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New CUDA 4.0 Release Makes Parallel Programming Easier

Discussion in 'News' started by btarunr, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    And abandon the CUDA community to rot? That is harsh, seeing that there are quite a few people already using CUDA. Supporting and gradually releasing CUDA away is the correct route, imo, but supporting both CUDA and OpenCL at the same time shouldn't hurt anybody, should it?
     
  2. ToTTenTranz

    ToTTenTranz New Member

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    Of course I don't mean firing off every CUDA-related support engineer and suddenly kiling support.
    I meant assisting the same CUDA community into transferring their knowledge to OpenCL instead, and gradually terminate the CUDA brand.


    This new CUDA 4.0 announcement shows they're doing the exact opposite. It shows they're still trying to force a vendor-specific API, while there are already capable and "open" alternatives.
    They're actively trying to cock-block every other GPU maker from doing GPGPU, and their support for OpenCL is just the Plan B.
    That's why I call it "evil".
     
  3. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, the release of CUDA 4.0 gives everybody the confidence that Nvidia is not going to abandon CUDA, and therefore they can continue with their work without worrying about the near future. But assisting the CUDA community to transition to OpenCL is going to be both costly and brings negligible benefits, and as a business you would choose to avoid that. Providing the infrastructure (as in support for OpenCL) for the community to naturally migrate over is good enough. Also, keep in mind that CUDA "came first", in the sense that it saw widespread adoption earlier than OpenCL, so I believe "legacy support" is in order.

    Edit: I do not believe that Nvidia is forcing the adoption of CUDA and cockblocking other GPU maker, because while they have not offered CUDA to the public, Intel has not made x86 a "freeware" either, despite the overwhelming penetration of x86 based "general computers". Only AMD need not pay license to Intel for x86, because of some fancy agreement they had last time, and even VIA pays Intel licensing on a product which should have been "public domain".
     
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  4. Jack Doph

    Jack Doph

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    Awesome.
    This kind of tit-for-tat is exactly why I like TPU.
    One never stops learning about the pros and cons of .

    A question, if I may (as I'm not brand-loyal to any camp - hell, give me Matrox purity anytime):
    why is there such a disparity between the different camps?
    Is it truly because one is classed as a more established platform (free or not), or because one platform has a more established user-base over the other (CUDA vs OpenCL)?
    /me is curious
     
  5. pr0n Inspector

    pr0n Inspector

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    If you love OpenCL so much go join the developers or blow up the Khronos Group.

    It should be pretty obvious that a bunch of bickering vendors naturally produce something inferior. Quit hoping the superior solution to die and actually improve your favorite one.
     
  6. ToTTenTranz

    ToTTenTranz New Member

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    And what exactly do you consider "something inferior" by a "bunch of bickering vendors"?
     
  7. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, its generally the case the TPU members like to support the underdog, and also believes in "righteousness". Its not a bad thing, but sometimes it gets incited into a fanatical "my god is holier than thou" rage, in which case it rots and Mods come in and clean up our mess.

    Well, Nvidia offered CUDA first, and advertised heavily about it (and also provided quite a bit of support). OpenCL came later (ever so slightly later), and since that OpenCL is "open", as in everybody can use it as long as the hardware supports it, regardless or royalty, people viewed it as "the right path", and they are largely right. But as you correctly pointed out, by the time OpenCL became mainstream, the CUDA base has grown to quite a large proportion of GPGPU users, and hence OpenCL is almost to the point being ignored. Hence the community decided to become free adverts for the greater good: supporting OpenCL, and this is where it got ugly. CUDA users still want their support, but OpenCL should be the future. Kudos to Nvidia for supporting both, but people thought Nvidia is still stifling OpenCL. That might be the case I do not know, but for now I am contented with the fact that Nvidia supports OpenCL, regardless of the amount of flame Nvidia is throwing at OpenCL (I have yet to see any).

    We need to have less of these posts:

    If you know something, or want to voice your opinion in a sensible way (even if it is wrong), by all means, do it. But coming in and shouting "blow up Khronos Group" (exagerrated for effects) and things like that should better be kept in GN, I do not wish for this thread to descend to amateurish egg pelting.
     
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  8. Benetanegia

    Benetanegia New Member

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    No, they are not. They are just making CUDA better for those who use CUDA.

    It's not Nvidia's (nor AMD's, nor Intel's, nor Apple's) responsability to make the shift to OpenCL, it's developers responsablitily. It's not their right to do so even, forcing them to spend more money and time into something they don't really need at this point (by stopping to support it). All the people who invested in CUDA (and right now that's a lot of people in the scientific and accounting bussiness to name a few), invested in Nvidia cards too, for obvious reasons* so there's absolutely no need for them to move to an alternative that would cost them more (because of the change) and would have zero benefits, or even hurt their performance.

    Developers will move to OpenCL when and if they want to, which is going to be when that change supposes an advantage to them.

    * In case it's not so obvious, it was the only alternative back then.



