Can’t wait for Volta? Here’s our pick of the best graphics cards to buy today.
The only people who were really satisfied with the performance of AMD’s RX Vega GPU were the green-tinged few at Nvidia. It meant they could stick with their original plans for a consumer Volta graphics card release sometime in 2018. Y'see, there were some noises ahead of the launch of the RX Vega 64 that they might do a ‘new Intel’ and pull in the release if AMD gave them serious competition at the high end of the GPU stack.
Instead they’ve done an ‘old Intel’ and decided what they’ve got out right now - the full Pascal 10-series range - is more than enough to cope with the vagaries of Vega’s gaming prowess. Though they may still drop a GTX 1070 Ti to really stick the boot in.
It’s for that reason we still know next to nothing about how Nvidia’s Volta GPUs will perform when we finally see consumer versions distilling the graphical essence of the GV100 silicon down into more manageable, and more affordable (to purchase and produce), forms next year. What we do now know, however, is what the tippy-top of Nvidia’s Volta range can do against the last generation of the green team’s GPU tech in the professional world.
And, holy crap, are they fast.
The Nvidia DGX-1 is their six-figure workstation with eight of the new Tesla V100 cards installed in it. The first benchmark scores we’ve seen, versus a similarly specced Tesla P100 rig, show the new architecture running 132% faster. To be fair that is with both systems running Geekbench tests via the CUDA API in a Linux environment, and not Deus Ex: Mankind Divided at 4K in Windows.
So, the Geekbench performance of the Nvidia DGX-1 versus the equivalent last-gen machine may not have a whole lot of direct relevance when it comes to what Volta will look like in our machines, but that doesn’t stop me from wishing Nvidia could somehow manage to deliver the same frame rate boost in gaming as they have with the compute performance.
Just imaging Hitman running at 176fps at 4K… those 165Hz 4K G-Sync HDR monitors would actually become relevant. Okay, so we can pretty much guarantee the consumer Volta GPUs aren’t going to deliver such gaming highs, but hey, a guy can dream, can't he?