Thursday, November 13th 2008

AMD to Release GPU Acceleration for Applications to run Faster than Ever

December ATI Catalyst Driver Release Automatically Switches on ATI Stream Acceleration in ATI Radeon Graphics Cards Found in Millions of PCs. To Enable Instant Benefit, Users Will Also Be Able to Download Free Avivo Video Converter That Makes High-Definition Video Conversion up to 17x Faster.

AMD today announced that starting next month, the company plans to release for download a free ATI Catalyst driver update that instantly unlocks new ATI Stream acceleration capabilities already built into millions of ATI Radeon graphics cards.

ATI Stream is a set of advanced hardware and software technologies that enable AMD graphics processors (GPU), working in concert with the system’s central processor (CPU), to accelerate applications beyond just graphics. This results in better balanced platforms capable of running demanding computing tasks faster than ever.

ATI Stream-enabled software titles for entertainment, gaming and productivity are being released or are under development by a growing list of independent software vendors (ISVs) including ArcSoft and CyberLink.

To give users immediate benefit from ATI Stream, AMD also plans to release in December a free downloadable version of its ATI Avivo Video Converter utility. This intuitive, easy-to-use application enables transcoding of HD video up to 17 times faster than with the CPU alone, in tests performed using an ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics card.

“ATI Stream is one of the best examples of the power of Fusion, and today’s announcement is the first major step in taking this important new technology mainstream,” said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager, Graphics Products Group, AMD. “For the millions of people that have already purchased an ATI Radeon HD 4000 series graphics card, this is one more way we’re saying thank you and helping them get more out of their investment. For those who haven’t yet, it’s one more reason for them to go online right now and buy one.”

ATI Radeon graphics processors from AMD are already found in millions of PCs around the world, each running the ATI Catalyst software driver. In the past 12 months, the various ATI Catalyst driver packages have been downloaded 48 million times, averaging nearly four million downloads each month.

The next ATI Catalyst release is version 8.12. AMD has begun distributing a beta version to its hardware and software technology partners for testing, with the final version scheduled to be released for download on or around December 10.

Once installed, the driver package automatically turns on the ATI Stream acceleration capabilities within ATI Radeon HD 4000 series graphics cards. This will have the immediate effect of allowing any ATI Stream-enabled application to run faster, with no special effort required by consumers to enable this technology. As always, expert users will have the ability to customize their ATI Catalyst driver install options.

Users can then download and install the free ATI Avivo Video Converter. In tests performed using this utility, AMD was able to convert an hour of video to a portable player format in about 12 minutes. Combined with one of the recent ATI Radeon HD 4000 series graphics card offerings, the ATI Avivo Video Converter helps deliver video conversion at up to twice the speed of competing solutions, at just over half of the suggested retail price.

A growing number of ISVs are also lining up to provide ATI Stream-enabled applications, including ArcSoft, a leading provider of innovative digital imaging technologies and multimedia solutions. The company plans to provide an update in December to its TotalMedia Theatre application that will includes ArcSoft SimHD, a new type of post processing technology that allows consumers to experience close-to-HD viewing of standard definition content thanks to ATI Stream.

Another is CyberLink, an innovative software developer for digital media creation, playback, sharing, and enjoyment applications, has optimized its award-winning video editing software, PowerDirector 7. PowerDirector provides a robust set of features and functionality for capturing, editing and distributing HD video. The updated version, which is scheduled to be released in Q1 2009 will include ATI Stream accelerated video conversion, featuring performance and functionality exceeding that of the Avivo Video Converter.

To ensure easier development of ATI Stream enabled applications capable of running on platforms from multiple vendors, AMD is a member of the Khronos working group defining the OpenCL standard, and is evolving the ATI Stream SDK to be fully OpenCL compliant.

