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Gallium3D's Softpipe Driver Now Runs Faster

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  • Gallium3D's Softpipe Driver Now Runs Faster

    Phoronix: Gallium3D's Softpipe Driver Now Runs Faster

    Keith Whitwell has gone ahead today and merged the softpipe-opt branch of Mesa into the master Mesa branch, which will eventually work its way into Mesa 7.7. The softpipe-opt branch brings performance optimizations to the "softpipe" driver of Gallium3D...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=NzU1Mg

  • #2
    SMP support? that would be nice.

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    • #3
      When is gallium going to replace the old mesa/3d drivers?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by patstew View Post
        When is gallium going to replace the old mesa/3d drivers?
        In a distant future populated by robots arguing with each other which API is the best for accelerating holografic video output?

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        • #5
          So we can get software accelerated compositing if you don't have a hardware to run it?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by crispy View Post
            So we can get software accelerated compositing if you don't have a hardware to run it?
            You have never tried software rendering in Mesa, have you?

            Joking aside, having a finely tuned software rendering option in Gallium would be very nice. Microsoft has shown that it doesn't have to be that slow: http://techreport.com/discussions.x/15968

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            • #7
              Neat although actually beating a discrete card would have been *far* more impressive.

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              • #8
                SW rendering

                Amiga demo scene veterans (like me) are amazed Compiz ever needed HW support. That kind of effects was cool back in 1989 on 7-10 MHz machines (albeit lower res then now). Thats why I am always so mad about graphic subsystem and its memory usage. In my mind, X should need this amount of memory: 1680*1050 (resolution I have), * 4 (RGBA) * 2 (double buffering) * 2 (lets have some comfort, memory is cheap) < 30 MB !!! My X is using right now 100 MB of virtual memory (Ubuntu) with Compiz _disabled_. I know, I know, it is storing bitmaps for applications. but it means X is storing such amount of bitmaps it could cover my desktop completely 10 times or more! How can that make any sense to anyone? Thats so wasteful. That, and Get Of My Lawn!

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                • #9
                  Hehe, you're probably right. With good enough low-level coders it could use a lot less system resources than it does. (not that nearly anyone does that low-level coding anyway anymore)

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nanonyme View Post
                    Hehe, you're probably right. With good enough low-level coders it could use a lot less system resources than it does. (not that nearly anyone does that low-level coding anyway anymore)
                    Yes, that's the biggest problem. Everyone thinks that optimized java/python is good. Blecch....

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by highlandsun View Post
                      Yes, that's the biggest problem. Everyone thinks that optimized java/python is good. Blecch....
                      It's not just that... Even if you put modern coders to write Assembly, you'd still probably have at least as bloated code if not more. Most of the current generation of coders simply didn't learn to take everything and a bit more out of their computers.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by nanonyme View Post
                        Hehe, you're probably right. With good enough low-level coders it could use a lot less system resources than it does. (not that nearly anyone does that low-level coding anyway anymore)
                        Well, first of all developers are harder to come by that memory. Nearly everyone nowadays has 1GB or more, meaning nobody will mess with X-Server for months just to get 4 or 5MB saved space out of it.

                        Secondary there will always be the dispute low-level versus high-level, as we move to higher and higher levels of abstraction. I can remember an uncle of mine disputing C++ and object-oriented programming in general, because of the performance lost - he had learned to think about memory with the requirements of his old Apple in mind.

                        I'm one of a last few of students in germany that will still be learning C(starting in 2 weeks), basically because I also signed up for embedded development, but aside from that it's Java and C++, and in some cases even C#(which I'm also going to have to learn - unholy :\ ). I'm not even sure if there is an option to learn more assembler than the usual "hey, it speeds up C".

                        Today I see C++-Developers bitching about Python and Java,(although Java certainly gained performance with the 6 series, I've even seen 3D done right with it). Tommorrow I will see the Java people bitch about the performance loss of OS-independent virtual machine scripting langs in the style of python or something like that.

                        Look at what KDE is doing today opening everything on the Desktop for scripting, signaling and remote controlling. Sure it will eat performance like it's nobodys business, and the Atari Kids will have a smile, but in the end, when the real use of things like remote-control desktop enviroment(which is not just VPN/SSH!), social desktop or context-sensitive applications hits, you'll see that none of this could have been made with C without driving everybody nuts.

                        Sure, within the X-Server or the Kernel it makes no sense or isn't even possible to switch to a high-level lang, but even if everybody knew C, there's still a world of hurt with the specifics of driver development.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by nanonyme View Post
                          It's not just that... Even if you put modern coders to write Assembly, you'd still probably have at least as bloated code if not more. Most of the current generation of coders simply didn't learn to take everything and a bit more out of their computers.
                          While I agree to the statement in theory, think about it again. Why do you think so many people are using KDE/Gnome with Compiz, a piece of software written by people that have obviously never even heard the words "stable", "optimized" or "doesn't crash and burn the shit out of your system". Simple, because it had features not offered by other solutions. Whether these features are that good is not a developers problem. It only shows there's a market for it.

                          So let's do this one again from the KDE-angle, because I use that: You could a)optimize the shit out of 3.5, a series with code already called unflexible and unmaintainable by tons of developers and third-parties. You could only barely introduce new features due to lack of manpower and code flexibility. In the end you have a rock-solid system with a feature-set equal of Windows XP in 2009.

                          or b)start all over, modernize your code and feature scripting to modern langs(aka the ones people use), introduce tons of features, while having releases that eat Ram and performance like crazy.

                          In the case of KDE b) was really the only option.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by fabiank22 View Post
                            Today I see C++-Developers bitching about Python and Java,(although Java certainly gained performance with the 6 series, I've even seen 3D done right with it). Tommorrow I will see the Java people bitch about the performance loss of OS-independent virtual machine scripting langs in the style of python or something like that.
                            Eh, I've seen all of that for at least the past ten years... Don't think anything has changed. People have always complained about the slowness of interpreted languages like Java and Python and others. I've also seen just the same complaining about C++ being a ridiculous memory hog and nothing in those claims has changed either.
                            You're right when you say that developers are hard to come by if you mean software project designers by that. Coders are cheap and you find them under every rock and bridge.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by nanonyme View Post
                              You're right when you say that developers are hard to come by if you mean software project designers by that. Coders are cheap and you find them under every rock and bridge.
                              You're right. Let's change my statement to "developers that know what they are doing" or qualified developers(and by that I mean qualified enough to correctly optimize a project of the magnitude "X-Server"). Sure, you can get "Web-Designers" or PHP-People cheap even below the average wage of a kitchen help(at least in germany, where you make more money serving salad than badly managing servers/designing Web-Pages)

                              But even when people still had to go through assembler and compilers had about the intelligence of "Ugh, FORTRAN not compile, not know problem, ugh" things nevertheless weren't all good. We just changed from speed to feature, all the while gaining a lot of speed on hardware-basis. Just look at Linux back then: sure it was hand-optimized and fast and all that, but that didn't make people magically use it. No, features did. What we need isn't a Softpipe driver so optimized it could run Doom III(although I'm certain that would be possible in some way), we need features, features, features, and a little speed to keep up. Because (good) manpower isn't going to magically appear.

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