Parallel Rendering on Hybrid Multi-GPU Clusters

S. Eilemann, A. Bilgili, M. Abdellah, J. Hernando, M. Makhinya, R. Pajarola, F. Schurmann
Blue Brain Project, EPFL
Eurographics Symposium on Parallel Graphics and Visualization, 2012


   title={Parallel Rendering on Hybrid Multi-GPU Clusters},

   author={Eilemann, S. and Bilgili, A. and Abdellah, M. and Hernando, J. and Makhinya, M. and Pajarola, R. and Sch{"u}rmann, F.},



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Achieving efficient scalable parallel rendering for interactive visualization applications on medium-sized graphics clusters remains a challenging problem. Framerates of up to 60hz require a carefully designed and fine-tuned parallel rendering implementation that fits all required operations into the 16ms time budget available for each rendered frame. Furthermore, modern commodity hardware embraces more and more a NUMA architecture, where multiple processor sockets each have their locally attached memory and where auxiliary devices such as GPUs and network interfaces are directly attached to one of the processors. Such so called fat NUMA processing and graphics nodes are increasingly used to build cost-effective hybrid shared/distributed memory visualization clusters. In this paper we present a thorough analysis of the asynchronous parallelization of the rendering stages and we derive and implement important optimizations to achieve highly interactive framerates on such hybrid multi-GPU clusters. We use both a benchmark program and a real-world scientific application used to visualize, navigate and interact with simulations of cortical neuron circuit models.
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