AMD & OpenCL: Faster compression, but without using GPU

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AMD & OpenCL: Faster compression, but without using GPU

Postposted on Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:23 am

In Trinity review, I found very interesting that the latest WinZip version was in the growing list of GPU accelerated consumer applications.

I tried to verify the OpenCL speed up with a supported discrete video card (HD 5830 with Catalyst 12.4 WHQL): the compression time was indeed reduced (with better speed up than Llano/Trinity), but global GPU usage was about zero (with GPU/memory clocks fixed at idle values).

I checked these results with various utilities, such as Task Manager, Resource Monitor, Sysinternals Process Explorer, GPU-Z and AMD System Monitor: WinZip's GPU usage was exactly zero!

I noted that CPU usage was instead bigger, so I suppose that, enabling OpenCL option, WinZip can simply use a better multi-thread algorithm.

Task Manager is enough to confirm that WinZip thread count is significantly bigger, sometimes more than double, with OpenCL code path.

I found the maximum speed up with JPEG photos (250%), whereas the minimum with PCM audio (30%).

I think that would be nice if other enthusiasts performed similar tests on different configurations and perhaps with other "GPU accelerated" programs.
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Re: AMD & OpenCL: Faster compression, but without using GPU

Postposted on Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:32 pm

cp8086 wrote:I found the maximum speed up with JPEG photos (250%), whereas the minimum with PCM audio (30%).


That says to me that it's faster at doing nothing (JPEGs are almost uncompressable) than compressing (PCM is highly compressable).
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Re: AMD & OpenCL: Faster compression, but without using GPU

Postposted on Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:16 pm

SuperSpy wrote:
cp8086 wrote:I found the maximum speed up with JPEG photos (250%), whereas the minimum with PCM audio (30%).


That says to me that it's faster at doing nothing (JPEGs are almost uncompressable) than compressing (PCM is highly compressable).

I don't think PCM should be especially compressible using zip methods.
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Re: AMD & OpenCL: Faster compression, but without using GPU

Postposted on Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:23 pm

That says to me that it's faster at doing nothing than compressing


I think that the important concept is that Winzip's OpenCL code path doesn't actually use GPU for compression.
In my opinion, AMD and Corel marketing materials are misleading at this time.
I hope that next version promptly rectify that, with a good example of GPGPU!

Anyway, compression rates and relative performances always vary among various data sets.


JPEGs are almost uncompressable


For my data set, JPEG's compression was above 20%.

I don't think PCM should be especially compressible using zip methods


I found compression rate of about 45-50%, so roughly comparable to lossless audio codec such as Flac, Monkey's audio and WavPack.
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Re: AMD & OpenCL: Faster compression, but without using GPU

Postposted on Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:47 pm

One more though, does the 5000 series even support these OpenCL extensions? I know the 7000 series introduced a much better GPU compute system.
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Re: AMD & OpenCL: Faster compression, but without using GPU

Postposted on Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:25 am

does the 5000 series even support these OpenCL extensions?

Yes, of course: Llano uses the same micro-architecture with VLIW-5 as Cypress.
Furthermore, with HD5830 the speed up is bigger than Llano/Trinity.

I know the 7000 series introduced a much better GPU compute system.

Yes, but that doesn't explain why GPU usage is exactly zero.
It would be useful if various cards (Evergreen, N.I. and S.I.) were compared in the same system, to check OpenCL performance and GPU usage.
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Re: AMD & OpenCL: Faster compression, but without using GPU

Postposted on Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:10 am

By now I checked with 4 AMD cards (HD 5770, 5830, 6670, 6850) that GPU usage was always zero with the OpenCL code path with various data sets.

A well equipped laboratory could conduct comparative tests with different GPUs on modern systems... ;-)
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Re: AMD & OpenCL: Faster compression, but without using GPU

Postposted on Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:30 am

What processor are you using?
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Re: AMD & OpenCL: Faster compression, but without using GPU

Postposted on Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:27 pm

I downloaded and tried the opencl acceleration on my 6970s (crossfire, though I'd bet it only uses one). There was a very brief blip where the gpu usage went up to around 8% according to catalyst control panel. One thing to keep in mind is that we're talking about compressing 20 MB/s or so (probably faster on discrete), but the gpus have absolutely massive resources. Compare the .02 GB/s compression rate with the bandwidth of a modern gpu which is easily 100 GB/s.

It's very possible whatever monitoring tool you're using isn't updated fast enough to show the usage.
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