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DonGrandioso

Fastest way to load (floating point) textures

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Hy, I was thinking about the fastest methode for uploading floating point textures to the GPU. Since I'm working on an out-of-core rendering engine (C#, DirectX), the time that the upload takes is crucial. 1) First a more generell question. Assuming simple RGBA (32bit) textures: is it faster to use e.g. DDS textures and the texture loading mechanism or is it faster to simply dump the values in a binary file and manually overwrite the textures (in C# using Texture.LockRectangle + Marshal.Copy). Don't worry about the time needed for loading the texture from harddisk to the main memory. The uploading of the texture from the main memory to the GPU turned out to be the main bottleneck in my application. Are DXT compressed textures decompressed on the GPU or on the CPU? 2) Does anybody know an optimised way to upload 96bit floating point textures (I need 3 floating point channels -> 3*32bit) to the GPU? Ideally no information is lost. I read this article http://research.microsoft.com/research/pubs/view.aspx?tr_id=1198 - interesting but lossy. I hope I was able to point out my problem... [Edited by - DonGrandioso on March 25, 2008 8:01:20 AM]

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The texture I'm using is too large to fit into both main and GPU memory. It is kind of a terrain heightmap. I tiled the texture and the parts that are needed are streamed on demand from the harddisk into the GPU's memory.
It turned out that the bottleneck is the uploading of the textures from the main memory to the GPU - therefor I'm looking for a technique to accelerate the process. The texture that has to be streamed is a 3 channel floating point texture.

[Edited by - DonGrandioso on March 25, 2008 7:28:45 AM]

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