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Topics - Stefan

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In the modern world it is not enough to create a hardware that is supposed to deliver high performance. In order to ensure efficient operation, software should be tailored for hardware and vice-versa. Today we are talking with AMD’ Neal Robison, David Hoff, and Richard Huddy

Full story at x-bit labs

3D-Tech News Around The Web / Ambient Occlusion Volumes
« on: June 21, 2010, 04:52:43 AM »
This paper introduces a new approximation algorithm for the near-field ambient occlusion problem. It combines
known pieces in a new way to achieve substantially improved quality over fast methods and substantially improved
performance compared to accurate methods. Intuitively, it computes the analog of a shadow volume for ambient
light around each polygon, and then applies a tunable occlusion function within the region it encloses. The algo-
rithm operates on dynamic triangle meshes and produces output that is comparable to ray traced occlusion for
many scenes. The algorithm’s performance on modern GPUs is largely independent of geometric complexity and
is dominated by fill rate, as is the case with most deferred shading algorithms.

Welcome to the NVIDIA Driver Settings Programming guide. This 
document explains how the NVIDIA set of drivers handle preferences and 
how these features are exposed through the NVIDIA NVAPI interface. 
The NVIDIA Control Panel–provided with all NVIDIA drivers– allows the 
user to control the behavior of all the NVIDIA drivers in the system. But 
for those users who want a more in‐depth control of the preferences in the 
NVIDIA driver, as well as for those users that wish to write their own 
Control Panel, this guide is for you. It explains the basic principles that 
constitute the NVIDIA settings framework and details how to program 
using NVAPI in order to retrieve and change any setting. 
The NVIDIA team wishes you good luck on your endeavors!

Quote from: GamersHell
Medal of Honor ready for another tour of duty
Two days ago, Electronic Arts announced that Medal of Honor is now recruiting players for a massive global multiplayer beta test that starts on June 21 - players will be granted early access to two action-packed maps. EA also announced that Battlefield: Bad Company 2 VIPs, who have pre-ordered Medal of Honor, will be able to enter the multiplayer beta even earlier; starting June 17. Once you have a beta key, visit this page to redeem it for a code for the platform of your choice - the PC closed beta client is now locally mirrored. Medal of Honor launches on October 12, 2010 in North America and on October 15 across Europe.


Just a little hint to EA: a game in a series should have a subtitle  ::)

The MP version will use "Frostbite engine", but SP version will use "Unreal Engine 3" according to PCGH

3D-Tech News Around The Web / NVIDIA Mac OS X Driver Release 19.5.8
« on: June 18, 2010, 12:05:31 PM »
New in Quadro driver Release 19.5.8f03:

    * Improved compatibility with recent Mac OS X Kernals.
    * Improved OpenGL performance for Quadro FX4800 under certain conditions
    * Workstation application compatibility fixes.

New in Geforce driver Release 19.5.8f03:

    * Improved OpenGL performance for Geforce GTX 285 under certain conditions
    * Improved compatibility with recent Mac OS X Software Updates.

Total Commander 7.55 is now available for download. The most important new functions are:

    * Use MLSD command for file listings in FTP function (better time resolution, time in UTC)
    * Transfer files between two computers over a special USB cable -> supported cables
    * Improvements to synchronize dirs function: Compare via plugins and FTP, options to skip hidden files and hard links, SITE UTIME in ftp sync
    * Compare by content now shows different and changed lines with a slightly different background color (configurable via wincmd.ini)
    * Unpack directory time stamps from archives
    * Lister: Increased maximum line length to 1024 characters (Unicode: 512)
    * Verify CRC checksums: Also support CRC files in UTF16 Unicode format
    * Show Terminal Server and Win7 XP mode drives in drive dropdown list and drive buttonbar
    * Ctrl+Shift+B and cm_DirBranchSel shows branch view of only the selected dirs+files
    * F5 copy dialog: "Options" dialog extension can be pinned now to remain open
    * Show progress dialog box when reading a directory takes longer than 5 seconds
    * Create CRC checksums: support subdirectories (recursively), background button
    * Handle dir space calculation in background (when user presses SPACE or Alt+Shift+Enter)
    * File system plugins: Support background downloads and uploads (requires changes to plugin)
    * Various new background operations: Unpack: RAR, TAR, packer plugins (needs modification), Pack: TAR, packer plugins

The most important thing about accurately benchmarking a game comes down to one word: research. It isn’t often that the first level or in-game benchmark will give an accurate representation of GPU performance. Using one of these aforementioned methods could lead a writer to come up with the wrong conclusion if he takes the easy way out. Knowing the game one is testing through actual playing time is essential. There is no way anyone should be basing a conclusion off of games they aren’t totally familiar with because as we have seen, the risk of projecting the wrong information through incorrect benchmarks is very high indeed. Many wrongfully think it is fine to load up a few stand-alone benchmarks, hope the results line up with gameplay and be done with it.

