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Topics - Stefan

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Now, for around $10 000, you can get the speed of a small cluster in a desktop machine, by using the untapped potential of the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit). A machine with four high end GPUs from NVIDIA has up to four teraflops of processing power, equivalent to around 60 of the fastest CPUs.

FfA's latest release of SVI Pro uses the GPU in three different ways:
1. For general visualisation
2. For interactive (visual) computing
3. For GPU accelerated volume processing

Full story at EngineerLive

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Benchmark to check if you can run GNO3
Download via 4Gamer



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3D-Tech News Around The Web / ATI Catalyst 10.-1 WHQL available
« on: January 27, 2010, 08:36:11 PM »
Download site

Developer blog

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Performance Improvements
 
The following performance gains are noticed with this release of ATI Catalyst™ 10.1:
 
z  Left 4 Dead 2 – Overall performance improves as much as 3% on ATI Radeon™
HD 5700 series products and ATI Radeon™ HD 5800 series products
z  Crysis – Performance improves as much as 3% on ATI Radeon™ HD 5700 series
products and as much as 4% on ATI Radeon™ HD 5800 series products
 
Resolved Issues for All Windows Operating Systems
 
This section provides information on resolved issues in this release of the ATI Catalyst™
Software Suite for Windows. These include:
 
z  Confirmation dialog box will now appear while extending the display through ATI
Catalyst™ Control Center
z  "Enable Manual Fan Control" check box will now be checked when utilizing external
tools to apply fan speed

z  [ATI Catalyst™ Control Center] The display order will now reflect changes properly
when Eyefinity is re-arranged while desktop is rotated to portrait mode
z  Hot unplugging one of the displays in an Eyefinity configuration no longer causes
rotation modes to disappear from ATI Catalyst™ Control Center
 
Resolved Issues for the Windows 7 Operating System
 
This section provides information on resolved issues in this release of the ATI Catalyst™
Software Suite for Windows 7. These include:
 
z  [ATI Catalyst™ Control Center] Enabling LCD Overdrive will no longer cause
mouse cursor to magnify when moved overtop of the "Calibration Preview"
z  DisplayPort™ "Lower Setting Applied" and "Link Failure" messages will no longer
appear after driver installation and reboot with DP displays connected to the mini DP
port
z  Firefox now works properly and video no longer drop frames when playing Youtube
clips with Adobe Flash Player 10
z  CrossFire™ logo now appears properly in CFX enabled applications like "3DMark
Vantage" or "Call of Juarez"
z  [ATI Catalyst™ Control Center] Newly added custom modes will now appear
properly in desktop area tree view
z  Confirmation dialogue window will now appear when setting up Eyefinity mode
z  120 Hz is no longer missing from display modes for specific digital displays
z  Specific configurations will no longer cause Ubisoft "Wheelman" to stop responding
during gameplay
z  Loss of HDMI signal may no longer occurs when viewing Blu-ray content, and re-
scanning for the HDMI signal no longer cause the entire screen to shift and display a
green border
z  Overscan/underscan issue no longer occurs when setting displays to HDTV modes
z  Performance drop no longer observed during some scenes of Resident Evil 5
cinematics
z  Blocky grass and trees no longer visible in Unigine "Heaven" in OpenGL mode
 
Resolved Issues for the Windows Vista Operating System
 
This section provides information on resolved issues in this release of the ATI Catalyst™
Software Suite for Windows Vista. These include: 
 
z  Changing basic color settings will now reflect properly during playback with Adobe
Flash Player using Internet Explorer or Firefox
z  The right side of HD progressive playback screen will no longer freeze while
enabling split screen mode and dynamic contrast
z  Green horizontal line no longer visible at the top of the playback window when
viewing SD HQV content with desktop resolution set to 25x16

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New in Version 196.34

    * Fixed a bug with v196.21 that prohibited GPU overclocking

Optix vs. Vista/7 issue persists  >:(


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In this article, I discuss mixing CUDA and OpenGL by utilizing a PBO (Pixel Buffer Object) to create images with CUDA on a pixel-by-pixel basis and display them using OpenGL. A subsequent article in this series will discuss the use of CUDA to generate 3D meshes and utilize OpenGL VBOs (Vertex Buffer Objects) to efficiently render meshes as a colored surface, wireframe image or set of 3D points. All demonstration code compiles and runs under both Windows and Linux.

