Nvidia announces three Quadro RTX cards powered by Turing GPUs

As part of the proceedings at Nvidia's SIGGRAPH keynote this evening, the company took the wraps off the first graphics cards powered by its Turing architecture for hybrid rendering with real-time ray tracing—certainly the biggest change in the production of computer graphics since the introduction of unified shaders with the GeForce 8800 GTX in 2006.

According to David Kanter, who is on the ground at SIGGRAPH, Turing includes a new functional unit called an RT core that accelerates ray-tracing-related functions like traversing bounding volume hierarchies and handling triangle intersection. It also includes a new version of Nvidia's tensor cores to perform deep learning training and inferencing operations critical to AI denoising of ray-traced scenes.

The third pillar of Turing is its traditional shader array, assembled using groups of new Turing streaming multiprocessors (SMs). Turing chips will have as many as 4608 CUDA cores capable of performing as many as 16 TFLOPS of FP32 calculations in parallel with 16 TIPS (trillion integer operations per second). Turing parts can also operate on reduced-precision data types at rates of 125 TFLOPS for FP16, 250 TOPS for INT8, and 500 TOPS for INT4.

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang revealed that the largest Turing GPU so far will be 754 mm² in area, smaller than the 815 mm² Volta V100 but still a massive GPU by any stretch of the imagination. Turing chips will be paired with Samsung 16-Gb density GDDR6 memory modules.

  Memory Ray tracing CUDA cores Tensor cores
Quadro RTX 8000 48 GB 10 GRays/s 4608 576
Quadro RTX 6000 24 GB 10 GRays/s 4608 576
Quadro RTX 5000 16 GB 6 GRays/s 3072 384

Nvidia is announcing three Quadro RTX cards this evening. The Quadro RTX 8000 will use the largest Turing GPU with 4608 CUDA cores and 576 tensor cores. It'll have a 48-GB pool of memory, and two of these cards can be paired up through NVLink to achieve a 96-GB pool of memory. Each RTX 8000 can perform 10 GRays/s of ray-tracing processing. The RTX 6000 cuts the size of the RTX 8000's memory pool in half but maintains the same provisions of CUDA cores and tensor cores as the RTX 8000. RTX 6000s can also be paired using NVLink.

The RTX 5000 most likely takes advantage of a smaller Turing GPU to do its thing. The card has 3,072 CUDA cores and 384 tensor cores, and its GPU can perform 6 GRays/s of ray-tracing operations. This card has 16 GB of memory on board and can be paired up using NVLink.

Quadro RTX cards will support USB Type-C video output and the VirtualLink standard for delivering power and pixels to next-generation VR headsets over a single cable.

Nvidia estimates that the Quadro RTX 8000 with 48 GB of memory on board will have a $10,000 street price. The RTX 6000 with 24 GB of memory will run $6,300, while the Quadro RTX 5000 with 16 GB of memory will carry a $2300 suggested price tag. Nvidia projects that the cards will become available in the fourth quarter of this year. We can't wait to find out more.

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