Subject: Graphics Cards | April 11, 2019 - 09:02 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: turing, rtx, ray tracing, pascal, nvidia, gtx, graphics, gpu, geforce, dxr, demo
NVIDIA has released the Game Ready Driver 425.31 WHQL which enables ray tracing for GeForce GTX graphics cards - a capability previously reserved for the company's RTX series of graphics cards. This change "enables millions more gamers with GeForce GTX GPUs to experience ray tracing for the first time ever", as the list of DXR-capable graphics cards from NVIDIA has grown considerably as of today.
The list of NVIDIA GPUs that are DXR-capable now includes (in addition to the RTX series):
- GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
- GeForce GTX 1660
- NVIDIA TITAN Xp (2017)
- NVIDIA TITAN X (2016)
- GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
- GeForce GTX 1080
- GeForce GTX 1070 Ti
- GeForce GTX 1070
- GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
- Laptops with equivalent Pascal and Turing-architecture GPUs
NVIDIA previously warned of a performance deficit when comparing even high-end Pascal GPUs such as the GTX 1080 Ti to the Turing-based RTX 20-series GPUs when this driver update was discussed during GTC, and their position is that for the best experience dedicated ray tracing cores will be required, and will make a measurable impact - with or without DLSS (a feature that requires the RT cores of the RTX series of GPUs).
"With dedicated RT cores, GeForce RTX GPUs provide up to 2-3x faster performance in ray-traced games, enabling more effects, higher ray counts, and higher resolutions for the best experience. With this new driver however, GeForce GTX 1060 6GB and higher GPUs can execute ray-tracing instructions on traditional shader cores, giving gamers a taste, albeit at lower RT quality settings and resolutions, of how ray tracing will dramatically change the way games are experienced."
In addition to the driver release which enables the visual goodies associated with real-time ray tracing, NVIDIA has also released a trio of tech demos on GeForce.com which you can freely download to check out ray tracing first hand on GTX and RTX graphics cards. Not only will these demos give you a taste of what you might expect from games that incorporate DXR features, but like any good demo they will help users get a sense of how their system might handle these effects.
The demos released include, via NVIDIA:
Atomic Heart RTX tech demo - Atomic Heart tech demo is a beautifully detailed tech demo from Mundfish that features ray traced reflections and shadows, as well as NVIDIA DLSS technology.
Justice tech demo - Justice tech demo hails from China, and features ray traced reflections, shadows, and NVIDIA DLSS technology. It is the first time that real time ray tracing has been used for caustics.
Reflections tech demo - The Reflections tech demo was created by Epic Games in collaboration with ILMxLAB and NVIDIA. Reflections offers a sneak peek at gaming’s cinematic future with a stunning, witty demo that showcases ray-traced reflections, ray-traced area light shadows, ray-traced ambient occlusion for characters and NVIDIA DLSS technology.
The download page for the tech demos can be found here.
And now to editorialize briefly, I'll point out that one of the aspects of the RTX launch that did not exactly work to NVIDIA's advantage was (obviously) the lack of software to take advantage of their hardware ray tracing capabilities and DLSS, with just a few high-profile titles to date offering support. By adding the previous generation of GPUs to the mix users now have a choice, and the new demos are a big a part of the story, too. Looking back to the early days of dedicated 3D accelerators the tech demo has been an integral part of the GPU experience, showcasing new features and providing enthusiasts with a taste of what a hardware upgrade can provide. The more demos showcasing the effects possible with NVIDIA's ray tracing hardware available, the more Pascal GPU owners will have the ability to check out these features on their own systems without making a purchase of any kind, and if they find the effects compelling it just might drive sales of the RTX 20-series in the endless quest for better performance. It really should have been this way from the start, but at least it has been corrected now - to the benefit of the consumer.
Subject: Graphics Cards | March 18, 2019 - 09:41 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: unreal engine, Unity, turing, rtx, ray tracing, pascal, nvidia, geforce, GTC 19, GTC, gaming, developers
Today at GTC NVIDIA announced a few things of particular interest to gamers, including GameWorks RTX and the implementation of real-time ray tracing in upcoming versions of both Unreal Engine and Unity (we already posted the news that CRYENGINE will be supporting real-time ray tracing as well). But there is something else... NVIDIA is bringing ray tracing support to GeForce GTX graphics cards.