Full story at DDJ

2146
3D-Tech News Around The Web / Shader Toy, an online shader editor
« on: January 26, 2010, 05:46:07 PM »
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It's using the pretty new WebGL specification to allow you to edit GLSL shaders. Because the tool is online you don't need to install anything (this will be true the day all browsers have support for WebGL - for the time being read the not in the end of the post). In the other hand, it comes with lots of interesting shaders. Raymarching, procedural distance fields, metaballs, tunnels, deformations, postprocessing effects, .... Just load them and have a look to learn how these techniques work, or start modifying them to make your own shader.

I think this tool is ideal when you have an idea and want to sketch it, or want to play a bit with shaders, but you don't have your OpenGL framework handy, nor you have textures or even a compiler at all. Instead, wherever you are, in your vacations trip, at your mum's, you just need a browser. Connect to the Shader Toy page, load one of the presets shaders, and start playing around. As simple as that! You can use any online image to feed the 4 texture units in the shader by providing Shader Toy with the url of the image. I even created some usefull "noise" textures for you, and there are quite a few "famous" demos in the presets, donated by several demoseners. Check them out.

Features:

- four texture input from online images
- mouse input to feed your shader parameters with some life data
- quick compile with ALT TAB shortcut
- framerate monitor
- viewport resolution selector
- glsl-es help
- time control
- lots of cool presets, for free!

Coming soon:

- syntax highlight
- video input (feed a texture unit with online video!)
- flexible parameter input with custom user js functions
- advanced timeline control
- multithreaded render
- cubemaps
- submit/save your own shaders and presets


LINK: http://www.iquilezles.org/apps/shadertoy

** Note: most browsers don't implement the WebGL specification yet. You need the nightly build of Firefox (3.7), Chrome or Safari to use Shader Toy. So far I have successfully tested it Firefox 3.7 and Chrome 4.0 under Windows, Firefox 3.7 under Linux. I have been reported that it works in Safari under Mac too. Please follow the instructions in http://khronos.org/webgl/wiki/Getting_a_WebGL_Implementation for installation.

** Note: ShaderToy was made for helping making "flat shaders" only, it was never intended to be a RenderMonkey-clone where you can load 3d meshes. ShaderToy is about filling pixels only. Of course, that doesn't mean you can only do 2d, nothing prevents you from writing raytracers right? - check the presets.

[via]

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3D-Tech News Around The Web / NVIDIA PerfHUD 6.62 available
« on: January 26, 2010, 05:37:49 PM »
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PerfKit 6.62 Feature Highlights:

    * New in 6.62! Support for Windows 7
    * New in 6.62! Fix for the COM initialize bug
    * New in 6.6! Support for GPUs based on GT21x chips
    * New in 6.6! Fixed a bug when applications used RawInput
    * Save/Load DX10 frame captures (Ctrl+S in the Frame Debugger)
    * GeForce GTX 200 Series GPU Support
    * Works with standard drivers on Windows Vista
    * SLI Support
    * Texture Visualization and Overrides
    * API Call List
    * Dependency View
    * New CPU/GPU Timing graph
    * And much more!

2148
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See what a difference the new Windows 7 kernel makes compared to Windows Vista. The windows 7 kernel is optimized for use with Intel core microarchitecture not only does it perform faster it also allows you to put a few cores to sleep while maintaining peak performance.

2149
3D-Tech News Around The Web / OpenCL Tutorials and Benchmarks
« on: January 25, 2010, 05:34:25 PM »
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This web site, maintained by Eric Bainville, presents several example codes, tutorials and low-level benchmarks, using OpenCL to compare multicore CPUs and GPUs. Examples include operations and basic arithmetic throughput, a Mandelbrot renderer and and multiprecision algorithms to multiply million-digit numbers.

[via]

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3D-Tech News Around The Web / Microsoft Office 2010 requires "newer" GPUs
« on: January 25, 2010, 05:13:02 PM »
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Why is there a new graphics processor requirement?

