[Beowulf] What happened to AMD GPU?

Prentice Bisbal prentice.bisbal at rutgers.edu
Wed Mar 4 11:53:32 PST 2015

The top system on the Green500 right now is using AMD Fire S9150 GPUs:


While you might be promoting yourself, I am glad someone brought this 
up, because I've been wondering what AMD is going to do about this, and 
I just had a conversation about this last week.

I think the best thing you can do to improve market share would be to 
license the CUDA syntax from NVidia, or work to make it a standardized 
language.  Sure there are open standard languages like OpenACC, but CUDA 
got there first and is so well entrenched, it's safe to say it's the de 
facto standard, and will probably retroactively become an official 
standard. I don't see OpenACC really taking off and supplanting CUDA.

The fact that your processors are different under the hood won't matter 
if a researcher can take their existing CUDA source code, and just 
recompile to to run on AMD GPUs. (Almost) Everyone in HPC already 
compiles their code all the time anyway,


On 03/04/2015 02:07 PM, C Bergström wrote:
> This is part shameless self promotion, but also meant to stir some discussion..
> Take a look at some of the recent top results for SPEC ACCEL
> http://spec.org/accel/results/accel_acc.html
> /* It may not seem like much, but I can say that is the visible result
> to a heck of a lot of work */
> I have to word this carefully, but after that was submitted we fixed a
> cooling issue and the score went higher.. expect better public results
> in 2 weeks. (Anyone want to party at GTC?)
> Frankly, it's visible we still aren't the best performance on some
> codes.. Those issues basically fall into two camps and we're working
> on it.
> -----------
> Having said this..
> Would anyone build an AMD GPU cluster if
> 1) The GPU was 30-40% faster than a K40
> 2) It cost less
> 3) OpenACC/OpenMP4/CUDA programming models were high performance and supported
> 4) More oncard ram
> -----------
> The s9150 is a top end card and priced relatively in the same ballpark
> as the competition..
> Forgive me for sounding like a salesperson.
> If you don't need all the ram on the card - there's the w8100 (with
> fan on the card)  - $1050 on Newegg! (Why do I feel like an
> infomercial)
> I have 2x w8100 in a server for benchmarking and they are nice GPU.
> Not as fast as a K40, but beats other cards.
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