Compute Performance

For our look at compute performance this is going to be a brief look. Our OpenGL AES and DirectCompute Fluid Simulation benchmarks simply don’t scale with multiple GPUs, so we’ll skip though (though the data is still available in Bench).

Our first compute benchmark comes from Civilization V, which uses DirectCompute to decompress textures on the fly. Civ V includes a sub-benchmark that exclusively tests the speed of their texture decompression algorithm by repeatedly decompressing the textures required for one of the game’s leader scenes. Note that this is a DX11 DirectCompute benchmark.

Given the nature of the benchmark, it’s not surprising that we see a performance regression here with some setups. The nature of this benchmark is that it doesn’t split across multiple GPUs well, though that doesn’t stop AMD and NVIDIA from tying. This doesn’t impact real game performance as we’ve seen, but it’s a good reminder of the potential pitfalls of multi-GPU configurations. Though AMD does deserve some credit here for gaining on their single GPU performance, pushing their lead even higher.

Our other compute benchmark is SmallLuxGPU, the GPU ray tracing branch of the open source LuxRender renderer. We’re now using a development build from the version 2.0 branch, and we’ve moved on to a more complex scene that hopefully will provide a greater challenge to our GPUs.

Unlike the Civ V compute benchmark, SLG scales very well with multiple GPUs, nearly doubling in performance. Unfortunately for NVIDIA GK104 shows its colors here as a compute-weak GPU, and even with two of them we’re nowhere close to one 7970, let alone the monster that is two. If you’re looking at doing serious GPGPU compute work, you should be looking at Fermi, Tahiti, or the future Big Kepler.

Civilization V Power, Temperature, & Noise
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  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, May 10, 2012 - link

    The GTX680 by EVGA in a single sku outsells the combined total sales of the 7870 and 7850 at newegg.
    nVidia "vaporware" sells more units than the proclaimed "best deal" 7000 series amd cards.
    ROFL
    Thanks for not noticing.
    Reply
  • Invincible10001 - Sunday, May 13, 2012 - link

    Maybe a noob question, but can we expect a mobile version of the 690 on laptops anytime soon? Reply
  • trumpetlicks - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    Compute performance in this case may have to do with 2 things:
    - Amount of memory available for the threaded computational algorithm being run, and
    - the memory IO throughput capability.

    From the rumor-mill, the next NVidia chip may contain 4 GB per chip and a 512 bit bus (which is 2x larger than the GK104).

    If you can't feed the beast as fast as it can eat it, then adding more cores won't increase your overall performance.
    Reply
  • Joseph Gubbels - Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - link

    I am a new reader and equally new to the subject matter, so sorry if this is a dumb question. The second page mentioned that NVIDIA will be limiting its partners' branding of the cards, and that the first generation of GTX 690 cards are reference boards. Does NVIDIA just make a reference design that other companies use to make their own graphics cards? If not, then why would anyone but NVIDIA have any branding on the cards? Reply
  • Dark0tricks - Saturday, June 02, 2012 - link

    anyone who sides with AMD or NVIDIA are retards - side with yourself as a consumer - buy the best card at the time that is available AND right for your NEEDs.

    fact is the the 690 is trash regardless of whether you are comparing it to a NVIDIA card to a AMD card - if im buying a card like a 690 why the FUCK would i want anything below 1200 P
    even if it is uncommon its a mfing trash of a $1000 card considering:

    $999 GeForce GTX 690
    $499 GeForce GTX 680
    $479 Radeon HD 7970

    and that SLI and CF both beat(or equal) the 690 at higher res's and cost less(by 1$ for NVIDIA but still like srsly wtf NVIDIA !? and 40$ for AMD) ... WHAT !?

    furthermore you guys fighting over bias when the WHOLE mfing GFX community (companies, software developers is built on bias) is utterly ridiculous, GFX vendoers (AMD and NVIDA) have skewed results for games for the last decade + , and software vendors two - there needs to laws against specfically building a software for a particular graphics card in addition to making the software work worse on the other (this applies to both companies)

    hell workstation graphics cards are a very good example of how the industry likes to screw over consumers ( if u ever bios modded - not just soft modded a normal consumer card to a work station card , you would know all that extra charge(up-to 70% extra for the same processor) of a workstation card is BS and if the government cleaned up their shitty policies we the consumer would be better for it)
    Reply
  • nyran125 - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    yep........

    Ultra expensive and Ultra pointless.
    Reply
  • kitty4427 - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    I can't seem to find anything suggesting that the beta has started... Reply
  • trameaa - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    I know this is a really old review, and everyone has long since stopped the discussion - but I just couldn't resist posting something after reading through all the comments. Understand, I mean no disrespect to anyone at all by saying this, but it really does seem like a lot of people haven't actually used these cards first hand.

    I see all this discussion of nVidia surround type setups with massive resolutions and it makes me laugh a little. The 690 is obviously an amazing graphics card. I don't have one, but I do use 2x680 in SLI and have for some time now.

    As a general rule, these cards have nowhere near the processing power necessary to run those gigantic screen resolutions with all the settings cranked up to maximum detail, 8xAA, 16xAF, tessellation, etc....

    In fact, my 680 SLI setup can easily be running as low as 35 fps in a game like Metro 2033 with every setting turned up to max - and that is at 1920x1080.

    So, for all those people that think buying a $1000 graphics card means you'll be playing every game out there with every setting turned up to max across three 1920x1200 displays - I promise you, you will not - at least not at a playable frame rate.

    To do that, you'll be realistically looking at 2x$1000 graphics cards, a ridiculous power supply, and by the way you better make sure you have the processing power to push those cards. Your run of the mill i5 gaming rig isn't gonna cut it.
    Reply
  • Utomo - Friday, October 25, 2013 - link

    More than 1 year since it is announced. I hope new products will be better. My suggestion: 1 Add HDMI, it is standard. 2. consider to allow us to add memory / SSD for better/ faster performance, especially for rendering 3D animation, and other Reply

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