A GK110-based GeForce?
Nvidia has done a tremendous amount of work, from the hardware to software to promotion and more, to cultivate a market for its graphics chips as data-parallel processors for use in supercomputing, HPC, and academia. GTC 2012 featured a total of 340 different sessions presented by folks from a broad range of disciplines, and virtually all of the presenters were using GPUs for something other than real-time graphics.
If your interest in GPUs was, like mine, first sparked by graphics and gaming, you might be wondering about the prospects for a GeForce card based on the GK110. Trouble is, those prospects have been dampened somewhat by Nvidia's success in other areas. The GK110 won't reach the market until the fourth quarter of 2012, and multiple folks from Nvidia forthrightly admitted to us that those chips are already sold out through the end of 2012. All of those sales are to supercomputing clusters and the like, where each chip commands a higher price than it would aboard a video card. One gentleman seated in front of us at the GK110 deep-dive session mentioned in passing that he had 15,000 of the chips on order, which was his reason for attending.
The Nvidia executives we talked with raised the possibility of a GK110-based GeForce being released this year only if necessary to counter some move by rival AMD. That almost certainly means that any GK110-based GeForce to hit the market in 2012 would come in extremely limited quantities.
Nevertheless, with the information Nvidia has revealed about the GK110 and a dash of speculation, we can paint a picture of how a GeForce card based on the big Kepler might look. Note that we're assuming a higher clock frequency for the consumer graphics card than we have for the Tesla K20. Beyond the clock speeds, which affect all of the rates, we're only guessing about a couple of graphics capabilities. Nvidia hasn't officially confirmed that the GK110 has five GPCs, although we do have the die shot. Similarly, we'd expect 48 pixels per clock of ROP throughput to accompany its six memory channels, if the GK110 retains the same arrangement as the mid-sized Kepler.
|Process node||40 nm @ TSMC||28 nm @ TSMC||28 nm @ TSMC||28 nm @ TSMC|
|Core clock||772 MHz||1006 MHz||900 MHz||925 MHz|
|Hot clock||1544 MHz||-||-||--|
|Setup rate||3088 Mtris/s||4024 Mtris/s||4500 Mtris/s||1850 Mtris/s|
|SP FMA rate||1.6 Tflops||3.1 Tflops||5.2 Tflops||3.8 Tflops|
bilinear texel rate
|49/49 Gtexels/s||129/129 Gtexels/s||216/216 Gtexels/s||118/59 Gtexels/s|
|ROP rate||37 Gpixels/s||32 Gpixels/s||43 Gpixels/s||30 Gpixels/s|
|Memory clock||4000 MT/s||6000 MT/s||6000 MT/s||5700 MT/s|
|Memory bus width||384 bits||256 bits||384 bits||384 bits|
|Memory bandwidth||192 GB/s||192 GB/s||288 GB/s||274 GB/s|
We think the GK104 has a more suitable mix of resources for real-time graphics, especially for current games that have been cross-developed for antiquated console hardware. The GK110 may be twice the size, but it's not likely to be twice as fast for gaming. Still, our theoretical GK110-based GeForce increases shader flops and texture filtering capacity by two-thirds, along with respectable improvements in ROP rate and memory bandwidth. Since the GK104 is already a match for AMD's Tahiti, we reckon the GK110 would be substantially faster still—if and when it makes it way into a consumer graphics card.
82 comments — Last by brucethemoose at 6:26 PM on 06/03/12
|Nvidia's GeForce GTX 750 Ti 'Maxwell' graphics processor...takes on the Radeon R7 265 and friends||198|
|A quick look at Mantle on AMD's Kaveri APUPushin' it to the limit||119|
|First look: AMD Mantle CPU performance in Battlefield 4A new frontier for PC gaming?||340|
|AMD's A8-7600 'Kaveri' processor reviewedBetter graphics, bigger contrasts||448|
|A first look at Nvidia's G-Sync display techWe lean too far toward the screen, fall in, and don't want to come out||204|
|Are retail Radeon R9 290X cards slower than press samples?We take a look||303|
|Delving deeper into AMD's Mantle APIDispatches from APU13||194|
|AMD's Radeon R9 270 graphics card reviewedPitcairn again||77|
|Razer unveils homebrewed mechanical keyboard switches||29|
|Thursday Night Shortbread||12|
|Watch Dogs rescheduled for May 27||11|
|Cooler Master's QuickFire Stealth mechanical keyboard reviewed||14|
|Radeon R7 265 becomes available at $149, promptly sells out||32|
|It's official: DirectX 12 to be unveiled at GDC||72|
|Asus' desktop Kabini boards come in micro and mini flavors||54|
|OnLive bounces back with Steam Cloud support||21|