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[dvHW] ATI R700 graphics card pictured - Page 7

post #61 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by CuriouslyHigh View Post
I am so excited. It's such a wonderful time to be a enthusiast.
Agreed. My enthusiast game playing calms way down in the summer but since I plan on jumping up to one of these 4000 series cards before I go to college, I love seeing all the info about these.

It's a great time to be an enthusiast without 700 dollars to throw around every generation step
    
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post #62 of 72
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Originally Posted by Brutuz View Post
The thing is though, thanks to the bridge chip, 8 GPU's looks like 4 GPUs to the OS, the bridge chip gets Two GPU's and works the CF through the Hardware for them, then to get QuadFire with two HD4870x2's, it will look like two GPU's to the OS, BIOS, etc, even though its four.


Its the opposite to how HT on the P4's works, kinda.

Instead of it being one core, with HT seen as two to the OS, its two GPU's, seen as one to the OS, the chip does all the communioncations between the two GPUs, then the third/Forth GPU is using the normal CF connection.



I wouldn't be suprised if ATI is testing Octofire in its labs on Vista now.
me neither, nor would i be if it was implemented on the "5870X2", so to say.
post #63 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brutuz View Post
The thing is though, thanks to the bridge chip, 8 GPU's looks like 4 GPUs to the OS, the bridge chip gets Two GPU's and works the CF through the Hardware for them, then to get QuadFire with two HD4870x2's, it will look like two GPU's to the OS, BIOS, etc, even though its four.


Its the opposite to how HT on the P4's works, kinda.

Instead of it being one core, with HT seen as two to the OS, its two GPU's, seen as one to the OS, the chip does all the communioncations between the two GPUs, then the third/Forth GPU is using the normal CF connection.



I wouldn't be suprised if ATI is testing Octofire in its labs on Vista now.
maybe the R800 will be 5870 x4?
    
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post #64 of 72
Unimpressive (looking) tbh.
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post #65 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brutuz View Post
The thing is though, thanks to the bridge chip, 8 GPU's looks like 4 GPUs to the OS, the bridge chip gets Two GPU's and works the CF through the Hardware for them, then to get QuadFire with two HD4870x2's, it will look like two GPU's to the OS, BIOS, etc, even though its four.
Although this does sound nice, I'm not convinced that this is really an ideal configuration at this time. The way CrossFire currently works (as well as SLI) is using Alternate Frame Rendering. AFR is a very driver dependant way of implementing multi-GPU rendering. What happens is that the graphics engine of a game will send Frame A to the driver to be rendered. Knowing it has 2 GPUs available, it dispatches Frame A to be rendered on GPU0, but meanwhile tells the game that the frame has completed rendering so that it sends Frame B, which is then redirected to GPU1. Essentially you have the next two frames being rendered independently at the same time. This is the reason that some people experience "microstuttering" because Frames A&B finish rendering very close together, but Frames B&C are farther apart. So you would have something like this:
Frame A <10MS> Frame B <30MS> Frame C <10MS> Frame D <30MS> Frame E, and so on.

I don't think there would be an easy way to implement this in hardware, nor do I think there's a practical reason for doing so. The reason I say this is because the only advantage a hardware AFR implementation would have is transparency to the driver, so it would allow more GPUs. However when you add greater numbers of GPUs to AFR mode, frames syncing with actual in game events begins to become an issue since it is essentially "lying" to the graphics engine about when a frame has been rendered. The result is an improportionate difference between the framerate increase and the actual perceived performance benefit.

Now if they really did want to do a multiGPU setup entirely in hardware, the quick and easy way would be to split the frame, have one GPU render one half and the other render the other half, put it back together, and send it along the pipeline. This is also not without its issues, however. In situations where one half the screen is significantly more complex than another (like perhaps if the top half of a scene was mostly sky and the bottom was populated with trees and characters), the performance avantage is going to be very minimal compared to a single card because you're still left with one GPU doing the complex stuff. If ATI really wants to focus on scaling (and I think they do), they're going to have to start working on alternatives to AFR, and this is likely going to mean developing a way to load-balance split-frame rendering so that each GPU finishes its half of the frame at the same time. I'd like to think that R700/X2 is delayed due to drivers because they're working on a more balanced SFR mode, but the information they've provided so far doesn't say anything one way or the other. However, even if they are working on it now in software, I think seeing a hardware implementation is still far enough away that it wouldn't be in range of the next seies. That being said, nobody outside of ATI really knows how long they could have been working on this so there's really no point in guessing at how far away we are from seeing this.
Edited by darkcloud89 - 6/21/08 at 11:09am
post #66 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowman View Post
But if they did the MCM/shared memory thing and made two GPUs appear as one to the end user.. Possible.

I guess the single CF connector is the death to those rumors.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brutuz View Post
The thing is though, thanks to the bridge chip, 8 GPU's looks like 4 GPUs to the OS, the bridge chip gets Two GPU's and works the CF through the Hardware for them, then to get QuadFire with two HD4870x2's, it will look like two GPU's to the OS, BIOS, etc, even though its four.

Its the opposite to how HT on the P4's works, kinda.

Instead of it being one core, with HT seen as two to the OS, its two GPU's, seen as one to the OS, the chip does all the communioncations between the two GPUs, then the third/Forth GPU is using the normal CF connection.

