Monday, February 23rd 2015

AMD Seeks New GPU Driver Developers for CPU Optimization

AMD put up a new Linkedin job post, looking for a new engineer that can better optimize graphics drivers for CPUs. AMD graphics drivers are known in the developer community to be rather CPU-heavy compared to NVIDIA's drivers. The company changed that perception to some extent with the development of its own Mantle 3D API, which is essentially a CPU-optimization exercise disguised as new technology. Sensing that not every developer is willing to implement Mantle, the company is looking to optimize its drivers to be CPU-efficient across other more industry-standard APIs. If you have the chops, and you're willing to work out of Boxborough, MA or Sunnyvale, CA., find the posting here.
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32 Comments on AMD Seeks New GPU Driver Developers for CPU Optimization

#1
NC37
Well thats nice, only took them what...a decade and a few years to realize their drivers are bloatware? Hell that was an ATI problem too. lol...well hopefully before the 300 series launches they'll nail it.

With nVidia a ways off from 1000 series, might be good to finally have one less knock against Radeons to give me a reason to try them again.
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#2
Sony Xperia S
Good. They need it outside Mantle which introduces quite some software support constraints.

But if they are successful with it, then maybe all products will look better in all applications.

But what does "CPU-heavy" mean? That AMD cards show lower scores in lower resolutions or that the CPU is used too much? :confused:
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#3
HumanSmoke
Sony Xperia S said:
But what does "CPU-heavy" mean? That AMD cards show lower scores in lower resolutions or that the CPU is used too much? :confused:
Driver overhead taking a bigger toll in performance as the CPU processing power decreases - esp. in relation to Nvidia's driver. Most review systems are centred around a high performance CPU, but a budget/mainstream graphics card will in all likelihood also be paired with a budget/mainstream processor. This scaling thus goes unnoticed on many enthusiast sites.
There are a few reviews with relative scaling. Eurogamer has a reasonably good overview.
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#4
RejZoR
I dion't see any of the "heavier on CPU" with my Radeon cards. And my CPU isn't brand new or super powerful that would compensate this with raw power.
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#5
NC37
RejZoR said:
I dion't see any of the "heavier on CPU" with my Radeon cards. And my CPU isn't brand new or super powerful that would compensate this with raw power.
Its been a long tired old story with Radeons. Every time I've ever used them, their drivers just suck in comparison to NV. Course I haven't used one since the 3870. It improved a little back then but memory and CPU usage wouldn't lie. I had an 8800GTS at the time too so I tested them both.

Before that, 9700 Pro years back and even with ATI, the drivers were blech.

Then you had the period where they could never get Crossfire to work right and it scaled really poorly. Took years before AMD caught up in multi GPU and managed to scale as well as NV SLI.

I know it sounds discouraging but I'd still consider another Radeon. Just AMD has more hurdles to get over before getting my money. Honestly, neither company has wowed me much since Fermi. Both have been rebadging far too much. But NV has started to earn some ire from me for wreaking the x60 cards. Don't like this...charge premium for 04 chips then release the 10s only to counter AMD. They keep on purposely holding back the 10s and getting premiums off the 04s.
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#6
Mussels
Moderprator
some made a thread about this on TPU not long ago, basically AMD cards use more CPU power to get the same FPS in various titles.


It's not all titles, and it usually doesn't matter because most gamers have enough CPU power, and instead lack GPU power.

The problem shows up more with people gaming on budget gamers with something like an i3 or APU, where the nvidia systems *can* get a decent performance lead, especially in CPU intensive titles.
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#7
R-T-B
Ironically, my benchmark (admittedly very flawed) hinted AMD has LESS CPU usage than nvidia. This was generally attributed to nvidia being smarter with the CPU though, with technologies like Shadercache.
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#8
Mussels
Moderprator
R-T-B said:
Ironically, my benchmark (admittedly very flawed) hinted AMD has LESS CPU usage than nvidia. This was generally attributed to nvidia being smarter with the CPU though, with technologies like Shadercache.
It definitely varies by title. It may simply come down to Nvidia having more titles optimised in its favour.
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#9
Sony Xperia S
NC37 said:
IBefore that, 9700 Pro years back and even with ATI, the drivers were blech.
You are too much exaggerating. And you are kind of liars.