This surprising turn means that hardware RT support won’t be limited to RTX cards after all, as the install base of NVIDIA ray-tracing GPUs “grows to tens of millions” with a simple driver update next month, adding the feature to both to previous-gen Pascal and the new Turing GTX GPUs.
How is this possible? It’s all about the programmable shaders:
“NVIDIA GeForce GTX GPUs powered by Pascal and Turing architectures will be able to take advantage of ray tracing-supported games via a driver expected in April. The new driver will enable tens of millions of GPUs for games that support real-time ray tracing, accelerating the growth of the technology and giving game developers a massive installed base.
With this driver, GeForce GTX GPUs will execute ray traced effects on shader cores. Game performance will vary based on the ray-traced effects and on the number of rays cast in the game, along with GPU model and game resolution. Games that support the Microsoft DXR and Vulkan APIs are all supported.
However, GeForce RTX GPUs, which have dedicated ray tracing cores built directly into the GPU, deliver the ultimate ray tracing experience. They provide up to 2-3x faster ray tracing performance with a more visually immersive gaming environment than GPUs without dedicated ray tracing cores.”
A very important caveat is that “2-3x faster ray tracing performance” for GeForce RTX graphics cards mentioned in the last paragraph, so expectations will need to be tempered as RT features will be less efficient running on shader cores (Pascal and Turing) than they are with dedicated cores, as demonstrated by these charts:
It's going to be a busy April.
Subject: Graphics Cards, Systems | February 21, 2019 - 03:04 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pascal, nvidia, mx250, mx230, mx, gp108, geforce mx
Two new laptop GPUs launched in NVIDIA’s low-end MX line. This classification of products is designed to slide above the GPUs found on typical laptop CPUs by a wide enough margin to justify an extra chip, but not enough to be endorsed as part of their gaming line.
As such, pretty much the only performance number that NVIDIA provides is an “up-to” factor relative to Intel’s HD620 iGPU as seen on the Core i5-8265U. For reference, the iGPU on this specific CPU has 192 shader units running at up to 1.1 GHz. Technically there exists some variants that have boost clocks up to 1.15 GHz but that extra 4.5% shouldn’t matter too much for this comparison.
Versus this part, the MX250 is rated as up to 3.5x faster; the MX230 is rated at up to 2.6x faster.
One thing that I should note is that the last generation’s MX150 is listed as up to 4x the Intel UHD 620, although they don’t state which specific CPU’s UHD 620.
This leads to a few possibilities:
- The MX250 has a minor performance regression versus the MX150 in the “up to” test(s)
- The UHD 620 had significant driver optimizations in at least the “up to” test(s)
- The UHD 620 that they tested back then is significantly slower than the i5-8265U
- They rounded differently then vs now
- They couldn’t include the previous “up to” test for some reason
Unfortunately, because NVIDIA is not releasing any specifics, we can only list possibilities and maybe speculate if one seems exceedingly likely. (To me, none of the first four stands out head-and-shoulders above the other three.)
Like the MX150 that came before it, both the MX230 and MX250 will use GDDR5 memory. The MX130 could be paired with either GDDR5 or DDR3.
Anandtech speculates that it is based on the GP108, which is a safe assumption. NVIDIA confirmed that the new parts are using the Pascal architecture, and the GP108 is the Pascal chip in that performance range. Anandtech also claims that the MX230 and MX250 are fabricated under Samsung 14nm, while the “typical” MX150 is TSMC 16nm. The Wikipedia list of NVIDIA graphics, however, claims that the MX150 is fabricated at 14nm. While both could be right, a die shrink would make a bit of sense to squeeze out a few more chips from a wafer (if yields are relatively equal). If that’s the case, and they changed manufacturers, then there might be a slight revision change to the GP108; these changes happen frequently, and their effects should be invisible to the end user… but sometimes they make a difference.
It’ll be interesting to see benchmarks when they hit the market.
Subject: Graphics Cards | January 2, 2019 - 12:34 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: pascal, overclocking, OC Scanner, nvidia, GTX 1080, gtx 1070, gtx 1060, geforce
GPU overclocking utility MSI Afterburner now supports automatic Pascal overclocking, bringing this feature to the GTX 10-series for the first time. NVIDIA had previously offered the OC Scanner only for the Turing-based RTX graphics cards (we compared OC Scanner vs. manual results using a previous version in our MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio review), but a new version of the API is incorporated in Afterburner v4.6.0 beta 10.