I wouldn't be suprised if ATI is testing Octofire in its labs on Vista now.
GPU scaling in Vista is limited to 4 GPUs. There is no octofire on Vista, it can't be done. R700 will still be dependent on CF support in games EVEN IF YOU ONLY HAVE ONE R700!!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xombie View Post
Unimpressive (looking) tbh.
R700 beats the GTX 280 for 2/3rds the cost, if you don't like it, you can get the fudge out!
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkcloud89 View Post
Although this does sound nice, I'm not convinced that this is really an ideal configuration at this time. The way CrossFire currently works (as well as SLI) is using Alternate Frame Rendering. AFR is a very driver dependant way of implementing multi-GPU rendering. What happens is that the graphics engine of a game will send Frame A to the driver to be rendered. Knowing it has 2 GPUs available, it dispatches Frame A to be rendered on GPU0, but meanwhile tells the game that the frame has completed rendering so that it sends Frame B, which is then redirected to GPU1. Essentially you have the next two frames being rendered independently at the same time. This is the reason that some people experience "microstuttering" because Frames A&B finish rendering very close together, but Frames B&C are farther apart. So you would have something like this:
Frame A <10MS> Frame B <30MS> Frame C <10MS> Frame D <30MS> Frame E, and so on.
I don't think there would be an easy way to implement this in hardware, nor do I think there's a practical reason for doing so. The reason I say this is because the only advantage a hardware AFR implementation would have is transparency to the driver, so it would allow more GPUs. However when you add greater numbers of GPUs to AFR mode, frames syncing with actual in game events begins to become an issue since it is essentially "lying" to the graphics engine about when a frame has been rendered. The result is an improportionate difference between the framerate increase and the actual perceived performance benefit.

Now if they really did want to do a multiGPU setup entirely in hardware, the quick and easy way would be to split the frame, have one GPU render one half and the other render the other half, put it back together, and send it along the pipeline. This is also not without its issues, however. In situations where one half the screen is significantly more complex than another (like perhaps if the top half of a scene was mostly sky and the bottom was populated with trees and characters), the performance avantage is going to be very minimal compared to a single card because you're still left with one GPU doing the complex stuff. If ATI really wants to focus on scaling (and I think they do), they're going to have to start working on alternatives to AFR, and this is likely going to mean developing a way to load-balance split-frame rendering so that each GPU finishes its half of the frame at the same time. I'd like to think that R700/X2 is delayed due to drivers because they're working on a more balanced SFR mode, but the information they've provided so far doesn't say anything one way or the other. However, even if they are working on it now in software, I think seeing a hardware implementation is still far enough away that it wouldn't be in range of the next seies. That being said, nobody outside of ATI really knows how long they could have been working on this so there's really no point in guessing at how far away we are from seeing this.
CFX doesn't use AFR. CFX splits the screen into portions defined by how fast each GPU is. SLI and CFX may have the same end result, but they are implemented very differently.
post #67 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by RussianGrimmReaper View Post
GPU scaling in Vista is limited to 4 GPUs. There is no octofire on Vista, it can't be done. R700 will still be dependent on CF support in games EVEN IF YOU ONLY HAVE ONE R700!!!!

R700 beats the GTX 280 for 2/3rds the cost, if you don't like it, you can get the fudge out!

CFX doesn't use AFR. CFX splits the screen into portions defined by how fast each GPU is. SLI and CFX may have the same end result, but they are implemented very differently.
Haha I think he meant it wasn't good looking. I dont think he meant performance wise. If he did mean performance wise the I agree with you.
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post #68 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisB17 View Post
Haha I think he meant it wasn't good looking. I dont think he meant performance wise. If he did mean performance wise the I agree with you.
I assumed performance since he has NVidia hardware
post #69 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by RussianGrimmReaper View Post
CFX doesn't use AFR. CFX splits the screen into portions defined by how fast each GPU is. SLI and CFX may have the same end result, but they are implemented very differently.
Quote:
Q&A with Catalyst lead Terry Makedon

PCPER: What type of algorithm does CFX use for breaking up GPU work? Is it AFR/SFR? Some combo?

AMD: Always AFR.
Source

The original CrossFire actually had support for SFR and SuperTiling in addition to AFR. For whatever reason, SuperTiling and SFR were removed with the debut of CrossFireX. As to why they removed this capability, I don't know. If you read my post, what I am actually suggesting that they need to do is exactly what you said CFX does now so I'm not sure as to why you reacted the way you did, as if I was somehow flaming ATI for using AFR.
Edited by darkcloud89 - 6/21/08 at 4:55pm
post #70 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkcloud89 View Post
Source

The original CrossFire actually had support for SFR and SuperTiling in addition to AFR. For whatever reason, SuperTiling and SFR were removed with the debut of CrossFireX. As to why they removed this capability, I don't know. If you read my post, what I am actually suggesting that they need to do is exactly what you said CFX does now so I'm not sure as to why you reacted the way you did, as if I was somehow flaming ATI for using AFR.
I never read that Q&A! Thank you for the information, I really appreciate you correcting me. There must be some kind of SFR on R700, otherwise I can't imagine how they would go about scaling something like that.
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