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Do stream processors matter?

post #1 of 8
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I know the architecture between the GTX 200's and GTX 400's is different. I know that there's differences in the way the GTX 400s display texture vs the GTX 200s.

My biggest observation is the stream cores have been doubled in the GTX 400s. But performance is clearly not showing that change. Even the GFLOPS is nothing near double and seems to be purposely limited.

My question is if I'm not concerned about gaming, more concerned about producing assets for games actually, would an upgrade from a core 216 gtx 260 to say a 448 core gtx 470 show better improvement in GPU-powered rendering programs? Such as octane for example. Does the doubled stream core count translate to double the rendering power? All else being equal. Yes I'm definately confusing how the hardware architecture actually works, but I'm just looking for a straight answer because my step-up time is nearly up.
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post #2 of 8
You Would probably see a diffrence in rendering time, but double steam count doesnt mean to say twice the power, that depends on architecture. for instance, my 4870 has 700 stream processers, but is slower than a gtx280 which has 240 i think.
     
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post #3 of 8
Yeah, 3d apps that render on the GPU rely mainly on the shaders, so in those apps it would be noticeably faster
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post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by FountainDew View Post
I know the architecture between the GTX 200's and GTX 400's is different. I know that there's differences in the way the GTX 400s display texture vs the GTX 200s.

My biggest observation is the stream cores have been doubled in the GTX 400s. But performance is clearly not showing that change. Even the GFLOPS is nothing near double and seems to be purposely limited.

My question is if I'm not concerned about gaming, more concerned about producing assets for games actually, would an upgrade from a core 216 gtx 260 to say a 448 core gtx 470 show better improvement in GPU-powered rendering programs? Such as octane for example. Does the doubled stream core count translate to double the rendering power? All else being equal. Yes I'm definately confusing how the hardware architecture actually works, but I'm just looking for a straight answer because my step-up time is nearly up.
1- You will see a major improvement in GPU-powered rendering programs, but i don't think the performance will be on a 1:2 ratio.
2- Double "stream cores" don't translate in double the power when comparing it to a 260 because it's a different architecture. The GPU is designed in a different way.

Think of it as a CPU: IF you compare a Pentium Duo (2 cores) @ 1.6 with a Core 2 Quad (4 cores) @ 1.6 it doesn't mean that the Pentium Duo will give you half of the performance of a C2Q. It's Because they're different designs/ architecture, But there are technically 2 and 4 Physical cores in each processor respectively.
post #5 of 8
I'm not sure how it works with a 3d modeling program. I suppose it depends how many 'features' you're deploying in your creations that make use of the shader's functionality. For example, I believe particle effects and pixel shading rely heavily on the shaders, and the more of the screen that is involved in showing these effects, the more the shader count and efficiency will benefit you.

Doubling shader-count alone will almost never double overall performance though, because the shader count is highly unlikely to be the sole limiting factor to performance in a graphics card. You also have things like like the efficiencies of the thread handler, the ROP's, the memory bandwidth, the geometry engine (and even the cpu), etc, that all can come into play. Which subsystem acts as the bottleneck can vary on a frame-by-frame basis, basically.
Edited by brettjv - 6/9/10 at 10:16am
    
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post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by alltoasters View Post
You Would probably see a diffrence in rendering time, but double steam count doesnt mean to say twice the power, that depends on architecture. for instance, my 4870 has 700 stream processers, but is slower than a gtx280 which has 240 i think.
You can't compare nvidia processing cores to ati stream processing units.

apples to oranges.
    
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post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmp459 View Post
You can't compare nvidia processing cores to ati stream processing units.

apples to oranges.
Well one can at least understand the differences. They do perform the same tasks.

Say there are 2 kinds, Large and Small.

The large are good for things like cuda, and the small are better and faster at simpler tasks (plus they use less power).

Nvidia has opted for all large, while ATI uses a few large, and a ton of small (which is also why they have many more). It's partly why Nvidia cards fold better than ATI (folding would be a complex task, and better suited for large shaders).

This isn't exactly how it works, but it's the simple version.
    
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post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
hi again, thanks for all the replies, it seems the upgrade would be worth it. I'll be lining up for a gtx 470 now then.
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