Thread: Hardware acceleration?

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  1. #1
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    Hardware acceleration?

    How difficult would it be to implement hardware acceleration into VHLT? As it stands, all compilers use purely CPU and no GPU. Having it use both would be nice and get maps compiled faster.

  2. #2
    Administrator AdamR's Avatar  
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    Re: Hardware acceleration?

    This depends wholly on what kind of calculations are being used. GPUs are incredibly fast at some calculations, for example calculating matrices, but are either very slow or cannot at all run other calculations. (Memory intensive operations on GPUs do not work well, which is why cracking bcrypt and chacha20 is unviable on a GPU.)
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  3. #3
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    Re: Hardware acceleration?

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamR View Post
    This depends wholly on what kind of calculations are being used. GPUs are incredibly fast at some calculations, for example calculating matrices, but are either very slow or cannot at all run other calculations. (Memory intensive operations on GPUs do not work well, which is why cracking bcrypt and chacha20 is unviable on a GPU.)
    That would make sense then why the tools are confined to the CPU. Thanks for the info! I never knew that.

  4. #4
    QPU-aligned Silencer's Avatar  
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    Re: Hardware acceleration?

    It's certainly possible to accelerate some of it. At least the lighting if nothing else. It would however then be so optimized that you'd lose all flexibility when it comes to making changes and adding new features, and is thus generally avoided.

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    Re: Hardware acceleration?

    Quote Originally Posted by Silencer View Post
    It's certainly possible to accelerate some of it. At least the lighting if nothing else. It would however then be so optimized that you'd lose all flexibility when it comes to making changes and adding new features, and is thus generally avoided.
    That also makes sense.

  6. #6
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    Re: Hardware acceleration?

    The only tool I remember which accelerated compiling was something back in the dark ages called Netvis. It replaced the normal vis.exe compile process with one that I think used MPI to allow multiple computers to work on the visibility process of a map compile.

    It was more of a proof of concept and never really caught on. Desktop computers around the time of its inception were still very expensive, and most people didn't have access to more than one fast machine. Internet connections in those days were still dominated by dialup, so getting a reliable remote connection which was fast enough was also difficult.

    Accelerating visibility calculations also didn't make a lot of sense, as it was basically a simple sorting problem, it tended to go pretty quickly. Radiosity on the other hand was by far the most time consuming part of the compile. If you've ever read map info files from the late 90s up to 2004ish, you'll sometimes see compiles that have lasted 18+ hours. Many times this was because the mapper was terrible, but other times, the hardware it was running on was just slow (think Pentium MMX/Cyrix/AMD k5/K6 with 64M of RAM.)

  7. #7
    QPU-aligned Silencer's Avatar  
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    Re: Hardware acceleration?

    Compiling over night definitely was a thing in 200X. If you want to relive that feeling, just learn a new engine such as Unity3D. ;p

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