Architecture Comparisons between Nvidia and ATI GPUs: Computation Parallelism and Data Communications

Ying Zhang, Lu Peng, Bin Li, Jih-Kwon Peir, Jianmin Chen
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
IEEE International Symposium on Workload Characterization (IISWC-2011), 2011


   title={Architecture Comparisons between Nvidia and ATI GPUs: Computation Parallelism and Data Communications},

   author={Zhang, Y. and Peng, L. and Li, B. and Peir, J.K. and Chen, J.},



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In recent years, modern graphics processing units have been widely adopted in high performance computing areas to solve large scale computation problems. The leading GPU manufacturers Nvidia and ATI have introduced series of products to the market. While sharing many similar design concepts, GPUs from these two manufacturers differ in several aspects on processor cores and the memory subsystem. In this paper, we conduct a comprehensive study to characterize the architectural differences between Nvidia’s Fermi and ATI’s Cypress and demonstrate their impact on performance. Our results indicate that these two products have diverse advantages that are reflected in their performance for different sets of applications. In addition, we also compare the energy efficiencies of these two platforms since power/energy consumption is a major concern in the high performance computing.
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