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AMD Vega GPU architectural analysis

Draw Stream Binning Rasterizers and Conclusion

AMD Vega GPU architectural analysis

Draw Stream Binning Rasterizers

In simple terms, rasterisation is what turns 3D shapes in games into pixels, with AMD's new Draw Stream Binning Rasterizer being a new option for AMD to use to cull pixels and improve performance in two ways. 

First, this new method will help Vega to determine which pixels to shade and can reduce the work that the GPU needs to do. Pixels can only be one colour, but as you can see in the image below, multiple pieces of geometry can be present in that space. This new rasterizer will help the GPU to determine what data to use when shading, reducing memory access and power consumption. 

AMD's new DSBR approach is looking at Rasterization using a Tile-based method, which is done a lot on mobile products and has even been implemented on Nvidia GPU architectures since Maxwell.  One other effect of this tile-based method is that is can effectively lower memory bandwidth requirements, which can give products a higher effective memory bandwidth when doing certain tasks. 

The most important part of rasterization methods is that it eliminates pixels that are not visible in the rendered scene, which reduces the work that the GPU needs to do.   

Nvidia has been using Tile-based rasterization methods ever since their Maxwell GPU architecture, though that was something that Nvidia kept under wraps until it was revealed in mid-2016.

 

AMD Vega GPU architectural analysis

 

Conclusion

All-in-all, AMD's Vega architecture makes a lot of changes from their previous GPU designs, many of which will have a significant impact on AMD's GPU performance. 

AMD's memory design alone can be seen as nothing but transformative, especially when considering the use of GPUs for compute rather than gaming. Now Vega can have access to seemingly limitless amounts of data, which has the potential to transform how people use GPUs, though in the gaming world performance benefits of this new memory controller design will be limited. 

On the compute side, Vega will deliver a lot more GPU performance per Stream processor, with a design that will offer increased clock speeds as well as increased levels of work per clock cycle. These improvements will be seen from many angles, through the geometry pipeline through increased engine throughput and the use of Primitive shaders as well as in Vega's NCUs which can offer significantly more GPU performance through the use of "Rapid packed math".

A lot the changes to AMD's GPU architecture will significantly improve AMD's performance in both gaming and compute tasks, leaving the company in a great position moving forward.  

  
AMD Vega GPU architectural analysis  

You can join the discussion on AMD's Vega architecture on the OC3D Forums

 

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Most Recent Comments

06-01-2017, 16:46:52

BigDaddyKong
Interesting how AMD is is pitting this against Volta, and trying to leapfrog generations.Quote

06-01-2017, 17:12:41

TheF34RChannel
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kong View Post
Interesting how AMD is is pitting this against Volta, and trying to leapfrog generations.
The thing I cannot wrap my head around is how they can pit it against Volta, of which next to nothing is known (unless we're talking corporate espionage lol)??Quote

06-01-2017, 17:48:35

AngryGoldfish
Quote:
Originally Posted by The F34R Channel View Post
The thing I cannot wrap my head around is how they can pit it against Volta, of which next to nothing is known (unless we're talking corporate espionage lol)??
A part of me thinks AMD has lost it and is desperately cloying at the walls to climb out of the economic pit they're in, breaking their fingers in the process. But another part of me giggles with excitement at the thought of Vega not only competing and beating Pascal but competing with Volta. I find that very hard to believe, but still. It was initially rumoured that Vega 20 would be Vega 10 shrunk down using the 7nm process with 16GB of HBM2 running at 1TB/s and having vastly increased clock speeds and reduced TDP. They could then rebadge 14nm Vega 10 and 11 as midrange GPU's and the Polaris 10 chip as a low-end card. I doubt that, though, as optimising for both 14nm and 7nm in tandem might not be practical.Quote

06-01-2017, 17:55:20

TheF34RChannel
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngryGoldfish View Post
A part of me thinks AMD has lost it and is desperately cloying at the walls to climb out of the economic pit they're in, breaking their fingers in the process. But another part of me giggles with excitement at the thought of Vega not only competing and beating Pascal but competing with Volta. I find that very hard to believe, but still. It was initially rumoured that Vega 20 would be Vega 10 shrunk down using the 7nm process with 16GB of HBM2 running at 1TB/s and having vastly increased clock speeds and reduced TDP. They could then rebadge 14nm Vega 10 and 11 as midrange GPU's and the Polaris 10 chip as a low-end card. I doubt that, though, as optimising for both 14nm and 7nm in tandem might not be practical.
I just don't see it happening, it beating high end Pascal, let alone Volta, given their lengthy track record of big talk and not delivering (I recall the same before Polaris came out etc.). However, I don't know until it's out of course, but I cannot help but be weary and skeptical because of the aforementioned track record and the state the company has been in for many years now. And it is frustrating because I want them to deliver; it's the better outcome for everyone involved.Quote

06-01-2017, 18:06:05

AngryGoldfish
Quote:
Originally Posted by The F34R Channel View Post
I just don't see it happening, it beating high end Pascal, let alone Volta, given their lengthy track record of big talk and not delivering (I recall the same before Polaris came out etc.). However, I don't know until it's out of course, but I cannot help but be weary and skeptical because of the aforementioned track record and the state the company has been in for many years now. And it is frustrating because I want them to deliver; it's the better outcome for everyone involved.
I don't know how much the rejig that recently occurred at AMD—the Radeon group being sectioned off and dedicating its resources to GPU's and Raja taking over—will impact things. The Fury line could have been a slight slip up. The 290X suffered from temperatures and power consumption, but it was a stellar GPU other than that. And one of the main reasons why it suffered from a higher TDP than its competitors was because AMD were stuck with 28nm for so long. Nvidia focused on the right thing while AMD focused on the wrong thing. They're correcting that mistake. Polaris was, at first, underperforming, but it is now comparable to Nvidia and in some cases superior. Temperatures are in check, power consumption is in check, pricing is in check, memory configuration is in check, availability is in check (both both AIB partners and AMD directly), drivers are in check, VR and high resolution performance is in check, DX11 and DX12 performance is in check, even overclocking is better with Polaris than Fury. If Polaris is performing so well, and Vega isn't just a beefed up Polaris, why can't AMD pull it off again?Quote
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