Wednesday, December 13, 2006

ATI CTM vs NVidia CUDA

Today I read lots of documents and browsed lots of pages and finally find out the ultimate solution: ATM CTM or NVidia CUDA. In the past, we do GPGPU under standard graphics API such as OpenGL or DirectX which forces us to maintain the graphic states and to think and to act under a improper manner. We need to describe data in texture and encapsulate our algorithm in vertex/pixel shader to exploit the floating-point processing power in GPU. This is somehow cumbersome and in-elegant as I think. So AMD (formerly ATI) and NVidia start to work out direct approaches, that is, directly expose the computation power to user but not hide them behind the graphics API, which also suffer from driver changes.

As far as I think, this could be both good or bad for programmers and researchers. Since the support of scatter operation on X1K and G80 series via CTM or CUDA, it becomes easier to port existing algorithm onto GPUs and also easier to program. On the other hand, it becomes valueless to reinvent algorithms on GPU and thus less acadamic value in this research field. So would it be a good news to me? I don't know yet.

But still I am very interesting in researches on GPUs. I will definitely purchase one or two "modern" GPUs by next week. I believe there's still lots of topic and direction which can be further discussed to publish to journal or conferences. Just do it!

Now I am wondering which GPU should I grab...ATI X1950XTX? NVidia 7900GT? or even 8800GTX!?!?! The 8800GTX features with G80 core with capability to process DX10 function such as geometry shader, which can be very interesting in future shader research since it provides scatter capability directly in the programmable rendering pipeline. Of course the X1950 is capabile of scatter operation via CTM, but CTM is not standard in any case. I should not wait for next generation of ATI chip shipped with DX10 cuz is too late for me. Apparently the ATI X1950 is the most cost-effective choise so far. However as I compare the OpenGL extension support between 7900 and X1950, the NVidia obviously made more efforts than ATI on OpenGL to make it more suitable for general purpose compuation. However what is sure is that the 7900 does not support scatter operation while X1950 does. Also, source code on web pages push me to NVidia cuz they love NVidia....=.=

Now all the trade-offs drive me crazy...OK!! that's bet with ATI!!!!!.....?

1 Comments:

Anonymous said...

Too old infomation. but good~