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Battle for supremacy in graphic processing turns bitter

Battle for supremacy in graphic processing turns bitter

The competition is at its most intense between AMD and Intel on the processor front, with no clear winner so far.

Sometimes, AMD prevails by a wide margin, and at other times, it’s Intel - but this is not the subject of our discussion today. Apart from the fierce competition between Intel and AMD, the latter is also engaged in an even more intense one with Nvidia on graphics processors.

And Nvidia has spared no effort in responding to all attacks. This bodes well in this highly sensitive industry, given that a lot of what’s being built now used these companies’ products.

Integral to a data processing universe

Some may not know the importance of graphics processors and how they contribute directly and indirectly to the next stage of computing and virtual, augmented, and hybrid worlds. As well as in the development of films, games, engineering advances, photography, geographic systems, military and security systems, and much more.

These processors are responsible for transforming huge amounts of information with full accuracy and detailing into a visual world that includes all the details. If we look at these technologies from just 10 years ago, we will find that a great deal has changed since.

The use of graphics processors in e-games requires a huge amount of small cores that process significant amounts of data at the same time. The number of cores may reach more than 3,500, while the CPU computer processors of Intel today do not exceed more than 48 cores, while in AMD it reaches 64 cores. And perhaps more in the latest versions of both.

But there is a difference between these numbers and the number of cores in graphics processors, because each has a different task from the other. Let’s imagine a central data processor that can be classified as a “manager”, and the number of cores and the amount of data it can execute may be classified as “employees”.

A core of everyday life

These processors have moved from being additional pieces for playing e-games on computers to be the basic processors in analyzing data, complex and long arithmetic operations, as well as help with machine learning systems, artificial intelligence, and mapping a virtual and augmented world. It can even monitor routine changes in security systems using the most complex machine learning algorithms, through which it detects if anything unusual occurs such as a car going in the wrong direction, a traffic accident, or someone simply leaving a bag.

Among the important applications using graphics processors are autonomous driving, as well as computer-generated voice analysis and recognition, analysis of chronic diseases, broadcasting, animation, and creation of games and virtual worlds.

Intel’s entry

The demand for graphics processors is soaring, and which is Intel recently entered this space, though timidly. Unfortunately, I think this is a late entry and far below the required levels. But to pay attention now is better than being forever left wondering, and I think Intel’s offerings will improve soon, due to the many changes that have occurred at the corporate level.

What’s really disturbing is the existence of an overbearing authority in the company, bleeding and destroying it with his decisions, as happened with several major tech companies. And this is what most bothers technologists.

A closer look

The arena until now was empty for Nvidia, which was actually competing with itself, wondering what to add in the next year for people to buy its devices again. But nothing lasts forever. We see AMD come out strongly with several processors that we can easily be recommend due to the price difference and a robust strong performance such as the Radeon RX 5700 XT.

It outperforms several processors from Nvidia, including the RTX 2060 super, according to Tom’s Hardware and other reviews, until the latter realized that the time of resting on laurels was over and now it is time again for decisive action.

Measures were taken to update devices and the series as a whole in an attempt to curb AMD’s gains. And it was able to do so in its most powerful processors such as the 2080 and new super processors such as the 3080. Many enhancements have been added as well as reducing prices in a direct competition.

AMD is now preparing to respond through its upcoming RX 6900 XT processor with the technology of Track Lighting, which will undoubtedly be something special and opens up several areas away from monopoly.

- Ahmed Al Zarouni is a Dubai-based tech consultant.