"If you purchased a GeForce GTX 1050, 1060, 1070, 1080, Titan X, Tian Xp, Titan V (Volta) or AMD Radeon RX 5x0 and Vega graphics card we can recommend you to at least try out this latest release. We have written a GeForce GTX 1070 and 1080 overclocking guide right here. This is the new public final release of MSI AfterBurner. Over the past few weeks we have made a tremendous effort to get a lot of features enabled for this build."
The release notes are massive for this latest version, and you can view them in full after the break.
Subject: Graphics Cards | December 9, 2018 - 05:40 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: pascal, msi, GP104, GeForce GTX 1060, armor
MSI is launching a refreshed GTX 1060 graphics card that uses GDDR5X for its 6GB of video memory rather than GDDR5. The aptly named GTX 1060 Armor 6GD5X OC graphics card shares many features of the existing Armor 6G OC (and OCV1) that the new card is a refresh of including the dual TORX fan Armor 2X cooler and maximum 4 display outputs among three DisplayPort 1.4, one HDMI 2.0b, and one DVI-D.
The new Pascal-based GPU in the upcoming graphics card is reportedly a cut-down variant of NVIDIA's larger GP104 chip rather than the GP106-400 used for previous GTX 1060s, but the core count and other compute resources remain the same at 1,280 CUDA cores, 80 TMUs, 48 ROPs, and a 192-bit memory bus. Clock speeds have been increased slightly versus reference specifications however at 1544 MHz base and up to 1759 MHz boost. The GPU is paired with 6 GB of GDDR5X that is curiously clocked at 8 GHz. The memory more than likely has quite a bit of overclocking headroom vs GTX 1060 6GB cards using GDDR5 but it appears MSI is leaving those pursuits for enthusiasts to explore on their own.
MSI is equipping its GTX 1060 Armor 6GD5X OC graphics cards with a 8+6 pin PCI-E power connection setup which should help overclockers push the cards as far as they can (previous GTX 1060 Armor OC cards had only a single 8-pin). Looking at the specification page the new card will be slightly shorter but with a thicker cooler at 276mm x 140mm x 41mm than the GDDR5-based card. As part of the Armor series the card has a white and black design like its predecessors.
MSI has not yet released pricing or availability information but with the GDDR5-based graphics cards priced at around $275 I would suspect the MSI GTX 1060 Armor 6GD5X OC to sit around $290 at launch.
I am curious how well new GTX 1060 graphics cards will perform when paired with faster GDDR5X memory and how the refreshed cards stack up against AMD's refreshed Polaris 30 based RX 590 graphics cards.
- The GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Review - GP106 Starting at $249
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Preview: Pascal with GP106
While 2018 so far has contained lots of talk about graphics cards, and new GPU architectures, little of this talk has been revolving around AMD. After having launched their long-awaited Vega GPUs in late 2017, AMD has remained mostly quiet on the graphics front.
As we headed into summer 2018, the talk around graphics started to turn to NVIDIA's next generation Turing architecture, the RTX 2070, 2080, and 2080 Ti, and the subsequent price creeps of graphics cards in their given product segment.
However, there has been one segment in particular that has been lacking any excitement in 2018—mid-range GPUs for gamers on a budget.
AMD is aiming to change that today with the release of the RX 590. Join us as we discuss the current state of affordable graphics cards.
|RX 590||RX 580||GTX 1060 6GB||GTX 1060 3GB|
|GPU||Polaris 30||Polaris 20||GP106||GP106|
|Rated Clock||1469 MHz Base
1545 MHz Boost
1257 MHz Base
|1506 MHz Base
1708 MHz Boost
|1506 MHz Base
1708 MHz Boost
|Memory Clock||8000 MHz||8000 MHz||8000 MHz||8000 MHz|
|Memory Bandwidth||256 GB/s||256 GB/s||192 GB/s||192 GB/s|
|TDP||225 watts||185 watts||120 watts||120 watts|
|Peak Compute||7.1 TFLOPS||6.17 TFLOPS||3.85 TFLOPS (Base)||2.4 TFLOPS (Base)|
|MSRP (of retail cards)||$239||$219||$249||$209|
Subject: General Tech | September 20, 2018 - 12:23 PM | Alex Lustenberg
Tagged: turing, RTX 2080 Ti, RTX 2080, rtx, podcast, pascal, nvidia, Intel, i9-9900K, i7-9700K, coffee lake
PC Perspective Podcast #514 - 09/20/18
Join us this week for discussion on both the Turing architecture, NVIDIA RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti product reviews, more 8-core Intel Coffee Lake Rumors and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano
Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg
Program length: 1:38:19
Podcast topics of discussion:
Week in Review:
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News items of interest:
Picks of the Week:
A Look Back and Forward
Although NVIDIA's new GPU architecture, revealed previously as Turing, has been speculated about for what seems like an eternity at this point, we finally have our first look at exactly what NVIDIA is positioning as the future of gaming.
