CUDA-Enabled Apps: Measuring Mainstream GPU Performance

A Quick Q&A

Before we get to the numbers, this seems like a good occasion to pause for a little human dialog. It’s easy to forget that applications are made by real people with real passion and aspirations who really want to help make the world of computing a better place. I was able to throw a few emails back and forth with Ryutaro Sugiyama, one of the two brothers behind LoiLo, Inc.

Tom's Hardware:How did you first get professionally involved in gaming?

Ryutaro Sugiyama: I started studying computer graphics and animation during my university days. My career started off with working for a television company, but I ended up traveling to many different places, still working with the same Visual Jockey platform my brother and I had worked with in school. Computer graphics and visual art installation program creation has always been my hobby. Actually, not much is different compared to what I am currently doing now.  But these tools and skills are what helped me get a job with SEGA as a game designer.

Tom's Hardware: What did you do at SEGA?

Ryutaro Sugiyama: I was chief of game effects and created movies for Sonic.

Tom's Hardware: No wonder Super LoiLoScope looks like it does. But with titles from Windows Movie Maker to Adobe Premiere flooding the market, why does the world need *another* video editor?

Ryutaro Sugiyama: Our target consumers are beginners and those who might have given up on visual editing. Currently, only certain people edit visuals and yet many own a device for taking digital pictures: cellular phones, digital cameras, and so on. The reality is that anyone can take pictures, but not everyone can use the usual software editing tools. Current software is often complicated, performance is poor, and there are many limitations. We think about what people want to do next, and our UI is created accordingly to make things happen even before being told to do so.

We can do this at speeds like never before by blending Visual Jockey with our GPGPU engine—we call it “ecou engine.” This is what makes our UI possible.

Tom's Hardware: As I understand it, Visual Jockey is a real-time mixing and effects platform for video, like Adobe After Effects without the “After.” So you took this platform and blended it with gaming. Is this common in the software world, or is it a leap that you made on your own?

Ryutaro Sugiyama: That's our unique style. As a professional video creator, I’ve always felt the need for a place to freely put materials, like an infinite workspace plane. LoiLoScope gives you that. That was the beginning of our interface.

Tom's Hardware: What’s so wrong about conventional editing and what have you done to remedy it?

Ryutaro Sugiyama: Non-rendering editing! LoiLoScope can edit movies without rendering. Usually you have to wait for rendering after editing movies to see the results, but with LoiLoScope you can play and edit video at the same time. In other words, you can concentrate on being creative without interruption. It’s a much more enjoyable experience.

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  • SpadeM
    The 8800GS or with the new name 9600GSO goes for 60$ and delivers 96 stream processors. Would it be correct to assume that it would perform betwen the 9600 GT and 9800 GTX you reviewed?

    Other then that great article, been waiting for it since we got a sneak preview from Chris last week.
    1
  • curnel_D
    And I'll never take Nvidia marketing seriously until they either stop singing about CUDA being the holy grail of computing, or this changes: "Aside from Folding@home and SETI@home, every single application on Nvidia’s consumer CUDA list involves video editing and/or transcoding."
    6
  • Anonymous
    As more software will use CUDA, we will not only see a great boost in performance for e.g. video performance, but for parallel programing in general. This sky rocket this business into a new age!
    0
  • curnel_D
    l0bd0nAs more software will use CUDA, we will not only see a great boost in performance for e.g. video performance, but for parallel programing in general. This sky rocket this business into a new age!

    Honestly, I dont think a proprietary language will do this. If anything, it's likely to be GPGPU's in general, run by Open Computing Language.(OpenCL)
    4
  • one-shot
    Are we both thinking about the same "Pirates 2"? Or am I missing something...
    4
  • IzzyCraft
    Who knows it's just a clip he used he could be naming it anything for the hell of it.

    CUDA transcoding is very nice to someone that does H.264 transcoding at a high profile and lacks a 300+ dollar cpu who would spend hours transcoding a dvd on high profile settings.

    Else from that CUDA acceleration has just been more of a feature nothing like a main event. Although can easly be the main attraction to someone that does a good flow of H.264 trasncoding/encoding.

    Encoding/transcoding in h.264 high profile can easily make someone who is very content with their cpu and it's power become sad very quickly when they see the est time for their 30 min clip or something.
    2
  • Anonymous
    I'm using CoreAVC since support was added for CUDA h264 decoding. I kinda feel stupid for buying a high end CPU (at the time) since playing all videos, no matter the resolution or bit-rate, leaves the CPU at near-idle usage.
    Vid card: 8600GTS
    CPU: E6700
    0
  • IzzyCraft
    Well you lucked in considering not all of the geforce 8 series supports H.264 decoding etc.
    0
  • ohim
    they should remove Adobe CS4 suite from there since Cuda transcoding is only posible with nvidia CX videocards not with normal gaming cards wich supports cuda.
    2
  • adbat
    CUDA means Miracle in my language :-) I it will do those
    The sad thing is that ATI does not truly compete in CUDA department and there is not standard for it.
    -2
  • JeanLuc
    I was only really interested in the Badaboom benchmarks and I was fairly impressed but I seem to remember the last time you guys done an article based on GPU accelerated apps (Cuda vs Stream) Badaboom suffered from output quality issues something that hasn't been mentioned in this article. It's all very well a 9800GTX being able to encode HD video content in half the time if the final product is no good.
    0
  • cangelini
    Jean,

    Actually, I don't believe we've done a comparison between the two. However, I have read that comparison at other sites, and it's actually ATI's Stream app that has the quality issues. Version two of the software is on the way, and it purportedly fixes the quality issues (though it still isn't demonstrating much GPU scaling, from what I've seen thus far).
    1
  • ohim
    cangeliniJean,Actually, I don't believe we've done a comparison between the two. However, I have read that comparison at other sites, and it's actually ATI's Stream app that has the quality issues. Version two of the software is on the way, and it purportedly fixes the quality issues (though it still isn't demonstrating much GPU scaling, from what I've seen thus far).
    yeah but chose your words carefouly since readers could be misslead on this one :) the quality of the transcoding is related to the aplication used not to the computing technology like cuda or stream.
    -1
  • Anonymous
    Cangelini, Badaboom definitely has lower quality output compared to the newest x264 builds. I'd definitely like to take advantage of my 9600 GT, but not unless I can use it with Handbrake or some other app on my own terms (NOT BASELINE OR MAIN PROFILE.)
    0
  • stlunatic
    I can haz chezberger?

    ATI

    CUDA

    CONA
    -8
  • randomizer
    SpadeMThe 8800GS or with the new name 9600GSO goes for 60$ and delivers 96 stream processors.

    The 9600GSO has 2 versions (ignoring VRAM variations), one with only 48 SPs (essentially a castrated G94, not G92).
    1
  • Anonymous
    There is a plugin for people who do audio engineering/recording/mixing/mastering from this guy:

    http://www.nilsschneider.de

    It runs on CUDA, but TBH, it has not manifested itself as anything special just yet, it's more a "proof of concept". However, as someone who's been doing that kind of thing for years, any quad-core ever made is good enough for real-time audio work, so there's not much point in CUDA acceleration.
    0
  • jgoette
    Measuing? Do you not even have spellcheck now?
    -5
  • Anonymous
    I enjoyed the article, and just like in the dual-core versus quad core debate, there remains few applications that can fully exploit CUDA.

    By the way, I have quick correction. The author writes, "...that can leverage parallelism in a way that jives with CUDA’s architecture." The correct word is "jibe" not "jive."
    0
  • 1raflo
    CUDA is mostly about hype. Nothing really else.
    -2