Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Office 2010 to Make Itself Faster With Your GPU

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 60 comments

Now you can justify getting Crossfire for work.

Office 2010 will be hitting next month and with it will come GPU acceleration of your productivity software. While we won't be seeing HDR effects in your Word processor, Office 2010 will harness some of your GPU to make the graphical effects less intensive on the CPU.

AMD blogged about this very topic yesterday, pointing out the system requirements of Office 2010 lists this: Use of graphics hardware acceleration requires DirectX 9.0c compatible graphics card with 64 MB or higher video memory.

With that, you can expect the following whiz-bang hotness from Office 2010:

  • Transform images into compelling, vibrant visuals using new and improved picture editing features such as color saturation and temperature, brightness and contrast, and advanced cropping and background removal tools, along with artistic filters such as blur, paintbrush, and watercolor.
  • New slide transitions and animation effects that look similar to graphics you’d see on TV.
  • Dozens of additional SmartArt layouts to create many types of graphics such as organization charts, lists, and picture diagrams.
  • The ability to turn presentations into high-quality videos with narration to share with virtually anyone through e-mail, via the Web, or on DVD.
  • Embed and edit video files directly in PowerPoint 2010. Easily trim your video to show only relevant sections and apply a variety of video styles and effects—such as reflections, bevels, and 3-D rotation

While the new effects may not be groundbreaking, any time that the system can offload some of the work from the CPU onto the GPU (if it's better for the job) is a good thing.

Display 60 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 18 Hide
    Bolbi , May 19, 2010 12:28 PM
    TunaSodaAs long as we can disable it

    Um, why? It's not like you're going to need that GPU for anything that can't spare a little processing power at the the same time that you're putting together a presentation.
  • 16 Hide
    apache_lives , May 19, 2010 12:51 PM
    are we going to see benchmarks of nvidia and ati's latest cards comparing performance? LOL
  • 15 Hide
    Godfail , May 19, 2010 1:17 PM
    shin0bi272Or you can keep your version of office that you already have and buy an SSD "It is the same price" - Ron White


    Or you can keep your current drive and buy some drugs and hookers.
Other Comments
  • 3 Hide
    joytech22 , May 19, 2010 12:11 PM
    Well i don't normally use Word for graphical presentations but i guess it's good for anybody looking for a nice speedup when you have a bunch of things in the doc.
  • -1 Hide
    shin0bi272 , May 19, 2010 12:15 PM
    Or you can keep your version of office that you already have and buy an SSD "It is the same price" - Ron White
  • 5 Hide
    Jarmo , May 19, 2010 12:27 PM
    Sheesh, I remember when 486 made office blazing fast. Things just keep on improving.
  • 18 Hide
    Bolbi , May 19, 2010 12:28 PM
    TunaSodaAs long as we can disable it

    Um, why? It's not like you're going to need that GPU for anything that can't spare a little processing power at the the same time that you're putting together a presentation.
  • 3 Hide
    killerclick , May 19, 2010 12:33 PM
    I'm guessing this will be useless for now. Still good that they're trying.
  • 4 Hide
    figgus , May 19, 2010 12:42 PM
    Is it just me, or does it look like they are trying to square off with Adobe? Half that feature list seems to be a new market segment for Office.

    EDIT: Not sure why I got a thumbs down, but at what point did MS start dealing with graphic editing tools more sophisticated than paint? Admittedly, we still use 2k3 where I work, but there is no real editing of images in there. Mostly resizing and whatnot just to jam it into a PowerPoint. Traditionally, most graphic work has been Adobe's turf..
  • 16 Hide
    apache_lives , May 19, 2010 12:51 PM
    are we going to see benchmarks of nvidia and ati's latest cards comparing performance? LOL
  • 6 Hide
    scott_madison1 , May 19, 2010 12:53 PM
    As we get into the future you're going to see many more applications starting to use the gpu when they can. Get used to it, it's a nice feature!
  • 6 Hide
    jitpublisher , May 19, 2010 1:01 PM
    It's pretty obvious some of you don't use Microsoft Office in an office or professional environment. I am already thinking of ways I can jazz up my next presentation. They should have been implementing some kind of acceleration years ago.
  • 15 Hide
    Godfail , May 19, 2010 1:17 PM
    shin0bi272Or you can keep your version of office that you already have and buy an SSD "It is the same price" - Ron White


    Or you can keep your current drive and buy some drugs and hookers.
  • 6 Hide
    jhansonxi , May 19, 2010 1:28 PM
    joytech22Well i don't normally use Word for graphical presentations but i guess it's good for anybody looking for a nice speedup when you have a bunch of things in the doc.
    Are you kidding? Since when does a word processor need GPU acceleration? Is Office that inefficient? I can see MAYBE needing GPU number-crunching in a HUGE spreadsheet but if you're doing that kind of analysis then it's probably the wrong application for the job.
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , May 19, 2010 1:33 PM
    Now useless douches from Marketing can run their retarded PowerPoint transitions at TWICE the speed!
  • 4 Hide
    saaiello , May 19, 2010 1:34 PM
    jhansonxiAre you kidding? Since when does a word processor need GPU acceleration? Is Office that inefficient? I can see MAYBE needing GPU number-crunching in a HUGE spreadsheet but if you're doing that kind of analysis then it's probably the wrong application for the job.


