Workstation Graphics, FP64, And Unified Addressing
Q. Do you have any ongoing project to optimize drivers or enhanced support for AMD video cards, both workstation class and desktop class, in Adobe/Autodesk software?
A. Specifically for workstation-class graphics, Adobe and Autodesk are a significant focus. They're amongst the biggest DCC packages in the world.
Q. I know that workstation class cards are there for a reason, but will we see any of the W-series limited features to make their way down to the Radeon series?
A. There are examples of workstation features that exist in Radeon: 10-bit color support, double precision compute and more. But, by in large, their feature sets are distinct as dictated by the respective libraries of software run on these products.
Q. The Hawaii XT with its 44 CUs in 4 blocks with 11CUs each is really ugly for a big chip. I have heared, that this is the real physical situation. Is this true, or is the real physical chip with 48 CUs?
A. 4 blocks with 11 CUs each is the configuration of the R9 290X.
Q. GDS with GWS is something lots of programmers/developers are asking about – is it still available?
A. GDS via GWS should still be in the architecture.
Q. Is it true that R9 290X (Hawaii XT) is only 1:8 DP:SP? How come?
A. Yes, the R9 290 and 290X are 1:8 DP. As to "why" I do not know, except to say that these are primarily gaming graphics cards, so it would make sense that the architectural implementations are optimized for these types of workloads.
Q. What is the situation of unified address space for GPU and CPU Memory? AMD says in a few years they’ll give us GPUs with coherent unified address space. Will we see this soon?
A. 290 and 290X support system unified addressing.
Q. What is AMD Red Team?
A. Robert Hallock: #AMDRedTeam! My colleagues Heather, Stella and I came up with the idea to give people a chance to share their GPUs, rigs, favorite games and more. Sometimes people need a "spark" of opportunity, and we hoped that the AMDRedTeam idea for Twitter would give people that chance to share their systems. So far the response has been incredible. If you want to join, Tweet @AMDRadeon and ask to join!
Q. Will Mantle remove or help the CPU bottleneck if I play Mantle-supported games? Would it be worth buying a high-end R9 290 card to pair with my Trinity 4 core CPU due to the draw call increase, or will the CPU still require a big upgrade to get enough out of the card to warrant buying over a 7870?
A. The draw call improvements of Mantle does help alleviate cases where the CPU is the bottleneck. Mantle is very good at parallelization. Beyond that, it's too early to say.