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News of the day

  • G.E.N.C.I.: 1068 CPUs & 96 GPUs?
  • AMD: up to 12 cores per CPU!
  • Western Digital's VelociRaptor
  • Intel: price reductions & new CPUs
  • (Updated) DirectX 10.1 : +19% in games?
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     G.E.N.C.I.: 1068 CPUs & 96 GPUs?
      Posted on 21/04/2008 at 22:58 by Nicolas
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    Logo NvidiaThe Grand Équipement National de Calcul Intensif (Genci), a 50% state owned company (the 50% is shared between the CEA, CNRS and universities) and created last year by the French ministry of education plans on using its resources in an optimal way.

    Thus, they have just ordered from Bull a latest generation Novascale, a supercalculator which has 1068 octo core CPUs and at least 48 or up to 96 GPUs. At first, this configuration may appear odd; however, we should keep in mind that a simple GeForce 8400GS can in some cases rival an Intel V8 platform which is based on 2 Xeon X5365 (quad core & 3 GHz). Obviously, this is only true for some types of calculations...

    The exact type of GPU that will be used was not specified but it should be Nvidia’s next flagship model. There are even rumors that calculation precision on floating points will be 64 bits but nothing is too sure. Total power should be roughly 300 Tflops, 192 of which thanks to the GPUs alone.



     AMD: up to 12 cores per CPU!
      Posted on 21/04/2008 at 22:03 by Nicolas - source: Dailytech
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    AMD engineers and its partners recently revealed some very interesting information. They confirm, if this was still necessary, that the race in the number of MHz is now secondary and has largely been supplanted by a race in the number of cores.

    We already knew that « the Montreal » will have 8 cores and we suspected the use of two dies. We now learn of the existence of the« Istanbul », a ‘’native’’ hexa core derived from the ‘’Shanghai’’ and which will be functional before the end of the year. The goal? To rival the « Dunnington », which also contains 6 cores.

    In addition, recent statements from Randy Allen, Corporate vice president of server & workstation division, on a CPU equipped with more than 8 cores prove to be well founded because the firm is working on a "dual die" version of the ’’Istanbul’’ for a total of 12 cores! Memory will be managed on 4 channels versus a maximum of 3 for Intel’s Nehalem.



     Western Digital's VelociRaptor
      Posted on 21/04/2008 at 21:33 by Nicolas
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    Western Digital has officially launched the VelociRaptor which is similar to its predecessor.


    With a rotation speed of 10000 rpm and 16 MB of cache, it’s clearly one of the highest performance SATA-II drives of its generation. Its creator announces a sustained transfer rate of 120 MB /s for a capacity of 300 GB. In terms of sound levels, on average they are 29 dBA in Idle and 36 dBA in rotation.

    The design is original because it involves a 2"1/2 drive that fits into a radiator, the WD Ice-Pack, which in turn fits into a 3"1/2 slot. The advantage of having a drive of this size is notably a reduction in access time: 4.2ms versus 4.6ms on previous Raptors. The Ice-Pack also acts as an enormous heatsink.

    The first models are exclusively destined for Alienware’s ALX which will integrate them at the end of this month. They will be available via other distribution channels starting in mid-May for around 240€ with taxes included.



     Intel: price reductions & new CPUs
      Posted on 21/04/2008 at 20:11 by Nicolas
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    As announced, Intel has given information on price reductions of certain processors and on the arrival of two new models :


    There is no change in the "Extreme" desktop category; the QX9775 remains at $1499, the QX9770 at $1399 and all the others from the QX9650 up until the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 965 stay at $999.

    Prices of the Core 2 Quad Q6x00 drop significantly and we imagine that Intel is looking to unload supplies. The same goes for the Core 2 Duo E6850, even if at $183 it isn't very interesting because for the same price we could buy an E8400 equipped with a Wofldale core and 6 MB of cache. There is also the arrival of the E8300 and especially the E7200.

    Lower down the line, the E4600 and Pentium E2200 and E2180 are now slightly less expensive. This also goes for the Celeron dual core E1200 as required by the arrival of the E1400.



     (Updated) DirectX 10.1 : +19% in games?
      Posted on 21/04/2008 at 13:05 by Nicolas
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    Rage 3D has published an article on Radeon HD 3870 X2 performances in Assassin's Creed, a game optimized for DirectX 10.1. In 1920x1200 with anisotropic filtering 16X and anti-aliasing deactivated or in 4x, gains are far from being negligible.


    With average gains ranging from 9% to 19%, respectively, results speak for themselves. However, we should keep in mind that this involves a single game and the test was carried out with a Core 2 QX9650 set at 3.6 GHz and 8 GB of DDR2-800 by a site known for its sympathy for this manufacturer. Moreover, the quality of anti-aliasing supposedly been improved. In short, it’s promising because it involves an entire game and not a demo, but it’s difficult to say how much it will carry over into practice.

    Update:
    Following the recent hubbub surrounding the performance gains in DirectX 10.1, Ubisoft has just said through one of its developers that it intends to eliminate this rendering via a future patch. The reason? The majority of gains come from the removal of a render pass in this mode. The developer however doesn’t say if this causes a problem for quality or if it’s just an “unfair” optimization. DirectX 10.1 support will make a return later, when it has been reviewed.

    It’s obvious that Nvidia, for whom Assassin's Creed is part of its TWIMTBP program, must have thought it was unfair in seeing the arrival of significant information that points to the interest of this technology. Indeed, the company’s strategy has been to make it look useless as long as possible in order to justify the absence of its support on the GeForce 8 and 9. It’s an omission that we think is partly voluntary on recent chips because its integration would mean giving it credibility when AMD has an entire line adapted to DirectX 10.1.


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