    I don't know there but here Voodoo 3 sold much much more than any other cards including the Riva TNT and TNT2. The only thing that the TNT2 was better was 32 bit support and that's all.
    At 16 bit (90%++ of games) the Voodoo3 was a lot faster and back at the time that made it more successful, again, at least here. The Glide mode that was present in every game I owned back then was far superior to the OpenGL or Directx counterparts. Granted, you may call those games old by the time the Voodoo3 launched, since I'm refering to UT and Half-Life...

    http://www.guru3d.com/review/3dfx/voodoo3_3000/index3.html

    The thing is that back at the time I bought a TNT2 because the seller adviced me to do so, but had to return soon after because the drivers sucked (artifacts) and there was some kind of incompatibility or something with my Athlon PC. After returning the card to the store 2 times because we couldn't find the problem, and even bringing my PC there to see if they could fix it**. Nothing worked so they gave me the option to get a Voodoo 3 and I never looked back. It was significantly faster in the games I had (I played mainly UT, Half-Life and DID flight simulators EF2000 and F-22 ADF) and had superb antialiaing which I don't remember the TNT having.


    **it was not a normal store, they were geeks that helped you, an amazing concept for consumers, that apparently failed because they helped you with the best deals you could get and not the best deals for them.


    If they were doing so they wouldn't be the first ones giving out drivers to everybody... even one of the AMD's most mentioned OpenCL application started with Nvidia's OpenCL drivers before they got AMD drivers. Bullet Physics.

    Your own biased perception of how things are (i.e. OpenCL is plan B etc) does not make it true. It is not true, at all, and if you have the smallest proof af that, please you are free to post it. In the meantime the facts point out that you are wrong. Nvidia is the first one releasing OpenCL drivers for every OpenCL version and that let's everybody develop for OpenCL months in advance of what they could do if they had to wait for other's drivers. How releasin OpenCL drivers 3 months earlier than compatiotion is hurting OpenCL in the benefit of CUDA just scapes my comprehension. You would think that if they wanted to slow down OpenCL they would release it after the competition or maybe 1 week before the competition, in order to brag about, but 3 months. No, no.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011
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  9. ToTTenTranz

    ToTTenTranz New Member

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    That is a good summary but it's missing the fact that CUDA is only supported by nVidia cards. -> the MAIN complaint for CUDA in the first place.
    This means only some 46% of discrete desktop cards support it, and an even lesser number of IGPs (and this is obviously going to drop drastically, since nVidia has quit the IGP business).

    And if we talk about mobile SoCs, Tegra 3 is probably the only next-gen mobile GPU that's not OpenCL-capable (they're not even going unified shaders for T3).
    And OpenCL should become BIG in handhelds, in years to come.
     
  10. Cheeseball

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    It's not NVIDIA's responsibility to develop OpenCL as whole, but it is their responsibility to assist with it's growth, since they are part of the Khronos Group. The reason for this is:

    1. As you said, to promote their (NVIDIA) own cards.
    2. Further GPGPU development.

    What people (average users, and even the above average users) don't know is that NVIDIA is backporting features from CUDA into OpenCL development. This is evident in the OpenCL 1.1 man pages, in regards to address space and the built-in functions.

    And why are you guys arguing about Glide and non-related topics in a CUDA thread? :p
     
  11. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, of course CUDA is supported by Nvidia cards only, I don't really see DirectX being supported by Apple, or x86 supported by ARM based chips. Nvidia is willing to implement support for OpenCL means a lot means a lot to me. To me it means that they are not ignoring what the supposed "future standard", but to others it might mean that Nvidia is having a Plan B. CUDA has always been an "added functionality" to me: "get Nvidia card and you can have this awesome API! Don't worry, we still provide OpenCL if you don't like our product".

    Tegra 3 might not be supporting OpenCL, but that's Nvidia's fault: its almost like AMD not supporting x86 implementation and that's just plain stupid rather than being an ass.
     
  12. pr0n Inspector

    pr0n Inspector

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    You probably heard about the hilarious story of OpenGL 3.0(massive plan-reality discrepancy), thanks to the committees in the Khronos Group. Or that in recent years OpenGL is more or less just matching D3D in headline features, which is predictable since major members have vested interests in D3D.
     
  13. Cheeseball

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    Exactly, CUDA is just the "added functionality" bonus. :p They already support OpenCL fully.

    It just so happens that CUDA is the preferred among "the masses", so of course they're going to roll with it since it's popular.

    Again, if you need reasons why it's popular among "the masses":

    1. Open source, as in software, not in hardware.
    2. Dedicated development and support.
    3. Ease of implementation to existing GPGPU applications.
    4. Easy portability between itself and OpenCL.

    To summarize, it's because it works as it should in an efficient manner, not because NVIDIA is helping humanity or some other bullshit.

