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Radeon Pro SSG Packs 1TB Of SSD Storage On The Graphics Card

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  • Radeon Pro SSG Packs 1TB Of SSD Storage On The Graphics Card

    Phoronix: Radeon Pro SSG Packs 1TB Of SSD Storage On The Graphics Card

    Last night after writing about the Radeon Pro WX series I immediately fell asleep, but it turns out AMD continued with their SIGGRAPH 2016 announcements by rolling out the Radeon Pro SSG, a graphics card with onboard solid-state storage...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...Radeon-Pro-SSG

  • #2
    So what would having an SSD embedded on the graphics card benefit? Can it be formatted with a filesystem and accessible for any use, or is it just accessible by the GPU? Is it's main benefit just fewer hops to storage?

    EDIT: It seems silly to me. Actually, I thought it would be fewer hops to storage but if it really is generally accessible then it will actually be more hops to storage due to being further from the CPU. I don't get it.
    Last edited by duby229; 07-26-2016, 09:02 AM.

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    • #3
      Previously, if the GPU wanted to access data that is on an SSD, it would have to go through the host, filesystem and storage layer. Now the access is direct and very fast. I think the goal (though not sure if the SSG already implements it like that) is that the SSD becomes part of the GPU address space in some kind of NUMA arrangement.

      Some PR regurgitating here:
      http://semiaccurate.com/2016/07/25/a...pus-calls-ssg/

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      • #4
        The GPU for the Radeon Pro SSG is, of course, Polaris based.
        And it will be available in 2017, when Vega will make it look like yesterday's news.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by duby229 View Post
          So what would having an SSD embedded on the graphics card benefit? Can it be formatted with a filesystem and accessible for any use, or is it just accessible by the GPU? Is it's main benefit just fewer hops to storage?

          EDIT: It seems silly to me. Actually, I thought it would be fewer hops to storage but if it really is generally accessible then it will actually be more hops to storage due to being further from the CPU. I don't get it.
          A giant cache I think, for huge computing. This way the PCI bandwidth is free for other operations.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by duby229 View Post
            So what would having an SSD embedded on the graphics card benefit? Can it be formatted with a filesystem and accessible for any use, or is it just accessible by the GPU? Is it's main benefit just fewer hops to storage?

            EDIT: It seems silly to me. Actually, I thought it would be fewer hops to storage but if it really is generally accessible then it will actually be more hops to storage due to being further from the CPU. I don't get it.
            is faster than access the board PCIe when in use with the GPU but slower to use from the CPU because has to share iops with the GPU.

            Its use should be mostly for supercomputation operations where you can avoid access network SANs to retrieve/send batches of 32gb of data for/after processing, it should speed up quite a lot in those cases since it could avoid GPU stalls in between I/O operations overtime(remember supercomputer can take ages to process massive datasets so any small again in time per operation can chop off huge time from the final result), now for regular server operations i don't see it useful unless you have something that could beef up 32gb of Vram really really fast

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Passso View Post

              A giant cache I think, for huge computing. This way the PCI bandwidth is free for other operations.
              Ah, that makes sense. So if, for example, the data set is coming off a LAN the traffic won't compete with storage traffic?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by duby229 View Post

                Ah, that makes sense. So if, for example, the data set is coming off a LAN the traffic won't compete with storage traffic?
                More like data comes from the CPU or is generated by the GPU and remains stored locally. Not sure how the current SSD's 1,000 p/e cycle factors in though.

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                • #9
                  This kind of makes sense, but how much performance could this really offer? If (assuming I understand this correctly) the GPU effectively operates independently by reading it's own form of storage, the PCIe lanes would basically be empty, except for a few streams here and there to operate the display. So in the end, I figure this would only shave off, at best, maybe 1 second of rendering time for the average 10-minute video. I can't imagine there being that much of a PCIe bandwidth issue for rendering. Also don't forget - the original data being stored needs to be copied to and from the GPU. So unless the user has direct access to the GPU storage, this would result in an overall slower rendering time.

                  But, maybe there's something here I'm not quite understanding

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by duby229 View Post

                    Ah, that makes sense. So if, for example, the data set is coming off a LAN the traffic won't compete with storage traffic?
                    Yes It is if your storage is on a NAS or SAN.

                    But even if the storage is "local" on the machine : a realistic 3d scene nowadays (for a movie for example) can use several hundreds of GB. The onboard cache (the SSD on the card) will give a transparent caching, preventing CPU usage and PCI bandwidth from/to the card <-> the machine. The "local storage" of the machine will only be used for the resulting file or if the scene needs more than 1TB.
                    Last edited by Passso; 07-26-2016, 10:03 AM.

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