Matthew Gueller chuckled when I asked him if he does rendering, as if to say, “Do you even need to ask?”
Being a professional visualization artist and surface designer, Matthew sees a large chunk of his time consumed by rendering. “Some of the images we have to render — they’re one-to-one ratio, at 72 DPI poster resolution — can take up to 16 hours to finish,” he noted. “Lots of materials involved, large data sets — they’re very CPU-intense.” Continue reading
Skilled programmers who can sneak into the GPU and execute their parallel jobs belong to an elite group. They are “Ninja programmers,” as AMD corporate fellow Phil Rogers call them.
Rogers, who delivered the keynote at this week’s AMD Fusion Developer Summit, believes GPU computing should be available to a broader audience, to the common programmers who make a living churning out codes in C, C++, JAVA, and Python. In fact, Rogers may even object to the term GPU computing. If it were up to AMD and Rogers, GPU and CPU computing could be one and the same, fused together into a Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA). Continue reading
Soon, you could be rendering images, animating 3D scenes, and playing games on a GPU without a GPU.
To prove this point, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang took the stage on Tuesday May 15, 2012, at the San Jose Convention Center, the site of this year’s GPU Technology Conference (GTC 2012). Continue reading
Conventional wisdom in computing is, if your PC is an entry-level machine, it’s not a workstation, and if it’s a workstation, it’s more expensive than an entry-level PC. But this season, HP, Dell, and other hardware makers may try to disprove this notion by releasing units that are powerful enough for CAD and visualization, priced below $1,000.
Today, HP debut its first product in this category, the entry-level workstation Z210, priced beginning at $569 (small form factor unit) and $659 (convertible mini-tower model). CPU choices for Z210 includes Intel Xeon E3 and second-generation Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processors.
The Xeon E3 1200 processors contain Intel HD Graphics P3000 technology, providing you both general processing and graphics processing on a single die. The new processor series is part of Intel’s strategy to elbow its way into the market traditionally dominated by NVIDIA.
According to Anthony C. Neal-Graves, general manager of Intel workstation unit, “That means visual and 3D graphics capabilities that were once only available to entry workstation users with discrete graphics cards will now be accessible to anyone with an entry workstation powered by Intel Xeon E3 family with Intel HD Graphics P3000.”
To paraphrase, Intel is essentially saying, if you have a workstation running on Intel Xeon E3 1200, you don’t need to buy a professional-grade graphics card. I have not done any benchmark testing, so I can’t offer insights into performance comparison. However, if your graphics needs are not intense enough to justify purchasing a professional GPU (for example, an NVIDIA Quadro card or an ATI FirePro card), but you’d still prefer to get some graphics boosts for your visualization and rendering jobs, HP’s new Z210 with Intel Xeon E3 1200 may be the workstation with the right mix or computing and graphics horsepower.
Like other HP workstations, Z210 comes with HP’s Performance Advisor software, which lets you configure your machine’s hardware environment and drivers to get the best from your design and engineering software. HP’s tool-free chassis lets you reach into the heart of the machine to add, remove, and upgrade hardware without using screw-drivers and pliers (quite literally, it prevents you from screwing up).
HP Z210 goes on sale this spring.
For more on Intel Xeon E3 processors, read my previous blog post, “Intel’s New Carrot: HD Graphics for Entry-Level Workstations,” March 8, 2011.
More images of HP’s new products in the album below: