon 64 or something else already.
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Old May 10, 2004, 01:42 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by junglist1996
Just out of curiosity, when will game developers start to take advantage of Intel's HT? I think by the time they do, I would have an Athlon 64 or something else already.
Those games that are compiled using latest intel compiler, should get some benefits of hyperthreading. I don't think any game programmer will optimize application for HT though.
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Old May 10, 2004, 02:02 PM   #26
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wtf is an SMP?
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Old May 10, 2004, 02:07 PM   #27
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An abbreviation for symmetric multiprocessing, implemented in NT / XP and Unix, which distributes tasks among CPUs using a load-sharing methodology. Applications must be multithreaded to take advantage of SMP (which few are gameswise)
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Old May 10, 2004, 02:50 PM   #28
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AMD's dual core hammers will be out far before Intels dual core CPU's
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