The TR Podcast 186: Talking Skylake architecture with David Kanter

Duration: 1:29:13

Hosted by: Scott Wasson

Special guest: David Kanter


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Show notes

In this episode, special guest David Kanter joins Scott to go deep on Intel’s Skylake CPU and its graphics architecture. We also address some questions about the recent controversy surrounding the differences between Nvidia’s and AMD’s approaches to DirectX 12 asychronous compute shaders—the source of a comment that’s taken the Internet by storm.

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Video edition

That’s all, folks! We’ll see you on the next episode.

Comments closed
    • chuckula
    • 7 years ago

    Here’s a factual but simplified way to look at it from somebody who knows way less about GPUs than Andrew:
    1. It’s been well established that console GPUs have asynchronous shaders and that this feature was brought over to DX12/Vulkan to standardize what was already happening in consoles.

    2. Read point #1 again: the part about CONSOLES… you know, those things where even the higher-end PS4 can barely run games at 1080p? Even with all that magical low-levelness?

    3. So, if asynchronous compute was really the Holy Grail, then a PS4 would destroy a Titan X in graphics. Except that this is reality and not LSD-world, so that doesn’t happen. Ergo, asynchronous shaders, while certainly a nice feature, aren’t the be-all end-all of graphics or else consoles would have killed off PC gaming already.

    • aggies11
    • 7 years ago

    Love these sessions with David Kanter. Scott and him have a real good back and forth, informative but also interesting/entertaining. Keep em comming.

    • Ninjitsu
    • 7 years ago

    Wot m8?

    When did I ask anyone to game with Intel GPUs? I’m just saying this entire discussion is pointless.

    The fact that (yes, this was said on the podcast too) only Intel supports the full DX12 feature set with Gen9, which is not really capable of “proper” gaming (maybe the 72 EU model manages it), only further highlights the pointlessness of this.

    • TopHatKiller
    • 7 years ago

    i don’t want to get into an argument with you, dear… but

    “Finally, the only company who’s GPUs implement all DX12 features is Intel.”

    That statement is not right. And to be fair, a little silllllllllyyyyyyyyy.
    Though, I of course like millions, run intel graphics to play high-end games.
    Just, I’m assured, as you do?*

    *replying to this sarcasm is not actually required.

    Happy to you—!

    • TopHatKiller
    • 7 years ago

    Indeed. My comment was actually a query as to why the podcast mentioned no future amd products. Both participants seemed enthused about unreleased Nv & Intel chips, but there was no mention of upcoming AMD stuff.
    Mind you, AMD likes to keep its cards close to its chest.
    So much: I wonder if they have any cards – or even a chest to hide them in.

    • Andrew Lauritzen
    • 7 years ago

    There is a massive amount of confusion around what async compute is in the enthusiast community right now. It seems likely to be this generation’s tessellation or MLAA or whatever other silly thing that folks latch onto and misunderstand.

    I tried to clear up a bit of the confusion in a post at B3D: [url<][/url<] Interestingly Kanter and I used the same analogy to SMT/hyper-threading which made me smile when I listened to the podcast a few days ago 🙂 But seriously guys (no one specific, just general advice if you are getting worked up here): take a step back from this and go back into "learning mode" vs. "freaking out mode" here. It's not a situation of straightforward caps bits or hardware support or anything close to it.

    • Ninjitsu
    • 7 years ago

    It’s not bizarre. There’s been one single game that hasn’t even launched yet, that implements async compute. Even with this feature, AMD cards perform at par with Nvidia ones.

    >99% games are DX11 or below, and AMD chose to not put much effort into DX11.

    Finally, the only company who’s GPUs implement all DX12 features is Intel. With either Nvidia or AMD at the moment, you chose a subset of DX12 features that may or may not be implemented by a DX12 game.

    So the reaction on the podcast was “yeah they have this, but let’s see how much it really makes”. And by the time DX12 starts becoming more common…Nvidia will have Pascal out, and GCN’s current “advantage” won’t be anything special.

    At worst, Maxwell and Kepler owners may lose out on some performance, but WE REALLY DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH AND IN HOW MANY GAMES, BECAUSE ONLY ONE UNRELEASED GAME USES IT SO FAR.

    Anyone declaring GCN the best thing ever over AoS is celebrating prematurely – let more tests be done, and real world differences be examined.

    p.s. There’s also a question of driver maturity from Nvidia’s side. AMD’s drivers will be put to the test with more games too.

    • Krogoth
    • 7 years ago

    For consumer-tier stuff, AMD definitely has an advantage in GPGPU related stuff, but not so much in the professional-tier.

    • Pwnstar
    • 7 years ago

    How is it bizarre? AMD has been better at compute for quite a while. Too bad games haven’t really used it.

    • TopHatKiller
    • 7 years ago

    That’s very interesting ….but.
    There is one thing that sticks in my craw.* Asynchronous compute.
    Rationally, this is just one aspect of performance and capability, but an increasing relevant one, bizarrely AMD murders Nv [and i-god] on this function – and what really is the response in the podcast?
    -we are so looking forward for pascal, knight’s landing…
    -yep nv and i-god suck at this for the moment,
    -but in future unreleased products, they will not
    -we are looking forward for unreleased products from them that don’t suck at this.
    -nv has to release pascal soon, to combat i-god in the hpc space;
    As if AMD isn’t even trying to compete in this space?
    * I don’t have claws, only hands and Fingers!!

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