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NVIDIA RTX 30-Series – You Asked. We Answered

Below are the answers to the Q&A Thread we posted yesterday. All the answers below have also been posted back over in the Q&A thread to respond to the individuals. The purpose of this thread is to list all the questions that were answered so everyone can see it!

NVIDIA has also posted this Q&A Summary Article here

I'm posting on behalf of NV_Tim. Anything below is from him.

Q&A Answers

With the announcement of the RTX 30-Series we knew that you had questions.
The community hosted a Q&A on NVIDIA and invited eight of our top NVIDIA subject matter experts to answer questions from the community. While we could not answer all questions, we found the most common ones and our experts responded. Find the questions and answers below.
Be on the lookout for more community Q&As soon as we deep dive on our latest technologies and help to address your common questions.

RTX 30-Series

Why only 10 GB of memory for RTX 3080? How was that determined to be a sufficient number, when it is stagnant from the previous generation?
[Justin Walker] We’re constantly analyzing memory requirements of the latest games and regularly review with game developers to understand their memory needs for current and upcoming games. The goal of 3080 is to give you great performance at up to 4k resolution with all the settings maxed out at the best possible price.
In order to do this, you need a very powerful GPU with high speed memory and enough memory to meet the needs of the games. A few examples - if you look at Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Metro Exodus, Wolfenstein Youngblood, Gears of War 5, Borderlands 3 and Red Dead Redemption 2 running on a 3080 at 4k with Max settings (including any applicable high res texture packs) and RTX On, when the game supports it, you get in the range of 60-100fps and use anywhere from 4GB to 6GB of memory.
Extra memory is always nice to have but it would increase the price of the graphics card, so we need to find the right balance.
When the slide says RTX 3070 is equal or faster than 2080 Ti, are we talking about traditional rasterization or DLSS/RT workloads? Very important if you could clear it up, since no traditional rasterization benchmarks were shown, only RT/DLSS supporting games.
[Justin Walker] We are talking about both. Games that only support traditional rasterization and games that support RTX (RT+DLSS).
Does Ampere support HDMI 2.1 with the full 48Gbps bandwidth?
[Qi Lin] Yes. The NVIDIA Ampere Architecture supports the highest HDMI 2.1 link rate of 12Gbs/lane across all 4 lanes, and supports Display Stream Compression (DSC) to be able to power up to 8K, 60Hz in HDR.
Could you elaborate a little on this doubling of CUDA cores? How does it affect the general architectures of the GPCs? How much of a challenge is it to keep all those FP32 units fed? What was done to ensure high occupancy?
[Tony Tamasi] One of the key design goals for the Ampere 30-series SM was to achieve twice the throughput for FP32 operations compared to the Turing SM. To accomplish this goal, the Ampere SM includes new datapath designs for FP32 and INT32 operations. One datapath in each partition consists of 16 FP32 CUDA Cores capable of executing 16 FP32 operations per clock. Another datapath consists of both 16 FP32 CUDA Cores and 16 INT32 Cores. As a result of this new design, each Ampere SM partition is capable of executing either 32 FP32 operations per clock, or 16 FP32 and 16 INT32 operations per clock. All four SM partitions combined can execute 128 FP32 operations per clock, which is double the FP32 rate of the Turing SM, or 64 FP32 and 64 INT32 operations per clock.
Doubling the processing speed for FP32 improves performance for a number of common graphics and compute operations and algorithms. Modern shader workloads typically have a mixture of FP32 arithmetic instructions such as FFMA, floating point additions (FADD), or floating point multiplications (FMUL), combined with simpler instructions such as integer adds for addressing and fetching data, floating point compare, or min/max for processing results, etc. Performance gains will vary at the shader and application level depending on the mix of instructions. Ray tracing denoising shaders are good examples that might benefit greatly from doubling FP32 throughput.