Unfortunately, we can't talk about this card just yet, but we can talk about what powers it
First though, let's take a look at the journey to get here over the past 30 months or so.
Unveiled in early 2016, Pascal marked by the launch of the GTX 1070 and 1080 was NVIDIA's long-awaited 16nm successor to Maxwell. Constrained by the oft-delayed 16nm process node, Pascal refined the shader unit design original found in Maxwell, while lowering power consumption and increasing performance.
Next, in May 2017 came Volta, the next (and last) GPU architecture outlined in NVIDIA's public roadmaps since 2013. However, instead of the traditional launch with a new GeForce gaming card, Volta saw a different approach.
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 23, 2018 - 06:21 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: pascal, nvidia, GP107, GDDR5, budget
NVIDIA recently quietly launched a new budget graphics card that neatly slots itself between the GTX 1050 and the GTX 1050 Ti. The new GTX 1050 3GB, as the name suggests, features 3GB of GDDR5 memory. The new card is closer to the GTX 1050 Ti than the name would suggest, however as it uses the same 768 CUDA cores instead of the 640 of the GTX 1050 2GB. The GDDR5 memory is where the card differs from the GTX 1050 Ti though as NVIDIA has cut the number of memory controllers by one along with the corresponding ROPs and cache meaning that the new GTX 1050 3GB has a smaller memory bus and less memory bandwidth than both the GTX 1050 2GB and GTX 1050 Ti 4GB.
Specifically, the GTX 1050 with 3GB GDDR5 has a 96-bit memory bus that when paired with 7 Gbps GDDR5 results in maximum memory bandwidth of 84 GB/s versus the other previously released cards' 128-bit memory buses and 112 GB/s of bandwidth.
Clockspeeds on the new GTX 1050 3GB start are a good bit higher than the other cards though with the base clocks starting at 1392 MHz which is the boost clock of the 1050 Ti and running up to 1518 MHz boost clockspeeds. Thanks to the clockspeeds bumps, the theoretical GPU performance of 2.33 TFLOPS is actually higher than the GTX 1050 Ti (2.14 TFLOPS) and existing GTX 1050 2GB (1.86 TFLOPS) though the reduced memory bus (and loss of a small amount of ROPs and cache) will hold the card back from surpassing the Ti variant in most workloads – NVIDIA needs to maintain product segmentation somehow!
|NVIDIA GTX 1050 2GB||NVIDIA GTX 1050 3GB||NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti 4GB||AMD RX 560 4GB|
|GPU Cores||640||768||768||896 or 1024|
|TFLOPS||1.86||2.33||2.14||up to 2.6|
|Memory||2GB GDDR5||3GB GDDR5||4GB GDDR5||2GB or 4GB GDDR5|
|Memory Clockspeed||7 Gbps||7 Gbps||7 Gbps||7 Gbps|
|Memory Bandwidth||112 GB/s||84 GB/s||112 GB/s||112 GB/s|
|TDP||75W||75W||75W||60W to 80W|
The chart above compares the specifications of the GTX 1050 3GB with the GTX 1050 and the GTX 1050 Ti on the NVIDIA side and the AMD RX 560 which appears to be its direct competitor based on pricing. The new 3GB GTX 1050 should compete well with AMD's Polaris 11 based GPU as well as NVIDIA's own cards in the budget gaming space where hopefully the downside of a reduced memory bus will at least dissuade cryptocurrency miners from adopting this card as an entry level miner for Ethereum and other alt coins giving gamers a chance to buy something a bit better than the GTX 1050 and RX 550 level at close to MSRP while the miners fight over the Ti and higher variants with more memory and compute units.
