150 GFLOP/s measured?

Article: PhysX87: Software Deficiency
By: Mark Roulo (nothanks.delete@this.xxx.com), July 19, 2010 11:47 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
Aaron Spink (aaronspink@notearthlink.net) on 7/19/10 wrote:
---------------------------
>Here's another way to think about it, why did CELL fail so badly? Its pretty much
>the ideal: in-order, software controlled data store, etc. Shouldn't it be blowing everything else out of the water?

I've done some work on nVidia GPUs (200 series and Fermi) and have looked at the Cell in some detail. My read is that Cell failed for two reasons:

(a) It did not have enough raw bandwidth relative to compute, and
(b) The scalar performance of its PPE sucked.

Yes, it was difficult to program for, but it doesn't look all that *much* harder to program than CUDA when you are aiming for that last few percent.

The problem with (a) is that you wind up memory bound for too many loads. Then the extra compute doesn't matter.
The problem with (b) is that you have to vectorize almost *everything* to keep Amdahl's law from killing you.

I'd venture that a six SPE Cell with a better PPE (say an PowerPC 970, de-clocked as needed) and 2x or 3x the DRAM bandwidth would have done much better. You could maybe even clock it at 2.7 GHz instead of 3.2 GHz if that is what it would take to keep the power budget under control.

-Mark Roulo
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        150 GFLOP/s measured?anon2010/07/08 07:10 PM
          150 GFLOP/s measured?David Kanter2010/07/08 07:53 PM
            150 GFLOP/s measured?Aaron Spink2010/07/08 09:05 PM
              150 GFLOP/s measured?anon2010/07/08 09:31 PM
                150 GFLOP/s measured?Aaron Spink2010/07/08 10:43 PM
                  150 GFLOP/s measured?David Kanter2010/07/08 11:27 PM
                    150 GFLOP/s measured?Ian Ollmann2010/07/19 01:14 AM
                      150 GFLOP/s measured?anon2010/07/19 06:39 AM
                        150 GFLOP/s measured?hobold2010/07/19 07:26 AM
                          Philosophy for achieving peakDavid Kanter2010/07/19 11:49 AM
                      150 GFLOP/s measured?Linus Torvalds2010/07/19 07:36 AM
                        150 GFLOP/s measured?Richard Cownie2010/07/19 08:42 AM
                          150 GFLOP/s measured?Aaron Spink2010/07/19 08:56 AM
                            150 GFLOP/s measured?hobold2010/07/19 09:30 AM
                              150 GFLOP/s measured?Groo2010/07/19 02:31 PM
                                150 GFLOP/s measured?hobold2010/07/19 04:17 PM
                                  150 GFLOP/s measured?Groo2010/07/19 06:18 PM
                              150 GFLOP/s measured?Anon2010/07/19 06:18 PM
                            150 GFLOP/s measured?Mark Roulo2010/07/19 11:47 AM
                              150 GFLOP/s measured?slacker2010/07/19 12:55 PM
                                150 GFLOP/s measured?Mark Roulo2010/07/19 01:00 PM
                              150 GFLOP/s measured?anonymous422010/07/25 12:31 PM
                            150 GFLOP/s measured?Richard Cownie2010/07/19 12:41 PM
                              150 GFLOP/s measured?Linus Torvalds2010/07/19 02:57 PM
                                150 GFLOP/s measured?Richard Cownie2010/07/19 04:10 PM
                                150 GFLOP/s measured?Richard Cownie2010/07/19 04:10 PM
                                  150 GFLOP/s measured?hobold2010/07/19 04:25 PM
                                  150 GFLOP/s measured?Linus Torvalds2010/07/19 04:31 PM
                                    150 GFLOP/s measured?Richard Cownie2010/07/20 06:04 AM
                                150 GFLOP/s measured?jrl2010/07/20 01:18 AM
                            150 GFLOP/s measured?anonymous422010/07/25 12:00 PM
                              150 GFLOP/s measured?David Kanter2010/07/25 12:52 PM
                          150 GFLOP/s measured?Anon2010/07/19 06:15 PM
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                              150 GFLOP/s measured?Anon2010/07/19 09:54 PM
                                150 GFLOP/s measured?anon2010/07/19 11:45 PM
                        150 GFLOP/s measured?hobold2010/07/19 09:14 AM
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                                    150 GFLOP/s measured?anon2010/07/23 04:55 PM
                                      150 GFLOP/s measured?slacker2010/07/24 12:48 AM
                                        150 GFLOP/s measured?anon2010/07/24 02:36 AM
                                    150 GFLOP/s measured?Vincent Diepeveen2010/07/27 05:37 PM
                                      150 GFLOP/s measured??2010/07/27 11:42 PM
                                        150 GFLOP/s measured?slacker2010/07/28 05:55 AM
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                                            Confusing and not very useful definition?2010/07/22 10:58 PM
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                              Separate the OoO-ness from speculative-nessThiago Kurovski2010/07/21 04:13 PM
            You are just quoting SINGLE precision flops? OMG what planet do you live? Vincent Diepeveen2010/07/19 10:26 AM
              The prior poster was talking about SP (NT)David Kanter2010/07/19 11:34 AM
                All FFT's need double precisionVincent Diepeveen2010/07/19 02:02 PM
                  All FFT's need double precisionDavid Kanter2010/07/19 02:09 PM
                    All FFT's need double precisionVincent Diepeveen2010/07/19 04:06 PM
                  All FFT's need double precision - notMichael S2010/07/20 01:16 AM
                    All FFT's need double precision - notUngo2010/07/21 12:04 AM
                      All FFT's need double precision - notMichael S2010/07/21 02:35 PM
                      All FFT's need double precision - notEduardoS2010/07/21 02:52 PM
                        All FFT's need double precision - notAnon2010/07/21 05:23 PM
                          All FFT's need double precision - notRicardo B2010/07/26 07:46 AM
                        I'm on a boat!anon2010/07/22 11:42 AM
                        All FFT's need double precision - notVincent Diepeveen2010/07/24 11:39 PM
                          All FFT's need double precision - notslacker2010/07/25 03:27 AM
                            All FFT's need double precision - notRicardo B2010/07/26 07:40 AM
                          All FFT's need double precision - notEduardoS2010/07/25 08:37 AM
                            All FFT's need double precision - notMichael S2010/07/25 10:43 AM
                    All FFT's need double precision - notVincent Diepeveen2010/07/24 11:19 PM
      A bit off baseEduardoS2010/07/08 04:08 PM
        A bit off baseGroo2010/07/08 06:11 PM
          A bit off basejohn mann2010/07/08 06:58 PM
            All right...let's cool it...David Kanter2010/07/08 07:54 PM
    A bit off baseVincent Diepeveen2010/07/19 03:36 PM
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