Breaking news: HD5800 Performance and OpenCL's future

By , the in Folding@Home Project - No comment
Breaking news: HD5800 Performance and OpenCL's future
mhouston, AKA Michael Houston - the developer of the ATI GPU2 core - has just spoken about the future folding performance of the Radeon 5800. He has already tested the card, and the expected benefits are as follows:

  • Up to 50% faster performance on large WUs (not distributed as of yet)
  • A small performance increase on current small WUs


Obviously, these figures are only realised with certain optimisations enabled, since the core is optimised for the Radeon HD4800 and 800 vector processors. However, it seems that Michael no longer wishes to change the current core.

The current core - based on CAL / Brook+ / Stream - has become impossible to maintain. The CAL (Compute Abstraction Layer), which is a layer of abstraction between the application and hardware, is not his work; when new hardware comes out, the core is further optimised for it. For Michael, the future of folding is on ATI's OpenCL, because the layer is much more mature. He wants to take over the development of a new core built on this new API, to avoid having the problems that have plagued the current core.

The direct consequence is that nVidia and Intel could also be supported in the future.

We aren't able to say whether work has yet begun, but we follow new developments with anticipation.

Translated by : KaySL

Source: Folding Forum