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[TechReport]Lucid's 'smarter vsync' could revolutionize game performance

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Running no v-sync without tearing seems to be the goal of Lucid's new venture - Or perhaps vsync without capping at a ratio of the screen refresh rate may be a better descriptor. Either way, smoother gaming + more FPS = always a good thing.

Quote:
However, in the context of our newfound focus on frame latencies as a better measure of in-game performance, a virtualized version of vsync raises some tantalizing possibilities, if it were to have some smarter logic built into it. In fact, in our conversation with him about multi-GPU micro-stuttering, AMD's David Nalasco mentioned a "smarter" version of vsync as a potential means of reducing jitter or other forms of uneven frame delivery.
Quote:
One of the keys to making HyperFormance work is the fact that, in many cases, frames will have to be dropped or, without vsync, only partially displayed. After all, a GPU spitting out 100 FPS will overwhelm a display scanning at 60Hz, so something has to give. Lucid's algorithm attempts to predict which frames are likely candidates not to be displayed—or to be displayed only very partially, contributing to tearing. Those frames are considered "redundant rendering tasks" and are subject to special treatment. Lucid can't simply discard or refuse to handle those frames; doing so would cause problems. Instead, some work is still performed on redundant frames, such as texture loads, which are needed to keep caches warm and to preserve memory locality. Once those basics are performed, though, other work like pixel shader computations can be skipped, because that frame will never be shown to the user. Instead, the GPU finishes its work quickly, the game engine churns out another frame, and Lucid again estimates whether this next frame is a good candidate for display. By tightening that loop between the game engine, DirectX, and the rendering subsystem, the HyperFormance algorithm ensures that any frames fully rendered and sent to the display are very timely.
If it works well, HyperFormance ought to have several related benefits. Evened-out frame delivery in sync with the display should provide a smooth sense of motion, of course. That motion should be improved by the fact that the frames displayed would contain timely information—i.e., the latest updates to the underlying geometry in the game world. Furthermore, the immediacy of those frames should reduce the lag between user inputs and display updates. Remez contrasted the inherent delays in conventional triple buffering, where queuing up three frames at 60 FPS would add up to 48 milliseconds of lag, with Lucid's scheme, where frames are delivered more or less "just in time" for the display refresh.
I like Lucid. They may sometimes fall short of their lofty goals, but they are always looking at novel ways of overcoming common shortcomings in how graphics are produced. Oh, and this is not vapor-ware. This is a product that exists.


Source

Source2
Edited by Mjolnir - 9/22/11 at 2:02pm
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post #2 of 21
Hm. Is Lucid publicly traded? That company has nowhere to go, but UP UP UP.
Edited by videoman5 - 9/22/11 at 1:08pm
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post #3 of 21
Very nice. Now can we have it in a way easily retrofittable to all of the games released in the last 5-10 years?




Even if it's only for things coming out after it's released to the open market, it'll still be a very nice option for games - assuming it works properly, at least.
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post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Lucid wants this to be built-in to the IGP in Sandy Bridge and AMD products. Remember Lucid and Intel have a partnership.

And it should work with all games. It changes how the hardware buffer picks and chooses which frames to show, so it should work with all games.

The downside is you need a CPU with IGP, that way the overhead is put on the IGP instead of the GPU, although they are developing an IGP-less version that seemed to have a beneficial effect on notebook performance (as per the article I totally forgot to link to...hurr durr on me)
Edited by Mjolnir - 9/22/11 at 1:58pm
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post #5 of 21
Very interesting but the "Source" link is missing.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TFL Replica View Post
Very interesting but the "Source" link is missing.
Thanks, will fix, brain fart. (Having a job interferes with my OCN posting activities...)
Edited by Mjolnir - 9/22/11 at 2:00pm
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post #7 of 21
I'm beginning to like Lucid, they're innovating quite a lot with stuff that only benefits the consumer more and more.
    
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post #8 of 21
Cool.

But doesn't really matter for those running 120Hz, yeah?
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post #9 of 21
They invented triple buffering!..

Seriously though, Nvidia has had the same kind of tech for frame output smoothing (referenced in the multi-gpu stutter article) for several generations now...

Lucid has never much impressed me... they remind me of the UNLIMITED!!! DETAIL guys. Putting a new marketing spin on an old idea to get funding.
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post #10 of 21
I think they should get there other stuff working first before trying other things.......*cough*hydra*cough*
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