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Test Setup And Benchmarks

OpenCL In Action: Post-Processing Apps, Accelerated
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We've been bugging AMD for years now, literally: show us what GPU-accelerated software can do. Finally, the company is ready to put us in touch with ISVs in nine different segments to demonstrate how its hardware can benefit optimized applications.

In planning this series, we asked ourselves what readers really need to know about exploiting DirectCompute/OpenCL acceleration. Is it difficult? No. The drivers enable functionality by default, and most applications able to leverage the improvements have what amounts to an on/off switch to either use the feature or not. We’re stumped as to why anyone would disable acceleration, but it does make our job of testing the features much easier.

Right out of the gate, we're testing two OpenCL-enabled post-processing applications: ArcSoft’s Total Media Theater (TMT) 5.2 (in pre-release at our time of testing) and MotionDSP’s vReveal.

The SimHD component of TMT now uses OpenCL and GPU-based processing to interpolate standard-definition video (480p) to near-HD levels (720p) in real-time. To test this, we played a DVD copy of Minority Report with (GPU) and without (CPU) OpenCL enabled. We ran in comparison split-screen mode with SD on the left half of the image and near-HD on the right half. ArcSoft provides four main features within SimHD—upscaling, dynamic lighting, denoise, and smoothness—but we only tested with the first three enabled and set to maximum. The smoothness option was not available when testing in a CPU-only processing scenario, so we omitted it to have consistency across our test parameters. Also, we only tested SimHD with AMD's Radeon HD 5870 because, as of our testing, Total Media Theater wouldn't cooperate with AMD's Radeon HD 7970. That's not surprising, considering we also had trouble getting GPU-accelerated compute working in CyberLink's Media Espresso in our AMD Radeon HD 7950 Review: Up Against GeForce GTX 580 coverage.

MotionDSP’s vReveal gained fame as one of the first and best consumer-oriented applications for fixing shaky video. The amount of processing required to pull this effect off in real-time is formidable, since several frames of video must be analyzed at once and, many features tracked and recompiled across those frames. At 1080p, this load can cripple some systems. Today, vReveal 3 also includes several additional features, including sharpening, brightening, and noise cleaning, all of which can run concurrently with stabilization. Ideally, you'd have all of this rendering in real-time.

In our tests, we used two sample video clips that ship with the downloadable binary of vReveal 3: the “Barcelona” file at 480p and the “San Francisco” file at 1080p. We tested these twice, once with only basic stabilization enabled and then in a more demanding configuration with five effects piled on. We then tested these in CPU-only, APU-accelerated, and two different discrete GPU-based configurations.

Test Hardware
Test System 1
Processor
AMD FX-8150 (Zambezi) 3.6 GHz, Socket AM3+, 8 MB Shared L3 Cache, Turbo Core enabled, 125 W
Motherboard
Asus Crosshair V Formula (Socket AM3+), AMD 990FX/SB950
Memory
8 GB (2 x 4 GB) AMD Performance Memory AE34G1609U2 (1600 MT/s, 8-9-8-24)
SSD
240 GB Patriot Wildfire SATA 6Gb/s
Graphics
AMD Radeon HD 7970 3 GB

AMD Radeon HD 5870 1 GB
Power Supply
PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 860 W
Operating System
Windows 7 Professional, 64-bit
Test System 2
Processor
AMD A8-3850 (Llano) 2.9 GHz, Socket FM1, 4 MB L2 Cache, 100 W, Radeon HD 6550D Graphics
Motherboard
Gigabyte A75-UD4H (Socket FM1), AMD A75 FCH
Memory
8 GB (2 x 4 GB) AMD Performance Memory AE34G1609U2 (1600 MT/s, 8-9-8-24)
SSD
240 GB Patriot Wildfire SATA 6Gb/s
Graphics
AMD Radeon HD 7970 3 GB

AMD Radeon HD 5870 1 GB
Power Supply
PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 860 W
Operating SystemWindows 7 Professional, 64-bit
Test System 3
Platform
Gateway NV55S05u
Processor
AMD A8-3500M (Llano), 1.5 GHz, Socket FS1, 4 MB L2 Cache, 35 W, Radeon HD 6620G Graphics
Memory
4 GB Elpida PC3-10600S-9-10-F2
2 GB Hynix PC3-10600S-9-10-B1
Hard Drive
Western Digital Scorpio Blue 640 GB, 5400 RPM, 8 MB Cache, SATA 3Gb/s
Operating System
Windows 7 Home Premium, 64-bit
Test System 4
Platform
HP Pavillion dv6
Processor
Intel Core i5-2410M (Sandy Bridge), 2.3 GHz, Socket G2, 3 MB Shared L3 Cache, 35 W, HD Graphics 3000
Memory
4 GB Samsung PC3-10600S-09-10-ZZZ
Hard Drive
Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500 GB, 7200 RPM, 16 MB Cache, SATA 3Gb/s
Operating System
Windows 7 Professional, 64-bit
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  • 0 Hide
    alchemist07 , 15 February 2012 00:39
    Where are all the comments? Did they get deleted???????

    Anyway, is there any rough date on when the next article in this series will be published?