Doubling math throughput required doubling the data paths supporting it, which is why the Ampere SM also doubled the shared memory and L1 cache performance for the SM. (128 bytes/clock per Ampere SM versus 64 bytes/clock in Turing). Total L1 bandwidth for GeForce RTX 3080 is 219 GB/sec versus 116 GB/sec for GeForce RTX 2080 Super.
Like prior NVIDIA GPUs, Ampere is composed of Graphics Processing Clusters (GPCs), Texture Processing Clusters (TPCs), Streaming Multiprocessors (SMs), Raster Operators (ROPS), and memory controllers.
The GPC is the dominant high-level hardware block with all of the key graphics processing units residing inside the GPC. Each GPC includes a dedicated Raster Engine, and now also includes two ROP partitions (each partition containing eight ROP units), which is a new feature for NVIDIA Ampere Architecture GA10x GPUs. More details on the NVIDIA Ampere architecture can be found in NVIDIA’s Ampere Architecture White Paper, which will be published in the coming days.
Any idea if the dual airflow design is going to be messed up for inverted cases? More than previous designs? Seems like it would blow it down on the cpu. But the CPU cooler would still blow it out the case. Maybe it’s not so bad.
Second question. 10x quieter than the Titan for the 3090 is more or less quieter than a 2080 Super (Evga ultra fx for example)?
[Qi Lin] The new flow through cooling design will work great as long as chassis fans are configured to bring fresh air to the GPU, and then move the air that flows through the GPU out of the chassis. It does not matter if the chassis is inverted.
The Founders Edition RTX 3090 is quieter than both the Titan RTX and the Founders Edition RTX 2080 Super. We haven’t tested it against specific partner designs, but I think you’ll be impressed with what you hear… or rather, don’t hear. :-)
Will the 30 series cards be supporting 10bit 444 120fps ? Traditionally Nvidia consumer cards have only supported 8bit or 12bit output, and don’t do 10bit. The vast majority of hdr monitors/TVs on the market are 10bit.
[Qi Lin] The 30 series supports 10bit HDR. In fact, HDMI 2.1 can support up to [email protected] with 12bit HDR, and that covers 10bit HDR displays.
What breakthrough in tech let you guys massively jump to the 3xxx line from the 2xxx line? I knew it would be scary, but it's insane to think about how much more efficient and powerful these cards are. Can these cards handle 4k 144hz?
[Justin Walker] There were major breakthroughs in GPU architecture, process technology and memory technology to name just a few. An RTX 3080 is powerful enough to run certain games maxed out at 4k 144fps - Doom Eternal, Forza 4, Wolfenstein Youngblood to name a few. But others - Red Dead Redemption 2, Control, Borderlands 3 for example are closer to 4k 60fps with maxed out settings.
What kind of advancements can we expect from DLSS? Most people were expecting a DLSS 3.0, or, at the very least, something like DLSS 2.1. Are you going to keep improving DLSS and offer support for more games while maintaining the same version?
DLSS SDK 2.1 is out and it includes three updates:
- New ultra performance mode for 8K gaming. Delivers 8K gaming on GeForce RTX 3090 with a new 9x scaling option.
- VR support. DLSS is now supported for VR titles.
- Dynamic resolution support. The input buffer can change dimensions from frame to frame while the output size remains fixed. If the rendering engine supports dynamic resolution, DLSS can be used to perform the required upscale to the display resolution.
How bad would it be to run the 3080 off of a split connector instead of two separate cable. would it be potentially dangerous to the system if I’m not overclocking?
The recommendation is to run two individual cables. There’s a diagram here. https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce/graphics-cards/30-series/rtx-3080/?nvmid=systemcomp


