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AMD Releases Open-Source R600/700 3D Code

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  • energyman> 'normal' digital tv is SD anyway

    Wrong. You have no clue what you are talking about.

    Many broadcasts are HD, so to watch it you have to decode HD.
    If your display can't do HD you have to scale it down, so even
    more work for the CPU, until someone gets the Xv stuff working

    energyman> what about a decoder card?

    Decoder card? What are you talking about, some expansion card
    that has hardware mpeg decoding, that can handle full bitrate HD,
    and has FLOSS device drivers for *BSD, Plan-9, Linux, OpenSolaris,
    OS-X, etc. ? And magically adds a free expansion slot to your computer?
    And not just any expansion slot, but one with enough bandwidth to
    handle decoded HD (PCIe x2 or faster) and ship it over to the GPU.
    Yes, where do we get one of these magical decoder cards?

    energyman> you can spent the few bucks more for one with hardware
    energyman> decoding, or on a better cpu.

    A better cpu is more than a few bucks. Quite a few more since it
    really means a whole new computer.

    energyman> dvd that is mpeg2 at 11mbit/sec. The same as digital tv.

    Wrong again. DVD is 720x480. ATSC is up to 19.3 Mbps and up to


    • no, I know exactly what I am talking about.
      Almost all digital content HERE is SD.

      Yes, there is some hd content - however since most tv sets still can't do it, it is sent in a way to make downsizing simple.

      I have an analog tv card - no load for my cpu
      I have a digital/analog dvb-t/analog usb stick - no load for my cpu.

      and standard sd digital tv has the same rate as dvd. That is correct. Start learning to read.


      • Looks like everybody is using this thread to push their wish list. So I'll put in mine too

        1: Fast and stable 2D EXA acceleration for R600/R700.
        2: Tear-Free Xv acceleration for R600/R700
        3: 3D-Acceleration for R600/R700

        I think this is in line with the development path for the radeonhd driver, and sure hope that the developers are not letting themselves be influenced by the ad infinitum demands by a vocal minority for features that can easily be handled by a 50 euro CPU.
        Last edited by monraaf; 01-07-2009, 09:14 PM.


        • > Almost all digital content HERE is SD.

          You don't explain where "HERE" is.

          I'm talking about ATSC in the United States.

          Many ATSC broadcasts in the US are HD (720p or 1080i)
          and can be up to 19.3 Mbps. To watch them live you must
          be able to decode this in real time, and if done in
          a CPU it takes a LOT of CPU.

          You keep talking about SD. I'm talking about HD
          broadcasts. HD takes a LOT more CPU to decode than
          SD does.

          The solution is for the GPU to support XvMC.


          • Dieter, making mpeg2 decoding a priority on the open drivers simply does not make sense with the current situation. Fast, tear-free 2d and Xv, power management, support for KMS and RDR are simply much more important in day to day use.

            The few (*) people who wish to watch ATSC broadcasts on their linux boxes can get by with the catalyst drivers. Hopefully, this will also allow the dust to settle around the competing decode acceleration specs and avoid wasting the (already strained) developer resources.

            Edit: (*) Few, because most people will probably use an external decoder hooked to their tv. Really, how many have CPUs that won't decode 720p mpeg2 these days anyway? Any recent CPU, bar Atoms (which don't use AMD cards!) should be able to do this, Semprons included.
            Last edited by BlackStar; 01-07-2009, 09:41 PM.


            • You can use a converter box on any analog card, like the pvr-350, and voila you get a sd mpeg-2 copy of just about any broadcast here in the good ole US of A. Oh and did I mention that you can play it back on as low as a good ole sempron 3100 underclocked at 800 MHZ? Even my be-2300 underclocked to 1ghz can easily handle 1080p mpeg-2 streams aorund here no problemo. MPEG is easy. AVC on the other hand...


              • This is getting a little ridiculous. You guys are making it sound like people are going to die in some national emergency just because they can't watch their broadcast news in HD on a 5 year old linux computer. That's really the best argument you can come up with? Seriously now, how many people:
                1. Have their fastest computer be one from 5 years ago.
                2. Use Linux.
                3. Don't own a single TV.
                4. Don't have the means to correct this themselves.

                No one really NEEDS XvMC any more than anyone NEEDS 3D support. It's not some basic human right that everyone is entitled to. If it's really that important you, spend the $20 to get a card which supports what you want, or better yet just get a cheap TV.

                The truth is, there are 2 large areas of use that the drivers should be helping out with that nearly everyone uses. 3D support and video. Both have loud minority populations - apparently the video guys want XvMC, and the 3D minority wants to play demanding games. Both have much, much, much larger populations that would be happy with just basic desktop compositing support and x264 decoding. I certainly hope that the developers choose to spend their time focusing on areas which will help the majority of users first, and then move on to the lesser used features later. I'm pretty sure that's going to happen.

                XvMC support would be nice, but I would consider it more of a power saver than a performance feature. I imagine it could be helpful for people who play DVD's on their laptops/netbooks.
                Last edited by smitty3268; 01-07-2009, 11:55 PM.


                • H264 acc IS needed. Of course you can buy cpus that can decode even 1080p material (720p should be possible even on cheap ones) but why should Linux users need to buy a much faster cpu than Win users just because of missing driver features? In many other cases Linux tools do not run not slower than on Win - due to missing virus scan they start even faster. VDPAU works pretty well (except that you have to disable composite to get rid of tearing) and ATI needs to show something similar soon. Right now you can only tell ppl to buy those GF8+ cards or onboard solutions for watching H264. You need to compile a bit but then you have got very low cpu usage...


                  • This is getting a little ridiculous. You guys are making it sound like people are going to die in some national emergency just because they can't watch their broadcast news in HD on a 5 year old linux computer. That's really the best argument you can come up with?
                    Well said!