Nvidia drivers are negligibly better touched but to claim that AMD drivers are "blech" is stupid.
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#10
alwayssts
Have they hired John Mautari away from Raptr yet (or does he already do driver work in this area)?

Any time stuff like this comes up, I always feel compelled to tell AMD they owe him a job.
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#11
lZKoce
Since they are on the subject, I highly hope they will not only optimize the CPU-usage, but redesign the UI as a whole. It is one of the main things that has put me off AMD GPU. It may sound stupid to some, but when I right-click my nVidia control panel I actually understand what does what and with a few clicks I make myself clear. Radeon on the other hand...oh boy...I need like 5 min to get to "turn Vsync off", and it's not even called vsync, but vsync-something. I just can't take it, so annyoing for me. I really hope they put some serious effort into the layout of their drivers. The "new" intel one's are just as bad.
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#12
Mussels
Moderprator
lZKoce said:
Since they are on the subject, I highly hope they will not only optimize the CPU-usage, but redesign the UI as a whole. It is one of the main things that has put me off AMD GPU. It may sound stupid to some, but when I right-click my nVidia control panel I actually understand what does what and with a few clicks I make myself clear. Radeon on the other hand...oh boy...I need like 5 min to get to "turn Vsync off", and it's not even called vsync, but vsync-something. I just can't take it, so annyoing for me. I really hope they put some serious effort into the layout of their drivers. The "new" intel one's are just as bad.
i actually find the modern AMD software to be quite simple to use. make sure its in advanced mode, and everythings fairly simple to use.

Having issues because the names are different is fairly obvious - you think they could copy nvidias layout and naming scheme without nvidia crying about it and trying to sue?
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#13
lZKoce
Mussels said:
Having issues because the names are different is fairly obvious - you think they could copy nvidias layout and naming scheme without nvidia crying about it and trying to sue?
I really don't know. I've always thought it is a technical language that is available to all manifacturers. But anything's possible. After Canndy Crush wanted patent on the this combo of words. I might have to reconsdier my undesrstanding of the situation.
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#14
FrustratedGarrett
HumanSmoke said:
Driver overhead taking a bigger toll in performance as the CPU processing power decreases - esp. in relation to Nvidia's driver. Most review systems are centred around a high performance CPU, but a budget/mainstream graphics card will in all likelihood also be paired with a budget/mainstream processor. This scaling thus goes unnoticed on many enthusiast sites.
There are a few reviews with relative scaling. Eurogamer has a reasonably good overview.

Where did you get these numbers from? Can you provide us with a link? From what I've seen from the latest benchmarks on TPU, The R9 290 is as fast in most games as the GTX970, and even slightly faster in games where gameworks isn't used.
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#15
Mussels
Moderprator
FrustratedGarrett said:
Where did you get these numbers from? Can you provide us with a link? From what I've seen from the latest benchmarks on TPU, The R9 290 is as fast in most games as the GTX970, and even slightly faster in games where gameworks isn't used.
he's not talking about how fast it is, but how much CPU power it needs.
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#16
GhostRyder
lZKoce said:
Since they are on the subject, I highly hope they will not only optimize the CPU-usage, but redesign the UI as a whole. It is one of the main things that has put me off AMD GPU. It may sound stupid to some, but when I right-click my nVidia control panel I actually understand what does what and with a few clicks I make myself clear. Radeon on the other hand...oh boy...I need like 5 min to get to "turn Vsync off", and it's not even called vsync, but vsync-something. I just can't take it, so annyoing for me. I really hope they put some serious effort into the layout of their drivers. The "new" intel one's are just as bad.
I don't see that, having to use both regularly I prefer the AMD UI over the NVidia if I were choosing. Though personally both work fine enough and I can find whatever I need within a minute of using them.
Mussels said:
i actually find the modern AMD software to be quite simple to use. make sure its in advanced mode, and everythings fairly simple to use.

