Some of you may remember when Folding@Home was still in its infancy, the first GPU client was introduced. Believe it or not that first (and even second) GPU client only supported ATI graphics cards with compatibility for NVIDIAâ€™s CUDA being added much later.
Unfortunately, due to the Brooke programming language used in previous generations of AMD GPUs, they consistently took a back seat to NVIDIAâ€™s CUDA supporting clients. GeForce graphics cards soon became the de facto kings of the Folding world but with the introduction of AMD graphics cores which support OpenCL, things may be about to change.
A few weeks ago, Stanford introduced the new Core 16 Project 11293 work units which are specifically tailored towards OpenCL-supporting AMD graphics cards and are available through the GPU3 V7 Client open beta program. In theory, this new project should represent just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the future of AMDâ€™s OpenCL GPU Folding@Home performance but being supported by a beta client means there are a few small hoops to jump through. As such, the any GPUs prior to the HD 5000 series can't process these new WUs and there is a limitation whereby the AMD video decoder canâ€™t be used alongside this new client.
In this short article, we take this new client and its associated Core 16 project out for a spin while showing some comparative results between past and present WUs. By no means is this meant as an end-all for AMD Folding since the Stanford team is just getting started with OpenCL support but it should give you a good idea about where things are going.
finally something for AMD folders coming.