Could we see RTX IO coming to machine learning libraries such as Pytorch? This would be great for performance in real-time applications
[Tony Tamasi] NVIDIA delivered high-speed I/O solutions for a variety of data analytics platforms roughly a year ago with NVIDIA GPU DirectStorage. It provides for high-speed I/O between the GPU and storage, specifically for AI and HPC type applications and workloads. For more information please check out: https://developer.nvidia.com/blog/gpudirect-storage/
Does RTX IO allow use of SSD space as VRAM? Or am I completely misunderstanding?
[Tony Tamasi] RTX IO allows reading data from SSD’s at much higher speed than traditional methods, and allows the data to be stored and read in a compressed format by the GPU, for decompression and use by the GPU. It does not allow the SSD to replace frame buffer memory, but it allows the data from the SSD to get to the GPU, and GPU memory much faster, with much less CPU overhead.
Will there be a certain ssd speed requirement for RTX I/O?
[Tony Tamasi] There is no SSD speed requirement for RTX IO, but obviously, faster SSD’s such as the latest generation of Gen4 NVMe SSD’s will produce better results, meaning faster load times, and the ability for games to stream more data into the world dynamically. Some games may have minimum requirements for SSD performance in the future, but those would be determined by the game developers. RTX IO will accelerate SSD performance regardless of how fast it is, by reducing the CPU load required for I/O, and by enabling GPU-based decompression, allowing game assets to be stored in a compressed format and offloading potentially dozens of CPU cores from doing that work. Compression ratios are typically 2:1, so that would effectively amplify the read performance of any SSD by 2x.
Will the new GPUs and RTX IO work on Windows 7/8.1?
[Tony Tamasi] RTX 30-series GPUs are supported on Windows 7 and Windows 10, RTX IO is supported on Windows 10.
I am excited for the RTX I/O feature but I partially don't get how exactly it works? Let's say I have a NVMe SSD, a 3070 and the latest Nvidia drivers, do I just now have to wait for the windows update with the DirectStorage API to drop at some point next year and then I am done or is there more?
[Tony Tamasi] RTX IO and DirectStorage will require applications to support those features by incorporating the new API’s. Microsoft is targeting a developer preview of DirectStorage for Windows for game developers next year, and NVIDIA RTX gamers will be able to take advantage of RTX IO enhanced games as soon as they become available.

RTX Broadcast App

What is the scope of the "Nvidia Broadcast" program? Is it intended to replace current GFE/Shadowplay for local recordings too?
[Gerardo Delgado] NVIDIA Broadcast is a universal plugin app that enhances your microphone, speakers and camera with AI features such as noise reduction, virtual background, and auto frame. You basically select your devices as input, decide what AI effect to apply to them, and then NVIDIA Broadcast exposes virtual devices in your system that you can use with popular livestream, video chat, or video conference apps.
NVIDIA Broadcast does not record or stream video and is not a replacement for GFE/Shadowplay
Will there be any improvements to the RTX encoder in the Ampere series cards, similar to what we saw for the Turing Release? I did see info on the Broadcast software, but I'm thinking more along the lines of improvements in overall image quality at same bitrate.
[Jason Paul] For RTX 30 Series, we decided to focus improvements on the video decode side of things and added AV1 decode support. On the encode side, RTX 30 Series has the same great encoder as our RTX 20 Series GPU. We have also recently updated our NVIDIA Encoder SDK. In the coming months, livestream applications will be updating to this new version of the SDK, unlocking new performance options for streamers.
I would like to know more about the new NVENC -- were there any upgrades made to this technology in the 30 series? It seems to be the future of streaming, and for many it's the reason to buy nvidia card rather than any other.
[Gerardo Delgado] The GeForce RTX 30 Series leverages the same great hardware encoder as the GeForce RTX 20 Series. We have also recently updated our Video Codec SDK to version 10.0. In the coming months, applications will be updating to this new version of the SDK, unlocking new performance options.
Regarding AV1 decode, is that supported on 3xxx series cards other than the 3090? In fact can this question and dylan522p question on support level be merged into: What are the encode/decode features of Ampere and do these change based on which 3000 series card is bought?
[Gerardo Delgado] All of the GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs that we announced today have the same encoding and decoding capabilities:
- They all feature the 7th Gen NVIDIA Encoder (the one that we released with the RTX 20 Series), which will use our newly released Video Codec SDK 10.0. This new SDK will be integrated in the coming months by the live streaming apps, unlocking new presets with more performance options.
- They all have the new 5th Gen NVIDIA Decoder, which enables AV1 hardware accelerated decode on GPU. AV1 consumes 50% less bandwidth and unlocks up to 8K HDR video playback without a big performance hit on your CPU.