Having issues because the names are different is fairly obvious - you think they could copy nvidias layout and naming scheme without nvidia crying about it and trying to sue?
I am with you, though I will say the names are a bit odd in some areas and I do not like a few of the locations for some settings mostly because I feel they can be considered "Hidden" almost (I am mostly referring to the monitor settings like scaling and the vsync area of settings) unless you know where they are.

Well the location for this work is not in Austin :(
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#17
RejZoR
Mussels said:
i actually find the modern AMD software to be quite simple to use. make sure its in advanced mode, and everythings fairly simple to use.

Having issues because the names are different is fairly obvious - you think they could copy nvidias layout and naming scheme without nvidia crying about it and trying to sue?
I frankly don't like NVIDIA control panel at all. It's clumsy and badly organized. It's really bad these days and I wish they'd stick with NVMax interface design. That 3rd party app was freaking brilliant when I owned NVIDIA cards back in those days.

And they both suck (AMD and NVIDIA) when it comes to tray icon and tray controls. Why is it so freaking hard to give users quick direct controls for FSAA, AF, Transparency AA and MLAA/FXAA filtering options? Stuff that you fiddle most often and it's digged inside freaking 5 submenus. Fucking retarded.
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#18
FrustratedGarrett
Mussels said:
he's not talking about how fast it is, but how much CPU power it needs.
Correct, but in what games does this CPU bottlenecking occur? I think that some games that are "The Way It's Meant to be Played" tend to perform considerably worse on AMD's cards. Crysis 3 does that
Other games such as the Stalker games, Alens vs Predators, Dirt, etc. are more CPU bound on Nvidia cards from what I've seen.
I'd like to see a thorough review of CPU performance with both AMD and Nvidia cards.
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#19
Hitman_Actual
I said it back when Mantle was announced and I'm saying it again now. Mantle will flop.
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#20
Primey_
NC37 said:
Well thats nice, only took them what...a decade and a few years to realize their drivers are bloatware?
That's not what this article is about
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#21
HumanSmoke
FrustratedGarrett said:
Where did you get these numbers from? Can you provide us with a link?
I have already provided the link. The word "Eurogamer" (in light blue) is the link to the jpeg shown immediately below it.
FrustratedGarrett said:
Correct, but in what games does this CPU bottlenecking occur?
The Eurogamer review link will tell you that the games tested are: BF4, Crysis 3, AC:U, Far Cry 4, COD:AW, Ryse, Shadow of Mordor, Tomb Raider, and Metro:LL Redux.
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#22
Joss
lZKoce said:
Since they are on the subject, I highly hope they will not only optimize the CPU-usage, but redesign the UI as a whole. It is one of the main things that has put me off AMD GPU.
Agree.
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#23
arbiter
Mussels said:
It definitely varies by title. It may simply come down to Nvidia having more titles optimised in its favour.
I think part of it as well besides the market share numbers why, nvidia has a team dedicated for driver optimization so that could play a nice part.

Hitman_Actual said:
I said it back when Mantle was announced and I'm saying it again now. Mantle will flop.
Best chance AMD had with mantle was up til MS announced ship date for Dx12. Since then its been on a Death clock and since still haven't released an SDK for it which is already 2 months past due from when they said. Its Not looking good for any future mantle development on game side. I know there is games that claim they are working with it, but wonder how many are gonna stay with it now?

HumanSmoke said:
The Eurogamer review link will tell you that the games tested are: BF4, Crysis 3, AC:U, Far Cry 4, COD:AW, Ryse, Shadow of Mordor, Tomb Raider, and Metro:LL Redux.
Could toss Starcraft2 in to that that is known to very CPU heavy.
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#24
Dieinafire
Intel with Nvidia is the way it is meant to be played
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#25
Fx
Mussels said:
some made a thread about this on TPU not long ago, basically AMD cards use more CPU power to get the same FPS in various titles.


It's not all titles, and it usually doesn't matter because most gamers have enough CPU power, and instead lack GPU power.

The problem shows up more with people gaming on budget gamers with something like an i3 or APU, where the nvidia systems *can* get a decent performance lead, especially in CPU intensive titles.
+1
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