AMD Radeon HD 7970 & HD 7950 - Heading to Southern Islands with Tahiti

New Features Found on the Southern Islands (Part 1)

DirectX 11.1, OpenCL 1.2 and DirectCompute 11.1

Besides being first consumer GPU to be fabricated from the 28nm process technology, another feather in AMD's hat is Tahiti being the first GPU to support DirectX 11.1, OpenCL 1.2, and DirectCompute 11.1. Take note that Windows 8 is slated to have support for DirectX 11.1.


Partially Resident Textures (PRT)

In order to take advantage of Tahiti's local hardware memory, AMD has implemented Partially Resident Textures (PRT) that treats the local memory as a texture storing cache. With this technology, texture information in upcoming video or graphic frames are pre-fetched from the CPU and HDD and stored locally on the GPU. Hence, such texture information can be streamed smoothly from the local cache to reduce stutter that is normally associated with scene loading in a typical game environment.

According to AMD, PRT technology needs to be implemented at the game engine level before it can be utilized. We believe that developers of game engines will need to implement program routines in the APIs of their engines to flush the page table of orphaned page entries.

One of the benefits of PRTs is to reduce stutter when loading game scenes.

Another advantage offered by PRT technology is its ability to dynamically load selected textures based on when they will be needed. In turn, the GPU can display a low-resolution texture before the higher-resolution version is loaded to further reduce stuttering.