Analyst: Nvidia Ampere Will Boost Performance, Slash Power Consumption by 50 Percent

Analyst: Nvidia Ampere Will Boost Performance, Slash Power Consumption by 50 Percent

Ever since AMD launched its high-end Radeon 5700 and 5700 XT GPUs on 7nm, there have been questions about when Nvidia would make a similar move. Competitively, Nvidia was able to respond to the 5700 and 5700 XT by launching refreshes of its RTX 2080, 2070, and 2060 GPUs as “Super” variants of the original models, but kept using TSMC’s 12nm process for the new GPUs.

The Taipei Times has reported that the Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting Company has issued an investment note to its clients advising them to expect big things from Nvidia’s next-generation architecture, codenamed Ampere. The note states: ” Nvidia’s next-generation GPU based on the Ampere architecture is to adopt 7-nanometer technology, which would lead to a 50 percent increase in graphics performance while halving power consumption.”

Data and graph by Anandtech. Blue is GTX 980, orange is GTX 1080.
Data and graph by Anandtech. Blue is GTX 980, orange is GTX 1080.

In this case, the GTX 980 – GTX 1080 comparison may be more accurate than the 1080 – 2080 comparison, because Nvidia got the benefit of a node shrink when it went from 980 to 1080, while the RTX 2080 is built on an optimized version of TSMC’s 16nm, with a smaller level of improvements compared with the shift from 28nm planar silicon to 16nm FinFET. The GTX 1080 – RTX 2080 Super comparison looks a bit more like the GTX 980 – GTX 1080 figures do, but the RTX 2080 Super is far more expensive than the typical GTX 1080 was, outside of cryptocurrency-fueled GPU price hikes.

The idea that Nvidia would cut absolute power consumption by 50 percent, however, seems unlikely and ahistorical. GPUs tend to sell into TDP bands up to ~300-350W (AMD has historically been more willing to push TDP a bit harder than NV). If you compare power consumption figures for modern GPUs, they don’t tend to fluctuate by nearly this much, and there’s been a steady upward trend. Anandtech records full-system loaded power consumption in Shadow of the Tomb Raider as 205W with the GTX 980, 225W with the 1080, 314W with an RTX 2080, and 350W with an RTX 2080 Super. The RTX 2080 Super scores 127.5fps in SotTR according to Anandtech, compared with 52.3fps for the GTX 980, which means it’s definitely a more power-efficient GPU, with a calculated 2.44x increase in frame rate in exchange for a 1.7x increase in power consumption. But it still uses more power in absolute terms.

It’s also possible that Nvidia was speaking about a specific part, workload, or intended market segment with its 50 percent power consumption improvement. We’ve seen companies leverage these sorts of metrics when discussing power improvements as well.

Thanks to Hot Hardware for spotting this news.

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