About ATI Stream

ATI Stream is a set of open AMD technologies that allow the hundreds of parallel Stream cores inside AMD GPUs to accelerate general purpose applications, resulting in platforms capable of delivering dramatically high performance-per-watt. The freely distributed, fully open Stream SDK allows programmers to make advanced use of AMD hardware, and helps them to create fast, energy efficient applications on a growing variety of platforms and operating systems. For more information please visit this page.
1. The pre-release version of ATI Avivo Video Converter demonstrates that ATI Stream technology allows video conversion that is faster than ever before. ATI Avivo Video Converter using ATI Stream technology converted an HD MPEG2 video at 1920x1080 resolution @ 24fps running 3600 seconds to an MPEG4 video at 320x240 resolution at 24 fps in 12 minutes, while iTunes 8.0.1 with WinQuickTimeMPEG2 pack converted the same source video to the same output specifications in 3 hours and 23 minutes, demonstrating a 17x speed up. System specifications: Intel Core 2 Duo QX9650 3.0 GHz processor, 6GB of Corsair CM2X1024-8500C5D 1066 MHz memory, Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit with Service Pack 1, ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB. Performance of ATI Avivo Video Converter will vary based on system configuration, ATI Radeon product, source file and output settings used. ArcSoft TotalMedia Theatre will include new functionality not yet seen in the form of ArcSoft SimHD, a new type of post processing technology that allows consumers to experience close-to-HD viewing of standard definition content thanks to ATI Stream technology. Accelerated stream capabilities are dependent on enablement in individual software titles. Not all software is ATI Stream enabled, nor do all ATI Radeon graphics processors provide ATI Stream capabilities.

2. The combination of an ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB graphics card ($246) + ATI Avivo Video Converter using ATI Stream technology (free) compared to the combination of GeForce GTX 280 graphics card ($414) + Badaboom Media Converter 1.0 ($29.99) shows that an HD MPEG2 video at 1920x1080 resolution @ 29.97 fps, 19000 kb/s VBR and MPEG1 Layer2 48000HZ audio that runs 1 minute 31 seconds is converted to an AVC1-MPEG4 video at 1280x720 @ 29.97 fps, 7304 kbps with MPEG4 44100 Hz 160kb/s stereo audio on the AMD solution in 48 seconds, and is converted to an AVC1-MPEG4 video at 1280x720 resolution @ 29.97 fps, 7734kbps with MPEG4 48000Hz 62Kb/s stereo audio on the Nvidia/Badaboom solution in 113 seconds. Prices based on average Newegg.com pricing after mail-in rebates as of October 29, 2008. System specifications: AMD Phenom X4 9950 processor, MSI 790FX K9A2 Platinum motherboard, 2GB of Corsair CM2X1024-8500C5D 1066 MHz memory, Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit with Service Pack 1, Western Digital Raptor WD1500 hard drive, ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB with ATI Catalyst version 8.9 and ATI Video Converter, or GeForce GTX 280 with Badaboom Media Converter 1.0 and CUDA driver 178.08 INT. Performance will vary based on system configuration, ATI Radeon product, source file and output settings used.
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46 Comments on AMD to Release GPU Acceleration for Applications to run Faster than Ever

#1
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Many Thanks to ShadowFold for sending this in.
Posted on Reply
#2
Exavier
if it makes my X2 perform even better..why not? ;)
Posted on Reply
#3

finally ! Today's best news !

10 December seems so far away .
Posted on Edit | Reply
#5
flyin15sec
So Stream is like Cuda? Offloading work on the CPU to the GPU?
Posted on Reply
#6
Castiel
This seems pretty nice to have. Damn 9600GT!
Posted on Reply
#7
lucasweir
thats tight wil it improve gaming at all or no?
Posted on Reply
#8
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: AphexDreamer
Will this work with an HD3870X2???
Everything HD 2000 and upward.
Posted on Reply
#9
AphexDreamer
So this is only for the 4000 Sereis?

I imagine it will makes games that support the enhancement run smother.
Posted on Reply
#10
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: AphexDreamer
So this is only for the 4000 Sereis?
lol like I said, any ATI GPU with stream processors will support this.
Posted on Reply
#11
Steevo
The X1800XT supported this too, but with a different name.