NVIDIA did not release formal pricing or release date information, but the cards are expected to launch in June and prices should be around $160 to $180 depending on retailer and extra things like fancier coolers and factory overclocks.
What are your thoughts on the GTX 1050 3GB? Is it the bastion of hope budget gamers have been waiting for? hehe Looking around online it seems pricing for these budget cards has somewhat returned to sane levels and hopefully alternative options like these aimed at gamers will help further stabilize the market for us DIYers that want to game more than mine. I do wish that NVIDIA could have changed the name a bit to better differentiate the card, maybe the GTX 1050G or something but oh well. I suppose so long as the 640 CUDA core GTX 1050 doesn't ever get 3GB GDDR5 at least gamers will be able to tell them apart by the amount of memory listed on the box or website.
Looking Towards the Professionals
This is a multi-part story for the NVIDIA Titan V:
Earlier this week we dove into the new NVIDIA Titan V graphics card and looked at its performacne from a gaming perspective. Our conclusions were more or less what we expected - the card was on average ~20% faster than the Titan Xp and about ~80% faster than the GeForce GTX 1080. But with that $3000 price tag, the Titan V isn't going to win any enthusiasts over.
What the Titan V is meant for in reality is the compute space. Developers, coders, engineers, and professionals that use GPU hardware for research, for profit, or for both. In that case, $2999 for the Titan V is simply an investment that needs to show value in select workloads. And though $3000 is still a lot of money, keep in mind that the NVIDIA Quadro GP100, the most recent part with full-performance double precision compute from the Pascal chip, is still selling for well over $6000 today.
The Volta GV100 GPU offers 1:2 double precision performance, equating to 2560 FP64 cores. That is a HUGE leap over the GP102 GPU used on the Titan Xp that uses a 1:32 ratio, giving us just 120 FP64 cores equivalent.
|Titan V||Titan Xp||GTX 1080 Ti||GTX 1080||GTX 1070 Ti||GTX 1070||RX Vega 64 Liquid||Vega Frontier Edition|
|Base Clock||1200 MHz||1480 MHz||1480 MHz||1607 MHz||1607 MHz||1506 MHz||1406 MHz||1382 MHz|
|Boost Clock||1455 MHz||1582 MHz||1582 MHz||1733 MHz||1683 MHz||1683 MHz||1677 MHz||1600 MHz|
|Memory Clock||1700 MHz MHz||11400 MHz||11000 MHz||10000 MHz||8000 MHz||8000 MHz||1890 MHz||1890 MHz|
|384-bit G5X||352-bit G5X||256-bit G5X||256-bit||256-bit||2048-bit HBM2||2048-bit HBM2|
|Memory Bandwidth||653 GB/s||547 GB/s||484 GB/s||320 GB/s||256 GB/s||256 GB/s||484 GB/s||484 GB/s|
|TDP||250 watts||250 watts||250 watts||180 watts||180 watts||150 watts||345 watts||300 watts|
|Peak Compute||12.2 (base) TFLOPS
14.9 (boost) TFLOPS
|12.1 TFLOPS||11.3 TFLOPS||8.2 TFLOPS||7.8 TFLOPS||5.7 TFLOPS||13.7 TFLOPS||13.1 TFLOPS|
|Peak DP Compute||6.1 (base) TFLOPS
7.45 (boost) TFLOPS
|0.37 TFLOPS||0.35 TFLOPS||0.25 TFLOPS||0.24 TFLOPS||0.17 TFLOPS||0.85 TFLOPS||0.81 TFLOPS|
The current AMD Radeon RX Vega 64, and the Vega Frontier Edition, all ship with a 1:16 FP64 ratio, giving us the equivalent of 256 DP cores per card.
Test Setup and Benchmarks
Our testing setup remains the same from our gaming tests, but obviously the software stack is quite different.
|PC Perspective GPU Testbed|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-5960X Haswell-E|
|Motherboard||ASUS Rampage V Extreme X99|
|Memory||G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB DDR4-3200|
|Storage||OCZ Agility 4 256GB (OS)
Adata SP610 500GB (games)
|Power Supply||Corsair AX1500i 1500 watt|
|OS||Windows 10 x64|
Applications in use include:
- Cinebench R15
- Sisoft Sandra GPU Compute
- SPECviewperf 12.1
Let's not drag this along - I know you are hungry for results! (Thanks to Ken for running most of these tests for us!!)