If you’ve checked out Office 2010’s full system requirements, you’ve probably noticed the new graphics processor (GPU) requirement, and might be wondering what that’s all about. Another piece of feedback we received after releasing Office 2007 is that customers were interested in harnessing more of the potential of their PCs. Many computers in 2007 and most computers today have graphics processors separate from the CPU (this doesn’t necessarily mean a dedicated graphics card; for example, most laptops don’t have a physical graphics card, but do come with a graphics processor). If your computer has a GPU, it lets us perform graphics rendering tasks (like drawing charts in Excel, or transitions in PowerPoint) in the GPU instead of in the CPU, which parallelizes work and speeds up performance. This is particularly relevant for users of PowerPoint 2010, which will introduce some awesome new graphics and video integration features (more info at the PowerPoint team blog).

We chose to design for Microsoft® DirectX® 9.0c compliant graphics processors with 64 MB video memory. These processors were widely available in 2007, and most computers available today include a graphics processor that meets or exceed this standard. However, like our CPU and RAM requirements, this requirement is targeted for typical tasks – if you intensively use graphics features, you’ll benefit from a more powerful GPU.

Full story at Technet

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2151
3D-Tech News Around The Web / Disney's Ptex released as free open source
« on: January 21, 2010, 05:24:05 PM »
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Ptex is a texture mapping system developed by Walt Disney Animation Studios for production-quality rendering:

    * No UV assignment is required! Ptex applies a separate texture to each face of a subdivision or polygon mesh.
    * The Ptex file format can efficiently store hundreds of thousands of texture images in a single file.
    * The Ptex API provides cached file I/O and high-quality filtering - everything that is needed to easily add Ptex support to a production-quality renderer or texture authoring application.

Demo video at Golem

2152
3D-Tech News Around The Web / 3Impact Game Engine Now Completely Free
« on: January 19, 2010, 05:49:52 PM »
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The full version of the 3Impact Game Engine is now completely free to use for commercial and non commercial purposes.

Development is set to continue for individual clients requiring tailored versions of the 3d engine. Public updates will also be released free of charge on a regular basis.

The 3Impact Game Engine is a powerful 3d development system with a short learning curve. The officially supported language is C++, but the engine can be programmed by using various languages.

[via]

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3D-Tech News Around The Web / NVIDIA Forceware 196.21 WHQL available
« on: January 19, 2010, 05:48:24 PM »
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New in Version 196.21

    * Adds SLI and multi-GPU support for many top new gaming titles including Avatar Demo, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, City Bus Simulator, Dirt 2, Ferrari Virtual Race, GREED: Black Border, Mass Effect 2, Mortal Online, Ninja Blade, Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising Demo, Planet 51, RUSE, Serious Sam HD, and Wings of Prey.

New OpenGL extension exposed: GL_NVX_gpu_memory_info

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The ATI Stream OpenCL™ Technical Overview Video Series provides ATI Stream developers an overview of the OpenCL™ application programming interface (API) and OpenCL™ C programming language.

Justin Hensley, Ph.D.
Senior Member of Technical Staff, Office of the CTO - Advanced Technology Initiatives

» Video 1: What is OpenCL™? (7:44)
» Video 2: What is OpenCL™? (continued) (6:37)
» Video 3: Resource Setup (11:06)
» Video 4: Kernel Execution (13:00)
» Video 5: Programming with OpenCL™ C (17:59)

2155
3D-Tech News Around The Web / ATI GPU PerfStudio 2.1 available
« on: January 16, 2010, 06:32:56 PM »
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GPU PerfStudio 2.1 is the next generation GPU Performance Analysis & Debugging Tool from AMD. It offers clear advantages to developers by cutting software development time and improving graphics quality.

GPU PerfStudio 2.1 gives developers control with seamless workflow integration. Spend more time writing code and less time debugging. Identify performance and algorithm issues early in the development cycle, and meet your quality and performance goals.