    The acceleration they are talking about is certain video and picture rendering that used to be all done with the CPU they decided to start accessing you GPU's power. Now how much will this speed it up probably nothing noticeable on anything with a core 2 processor and up.

    It really just sounds to me like they are trying to find a reason to make people think they need to upgrade to office 2010 when in reality not much has changed.
  • 0 Hide
    feeddagoat , May 19, 2010 1:45 PM
    Ill believe it when I see it. When I use office I use it to prepare a presentation, do a report, produce graphs and tables, show me where in the last 10 or so years that office has needed more power from dual core or GPU acceleration. Its just more marketing gimmiks to try and get you to drop a stupid amount of money on something you don't need. Since office "changed" I've jumped ship to open office due to lectures doing documents in Docx which olderversions didn't support. Plus office only has two installs and it throws out random formatting errors between older versions. I don't see the point in spashing £70+ on software when open office IMO is better and free.
  • 3 Hide
    Godfail , May 19, 2010 2:14 PM
    SAAIELLOThe acceleration they are talking about is certain video and picture rendering that used to be all done with the CPU they decided to start accessing you GPU's power. Now how much will this speed it up probably nothing noticeable on anything with a core 2 processor and up.It really just sounds to me like they are trying to find a reason to make people think they need to upgrade to office 2010 when in reality not much has changed.


    How much REALLY changes between versions of Office? Aesthetically, 2010 is an upgrade. There are a lot of new tools that could make it worthwhile, the new printing menus for one. But you know, many enterprise customers can upgrade this for free as they pay year to year licensing.
  • 1 Hide
    theuerkorn , May 19, 2010 2:30 PM
    Quote:
    ... any time that the system can offload some of the work from the CPU onto the GPU (if it's better for the job) is a good thing.

    While I get your point, it's obviously about balance and Office is unlikely to put the same strain on a system as your average game would. I mean, what's the point of GPU if the CPU sits idle. Of course, described new features (especially video editing) are very demanding applications which welcome the GPU support.
  • 4 Hide
    annymmo , May 19, 2010 3:38 PM

    You people really need to think clearly.

    Using a dedicated, specialized processor that can finish work 1000 (not exaggerated) times faster or 1000 times more work in the same time.
    While offloading a bunch of work from the main processor, is a very good thing. It's a much bigger improvement then that ribbon UI thing ever will be, ribbon is introduced in MS Office 2007.

    Haven't you noticed the new stuff: animations, effects.
    Most of those things just ARE NOT POSSIBLE on Cpu's.

    There is also something called DirectWrite for rendering characters, text with GPU.
    Probably also useful for word processors don't you think.
    MS Office should make every visible, visual thing GPU-rendered/accelerated.

    This can make MS Office very fast, responsive with large workloads.

    This should have been done a long time ago.
    From an engineering standpoint it's much more efficient.
  • -2 Hide
    figgus , May 19, 2010 3:51 PM
    annymmoYou people really need to think clearly. Using a dedicated, specialized processor that can finish work 1000 (not exaggerated) times faster or 1000 times more work in the same time. While offloading a bunch of work from the main processor, is a very good thing. It's a much bigger improvement then that ribbon UI thing ever will be, ribbon is introduced in MS Office 2007. Haven't you noticed the new stuff: animations, effects. Most of those things just ARE NOT POSSIBLE on Cpu's. There is also something called DirectWrite for rendering characters, text with GPU. Probably also useful for word processors don't you think. MS Office should make every visible, visual thing GPU-rendered/accelerated. This can make MS Office very fast, responsive with large workloads. This should have been done a long time ago. From an engineering standpoint it's much more efficient.


    And when you send this new jazzed up document to a client with a traditional business PC they can't open it properly.

    It might be more efficient from an engineering standpoint, but from an interoperability IT standpoint it is blazingly stupid.
  • 4 Hide
    sbnathanson , May 19, 2010 4:00 PM
    Oh great, now all new GPU reviews or announcements are going to have the obligatory comment: "Yeah, but can it accellerate Office 2010?"
Display more comments