DX11, DirectComput. Info Request

This is a discussion on DX11, DirectComput. Info Request within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; I'm trying to obtain more information about DirectCompute and how I can effectively use this DX11 technology on future GUI ...

  1. #1
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    DX11, DirectComput. Info Request

    I'm trying to obtain more information about DirectCompute and how I can effectively use this DX11 technology on future GUI applications under C#.

    Meaning, I'm not so much interested on the 3D application benefits, but how I can turn this to general data processing.

    Nvidia was the first to introduce support with their CUDA extensions some months ago. AMD just introduced support with their new ATI Catalyst version launched 3 days ago. This is a great time for me to start taking this technology more seriously, especially considering the much higher Windows 7 adoption rate that will no doubt make of DX11 much more widespread than DX10 ever was.

    But damn me if I can find any relevant documentation that is anything more than DirectCompute for game programmers. Have any of you guys dabbled into this already? Did you find useful information sources? Books? Examples? Heck, even tutorials?
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Books. In times past Microsoft has attempted to tout various pieces of DirectX as being useful for something other than games. This is a huge mistake and has proven itself to be one with items such as DirectShow and DirectMusic.

    As you are finding out from the available information most of DX11's new features are usually only taked about in the context of game programming. I'm not saying you couldn't theoretically use some of it in another type of app but you probably won't find much information on how to do it.

    DirectX is for games. Regardless of what Redmond tries to push - it is for games and games alone. Sure it can render for pretty much any type of application but in the end you will find that the structure of each sub-system is tailor fit to go right into game engines or be a component of a game engine.

  3. #3
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    The way it's being touted did raise my expectations, I confess.

    A thing that is highly embarrassing about our modern computers is exactly the near absence of collaboration of the graphics card on mundane data processing. The GPU is to the CPU like that bloke down the aisle that thinks he's too good for you. And yet, he almost is. GPU processors are marvels of technology that could be put to a better use when you happen to be using your computer for other things than 3D rendering. What a waste.

    Anyways, I guess you are right. It's probably just hype for any practical use outside the 3D development arena. Still... I'll get my vacations the week between Christmas and the 2nd January, and I think I'll try and give it a shot then if I'm inclined that way (although I never programmed with DX in my life). For one, linking against DX libraries for a GUI application doesn't shock me one bit when the objective is to bring the GPU into play, and on the other hand I'm still a little convinced by their hype. Or perhaps hopeful is a better word.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  4. #4
    Cat without Hat CornedBee's Avatar
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    At our company we've compared DirectCompute with other GPGPU methods. We didn't do any actual benchmarks, just looked at the code. Net result: you can take DirectCompute and OpenCL and map them to each other nearly 1:1. DirectCompute has the typical verbosity of COM, whereas OpenCL makes some things slightly more complicated (one line of code more to transfer memory for example), but they're pretty much the same. There are some syntactic differences between HLSL and the OpenCL kernel language, but they're superficial.

    Frankly, as long as you're not using other parts of DirectX anyway, I see no reason to use DirectCompute over OpenCL.
    All the buzzt!
    CornedBee

    "There is not now, nor has there ever been, nor will there ever be, any programming language in which it is the least bit difficult to write bad code."
    - Flon's Law

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