Nvidia Pascal and AMD Polaris, starting with GTX 1080/1070, and the AMD 480

archae86
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Topic 198603

I mean to start this as a thread for news, discussion, and (soon) results observations on Einstein computation using the soon to arrive Nvidia Pascal generation GPU parts.

As Nvidia made it very clear in the Maxwell (e.g. 750Ti) and Maxwell2 (e.g. 970/980) parts, they have pursued the design goal of power consumption economy far more than in the past. The Maxwell got considerable improvement in this respect over the predecessor parts, despite not getting a bump from the production process (TSMC 28 nm in both cases). The Pascal generation is by contrast, emerging on the TSMC 16nm FinFET process, which would be expected to provide considerable technology benefits in power efficiency, and in computation speed per unit chip cost. If additional design benefit in these has been attained, these could be a major advance, and they probably are, at least for some applications which fit them well.

For Einstein, of course, there is the possibility that at least at first they might not work at all. More worrisome is the possibility that the match of the Einstein applications through the code-generation software used to the Pascal architecture might be ineffective--at least until a cuda version higher than CUDA55 is used in the generation of general distribution applications--or perhaps forever.

I was extremely happy with my experience with Maxwell 750Ti and 750 cards, which I think gave very creditable performance per unit purchase price and per unit power consumption for their generation. The short length and modest power supply requirements made them an easy addition to many systems unable to fit a "serious gamer" card. My single Maxwell2 was a 970, which, even after applying the "secret recipe" memory overclocking, was less price and power advantageous than one might have hoped. My impression is that for Einstein use the 980 did not give enough performance advantage over the 970 to pay for itself by most ways of reckoning. The initial Nvidia announcements for GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 cards to reach customer delivery in late May and June 2016 seem clearly targetted to displace GTX970/980 customers, not the low end (750).

I, personally, am just now commissioning a new PC for my daily primary use, which I intend to equip with a GTX 1080 very shortly after they become available.

If anyone here knows a good reason why this is likely to be a bad idea for Einstein work, I'd be pleased to hear about it. Otherwise I hope to be providing real usage observations here not many weeks from now.

Adam Socki
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Nvidia Pascal and AMD Polaris, starting with GTX 1080/1070, and

What's the build you're looking at putting together besides the 1080?

archae86
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RE: What's the build you're

Quote:
What's the build you're looking at putting together besides the 1080?


Aimed at good performance at a decent price, not either extreme performance or extreme economy. Here are the main choices currently up and running:
i5-4690K (quad-core Devil's Canyon, aka Haswell Refresh) CPU
Asus Z97-E/USB3.1 motherboard
G.SKILL (2 x 8GB) SDRAM DDR3 F3-2133C10D-16GAB
Seagate ST2000DX001 2TB MLC/8GB SSHD as boot drive
Seasonic X-850 power supply
Noctua NH-U12S HSF

During the commissioning phase pending Pascal release, it has one Maxwell GTX 750Ti card in it. I got it from the Amazon Warehouse Deals site for cheap, but it was the least willing to overclock of any 750 Ti I've seen, and is currently running stock clock (as is the CPU).

Once the commissioning is far enough along to take my previous daily driver out of service, I'll transplant in the main data drive (a 4 TB HGST 0S03664). I'll also transplant an 80 GB SSD I'll use for temp files and the paging file).

archae86
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Since I wrote the opening

Since I wrote the opening post, I've seen multiple reports clarifying the release sequence.

Review cards have been in many reviewers' hands for several days, and the embargo on information release imposed on them expires May 17.

Nvidia is shipping "Founders' Edition" GTX 1080 cards starting May 27. These mostly are "selling the first place in line" as contrary to earlier reports they are neither overclocked nor equipped with cherry-picked GPU chips likely to OC unusually well but will carry a higher price than the MSRP for production product.

Current stories state that cards with other labels on them (including Asus, Colorful, EVGA, Gainward, Galaxy, Gigabyte, Innovision 3D, MSI, Nvidia, Palit, PNY and Zotac) will be available later than the Founders' Edition cards.

