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Stream processors

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May 19, 2010 8:31:31 AM

I have been comparing different cards between nvidia and ati, and there has been a point of confusion for me. I've noticed that many ati cards in the same price range as nvidia cards seem to have many, many more Stream processing units.

For example, I was looking at the specs for the geforce 9800 gtx+, and it has 128 stream processors.

Then, looking at the ati radeon 4850, (which is somewhat similarily priced) it has 800 stream processors.

Wouldn't this make all of the ati cards better than nvidia cards, or is there just something I'm not understanding with this?

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

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May 19, 2010 8:36:23 AM

lol, nvidia cards do not have "stream processor", their version is called "CUDA Core" however 1 CUDA Core does NOT = 1 Stream Processor

you shouldnt read too much into this, this is just a unit of measurement used by nvidia and ati to give you a general idea of the performance of the card. you should look at reviews of the card you are interested and compare their real-world performance, paper specs are pointless
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a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
May 19, 2010 8:39:08 AM

Search, this question had been asked many times, and answered many times.

If search doesn't work for you, then try google.

It's pretty simple 'not all SPUs are made the same, clocked the same, act the same, nor counted the same'.
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a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
May 19, 2010 8:45:28 AM

arterius2 said:
lol, nvidia cards do not have "stream processor", their version is called "CUDA Core" however 1 CUDA Core does NOT = 1 Stream Processor


Yeah it is, or more precisely a 'streaming processor', look up the explanation of CUDA core from nVidia or in their presentations and most will have the following line : "the number of streaming processor cores
(subsequently referred to as CUDA cores)".
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May 19, 2010 8:47:07 AM

Ok, well I have been reading misinforming articles then. Thanks for the input.
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May 19, 2010 8:55:34 AM

TheGreatGrapeApe said:
Yeah it is, or more precisely a 'streaming processor', look up the explanation of CUDA core from nVidia or in their presentations and most will have the following line : "the number of streaming processor cores
(subsequently referred to as CUDA cores)".


yes agree, but what i mean is, 1 CUDA core does not = the performance of 1 ATI "Stream Processor"
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a b U Graphics card
May 19, 2010 3:45:34 PM

codet74 said:
I have been comparing different cards between nvidia and ati, and there has been a point of confusion for me. I've noticed that many ati cards in the same price range as nvidia cards seem to have many, many more Stream processing units.

For example, I was looking at the specs for the geforce 9800 gtx+, and it has 128 stream processors.

Then, looking at the ati radeon 4850, (which is somewhat similarily priced) it has 800 stream processors.

Wouldn't this make all of the ati cards better than nvidia cards, or is there just something I'm not understanding with this?

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

The number of stream processors are useful for comparison of an ATI model to another ATI model but not between ATI & nVIdia. For GPU cards from the same manufacturer, the more stream processors, the more powerful it is. Of course the clockspeed also needs to be considered.
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May 18, 2011 4:59:20 AM

1 cuda core is equal to exactly 5 stream processors so (1 cuda core=5 alu stream processor) 800 stream processors mean 160 cuda cores even thos nvidia 9800 has less cuda cores like 128 i think it still outperforms the 800 stream processors because cuda is a better architecture its way better at using the hardware and the power, stream processing has lots of untapped power they need a better design or a better software for sure
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a c 130 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
May 18, 2011 2:04:19 PM

Please check the dates before you reply, this thread was started before a Cuda Core even existed. A 9800 has exactly 0 Cuda Cores.

Mactronix :) 
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a c 216 U Graphics card
a c 80 Î Nvidia
May 18, 2011 2:11:42 PM

thegameon said:
1 cuda core is equal to exactly 5 stream processors so (1 cuda core=5 alu stream processor) 800 stream processors mean 160 cuda cores even thos nvidia 9800 has less cuda cores like 128 i think it still outperforms the 800 stream processors because cuda is a better architecture its way better at using the hardware and the power, stream processing has lots of untapped power they need a better design or a better software for sure


Let's just say that this is obviously not right either. There are a lot of ways you can look at this and you can scew it how you want but consider transistor count. A 580 (and 570) have over 4 billion transistors to create their "superior" stream processors, while AMD has 2.6 billion stream processors to make their 6970 (and 6950). Is the 580 50% faster than a 6970? No, it's not. Does that mean that AMD's architecture is better? Let's just leave that for AMD and Nvidia to decide and just get what performs well for us.
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a c 216 U Graphics card
a c 80 Î Nvidia
May 18, 2011 2:13:44 PM

mactronix said:
Please check the dates before you reply, this thread was started before a Cuda Core even existed. A 9800 has exactly 0 Cuda Cores.

Mactronix :) 


Even after you had me check, the date looked right, until I saw the year.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
a c 171 Î Nvidia
May 18, 2011 5:19:58 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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