                    H264 acc IS needed.
                    Exactly, and in fact it's needed much more than mpeg2 acceleration (XvMC). Problem is, we need 3d and Xv and a suitable API before H264 can be accelerated in the open drivers. We also need power management, because watching a video with your GPU howling is no fun.

                    Not joking about the last part, either: my severely underclocked 4850 card consumes ~65W with RadeonHD vs ~30W with Catalyst when idle. This translates to a fan speed of ~4000RPMs (intolerable) vs ~2000RPMs (barely tolerable). (Yes, I'm going to add a big bad piece of copper and silence it, but the difference is significant.)


                    • no, people want 3D perfornance first. As shown here:


                      so all that crying about video decoding is just a vocal minority - like always.
                      Oh, really? OK, let's have a look at the numbers YOU quoted, then:

                      OpenGL performance             17.3 %
                      Video playback/acceleration    15.1 %
                      Licensing/open source          11.5 %
                      2D performance                 10.8 %
                      Image quality                  10.3 %
                      Syspend/hibernate               9.7 %
                      Stability                       9.4 %
                      Ease of installation/maint.     8.1 %
                      Display-related features        4.8 %
                      Multi GPU rendering             2.3 %
                      Now, apart from the obvious fact that anybody with a first degree in finger counting could acknowledge, one could also argue that the answers given to 'Image quality' are more related to the video playback business than to 3D performance.

                      In the same lines seen in some posts in this thread, I could say that efforts to improve 3D performance are a waste of time given the scarcity of linux games and the absolute no need for a compositing desktop. Of course, there would be an army of people including gamers, professional and academic users of 3D graphics software and linux enthusiast that wouldn't be very happy.

                      I don't know what's the hard part in understanding that decoding HD MPEG-2 puts quite a stress on the CPU, and that having the hardware we bought to do it would be, uhm, reasonable. The _technical_ questions related to the convenience of implementing this now or doing it within a unified API encompassing MPEG-4 standards are valid and solid. Arguments based on what one would personally like to see are not.

                      PS. On the other hand, you guys in the states may have some extra time to lobby for this:
                      Last edited by yotambien; 01-08-2009, 09:44 PM.


                      • you do know that 2d is dead, right? That today is everything is done in the 3d hardware of a card, right? That 3d performance is important to 2d performance and features, right?

                        no, you don't.


                        • smitty3268> You guys are making it sound like people are going to
                          smitty3268> die in some national emergency just because they can't
                          smitty3268> watch their broadcast news

                          You seem to think this is far fetched. Stranger things happen
                          every day, heck, every minute. Large sections of the US have had
                          record setting severe weather the last few weeks. Highways closed,
                          trains canceled, flights canceled, grocery store shelves empty,
                          power outages, medical facilities closed, the list goes on, and on,
                          and on...

                          smitty3268> No one really NEEDS XvMC

                          I need it. I need mpeg2 accel and I need it now. I am not alone.

                          Some of us understand the difference between need and want.
                          I would *like* support for other codecs, but that can wait.

                          smitty3268> Don't own a single TV.

                          I don't see what the marital status of my TV has to do with this.
                          If I convince my TV to get a divorce will that help?

                          What matters is that most existing TVs only have a NTSC tuner.
                          ATSC tuners have only been mandatory for a year, and some stores
                          were caught selling NTSC-only TVs past the deadline. Big name
                          stores that should know better. So lots of people have NTSC-only TVs,
                          even people that bought one very recently. BTW, TVs can last for
                          decades, they really need to have the ATSC tuner mandate in place
                          for at least 10 years, preferably 15 years or more before shutting
                          down the NTSC broadcasts. Maybe someone will develop a decent
                          demodulator by then.

                          I have looked into the CECBs and big surprise the programmers
                          were sloppy and they crash. Do you think they are open source
                          so that we can fix the bugs?

                          I have looked into other hardware solutions and they have similar
                          problems. To have any hope of getting something that works it
                          has to be FLOSS so that the bugs can be fixed.


                          • Quote:
                            Originally Posted by popper
                            i dont know if it (core/nvcuvid) will be usable on linux X86 as yet though.
                            bridgman: The nvcuvid library that everything else builds on is Windows only AFAIK.
                            im not so sure, see:

                            BTW are ATI/AMD at CES? go chat with BetaBoy perhaps, he hints he's talking to the Gfx vendors about HW assisted decoding so there may or NOT be a potential use in the near term for a CORE PLAYER...


                            • That link seems to be talking about adding CUDA itself, not the nvcuvid library. CUDA is available on Linux (as is Stream), but AFAIK it's the nvcuvid library which provides access to the decoder hardware and that seems to be Windows only so far. I

                              n the future obviously anything is possible.

                              AMD is at CES but I'm off ice fishing for the weekend


                              • fishing for ice
                                is that one of those (vocal) minority sports

                                i may go and ask BB if its nvcuvid library or full CUDA on linux and clarify, but he's not one for fast turn around and someones got to mention the Core Encoder that didnt appear in 2008 and see what comes back....

                                BTW,if any reader joins doom9 to try and encurage the devs to look at and contribute to any linux ATI HW assist potential theres a 5 or is it 7 day turn around i forget,before you can post so do it now.

                                BTW am i to assume if Betaboy or the other devs there want to get access to the Stream and AVD docs for any apps they write,they stand a better chance than the average open dev getting them and being passed to an internal ATi dev for errata help/advice ?, i may put that to them too if so...

                                it might be nice if Dark Shikari ,x264 developer could be convinced to add something ATI HW assist related, he didnt like the NV coding options apparenty...but i dont know the details.
                                Last edited by popper; 01-09-2009, 05:51 AM.