Re: Re: [linux-5] Linux Meetup: LUGS AGM

From: Chin Gim L.
Sent on: Thursday, December 31, 2009 3:24 PM
Hi Guys,

One has to experience these things to understand the real situation.

I have a PC with ASUS ATI HD4870 Dark Knight 1 GB running SLED 11 for HPC, with ATI FGLRX drivers. I have many graphics performance and other issues with it.  Compiz does not work properly, and even glxgears shows frame rates that are half that of my Sun workstation with nVidia Quadro FX5600 on SLED 10 SP2, that has an older and slower GPU.  Graphics manipulation (pan, zoom, rotate) in ANSYS finite element analysis application is silky smooth on the Sun nVidia workstation.  On the ATI graphics, the same ANSYS display takes ages to refresh doing the same tasks, it is a very bad experience and performance.  We are talking about a simple rectangular block here, not even some complicated geometry.

I also have an Acer AMD Puma note book with Cross FireX ATI HD3200 + HD3470, running openSUSE 11.1.  I again have graphics related issues, Compiz does not work properly, and I cannot even start a second graphics console login, the system will go black and I have to reset the system.  The open source radeonhd driver is even worse than the ATI driver on it.  glxgears shows how slow the graphics are.

I have learnt my lesson the hard way.  Basically ATI is great only for Windows.  The new releases of ATI GNU/Linux FGLRX drivers have zero performance improvements.  The state of the GNU/Linux drivers now is that the performance and other aspects of the ATI GPUs are severely crippled.

The installation and uninstallation of ATI FGLRX driver even requires a reboot, unlike the nVidia driver.

The new system I am setting up for HPC running SLED 11 has ASUS nVdia Matrix GTX285.  It is pretty good so far.

I have always wondered about the performance of OpenCL on ATI Stream in GNU/Linux, since the ATI drivers are so bad.  We have two AMD Stream cards here but my colleagues have not done things with them yet.  Hopefully I will have an answer next year.


GL

--- On Thu, 31/12/09, chenglim <[address removed]> wrote:

> From: chenglim <[address removed]>
> Subject: Re: Re: [linux-5] Linux Meetup: LUGS AGM
> To: [address removed]
> Date: Thursday, 31 December, 2009, 9:52 AM
> Yes, I agree.
> 
> Everything is relative. 
> A PC cost you 500 dollars. and a PC cost you 12000 dollars.
> The requirement is different, the need is different.
> I will use ATI for cheaper build, but use Nvidia for high
> end build. When we buy a 12000 dollars new toy, I really
> don't want to save the 2000 dollars and later I found
> that it is not compatible with my hardware and my cool new
> application.
> 
> ATI currently has the lead by a large margin in terms of
> performance at
> least until about March/April 2010 and it is believed that
> NVidia's
> Fermi may not live up to expectations. ATI has more energy
> efficient
> silicon (more FLOPS from a smaller die) and their cards are
> cheaper.
> > Nvidi has more than one product. Cool. Sun and Dell
> sell both cheap hardware, tell me why IBM and HP rank top 10
> of fortune 500 and Dell and Sun are around 100? Hardware
> price is a minor bit of your TCO maybe.
> 
> ATI
> has also just released  OpenCL as part of their Stream
> SDK which makes
> OpenCL (standards based GPGPU) available from both vendors.
> Benchmarks
> are putting ATI in the lead.
> > Just released means that less mature? Can ATI support
> all device now? Because according to history of Nvidia, they
> can. I do believe ATI will catch up soon too. But maybe not
> now. So what's to advice other people then?
> 
> Fermi sounds quite cool but it is late, may be
> under-delivered, and is definately going to be a hot power
> hog.
> > Hot? This is why it has a fan or two in the design.
> 
> BTW I have two NVidia GTX285's so I am unbiased :)
> > I own about 200 each for now. So make me more
> unbiased? What's the logic again?
> 
> Happy new year.
> 
> From:
> Michael Clark <[address removed]>
> To:
> [address removed]
> Sent:
> Thursday, 31
>  December[masked]:45:­06
> Subject: Re:
> Re: [linux-5] Linux Meetup: LUGS AGM
> 
> This might change some of your minds about NVidia:
> 
> http://semiaccura...­
> http://semiaccura...­
> http://semiaccura...­
> http://semiaccura...­
> http://semiaccura...­
> 
> ATI currently has the lead by a large margin in terms of
> performance at least until about March/April 2010 and it is
> believed that NVidia's Fermi may not live up to
> expectations. ATI has more energy efficient silicon (more
> FLOPS from a smaller die) and their cards are cheaper.
> 
> ATI has also just released  OpenCL as part of their
> Stream SDK which makes OpenCL (standards based GPGPU)
> available from both vendors. Benchmarks are putting ATI in
> the lead.
> 
> Fermi sounds quite cool but it is late, may be
> under-delivered, and is definately going to be a hot power
> hog.
> 
> BTW I have two NVidia GTX285's so I am unbiased :)
> 
> 
> 
> 
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> This message was sent by chenglim ([address removed])
> from The Singapore Linux
> Meetup Group.
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