Video Cards

  Home arrow Video Cards arrow The Graphics Pipeline
Watch our Tech Videos 
Dev Hardware Forums 
Computer Cases  
Computer Processors  
Computer Systems  
Digital Cameras  
Flat Panels  
Gaming  
Hardware Guides  
Hardware News  
Input Devices  
Memory  
Mobile Devices  
Motherboards  
Networking Hardware  
Opinions  
PC Cooling  
PC Speakers  
Peripherals  
Power Supply Units  
Software  
Sound Cards  
Storage Devices  
Tech Interviews  
User Experiences  
Video Cards  
Weekly Newsletter
 
Developer Updates  
Free Website Content 
 RSS  Articles
 RSS  Forums
 RSS  All Feeds
Write For Us 
Contact Us 
Site Map 
Privacy Policy 
Support 
 USERNAME
 
 PASSWORD
 
 
  >>> SIGN UP!  
  Lost Password? 
VIDEO CARDS

The Graphics Pipeline
By: DMOS
  • Search For More Articles!
  • Disclaimer
  • Author Terms
  • Rating: 3 stars3 stars3 stars3 stars3 stars / 63
    2004-10-20

    Table of Contents:
  • The Graphics Pipeline
  • Pipelining in the GPU
  • The Illumination Stage
  • Making 3D into 2D

  • Rate this Article: Poor Best 
      ADD THIS ARTICLE TO:
      Del.ici.ous Digg
      Blink Simpy
      Google Spurl
      Y! MyWeb Furl
    Email Me Similar Content When Posted
    Add Developer Shed Article Feed To Your Site
    Email Article To Friend
    Print Version Of Article
    PDF Version Of Article
     
     

    SEARCH DEV HARDWARE

    The Graphics Pipeline


    (Page 1 of 4 )

    Similar to the way a CPU has a pipeline filled with small stages that each do a single task quickly, so too does the GPU in your video card. Today on DevHardware, we'll go over those stages and what goes on in them, in this first part of our series on graphics.

    Those of you who have checked into how a CPU operates know that all current desktop processors use what's called a "pipelined" architecture. What this does is take a large task, and break it down into smaller stages.  This allows you to do multiple things at once and make your overall clock speed equivalent to the slowest of those stages. 

    A good example of this is doing multiple loads of laundry (for those of you who live in the real world and don't have mommy doing it for you). You put the clothes in the washer, set it to wash, take the clothes out, put them in the dryer, then fold them.

    Now pretend you have multiple loads of laundry to get done. This is where the pipeline comes in. When the first load comes out of the washer, you can put the next set in, while the previous load is drying. Then, when it's done, you can fold one set, while one is drying, while another is washing. Now you have a three stage pipeline, and you can get more work done. At the end of each stage, you have a load coming out completed, after the first load has passed through all the stages, assuming no interruptions.

    Old:

    • Wash->
    • Dry->
    • Fold->
    • Wash->
    • Dry->
    • Fold->
    • Wash->
    • Dry->
    • Fold

    Pipelined:

    • Wash
    • Wash->Dry
    • Wash->Dry->Fold
    • Dry->Fold
    • Fold

    In the space of less time, we've got our laundry done. We carried three jobs "in flight" instead of just one. With a GPU, it's the same thing. Many things need to happen to go from a 3D model to the pixels on your monitor. By increasing the number of pipeline stages, each individual stage takes less time to complete, increasing the speed you can clock the processor. As well, it increases the number of instructions you can carry in flight, so that at the end of every one of your new faster clocks, you can have an operation completed.

    In most new architectures, there are multiple of these pipelines.  Graphic modelling is something that applies itself well to parallel computation. The architecture outside of the pipeline itself is something we'll get to in another one of these articles later though. So now you understand how pipelining can be useful. How is it actually done in a GPU?

    More Video Cards Articles
    More By DMOS

    blog comments powered by Disqus

    VIDEO CARDS ARTICLES

    - Lucid Hydra 100
    - HIS HD 2600 Pro
    - BFG 8800 GT OC
    - nVidia 8600 GT
    - 8500 GT Video Card
    - MSI NX8600 GT
    - Folding to Cure on the Edge with GPUs
    - PowerColor X1300 512MB GameFX
    - PowerColor X800 GTO 128MB 256-bit Video Card...
    - Intel Blurs GPU, Preparing for a Vista Vs. V...
    - Rosewill X800 XL
    - Physics Processing Unit
    - Sapphire X300SE
    - Inno3D GeForce 6200A
    - Video Card Overclocking

    Developer Shed Affiliates

     




    © 2003-2014 by Developer Shed. All rights reserved. DS Cluster - Follow our Sitemap
    KEITHLEE2zdeconfigurator/configs/INFUSIONSOFT_OVERLAY.phpzdeconfigurator/configs/ OFFLOADING INFUSIONSOFTLOADING INFUSIONSOFT 1debug:overlay status: OFF
    overlay not displayed overlay cookie defined: TI_CAMPAIGN_1012_D OVERLAY COOKIE set:
    status off