Industry News / CAD Hardware / Creo 2.0 Optimized on AMD FirePro Professional Graphics

Creo 2.0 Optimized on AMD FirePro Professional Graphics

Especially useful for large assemblies, transparency display modes run ten times faster with better accuracy and image quality. PTC and AMD worked together to get more performance from your graphics workstation and better productivity with Creo 2.0.

AMD and PTC have developed a multifaceted partnership. The fruit of this relationship for engineers and designers is delivered in the form of productivity enhancements in Creo 2.0, namely a huge increase in graphics performance and visual quality in Creo 2.0 when running on FirePro graphics.


PTC & AMD cooperation improved Creo 2.0 Performance

Transparency display modes accurately show relationships between components in complex assemblies

Any engineer working on a complex assembly can appreciate the benefits of transparent rendering modes. Not only can the engineer discern nearly 100% of the model's content, the transparent rendering mode also gives correct relative depth relationships, the combination of which is not possible using other rendering modes such as wireframe modes or non-transparent modes.


As with any feature, there is often a price to pay. Before PTC worked together with AMD on optimizing an extremely useful transparency function, Wildfire 5.0 used a transparency algorithm referred to as “blended” mode. The new transparency algorithm is known as Order Independent Transparency (OIT).





In this video, Brian Thompson, VP Creo Product Management, talks about the depth of the PTC & AMD cooperation as well as the benefits it brings to Creo customers.


As a quick explanation, blended mode required sorting all of the triangles representing the model before display on-screen. Naturally, the order of the sorted triangles depends on the viewpoint in the CAD software, so that every change of position or rotation required re-sorting of the model's geometry before re-displaying it. This processing of the data is calculated by the CPU, not the GPU and therefore, especially on large assemblies, it slows down the responsiveness of the system.


Additionally, each sorted polygon is sorted base on a single point contained in the polygon. When neighboring geometry overlaps, the result is that one polygon is defined as 100% in front of another when in reality, parts of a single polygon may be in front of the neighboring polygon but other parts of the same polygon may be behind it. By definition, the transparent image will be rendered with incorrect artifacts in the final image.

Creo 2.0 & FirePro OIT performance comparison

OIT optimizations help Creo users most when they need it the most – accurate display quality and up to 10 times the display performance on large, complex assemblies


Order Independent Transparency (OIT) resolves both limitations. First, the name of the algorithm correctly implies that the time-consuming step of sorting the geometry is not required. Instead, the algorithm uses the GPU hardware to establish the depth of every single point (pixel) of every single polygon relative to the others within the model so that the transparency is correctly rendered. The second point related to quality of the final image is that the OIT algorithm is extremely accurate regarding the depth comparison of the model's polygons. The fact that OIT is pixel-accurate regarding depth comparisons between polygons essentially eliminates all artifacts found in the older method.


Creo 2.0 OIT Quality

The new transparency algorithm uses the GPU and is much more accurate. The relative position for all of the geometry in an assembly is not calculated for every polygon, but for pixel of every polygon.

Hence, by changing the algorithm in Creo 2.0 and using the acceleration of the FirePro graphics, the image quality is essentially perfect while the speed increases up to ten times the previous performance.


AMD and PTC worked together to implement additional graphics performance with a specific OpenGL feature called Vertex Buffer Object or VBO. What is important about VBO and how it makes Creo faster is that the geometry of your Creo model is stored in the graphics memory. That allows the FirePro to render your model directly without the need for Creo to send the model information to the GPU every time you move the model. AMD's graphics experts worked with the PTC developers to implement this function in Creo 2.0 and AMD, with their benchmarking and analysis expertise, was able to optimize the performance of Creo 2.0 on AMD FirePro graphics.

The biggest user benefits from this optimization are seen with large, non-trivial models. In other words, precisely when the user needs the best performance, the new version of Creo and the AMD professional graphics will provide it. The data shows four times the 3D performance with Creo 2.0 when compared to Wildfire 5.0.


Another excellent reason to update to Creo 2.0.


FirePro VBO enhancements for Creo 2.0

The VBO enhancements to Creo 2.0 take full advantage of the FirePro GPU memory to boost interactive performance.

Notice in the performance number for both OIT and VBO optimizations that the Wildfire and Creo performance without these enhancements stays flat even when using demonstrably faster graphics. Naturally the reason for this lies in the fact that the Creo and Wildfire performance is limited by the CPU performance and not the GPU performance. Notice also that these performance improvements in Creo 2.0 not only give the user performance which is several times faster than before, but the performance also improves with faster GPUs. Hence, the PTC & AMD collaboration let's Creo 2.0 users get the best performance from their workstations.


With these optimizations PTC and AMD give Creo 2.0 users performance which uses all the capabilities of the workstation. Naturally a more responsive system is a more productive system. And in the case of the transparency enhancements, Creo 2.0 users are now have a display mode which can be used to better understand the relationships between all aspects of a complex assembly, work in that mode with excellent system response, and also have pixel-perfect quality display for relative depth positions and potential interference.


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