Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

NVIDIA graphics drivers to go multithreaded

Filed under
Software

techreport.com spoke recently with Ben de Waal, NVIDIA's Vice President of GPU software, and he revealed that NVIDIA has plans to produce multithreaded ForceWare graphics drivers for its GeForce graphics products.

Multithreading in the video driver should allow performance increases when running 3D games and applications on dual-core CPUs and multiprocessor PCs. De Waal estimated that dual-core processors could see performance boosts somewhere between five and 30% with these drivers.

Most imminent on the horizon right now is ForceWare release 75, which will bring a number of improvements for SLI performance and 64-bit Windows, among other things, but release 75 will not be multithreaded. The next major iteration of the driver, release 80, is slated to bring support for multiple threads. We may not see this version for a few months; NVIDIA hasn't given an exact timetable for the completion of release 80.

Out of curiosity, I asked de Waal why NVIDIA's drivers don't already take advantage of a second CPU. After all, the driver is a separate task from the application calling it, and Hyper-Threaded and SMP systems are rather common. He explained that drivers in Windows normally run synchronously with the applications making API calls, so that they must return an answer before the API call is complete. On top of that, Windows drivers run in kernel mode, so the OS isn't particularly amenable to multithreaded drivers. NVIDIA has apparently been working on multithreaded drivers for some time now, and they've found a way to fudge around the OS limitations.

De Waal cited several opportunities for driver performance gains with multithreading. Among them: vertex processing. He noted that NVIDIA's drivers currently do load balancing for vertex processing, offloading some work to the CPU when the GPU is busy. This sort of vertex processing load could be spun off into a separate thread and processed in parallel.

Some of the driver's other functions don't lend themselves so readily to parallel threading, so NVIDIA will use a combination of fully parallel threads and linear pipelining. We've seen the benefits of linear pipelining in our LAME audio encoding tests; this technique uses a simple buffering scheme to split work between two threads without creating the synchronization headaches of more parallel threading techniques.

Despite the apparent gains offered by multithreading, de Waal expressed some skepticism about the prospects for thread-level parallelism for CPUs. He was concerned that multithreaded games could blunt the impact of multithreaded graphics drivers, among other things.

Source.

More in Tux Machines

Ubuntu: New Users, Unity Remix, 18.04 LTS News

  • How to Get Started With the Ubuntu Linux Distro
    The Linux operating system has evolved from a niche audience to widespread popularity since its creation in the mid 1990s, and with good reason. Once upon a time, that installation process was a challenge, even for those who had plenty of experience with such tasks. The modern day Linux, however, has come a very long way. To that end, the installation of most Linux distributions is about as easy as installing an application. If you can install Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop, you can install Linux. Here, we’ll walk you through the process of installing Ubuntu Linux 17.04, which is widely considered one of the most user-friendly distributions. (A distribution is a variation of Linux, and there are hundreds and hundreds to choose from.)
  • An ‘Ubuntu Unity Remix’ Might Be on the Way…
    A new Ubuntu flavor that uses the Unity 7 desktop by default is under discussion. The plans have already won backing from a former Unity developer.
  • Ubuntu News: Get Firefox Quantum Update Now; Ubuntu 18.04 New Icon Theme Confirmed
    Earlier this week, Mozilla earned big praises in the tech world for launching its next-generation Firefox Quantum 57.0 web browser. The browser claims to be faster and better than market leader Google Chrome. Now, Firefox Quantum is available for all supported Ubuntu versions from the official repositories. The Firefox Quantum Update is also now available.
  • New Icon Theme Confirmed for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
    ‘Suru’ is (apparently) going to be the default icon theme in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. That’s Suru, the rebooted community icon theme and not Suru, the Canonical-created icon theme that shipped on the Ubuntu Phone (and was created by Matthieu James, who recently left Canonical).

OnePlus 5T Launched

  • OnePlus 5T Keeps the Headphone Jack, Introduces Face Unlock and Parallel Apps
    Five months after it launched its OnePlus 5 flagship Android smartphone, OnePlus unveiled today its successor, the OnePlus 5T, running the latest Android 8.0 (Oreo) mobile OS. OnePlus held a live event today in New York City to tell us all about the new features it implemented in the OnePlus 5T, and they don't disappoint as the smartphone features a gorgeous and bright 6.0-inches Optic AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with multitouch, a 1080x2160 pixels resolution, 18:9 ratio, and approximately 402 PPI density. The design has been changed a bit as well for OnePlus 5T, which is made of anodized aluminum.
  • OnePlus 5T Launched: Comes With Bigger Screen, Better Dual Camera, And Face Unlock
    Whenever costly phones like iPhone X or Google Pixel 2 are bashed (here and here) and their alternatives are discussed, OnePlus is always mentioned. In the past few years, the company has amassed a fan base that has found the concept of “Never Settle” impressive.
  •  

Fedora 28 and Fedora 27

  • Fedora 28 Hopes To Improve Linux Laptop Battery Life
    Red Hat's Hans de Goede is spearheading an effort to improve the Fedora battery life of laptops -- and should conserve power too for desktops running Fedora Workstation -- for the current Fedora 28 cycle.
  • Fedora 27 Atomic Host is available on multiple architectures
    The Fedora 27 Atomic Host now supports multiple architectures! Along with the x86_64 architecture, Atomic Host is also available on 64-bit ARM (aarch64) and PowerPC Little Endian (ppc64le). Both aarch64 and ppc64le architectures receive Atomic OSTree updates in the same way x86_64 does.

today's howtos