New Features:

    * Supports DX11 applications
    * Supports OpenGL 3.0 applications
    * Frame Capture (DX10, DX11)

Key Features:

    * Integrated Frame Profiler
    * Integrated Frame Debugger
    * Integrated Shader Debugger with support DirectX™ HLSL and ASM
    * Client / Server model
    * GPU PerfStudio 2.1 Client runs locally or remotely over the network
    * GPU PerfStudio 2.1 Server supports 32-bit and 64-bit applications
    * Supports DX10 and DX10.1 applications
    * No special build required for your application.
    * Customizable Client GUI, define and save your own window layouts
    * Drag and drop your application onto the server to start debugging
    * No installation required – copy and run anywhere – your settings go with you

2156
3D-Tech News Around The Web / Just Cause 2 Multi-path Trailer
« on: January 16, 2010, 06:09:16 PM »
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In this special interactive video YOU direct the action.

As Rico attempts to rescue Agent Operative Jade Tan from deep within an enemy base, its up to you to decide how he does it. Simply watch the video and youll be asked what youd like Rico to do next. Whether thats engaging in some stealth-like tactics to get in and out unseen, or come crashing in from above via fighter jet, its up to you.

Theres a heap of different ways you can string the mission together all brought to life in this video, so be sure to play through more than a couple of times to see it all. Remember, this is just a tiny snapshot of what awaits you in the final game, so get clicking, get watching... and get thinking about how youll tackle this mission when your time finally rolls around.

P.S.
one of the developers is Humus

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3D-Tech News Around The Web / EA Sports Moves Graphics-Rich Gaming Online
« on: January 16, 2010, 06:02:47 PM »
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    Golf games for the PC are about to experience a revolution thanks to EA Sports, with DVD-based titles yielding to an Online-Only model.

    EA Sports' new game, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR* Online, or TWO, will be playable strictly through your browser. Which brings up this question: Will great gameplay be accessible on the spectrum of desktop and laptop platforms? The short answer is yes.

    With the help of Intel software engineers, EA Sports optimized TWO for the broad range of Intel hardware, including Clarkdale and Arrandale, part of the Intel® Core™ processor family and based on 32-nm process technology. The result is a scalable game that's coded to take advantage of any Intel® platform... and increase EA Sports' audience share.

Read full PDF

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Latest Releases

January 2010: UDKInstall-2010-01-BETA

Improved UDK Features and Tools

    * decal improvements
          o lit translucent decals are now supported
                + allows much better blending of decal edges into the environment
          o shadowmap support for decals
                + works for both static and dynamic shadow maps and allows for decals to receive shadows from dominant directional lights as well as toggleable lights
                + works when decal is attached to texture and vertex lightmapped
    * Animtrails: animation driven trail emitters
          o allows artists to easily create particle trails following animations
          o http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/AnimTrails.html
    * ongoing UTGame de-nativization
          o Moving UTGame specific C++ functionality that didn't need to be in C++ back into UnrealScript
          o This makes it easier for UDK developers to see how we implemented this functionality, and has also resulted in new engine functionality being exposed to script.
                + Notable examples include the new SVehicle physics interface functions and making it possible to tick skeletal controllers and UTUIScenes in script.
    * fixed Lightmass generating directional lighting being flipped in the texture's V direction

Download mirror at GamersHell

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NVIDIA has announced the Tesla Bio Workbench, a new program designed to bring together the computational components needed to run GPU-accelerated bioscience applications. The rationale is the same one NVIDIA's been touting ever since it got into the high performance computing business: take advantage of the superior performance of the GPU in order to lower the entry point for HPC

Full story at HPCwire

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3D-Tech News Around The Web / OIT/A-buffer DirectX 11 demo
« on: January 15, 2010, 09:18:32 AM »
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OIT/A-buffer demo.
Requires Microsoft Windows 7 (or Vista SP 2) and DirectX 11 graphics hardware.

This demo shows accurate blending of multiple surfaces using per-pixel depth sorting.
Uses DirectCompute 11 for A-buffer technique and stencil routing for K-buffer.

Controls
 
Left mouse:    Click and rotate trackball.
Mouse wheel:   Zoom in/out.
Space:         Switch beetween standard hardware blending, A-buffer blending and K-buffer blending.
Numpad +/-:    Add/decrease number of blended planes (cards).

By default, standard blending without sorting is performed.
GDI text drawing really slow down FPS, so hints are displayed only for 2 seconds.

Author: Victor "Joe" Coda (joescg.blogspot.com)
Jan 11 2010

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