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Graphics Software Upgrades Hardware

AMD Breaks 1GHz GPU Barrier With Radeon HD 4890 144

MojoKid writes "AMD announced today that they can lay claim to the world's first 1GHz graphics processor with their ATI Radeon HD 4890 GPU. There's been no formal announcement made about what partners will be selling the 1GHz variant, but AMD does note that Asus, Club 3D, Diamond Multimedia, Force3D, GECUBE, Gigabyte, HIS, MSI, Palit Multimedia, PowerColor, SAPPHIRE, XFX and others are all aligning to release higher performance cards." The new card, says AMD, delivers 1.6 TeraFLOPs of compute power.
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AMD Breaks 1GHz GPU Barrier With Radeon HD 4890

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  • Re:AMD CPU too (Score:5, Informative)

    by LoRdTAW ( 99712 ) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @03:10PM (#27954857)

    Digital Broke that with the DEC Alpha (Was it DEC at that time?). Wasn't popular but it was a desktop CPU for high end workstations.

  • by KillerBob ( 217953 ) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @03:21PM (#27955061)

    Heat. Because of the form factor, you can't put a massive heatsink on a graphics card, certainly not the kind that you see on high end desktop CPUs.

    GPUs are also generally a completely different architecture than a CPU... they're usually massively parallel and optimized for working with enormous matrices, whereas a CPU is significantly more linear in its operation, and generally prefers single variables.

  • Re:apples to apples (Score:2, Informative)

    by pshuke ( 845050 ) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @03:30PM (#27955235)
    According to intel [] it's about 0.04.
  • by zolf13 ( 941799 ) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @03:34PM (#27955291)
    Wide vector processing with "800 stream processing units" (or "pipes" or "cores") - it is hard to put 800 cores in one chip and not to boil the silicon.
  • by mikael ( 484 ) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @03:40PM (#27955399)

    You have so much data being churned around. The high end GPU's have 240+ stream processors, compared to a handful for a mobile phone. Then there is the constant punting of video data from the VRAM chips to the LCD screens (width x depth x RGB x bits/channel Hertz. VRAM is like standard RAM memory except there is a special read channel to allow whole rows of memory to be read by the video decoder simultaneously as it is being read/written by the GPU. It would be possible to
    raise the clock frequency, but they would need a larger heatsink. If you visit the overclocking websites, you will see some of the custom water cooling systems that they have. Early supercomputers like Cray used Fluorinert [].

  • Re:1 TF/s is so 1996 (Score:3, Informative)

    by wjh31 ( 1372867 ) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @03:50PM (#27955587) Homepage
    if you're imagining insane numbers of cards for silly TFlops, the 4TFlop nvidea Tesla has a 1U rack form, so you can shove as many of them as you like in a rack
  • Re:Not first ?? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Warlord88 ( 1065794 ) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @03:54PM (#27955655)
    The 1242 MHz speed is the frequency of vertex shaders, not the core speed. Also, 1 GHz is the core speed without overclocking.
  • Re:Ummmm..... (Score:3, Informative)

    by mr_mischief ( 456295 ) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @04:01PM (#27955799) Journal

    How about the fact that it runs each instruction on 800 pieces of data at once? This isn't a 1 GHz one, two, four, or even 16-way chip. It's processing up to 800 pieces of data at once, and its clock for doing that ticks every billionth of a second. You're absolutely right, the clock speed by itself means nothing. The clock speed times the amount of work done per clock does mean something. If you raise either without lowering the other, you raise the overall amount of work the chip can do.

  • And.... (Score:2, Informative)

    by MasseKid ( 1294554 ) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @04:01PM (#27955811)
    And it's still slower than a GTX 285 OC edition. Ghz != Preformance. And Nvidia, stop renaming your cards damn it!
  • Re:AMD CPU too (Score:4, Informative)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <> on Thursday May 14, 2009 @06:46PM (#27958741) Journal

    Actually as a PC repairman I can tell you the "trick" with AMD, and it is this- always buy a generation or two behind. I have sold many ATI and Nvidia cards as well as AMD PCs with ATI chipsets, and as long as you stay a generation or two behind you're good to go. My dual core Kuma with 780V chipset is solid as a rock

    So what I tell my customers is this: If you want to spend top dollar and be on the bleeding edge, go Nvidia. Their drivers will be rock solid even for the card they just released. With AMD/ATI always get a generation or two behind and NEVER upgrade the drivers! Unlike Nvidia whose drivers are pretty painless to upgrade, upgrading to the latest Catalyst drivers usually end up bring nothing but instability and headaches. Now I don't know if this "trick" work with Linux, as I'm a Windows only shop. But I have found in Windows if you follow this rule you'll be good to go and save a few bucks as well. The "bang for the buck" ratio is very good on AMD/ATI which is why I just built my first AMD PC since the old Barton Core. You just have to be careful not to get too close to the bleeding edge with ATI, as out of the box their new drivers always suck.

  • Re:It Was Epic (Score:3, Informative)

    by fbjon ( 692006 ) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @09:22PM (#27960325) Homepage Journal
    I would think history says it's pronounced with a hard 'g', specifically greek history.

Evolution is a million line computer program falling into place by accident.