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Old 03-04-2006, 11:32 PM   #1
slantoflight
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Why is software rendering slow?(Mesa, etc.)


I've always wondered about this. With games these days, its all about the graphics card. I was thinking an amusing idea, would'nt it be kick-ass if I could turn a whole computer into graphics card? I wondered in general, why something like this is'nt possible.

I'm aware that software gl is not able communicate directly with the graphics card. But why are'nt high-end cpus able to compensate? The mainboard CPU is still much faster than any GPU. Sure it has to deal with an operating system and all that. I could even understand CPU usage going to %99 percent while the software dumps out all the calculations and api translation to vesa or X or whatever its using for rendering translation. All the possible tasks that can be suspended are, so more of the cpu can be allocated to achieve maybe not bleeding fast frame rates,but atleast playable. Just like the good 'ol quake 1 days. But it just does'nt happen that way. Can anyone with 3d expertise shine some light on the situation?
 
Old 03-04-2006, 11:53 PM   #2
cs-cam
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Quote:
The mainboard CPU is still much faster than any GPU.
Yes and no. There is a big difference between a CPU and a GPU in how they are manufactured which means that a 6600GT running at 501MHz it's considerably quicker at floating-point math than a 3GHz Pentium.
 
Old 03-05-2006, 03:24 PM   #3
xhi
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dont gpus have alot of things onchip for graphics specific stuff such as pixel and vertex shading (as well as others)... i think they even have different instruction sets to better handle graphics related operations...

i guess even though the processing power appears slower on paper, they are specialized for one thing and one thing only and thats graphics.. thats why they are faster..

there are alot of in depth papers on the stuff that makes up a modern video card.. they are good reading even if you dont understand that stuff (i dont thats for sure)..
 
Old 03-05-2006, 07:50 PM   #4
cs-cam
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dont gpus have alot of things onchip for graphics specific stuff such as pixel and vertex shading (as well as others)... i think they even have different instruction sets to better handle graphics related operations...
Yes, the R580 from ATI has 48 shader units! My dual-core Athlon has..uhhh....zero. It has a 512-bit interface between itself and 512MB of DDR3 memory running at 1550MHz. My computer has a 128-bit interface to DDR memory running at 400MHz.

There are monster differences between how the chips work and the hardware they having backing them up. If only ATI had better drivers I'd have one of those cards *drool*... Ahh well the G71 should be released pretty soon and I'm reading a article saying Nvidia is going to lower the prices on their higher-end cards with this release. Fingers crossed it's not rubbish.
 
  


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