|NVIDIA Editors Day 2008|
|News - Featured Website News|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Saturday, 24 May 2008|
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NVIDIA Editor's Day 2008
Each year NVIDIA hosts a invite-only event for industry editors. Everyone from reviewers to magazine editors were on hand to learn the reasons behind NVIDIA's latest graphics processor launch. At this editor's day event, the heads of technology converge for a day of demos and discussion - and a few nice surprises. Benchmark Reviews was pleased to receive an invitation into this exclusive event, and looked forward to the opportunity to share thoughts with the biggest name in the graphics market.
Prior to actually experiencing the NVIDIA Editor's Day event, I was a little bit concerned that my time would taken up with buzz-word marketing pitches and hard-line product comparisons. To my complete surprise, there wasn't a single moment that had me feeling green-washed. Actually, the opposite was true; at several points throughout various topic discussions the NVIDIA staff would often times point out where a competitors product might have done better than their own in a last-generation product lines. In fact, there were many times where the discussion felt more like a tech discussion than the voice of an industry leader. At its core, the NVIDIA Editor's Day event was about a sharing concepts and developmental ideas with the theme Gaming Beyond: Beyond Gaming.
Heterogeneous Parallel Computing
Ujesh Desai: GeForce General Manager
NVIDIA Editors Day 2008 began with a warm welcome from Ujesh Desai, the GeForce General Manager. His introductory overview highlighted the "GPU Beyond" theme, which dispelled the rumor mill of an Intel vs NVIDIA rivalry and replaced it with a more heterogeneous computing environment that matches the CPU with a relevant and more appropriate GPU.
The message Ujesh wanted us to walk away with is that for the same cost, any custom-configured tier one system could dramatically improve performance for many of the most common applications by simply reducing the processor option one level and increasing the GPU option up one level. The benchmark results were very impressive, showing that while the first system was CPU heavy it didn't exactly translate into higher performance overall. Conversely, for the same price a matched CPU-GPU computer system performed several levels better in everyday applications: from Windows Vista, to Adobe Photoshop, to playing video games.
Demonstrations began with an interesting third-party feature that enforces the importance of heterogeneous computing: the Adobe PicLens plug-in for Google Images sub-site. I know that from personal experience my search for images on this site has felt a lot more like browsing pages and less like finding what I want. With PicLens, the NVIDIA GPU lends itself to creating a scalable mosaic of photos which allow the end-user to pan, tilt, and zoom groups of images as a collection without needing to browse through many pages.
Mr. Desai gave the floor away to John Mack of Adobe, who took some time to introduce a few new features found in Photoshop CS4, and leaked some details during his demo of Adobe Stonehenge. While graphic professionals will undoubtedly have a lot of interest in the new Adobe products, the primary message was that Adobe finally recognizes the need for powerful GPUs; with the same level of importance that the industry has placed on CPUs. Using a very large 2 GB file for demonstration, the CPU became less utilized and takes a distant back seat to the more critical GPU, and everyday functions such a free transforms and manipulating angles becomes a lightning fast operation with the right tools.