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Whats A Stream Processor


dat93
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im trying to learn all the little bits of a graphics card and im trying to find out what a stream processor is. ive looked on google but i cant find anything, atleast i dont think i can find what im looking for.

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Putting it really simple... stream processing is making a bunch of small cores (anywhere between 16 and 800 for GPUs) work together, enabling highly parallel work, which is very well suited for graphic work.

Edited by Zertz

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The way graphics cards used to be designed was that there would be two kinds of cores for two kinds of work. Stream processors meld those two into one processor and because they are instantly reprogrammable (which the driver takes care of not you) the card can dedicate more procs to the more demanding side of the load for the most performance as opposed to the old way of one type sitting idle while the other is working its . off. They are the same as regular CPU cores but they are clocked lower and in much higher numbers, 900 some in the GTX 280 as opposed to 4 in a Q9450(See my next post). Stream processors just do the work more efficiently than CPU's do. And as was stated above, the more the merrier :D

Edited by Geekspeak411

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900 some in the GTX 280
Performance

NVIDIA GTX 280

602 MHz GPU

240 Processing Cores

400 MHz RAMDAC

 

ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series – Key Features

 

* TeraScale Graphics Engine - The new TeraScale graphics engine features over one teraFLOPS, nearly one billion transistors and 800 stream processors so you can enjoy the high resolutions and fast frame rates previously only available with dual-card systems.

 

yeah... the 280 only has 240, the only thing that comes close to 900 is 4870 or if you combine both the 4870x2's then you get 1600 but no single card has 900 stream processors

 

and sorry if I sound like a jerk.

Edited by IVIYTH0S

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yeah... the 280 only has 240, the only thing that comes close to 900 is 4870 or if you combine both the 4870x2's then you get 1600 but no single card has 900 stream processors

 

and sorry if I sound like a jerk.

 

 

Gah, no no. That was my bad! Two different statistics. The GTX 280 has 900 some Gigaflops of processing power, and a quad has 90 some. You are right on THE cores. Sorry I wrote the reply in a hurry and melded two specs into one :blush: i also can't for the life of me spell teh, GAH!

Edited by Geekspeak411

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Gah, no no. That was my bad! Two different statistics. The GTX 280 has 900 some Gigaflops of processing power, and a quad has 90 some. You are right on teh cores. Sorry I wrote the reply in a hurry and melded two specs into one :blush:

It happens, I pretty much ALWAYS have an edit note under my posts because I always have something wrong when i reread them

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yeah, nice oc btw. i am stuck with 3.8 on stock :( i am getting liquid soon but $600 is a lot to shell out... how do you like the gx2? i was between it and my gtx 280.

its hard to say on the GX2 but I HAD to jump on it for $230 (on evga's B-Stock) I think they still have a few if you want to check them out. I haven't OC'd the GX2 yet but I will soon. I'll have to see the comparison between this and the 4870 I'm trying to sell.

 

I'm running a Thermalright 120 Extreme (with two 120mm Scythe Ultra Kazes Push/Pull) which is as close as I can get to water so I'm satisfied. I might try taking the processor up a notch but I'm near the limit.

Edited by IVIYTH0S

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Stream processing is just a term coined for the highly parallel nature of GPUs today. Although the new ATI cards have "800" stream processors they are only able to do floating point operations on 1/5 of those, which gives you 160 full processing units. The other 4 per grouping can't do full floating point math and are restricted to simpler applications.

 

nVidia builds their GPUs with the opposite mindset - they have full capabilities with every processing unit but they have far less of them.

 

 

Both have benefits and drawbacks. With today's games the ATI model seems to be superior but it's very software dependent.

 

 

If any of this is incorrect I apologize, I've had a long day and finished it with more than a few beers. :D

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