Initial 1070 release is stated to be June 10.

robl
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just saw an MSRP of $599 on a

just saw an MSRP of $599 on a GTX1080 - not associated with any retailer online or offline.

[EDIT] also saw: The GTX 1080 drops on May 27th with the GTX 1070 to follow on June 10th. The 1080 is priced at $599 while the 1070 will cost $379. Founders editions of each GPU with new coolers which will cost $699 and $449, respectively.

Gamboleer
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I'm glad you started this

I'm glad you started this thread; I'd been considering posting one to ask if anyone had planned to be an early adopter of the new series. I tend to keep one generation behind in my games, so would not buy a 1080/1070 unless it provides a spectacular advantage for crunching. As you say, in theory it will, but whether the software will be a good match is another question. I'm still rather annoyed at the performance of my 960.

Please keep us posted.

Adam Socki
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Same here, I was saving my

Same here, I was saving my pennies to buy a 980 or Titan but with this new 1080's price point it seems like a much better value.

AgentB
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NVIDIA Special Event: The

NVIDIA Special Event: The GeForce GTX 1080 and Pascal (Part 4) it is the power savings that are really impressive.

archae86
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RE: with this new 1080's

Quote:
with this new 1080's price point it seems like a much better value


I suspect the 1070 may be considerably the better value for crunching than a 1080, or better yet, a pair of 1070's running in one (adequate) box may rather likely outperform a single 1080 by a bigger proportion than their relative cost.

That is a guess, and it just may fit my near-term plans to generate some direct evidence. This is not a commitment, but at the moment I am leaning toward installing a 1080 very, very soon after they become available, and assuming it is non-disastrous (e.g. returns valid Parkes work at several times the 750Ti rate) follow up by obtaining a pretty early 1070 and swapping into the same system for as direct a comparison on Einstein BRP6 work as is reasonably feasible.

I'd think it extremely wise to wait for usage reports relevant to your personal interest instead of buying a 980 or current Titan at this point. If 1070/1080 live up to their hopes for your particular use, they should be considerably preferable. If not, you have lost a few weeks, and may find that some 980 or Titan prices will have been driven down by other people for whom the hoped-for advantage actually occurs.

robl
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And this: The graphics chip

And this: The graphics chip is purported to be quite frugal when it comes to power consumption as the GTX 1060 (release this fall) is said to not require any PCIe power connectors and can simply run off the 75W provided by the PCIe slot in a similar fashion to Nvidia’s GTX 750 Ti.

Daniels_Parents
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Some Specs in Comparison

Some Specs in Comparison (found at different Internet Sites, changes possible)

[pre] GTX 1080 GTX 1070 GTX 980*
GPU Architecture Pascal Pascal Maxwell
GPU Processor G104 G104 GM204
Memory 8 GB 8 GB 4 GB
Memory Type GDDR5X** GDDR5 GDDR5
Memory Clock 10 Gbps ? 7 Gbps
Memory Bandwidth 320 GB/s 256 GB/s 225 GB/s
Bus Interface 256 Bit 256 Bit 256 Bit
Base Clock Speed 1607 MHz 1127 MHz 1126
Boost Clock Speed 1733 MHz 1216 MHz 1216 MHz
Performance 9.0 TFLOP 6.5 TFLOPS 5.3 TFLOPS
CUDA Cores 2560 2048 2048
TDP 180 W 150 W 165 W
Founders Edition $699 $449 -
Standard (MRSP) $599 $379 -[/pre]
* EVGA GTX 980 Hybrid Clock Speed 1291/1393 MHz (my are running at 1448 MHz, not overclocked)

** GDDR5X is based on the GDDR5 standard and primarily doubles the prefetch of the standard (64 Bit wide memory access)

GTX 1080 is optimized for Virtual Reality (VR) and Multiple Screens,
we will see whether the new technology is suitable for Crunching or not.

Arthur

I know I am a part of a story that starts long before I can remember and continues long beyond when anyone will remember me [Danny Hillis, Long Now]

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