Monthly Archives: June 2008

Bjarne Stroustrup Reveals All On C++

Bjarne Stroustrup, the creative force behind one of the most widely used and successful programming languages — C++ — is featured in an in-depth 8 page interview where he reveals everything programmers and software engineers should know about C++; its history, what it was intended to do, where it is at now, and of course what all good code-writers should think about when using the language he created.

Read the interview HERE.


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ATi RV770 – Architecture Overview

Rage3D has published an article about the architecture of the RV770, the latest GPU from ATI.

Reag the complete article HERE.

As an opener to our launch day coverage, we’ll be taking a plunge into the RV770 and seeing what what is new, what has changed, what stays the same (quickie note: not much) and how it all fits together. We’ll be following pretty much the same structure that Scott Hartog, chief architect for the RV770 series, used in his presentation of the architecture, as it nicely flows from one aspect of the new chip to another, using Richard Huddy’s R600 architecture overview for comparisons and underlining the differences between chips. We’ll also check and see if we can actually achieve the theoretical numbers using a number of synthetic tests … don’t worry, the whole gaming enchilada will soon follow, we haven’t lost our focus.

FurMark Workaround For Vista/Forceware

As I said it in FurMark’s changelog, there is an issue under Vista with ForceWare drivers.

From this topic @ driverheaven.net, the problem seems to come from Aero-Glass and the workaround is to disable Aero-Glass for FurMark:
– right-click FurMark icon
– select tabulator “compatibility”
– tick the checkbox as seen in screenshot (whatever it’s called in your language)
– this disables “aero-glass” only for FurMark

Modernizing the Quake2 renderer

Jay Dolan recently blogged about some of the performance optimizations he made to his Quake2-based engine, Quake2World. He provides links to various points in the source code to give context around some of the topics he discusses.

Read the post HERE.

Quake2 was released in 1997. Hardware acceleration was only available on higher-end PC’s, and things like multitexture and vertex arrays which are commonplace today didn’t even exist then. So naturally, Quake2’s rendering techniques appear very dated in 2008. Multitexture was made a part of the OpenGL specification in version 1.2.1, and is available on most 2nd generation hardware (TNT or newer). I strongly recommend cleaning up the renderer and removing any non-multitexture rendering paths.

Texture binds (glBindTexture) are rather expensive too, and so to minimize these per frame, you should group the world surfaces by texture before iterating over them. Note that a simple grouping operation is significantly cheaper than a qsort — overall order is not important, we just want to minimize texture changes.

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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 & 260 @ Hardware.fr

[French]
Le site Hardware.fr nous propose depuis plusieurs déjà un dossier très complet et détaillé sur les nouvelles cartes 3D de NVIDIA, les GeForce GTX 260 et 280. L’architecture des nouveaux GPUs est expliqué, la consommation analysé, le tout suivi des tests “in game”.

L’article complet de 16 pages se trouve ICI.
[/French]

[English]
The Hardware.fr website has published since several days an excellent article about the architecture of the latest NVIDIA 3D cards, the GeForce GTX 260 and 280

Read the complete article HERE – (in french).
[/English]

Radeon HD 4870 and HD 4850 Reviewed

Expreview has just published a huge 25-page review about Radeon HD 4870 and 4850. Expreview compares Radeon 4870 and 4850 with other modern graphics cards such as Radeon HD 3870/3870 X2, GeForce GTX 280/260 and GeForce 9800 GTX.

Read the complete review HERE.


Radeon HD 4870


Radeon HD 4850

FurMark has been used to stress Radeon HD 4870 and 4850’s GPUs.

Final words
So, numbers can talk for itself. With the price tag $199(HD 4850) and $299 (HD 4870), RV770 is the BEST bang for the buck. Compare to GTX 260, A $299 only HD 4870 is a smarter choice. Yes, using this kind of word seems quite biased, but if you read all numbers from our review you will see my point.

Compare to GTX 260, HD 4870 is only 3/4 of its price while test items show the card have almost the same firepower!

HD 4850’s rival is 9800GTX, and we can see while their price keeps the same, HD 4850 have more than 15% leading.