Soon I will be able to convert my high def home movies to small enough to e-mail easily, or host for my parents to download.


Any news on supported formats, or will they support all formats you have codecs for?
Posted on Reply
#13
cool_recep
You know what? I will use this technology for WPA/WPA2... up to 200x faster with 4870 X2 :D

Got it? :D

And just about two days days ago, i was thinking to trade my 4870 X2 with a GTX 280 :D..Hopefully something told me to wait...
Posted on Reply
#14
jbunch07
This is great news. This should really help AMD/ATi. :)
Posted on Reply
#15
Baum
LOL i like the idear to get GPU acceleration for Video coding but this will be the last time ati gets a chance.
They failed with my x1900 and that was pricey so get it working this time!:mad:
Posted on Reply
#16
Darkrealms
I'm confused. Didn't ATI have another name for this a while ago and it was supposed to beat CUDA or is this something smaller?
Posted on Reply
#17
mdm-adph
by: Steevo
The X1800XT supported this too, but with a different name.



Soon I will be able to convert my high def home movies to small enough to e-mail easily, or host for my parents to download.


Any news on supported formats, or will they support all formats you have codecs for?
by: Darkrealms
I'm confused. Didn't ATI have another name for this a while ago and it was supposed to beat CUDA or is this something smaller?
Aye -- coulda swore it was called GPGPU or something. It's why when Nvidia started pushing CUDA I was all like, "wasn't ATI doing this a while ago?"
Posted on Reply
#18
Steevo
They just used the Avivo chip and they coded the software to use the X1K series chips to run the reencoding. I used it all the time, it worked well with most file types. I used it on the fly with FRAPS to encode fullscreen game vidoes.



Nvidia is just advertising something they fell behind in, GPU accelerated apps, as if they are the pioneers of it. ATI had hardware accelerated re-encoding/compression/upscaling, better hardware smoothing for DVD playback, F@H first, and many other things, they just did a poor job of marketing it.
Posted on Reply
#19
WarEagleAU
Bird of Prey
Looks like they changed the name of GPGPU. I cant wait for the release thanks for the info Shadowfold and BTARUNR.
Posted on Reply
#20
suraswami
Does anyone knows Pinnacle version 12 supports this feature or will it be?

I am using damn old Pinnacle 8 SE, it still works good but damn slow and not multi-core compliant. I was thinking of upgrading to the new version.
Posted on Reply
#21
suraswami
by: Steevo

Nvidia is just advertising something they fell behind in, GPU accelerated apps, as if they are the pioneers of it. ATI had hardware accelerated re-encoding/compression/upscaling, better hardware smoothing for DVD playback, F@H first, and many other things, they just did a poor job of marketing it.
AMD/ATI is always like that, bad marketing. Good that I bought a 4850 when I was in a dilemma to try out 9800gt :D
Posted on Reply
#22
Polarman
Seems ATI has more tricks up their sleeves.
Posted on Reply
#24
Mussels
Moderprator
ATI Avivo Video Converter using ATI Stream technology converted an HD MPEG2 video at 1920x1080 resolution @ 24fps running 3600 seconds to an MPEG4 video at 320x240 resolution at 24 fps in 12 minutes, while iTunes 8.0.1 with WinQuickTimeMPEG2 pack converted the same source video to the same output specifications in 3 hours and 23 minutes, demonstrating a 17x speed up.
So, ATI's software is 17x faster than itunes. using different codecs and different software, wow, what a usable benchmark!
i can run up and down my stairs 17x faster than someone on a bicycle can :nutkick:
Posted on Reply
#25
jbunch07
by: Mussels
So, ATI's software is 17x faster than itunes. using different codecs and different software, wow, what a usable benchmark!
i can run up and down my stairs 17x faster than someone on a bicycle can :nutkick:
:roll:

yeah, it's somewhat hard to compare unless they are using same specs...
Posted on Reply
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