    History might repeat itself with OpenCL here, where CUDA = DirectX and OpenCL = OpenGL. :wtf:

    All AMD has to do is allow full low-level access to the memory buffer on their cards (not possible as of the HD 6xxx series) and support bitwise and integer functions (Why they don't, I have no idea. Probably has to do with their stream processor implementation.). Intel got it right with Sandy Bridge.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011
  14. Benetanegia

    Benetanegia New Member

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    Because this is related to my posts let me explain that I don't think that Nvidia is trying to help humanity or anything like that. It's that CUDA (which coincidentaly happens to be owned by Nvidia) is being used in apps that do help humanity and because of that we should support it. In the end,

    - Nvidia supports CUDA for the obvious reasons you mentioned.

    - Developers who use CUDA use it for their own reasons, which you already explained.

    - Users. I'm neither Nvidia nor a GPGPU developer so I just explained why I, as a potential user, support it, it's because I find that the apps being made with CUDA (and that I'm sure will be ported to OpenCL as soon as it becomes an equal ecosystem) are very beneficial to humanity and that's something worth supporting.

    I thought I had to make this point clear.
     
  15. Cheeseball

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    Understood, but the first time you wrote it sounded confusing, and it was actually a reply to ToTTenTranz's reply to you. :cool:

    I think we can all agree that PhysX is the evil one here, since it is proprietary and wholly restricted to NVIDIA cards. :mad:
     
  16. JEskandari New Member

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    Well an opensource alternative to windows is Linux why you don't support it
    open source alternative of PhotoShop is Gimp why not support it
    opensource Alternative of DirectX is OpenGL why not support it
    why instead of office don't use open office

    Why because you can't use a program on your video card bash CUDA after all
    do you considered that you are not the target market for this technology ? and
    the target population have the correct tools to run these programs and more
    importantly they don't care if the program is based on open source technology
    they want it to be fast and have the feature they need they are paying money for
    it and expect receive what they paid for it .
    By the way the Irony is that NVIDIA implementation of OpenCL is better than other
    Solutions
     
  17. JEskandari New Member

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    why abandon the superior and support the inferior .
    your argument do not make sense to me .
    cuda must vanish only when it does not have the ability to compete
    with opencl but right now the situation is completely different .
     
  18. Solaris17

    Solaris17 Creator Solaris Utility DVD

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    Hit it on the head fair or not (i take no side) I think its important and required for far more then gaming. CUDA brings innovations in the medical field. Not to mention work done for new levels of effects in movies. Or computational times on large mathematical equations.

    Physx isnt evil thats BS fanboy speak. Thats like saying VTEC is evil because everyone buys a honda for it when almost every other manufacturer has VVTI they just dont market it. Not to mention havok physx is used in far more games then nvidia physx we have all seen the supported games charts. Why are people complaining? Physx ruins nothing. It isnt even used in the majority of games that developers impliment a physx engine in. Are people blind?
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011
  19. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes
     
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  20. Mr McC

    Mr McC

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    I don't use Linux because DirectX is exclusive to Windows and I play games.
    I use Paint.net rather than Gimp.
    I use Abiword rather than Office...

    I dislike proprietary marketing, and everybody should care whether or not something is open source, unless they have a product to sell or feel that a particular company's merchandise deserves blind adulation. I don't mind being dependent on a specific technology, but I do not want to be dependent on a specific corporation, where I can help it.

    CUDA might work and might work well, but the primacy of an open alternative would be better for all of us, from a consumer's point of view. I hope that clarifies my position.
     
  21. Wile E

    Wile E Power User

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    There's nothing wrong with that. That's the entire point of building and selling a product as a business. To offer something your competitors do not at a price consumers are willing to pay. How do you think car makers sell cars? By offering features other car makers don't in one way or another.

    And when something better for developers andend users comes along, CUDA will disappear. OpenCL does not yet qualify as something better.
     
  22. mdm-adph

    mdm-adph New Member

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    Fixed that for you. :p It doesn't matter if it's better -- just that it's promoted heavily and is cross platform. That's how Windows caught on. It was cheap, it was promoted, and it worked on everything. Android's the same way, I guess.

    Even if CUDA is faster at some things, if it only works on one specific type of hardware, it's never going to be as widely used as something cross-platform would be.
     
  23. Wile E

    Wile E Power User

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    In terms of hardware, Windows isn't cross platform either. It doesn't run on PPC, or ARM or anything like that. Only x86 (and x64). CUDA's success depends strictly on adoption by devs and marketing. If software is good enough, people will buy the hardware needed to run it.
     
  24. RejZoR

    RejZoR

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    I think they have too go the unified standard way. Programs also don't care if you run Intel or AMD, they just run. But for GPGPU, you need CUDA for NVIDIA and AMD Stream for AMD. And one another doesn't support competitor's GPU and won't run the code made for the other. In a way, they are both useless because only each camp is hyping and using them. If there was one standard, everyone will be using it rather easily, resulting in loads of apps being available opposed to current state where you find few of them and most of the time none of them is any good really. And if it is, you're in the end forced to use that GPU vendor even if some series in between are crap.
     
  25. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    Alternatively you can code using OpenCL and it runs on both ;)
     

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