ATI Stream: Finally, CUDA Has Competition

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With these next two tests, I wanted to mix things up a bit. The first chart takes our 22 MB YouTube HD video and mixes it down to 856x480 for the Xbox. Of course, Xbox uses WMV, not MPEG-4, so we shouldn’t observe much in the way of acceleration—and we don’t. With the “Enable hardware encode” box checked, the HD 4890 and Stream manage to shave only 11 seconds from a CPU-only job time of 5 minutes 27 seconds. I’m more inclined to chalk this up to random test fluctuation than anything done by the GPU since I observed 3% less GPU load with the “enable” box checked. With the GTX 280 installed, this box doesn’t even appear, so there’s no chance to get confused about why your non-CUDA-compatible format isn’t being accelerated. Point to Nvidia for better coding.

How about some of those antique digital videos you’ve still got floating around in MPEG-1 format? I grabbed one 86 MB 640x480, a really grungy bit of dogmeat recorded by a pocket camera, and threw it into the YouTube MPEG-4 480x360 profile. Again, CPU-only times are nearly identical. Encoding to MPEG-4, layer 10, we should see decent GPU acceleration times by both cards, but Stream sort of snoozes through this test, offering only a 10% improvement. Meanwhile, CUDA kicks in a 34% boost. Why the sudden change of roles? No idea, but a win is a win.

Score: AMD 2, Nvidia 2.

  • radiowars
    So..... TBH they both work pretty well, I hope that we don't start a whole competition over this.
  • falchard
    Did someone necro an old topic? I think ATI has been talking about ATI Stream for a while. I know atleast a year since FireStream.
  • cl_spdhax1
    arcsoft simhd plugin is currently only enabled for n- cuda graphic cards.
  • Andraxxus
    They're good but hopefully they will manage to improve them more. Competition is good for business.
  • DjEaZy
    ... why just now talk about? I use it sins Catalyst 8.12...
  • IzzyCraft
    Stream is old but not nearly as old and compatible as CUDA I'd get it a year or two more when more capable cards circulate the market and trickle down to the people before i would call it competition.

    Well it's good to see more then just 1 app that supports it.
  • ThisIsMe
    Just for the sake of it, and the fact that many pros would like to know the result, it would be nice to see comparisons like this using nVidia's Quadro cards vs. ATI's FirePro cards.
  • ohim
    why use 185.85 since those drivers are a total wreck

    13 pages with ppl having different problems with that driver
  • I think the second graph on the "Mixed Messages" page isn't the right graph.

    It's the same graph from the following "Heavier Lifting" page instead of a graph for the 298MB VOB file that should be shown?
  • Spanky Deluxe
    Stream and CUDA are likely to go the way of the dodo soon though. OpenCL's where its at. Unfortunately its a tad hard to get programming with it right now since you need to be a registered developer on nVidia's Early Access Program or you have to be a registered developer with Apple's developer program with access to pre-release copies of Snow Leopard.
    Virtually no one will bother using CUDA or Steam after OpenCL's out - why limit yourself to one hardware base after all? It'd be like writing Windows software that only ran on AMD processors and not Intel. Developers will not bother writing for both when they can just use one language that can run on both hardware platforms.