XFX GeForce 9800 GTX Black Edition review

The XFX’s GeForce 9800 GTX Black Edition analyzed at Guru3D.

GeForce 9800 GTX reference clocks
* Core 675 MHz
* Shader processors 1675 MHz
* Memory 2200 MHz effective

GeForce 9800 GTX+ reference clocks
* Core 738 MHz
* Shader processors 1836 MHz
* Memory 2200 MHz effective

GeForce 9800 GTX XFX Black Edition
* Core 756 MHz
* Shader processors 1890 MHz
* Memory 2288 MHz effective

The Verdict
The black edition clocked products are pre-selected and tested products that next to a bundles items are guaranteed to run at high clocks absolutely stable. It’s therefore very hard to resist the XFX 9800 GTX BE as it definitely is the fastest product in within its product category.

NVIDIA Forceware 175.19: OpenGL Extensions

[French]
Voici la liste des extensions OpenGL supportées par les pilotes Forceware 175.19 WHQL / WinXP32
[/French]

[English]
Here is the list of OpenGL extensions supported by Forceware 175.19 WHQL / WinXP 32 drivers.
[/English]

[French]Carte graphique utilisée[/French]
[English]Graphics card used[/English]: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX / 768Mb

– Drivers Version: Forceware 6.14.11.7519
– OpenGL Version: 2.1.2
– GLSL (OpenGL Shading Language) Version: 1.20 NVIDIA via Cg compiler

OpenGL Extensions: 161 extensions

Continue reading »

NVIDIA ForceWare 175.19 WHQL

NVIDIA has released today a new set of ForceWare graphics drivers for Windows XP and Vista.

ForceWare 175.19 XP 32-bit
ForceWare 175.19 XP 64-bit
ForceWare 175.19 Vista 32-bit
ForceWare 175.19 Vista 32-bit

Release highlights:
– WHQL-certified driver for GeForce 6, 7, 8, and 9 series GPUs.
– Improved 3D performance and load times for GeForce 8 and 9 series GPUs in some DirectX 9 and OpenGL applications as a result an improved shader optimizer.
– Supports single GPU and NVIDIA SLI™ technology* on DirectX 9 and OpenGL.

Note: Quad SLI technology with GeForce 9800 GX2, 3-way SLI technology, and Hybrid SLI technology are only supported on Windows Vista.

Asus Extreme Radeon HD 4850 review

TechSpot has published a review about ASUS’s Radeon HD 4850 Extreme.

Read the review HERE.

Final Thoughts
Overall the Radeon HD 4850 has proven to be a real winner, and possibly one the best $200 graphics cards we have ever reviewed. The power consumption levels are excellent, performance was amazing, and hopefully with some decent cooling the overclocking will improve as well.

OpenGL demos taking advantage of Shader Model 4

Naixela released two demos “geometry shader painterly rendering” and “geometry shader tessellation” taking advantage of Shader Model 4 (inclusive source code).

Geometry Shader Painterly Rendering Demo
Renders a scene into color, position, and normal textures, and then outputs the scene as a large number of brush strokes covering the screen using the geometry shader.

Geometry Shader Tessellation Demo
Tessellates a heightfield based on distance to the viewer using the geometry shader.


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Four Radeon HD 4850s In CrossfireX

TweakTown has tested four Radeon HD 4850 in CrossfireX on the trusty 4GHz QX9650.

Read the review HERE.

Two cards really is the sweet spot for HD 4850s at the moment; we see some good gains over a single card and the cost is still relatively low compared to the competition.

AMD have a winner on their hands with the HD 4850; just don’t expect to see the same value for money as you start climbing the ranks with three or four cards. It could still be a while before we see these kinds of setups represent any form of value for money, much like NVIDIA with their Tri SLI GTX 280 setup.

AMD refines its approach to Stream Computing

Just like Nvidia, AMD provides developers with a high-level application programming interface (API) to tap into its latest graphics processors for non-graphics compute applications. Unlike Nvidia, though, AMD doesn’t make very much noise about what it’s doing in that area. Curious, the guys at The Tech Report got on the phone with AMD Stream Computing Director Patti Harrell and asked her to shed a little light on AMD’s Stream Computing initiative.

Read the complete article HERE.


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