This week, NVIDIA officially snapped their suspenders announcing the next in their series of GPUs sporting the latest graphics-crackin’ Ampere microarchitecture – the RTX A6000 Pro Viz GPU and the A40 Data Center GPU. They follow on the mainstream GPU availability of the unexpected, highly demanded, hard to come by RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 and, later this month, RTX 3070.

Jensen Huang, NVIDIA CEO, Ampere GPU
NVIDIA CEO, Jensen Huang (without leather jacket) – Fact check: TRUE.

NVIDIA Ampere GPU Specs

If you love the 1st-gen RTX GPUs, the next-gen is going to make you all sorts of giddy. The Ampere cards build on the Quadro RTX capabilities and introduce the 3rd-Generation of Tensor Cores tech to speed up AI operations, 2nd-Generation RT Cores to speed up ray tracing, and 3rd-generation NVLink to speed up multiple GPU scaling.

Though new performance data is coming out daily, here’s a mish-mash of specs that are, strangely enough, spread across various sites, collected here for your convenience.

CUDA CoresAmpere GPU Comparison
 A40A6000RTX 3070RTX 3080RTX 3090
GPUGA102GA102GA104GA102GA102
VRAM48GB48GB8GB10GB24GB
Memory Clock14.5 GB GDDR616 GB GDDR616 GB GDDR619 GB GDDR619.5 GB GDDR6
Memory Bandwidth696 Gbps768 Gbps448 Gbps760 Gbps936 Gbps
Memory Interface Width384-bit384-bit256-bit320-bit384-bit
CUDA Cores10752107525888870410496
Tensor Cores (3rd-Gen)336336384576576
RT Cores (2nd-Gen)8484466882
VRAM48GB48GB8GB10GB24GB
Tensor Performance??82 TFLOPS119 TFLOPS143 TFLOPS
NVLinks SupportYesYesNoNoYes
List PriceTBATBA$499$699$1499

You’ll notice the A6000 and A40 sit roughly between the Geforce 30 Series RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 but with gains in VRAM akin to the Turing-era Quadro RTX 8000 but more than doubling its CUDA core count. In fact, it may be more helpful to compare it to the high-end Turing GPU, so let’s do that.

CUDA CoresRTX GPU Comparison
 A40RTX A6000RTX 8000
GPUGA102GA102TU102
Processor Sizr8 nm8 nm12 nm
VRAM48GB48GB48GB
Memory Clock14.5 GB GDDR616 GB GDDR614 GB GDDR6
Memory Bandwidth696 Gbps768 Gbps672 Gbps
Memory Interface Width384-bit384-bit384-bit
CUDA Cores10752107524608
Tensor Cores336336576
RT Cores848472
Tensor Performance??130.5 TFLOPS
NVLinks SupportYesYesYes
List PriceTBATBA$10000

NVIDIA Ampere GPU Design

Perhaps just as sexy as all these numbers is the new GPU design. With the sleek two-tone black/gold style, it is now an certifiable travesty to hide these GPUs inside a dust-ridden tower or rack. Just look at these beauties:

The NVIDIA RTX A6000 – “Don’t lock me up in ze case!”
The NVIDIA A40 – “More Bling than Sting dancin’ the Highland fling.”
These Ampere GPUs are a might powerful, son!

NVIDIA Ampere GPU Performance

As mentioned, new Ampere performance data is showing up daily. Techgage has published quite a few articles on the RTX 30 series already with a look at RTX 3080 performance and RTX 3090 performance. Though RTX A6000 data is yet to hit, NVIDIA did reveal some performance insight. If you use KeyShot with SOLIDWORKS, Fusion 360, PTC Creo or other modeling software, early benchmarks with the RTX A6000 are showing up to a 275% performance increase over the RTX 6000. Here’s what others are saying about the new Ampere card.

The ability to double or triple the resolution and vastly accelerate our real-time visualization of massive, complex building models in cityscapes with the NVIDIA RTX A6000 is super impressive,”

Paul Renner, visualization manager at KPF

The new NVIDIA RTX A6000 lets us completely redefine what’s possible with real-time ray tracing and machine learning.”

Darren Hendler, director of the digital human group at Digital Domain

The new NVIDIA RTX A6000 has exceeded our expectations and shown performance gains of over 2x with ray-traced exterior scenes. It’s quite impressive.”

Guillaume Shan, Computer Graphics and Visualization Solutions at Groupe Renault

Be on the lookout for RTX A6000 availability mid-December and to start showing up in workstations from Lenovo, Dell, HP, and others early next year. If you’re interested in the technical aspects of the new Ampere architecture, hit the NVIDIA Ampere overview and settle in with some biscuits and cup o’ gravy to read over the riveting whitepaper at the bottom.

One more for good measure…

Jensen Huang, NVIDIA CEO, Ampere GPU
Author

Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.