Full story here


Changes in Version 258.49
The following sections list the important changes and the most common issues resolved 
since driver version 197.90. 
Windows Vista/Windows 7 32-bit Issues
Fixed Single-GPU Issues
 AutoCAD, nView Desktop Manager–Display corruption occurs when using the  
default display from nView windows tab. 
 Quadro FX 1400/540 (128‐256 MB): SolidEdge–cursor gets out of sync after opening 
and closing several .par files. 
Windows Vista/Windows 7 64-bit Issues
Fixed Single-GPU Issues
 Motion Builder–glitches occur during graphics playback. 
 Stereo PFD is not available in the Lumiscaphe Patchwork3D profile. 
 Quadro FX 5800: INVALID_ENUMERANT error is returned when calling 
 Quadro FX 4800: Avid MediaComposer/Gimp–“Driver not responding” error occurs 
when running Gimp or MediaComposer wireframes.

With this driver Fluidmark stalls at end of test (just like Quadro 197.68)

P.S. GPUCapsViewer needs a database update, lots of N/A here  ;)

3D-Tech News Around The Web / Wither DirectDraw?
« on: June 17, 2010, 06:15:36 AM »
The DirectDraw API has been more or less deprecated for game developers since the release of DirectX 9.0 SDK back in 2002. The last time we shipped samples or documentation on DirectDraw  dates back to the DirectX 8.1 SDK. Game developers looking to do 2D rendering should be using Direct3D, or on systems with DirectX 11 the Direct2D API could also be a good choice. The DirectDraw  documentation can still be found on MSDN. A few lingering issues, however, has kept the DirectDraw header and import library in the DirectX SDK for many long years...

In the DirectX SDK (June 2010) release, the DDRAW.H and DDRAW.LIB files are no longer there.

Full story at MSDN

The big question in high-performance computing (HPC) now is: "What about graphics processing units (GPUs)?" While the bigger question is "What about the software?", GPUs are getting more attention.

Full story at ZDnet

3D-Tech News Around The Web / ATI Catalyst 10.6 WHQL available
« on: June 16, 2010, 09:25:57 PM »
Download site
Release notes
ATI Catalyst™ 10.6 Driver – What’s New?

Compared to 10.6 beta a profile for empires.exe has been added

KitGuru knows that companies spend millions creating the best HD processing set up possible only to see the final image quality shattered by a weak component somewhere in the system.
We spend many hours watching High Definition content and we never stop playing with our ATI and nVidia driver panels to get the quality as high as we can.
All this fiddling might be fun, but can we add any science to the process of deciding on the best picture? HQV Benchmark 2.0 aims to do just that.

Robert Hess has a roundtable discussion with industry experts to help you understand exactly what DirectCompute is and the kinds of software problems that you can apply DirectCompute to leaverage the GPU for computation.

Changes include:

    * Reference Results: changed UI from multiple combo-boxes to single list-view, making it easier to select, view and modify reference results. You can still only select 4 devices for now, with the earliest unselected if you check more than 4.
    * AVX instruction set: extensive support in all benchmarks: Multi-Media (integer & float), Memory Bandwidth (integer & float, buffered and unbuffered/streaming), Cache & Memory (non-streaming). Removed EMMX.
    * OpenCL: unified module supporting all manufacturer versions (ATI, nVidia, etc.), can use multiple cards from multiple vendors in parallel.
    * OpenGL: now supports versions 4.0 and 3.3; ARB native double support on ATI 5800 and nVidia Fermi (previously only ATI specific doubles were supported).
    * Ranking Engine: is now on-line and localised in all the languages Sandra supports.

Download at BenchmarkHQ

3D-Tech News Around The Web / GLSL Minifier
« on: June 16, 2010, 05:34:51 AM »
GLSL Minifier is a tool to pack GLSL shader code. It generates a code as small as possible that is equivalent to the input code. The generated code is also designed to compress well. It has been optimized for use with Crinkler, but should perform well with any other compression tool. GLSL Minifier generates a C header file you can include from your code. This file contains the shader code in a compact string and macros to retrieve the name of the uniforms (because they are renamed).


The DirectX SDK (June 2010) release includes the fixes to the DDSWithoutD3DX and DDSWithoutD3DX11 samples I mentioned in earlier posts. The Programmer's Guide for DDS in the Windows DirectX Graphics documentation was also updated to reflect the latest format details.

There is a footnote at the end of the documentation chart that I wanted to expand on, and this is a consequence of D3DX having a long-standing bug in the way it reads and writes 10:10:10:2 format DDS data files.

Full story at MSDN

3D-Tech News Around The Web / Simulation of glass surfaces
« on: June 15, 2010, 06:40:40 PM »


The Vienna Computing Library (ViennaCL) is a scientific computing library written in C++ and based on OpenCL. It allows simple, high-level access to the vast computing resources available on parallel architectures such as GPUs and is primarily focused on common linear algebra operations (BLAS level 1 and 2) and the solution of large systems of equations by means of iterative methods. The following iterative solvers are implemented:

    * Conjugate Gradient (CG)
    * Stabilized BiConjugate Gradient (BiCGStab)
    * Generalized Minimum Residual (GMRES)

An optional ILU preconditioner can be used, which is at present computed on the CPU and may thus not lead to overall performance gains.

The library interface is similar to that of the ublas library, which is shipped with Boost. The iterative solvers can be used either on the CPU with ublas types or on the GPU using ViennaCL types.

More information can be found on the project homepage located at


Download from NZONE
No challenge for contemporary GPUs, but nice to watch.

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