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Wednesday, June 23, 2010 | Permalink

Via Rage3D I found this Nvidia blog post, which I found somewhat amusing. Although after a brief look at the actual paper I give Intel a bit more credit than the Nvidia spin of it. Still, even then, the Intel paper concludes that the previous generation GPU is 2.5x faster on average.

Anyway, I find the GPU vs. CPU war not so interesting, because my prediction is that we still need to have both paradigms around. No model is going to "win", so I don't think Intel needs to be so defensive, nor do I believe in Nvidia's prediction that "the piece of hardware that runs sequential code will shrink to a tiny dot swimming in an ocean of ALUs" (I forgot the exact wording, but something like that). I don't believe in Nvidia's prediction because of Amdahl's law. At least when speaking of games, there will always be some sort of critical path through the game update code where each step needs input from previous steps. So just slapping on more cores will not make things much faster and switching to the Larrabee model for CPUs is likely to make things slower even if you get an order of magnitude more raw throughput power. I believe the model for future CPUs is something like what the PS3 has, with one main CPU and 6 smaller throughput oriented SPUs. Even in the future we will need at least one, but preferably two or three cores optimized for quickly crunching through sequential code. Then a larger number of tiny throughput oriented cores next to it for parallel but fairly independent tasks. Then the GPU for graphics and a number of other embarrasingly parallel tasks. I don't think the GPU and CPU will meet anytime soon, although with more and more programmable GPUs and then stuff like Fusion I could imagine that the GPU and the SPUs might merge at some point, but I'm not convinced of that yet.

[ 11 comments | Last comment by Nuninho1980 (2010-08-04 13:39:03) ]