Why isn't AMD hardware used for GPU computing?

Article: Impressions of Kepler
By: anon (no.delete@this.email.com), April 4, 2012 3:11 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
Richard G. (nospam@nospam.com) on 4/3/12 wrote:
>The article says "Nvidia has been the only real option for GPU computing." What
>is it about AMD's hardware or software that makes it unattractive for GPU computing?
>In other articles, David Kanter has referred to Nvidia's ecosystem for GPU computing.
>What specific tools or other things in Nvidia's ecosystem is AMD missing? For
>years, people have told me that AMD's drivers are buggy. Do people in this forum
>think buggy drivers is a key issue holding back GPU computing on AMD hardware?
>Has Nvidia already established enough of an installed base of end-user applications
>that AMD is not an option because of the lack of GPU computing in key end-user applications?
>For example, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premier only do GPU computing on Nvidia hardware.
>P.S. Is it asking too much to make the email field on this form optional? I already get over 100 spam emails per day.

Without going in to detail but to give just a snapshot of what I see here, NVidia gpu development tools are in pretty much every way a generation ahead of AMD so far as stability, debuggability, and flexibility. NVidia drivers are more stable however that matters more in 'traditional' gpu use and less in computational, and most importantly, nvidia has much MUCH more consistent performance across different applications.
ATI is hugely faster on a couple of specific applications due to a couple of features of their base architecture, but nvidia is overall a big performance winner over most codes we use certainly.
ATI does have a performance advantage in more areas on non-professional cards these days, but that situation is quite dynamic.

Interestingly (and dissapointingly) BOTH companies are more and more adding artificial limitations to their consumer cards to make the pro cards a requirement for many uses. NVidias DP limitations were just the first and most obvious, both have some pretty ugly self-imposed limits on system memory transfer features now on their consumer cards.

NVidias new 680 throws a whole different mix on the table of course, and we are still working our way around that one, it is fantastic in some ways, a step back in others (as was publicised) - in many ways its more like an ATI card with more consistent (less specific) performance, but a few big holes (does that make it the mirror of the ATI a few big peaks situation?).

Interesting times.
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TopicPosted ByDate
First impressions of Nvidia's KeplerDavid Kanter2012/03/22 06:00 PM
  First impressions of Nvidia's Keplerfellix2012/03/23 01:25 AM
  First impressions of Nvidia's KeplerMike2012/03/23 08:24 AM
    First impressions of Nvidia's KeplerDavid Kanter2012/03/23 09:02 AM
      First impressions of Nvidia's KeplerMike2012/03/23 09:34 AM
        First impressions of Nvidia's KeplerDavid Kanter2012/03/23 12:15 PM
      First impressions of Nvidia's Kepleranon2012/03/23 11:37 AM
        I use ALUsMark Roulo2012/03/23 12:59 PM
          I use ALUsanon2012/03/23 02:07 PM
            I use ALUsMark Roulo2012/03/23 03:12 PM
              I use ALUsanon2012/03/23 04:08 PM
        Makes no sense...EduardoS2012/03/23 05:30 PM
          Makes no sense...anon2012/03/23 06:14 PM
            Makes no sense...David Kanter2012/03/25 10:45 AM
          Makes no sense...fellix2012/03/24 05:41 AM
  Comparing against the 560Cat2012/03/26 08:51 AM
    Comparing against the 560David Kanter2012/03/26 09:24 AM
  Shuffle InstructionMartin2012/03/27 06:17 AM
    Shuffle InstructionDavid Kanter2012/03/27 08:47 AM
      Shuffle InstructionMartin2012/03/27 10:52 AM
        .msi unarchiver?hobold2012/03/28 10:20 AM
          .msi unarchiver?Joe2012/03/28 12:55 PM
          .msi unarchiver?Martin2012/03/29 12:53 AM
      Shuffle InstructionRohit2012/03/27 12:04 PM
  Workgroups vs. warps/wavefrontsAndrew McDonald2012/03/28 02:31 PM
    Workgroups vs. warps/wavefrontsDavid Kanter2012/03/28 03:14 PM
      Workgroups vs. warps/wavefrontsRohit2012/03/28 08:53 PM
        Workgroups vs. warps/wavefrontsLee Howes2012/03/29 06:38 AM
          ThreadsDavid Kanter2012/04/09 11:36 AM
    Fixed (NT)David Kanter2012/04/09 11:37 AM
  Heterogeneous GPUsOscar Eddington2012/03/28 07:41 PM
    Heterogeneous GPUsGary M.2012/04/06 04:35 PM
      Different shader coresDavid Kanter2012/04/09 11:29 AM
        Different shader coresTom2012/04/11 02:36 PM
          Nope...David Kanter2012/04/12 01:10 AM
            Nope...Tom2012/04/13 03:58 PM
              Nope...David Kanter2012/04/14 12:24 PM
                Load balancing between Tesla and graphics boardsTom2012/04/15 06:11 PM
                  Load balancing between Tesla and graphics boardsDavid Kanter2012/04/15 10:11 PM
                    Load balancing between Tesla and graphics boardsAnon2012/04/16 05:05 PM
  Why isn't AMD hardware used for GPU computing?Richard G.2012/04/03 07:39 PM
    Why isn't AMD hardware used for GPU computing?anon2012/04/04 03:11 AM
      Why isn't AMD hardware used for GPU computing?Soupdragon2012/04/04 05:24 AM
        Why isn't AMD hardware used for GPU computing?Groo2012/04/04 08:41 AM
      Why isn't AMD hardware used for GPU computing?Michael S2012/04/04 06:24 AM
      Why isn't AMD hardware used for GPU computing?Alexko2012/04/04 08:43 AM
        Why isn't AMD hardware used for GPU computing?EduardoS2012/04/04 03:37 PM
          Why isn't AMD hardware used for GPU computing?David Kanter2012/04/09 02:51 PM
    Why isn't AMD hardware used for GPU computing?Ricardo B2012/04/04 12:57 PM
    Why isn't AMD hardware used for GPU computing?Tom2012/04/04 05:36 PM
      Why isn't AMD hardware used for GPU computing?Brett2012/04/04 06:55 PM
      Why isn't AMD hardware used for GPU computing?David Kanter2012/04/09 02:55 PM
  Predictions about KeplerRussell Baker2012/04/18 02:09 PM
    Predictions about Kepler01000102012/04/18 03:14 PM
      Predictions about KeplerEduardoS2012/04/18 03:38 PM
        Predictions about KeplerAnon2012/04/18 08:48 PM
          Predictions about KeplerEduardoS2012/04/19 03:03 PM
            Predictions about KeplerMeeps2012/04/19 03:39 PM
      Predictions about KeplerJohn P.2012/04/18 06:13 PM
      Predictions about KeplerFoo_2012/04/19 12:15 PM
        Predictions about KeplerEduardoS2012/04/19 03:07 PM
    Predictions about KeplerGroo2012/04/19 09:13 AM
      Predictions about Kepleranon2012/04/19 03:26 PM
        Predictions about KeplerGroo2012/04/20 08:01 AM
    Predictions about KeplerAlex L.2012/04/20 03:41 PM
      Predictions about KeplerAnon2012/04/21 09:34 AM
        Predictions about Keplermpx2012/04/21 11:23 PM
          Predictions about Keplerac2012/04/22 01:49 AM
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