Partners: Nvidia's New Turing GPUs Will Shake Up Gaming, Workstation Markets


Nvidia said it is reinventing computer graphics with its newly revealed Turing graphics processor architecture — and it could bring a major shakeup in the gaming and workstation spaces, according to two partners.

Announced at SIGGRAPH on Monday, Nvidia Turing is the next-generation architecture for the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company's flagship line of graphics processors, or GPUs, and the company is pitching it as a game changer. One of the main selling points is built-in support for ray tracing, a next-generation rendering technique that realistically models how light interacts with objects, allowing computer programs to produce cinema-quality graphics in real-time.

"Hybrid rendering will change the industry, opening up amazing possibilities that enhance our lives with more beautiful designs, richer entertainment and more interactive experiences," Jensen Huang, CEO of NVIDIA, said in his SIGGRAPH address. "The arrival of real-time ray tracing is the Holy Grail of our industry."

[Related: Intel Says Next-Gen 10nm CPU Not Coming Until Holiday 2019]

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Nvidia Turing's hybrid rendering capabilities are made possible by new RT cores for accelerating ray tracing and new Tensor Cores for AI inferencing, according to the company.

Turing can perform real-time ray tracing operations 25 times faster than Nvidia's previous Pascal line of GPUs, thanks to the new architecture's RT Cores. Tensor Cores, on the other hand, are designed to accelerate deep learning training and inferencing, and they can enable new artificial intelligence features that allow developers to integrate graphics processing into applications with pre-trained neural networks.

The company launched a GPU called Titan V last year that specifically targets AI and deep learning applications.

Nvidia's first Turing-based products — the Nvidia Quadro RTX™ 8000, Quadro RTX 6000 and Quadro RTX 5000 GPUs — will start shipping in the fourth quarter. The company's top GPU, the RTX 8000, packs 4,608 CUDA Cores, 576 Tensor Cores and 48GB of memory and will retail for $10,000. The lower-end RTX 5000 packs 3,702 CUDA cores, 384 Tensor Cores and 16GB of memory and will sell for $2,300.

Randy Copeland, CEO of Velocity Micro, a Richmond, Va.-based system builder and Nvidia partner, said he expects the new line of Turing-based Quadro CPUs to shake up the workstation market. The company will launch new Quadro-based systems later this year.

"This Turing architecture honestly makes every workstation on the market obsolete, or soon to be. It's nearly that simple," he said in an email to CRN. "If you are a professional in design or modeling, you will see a dramatic improvement in your workflow."

Kent Tibbils, vice president of marketing of ASI Corp., a Fremont, Calif.-based distributor, said his company's customers in the channel are more eager to hear about Nvidia's forthcoming announcement of a new line of GPUs for gaming PCs and high-performance desktops.

The anticipation is so high, Tibbils said, that ASI's GPU sales have slowed recently as customers wait to hear news from both SIGGRAPH and the annual Gamescom event in Germany, where Nvidia is expected to announce a new line of Turing-based GeForce GPUs next week, according to The Verge.

"Right now, everybody is in a holding pattern. Demand is still there, so it's just building up," Tibbils said.

While reviews and benchmarks for Turing-based GPUs have not been published, Tibbils said he expects a "dramatic" upgrade in performance over Nvidia's previous line of Pascal GPUs.

"I think there's some real good potential for a refresh in PC gaming and the higher-end market," he said.