NVIDIA Omniverse Machinima

How active is the developer support for Machinima? As it's cloud based, I'm assuming that the developers/publishers have to be involved for it to really take off (at least indirectly through modding community support or directly with asset access). Alongside this, what is the benefit of having it cloud based, short of purely desktop?
[Richard Kerris] We are actively working with game developers on support for Omniverse Machinima and will have more details to share along with public beta in October.
Omniverse Machinima can be run locally on a GeForce RTX desktop PC or in the cloud. The benefit of running Omniverse from the cloud is easier real-time collaboration across users.


Content creator here. Will these cards be compatible with GPU renderers like Octane/Arnold/Redshift/etc from launch? I know with previous generations, a new CUDA version coincided with the launch and made the cards inert for rendering until the 3rd-party software patched it in, but I'm wondering if I will be able to use these on launch day using existing CUDA software.
[Stanley Tack] A CUDA update will be needed for some renderers. We have been working closely with the major creative apps on these updates and expect the majority (hopefully all!) to be ready on the day these cards hit the shelves.


Will Nvidia Reflex be a piece of hardware in new monitors or will it be a software that other nvidia gpus can use?
[Seth Schneider] NVIDIA Reflex is both. The NVIDIA Reflex Latency Analyzer is a revolutionary new addition to the G-SYNC Processor that enables end to end system latency measurement. Additionally, NVIDIA Reflex SDK is integrated into games and enables a Low Latency mode that can be used by GeForce GTX 900 GPUs and up to reduce system latency. Each of these features can be used independently.
Is NVIDIA Reflex just a rebranding of NVIDIA’s Ultra Low Latency mode in the NVIDIA Control Panel?
No, NVIDIA Reflex is different. Ultra Low Latency mode is a control panel option, whereas NVIDIA Reflex gets integrated by a game developer directly into the game. Through native game integration and enhanced algorithms, NVIDIA Reflex is much more effective in optimizing a game’s rendering pipeline for lowest latency.
See our Reflex article here to learn more: https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce/news/reflex-low-latency-platform/
The Ultra Low Latency mode supported CS:GO and Rainbow Six:Siege, why doesn’t NVIDIA Reflex?
Unlike the NVIDIA Ultra Low Latency mode, NVIDIA Reflex provides an SDK that the developers must integrate. Having our technology directly in the game engine allows us to align game simulation and render work in a way that streamlines latency. We’ve currently announced support coming for top games including Fortnite, Valorant, Apex Legends, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Destiny 2. We look forward to adding as many titles as possible to our supported title list.
Does NVIDIA Reflex lower FPS performance to reduce latency?
The industry has long optimized for FPS, so much so that there have been massive latency trade-offs made to squeeze out every last 0.5% FPS improvement. NVIDIA Reflex takes a new look at optimizing the rendering pipeline for end to end system latency. While our research shows that latency is the key metric for aim precision and reaction speed, we understand FPS is still an important metric; so NVIDIA Reflex aims to reduce latency while maintaining FPS. In the majority of cases, Reflex can achieve latency reduction without any FPS impact. In a few cases, gamers may see small 0-2% FPS impacts alongside larger latency gains -- a good tradeoff for competitive games. Of course, Reflex is a setting in-game, so gamers can choose for themselves. Based on our testing though, we believe you’ll find little reason to ever play with it off.


Will customers find a performance degradation on PCIE 3.0?
System performance is impacted by many factors and the impact varies between applications. The impact is typically less than a few percent going from a x16 PCIE 4.0 to x16 PCIE 3.0. CPU selection often has a larger impact on performance.We look forward to new platforms that can fully take advantage of Gen4 capabilities for potential performance increases.
submitted by Nestledrink to nvidia

Stadia may be a bit slow to roll out platform updates, but at least it has a platform!

TLDR - Google may be slow on its platform updates. But, Luna doesn't seem to have any platform to speak of!
This post stems from conversations with u/one2escape, who I have great respect for, but fundamentally disagree with when it comes to this issue - which is fun!
People are justifiably antsy about crowd-play, friends messaging, better global leaderboards and a few other platform niceties rolling out on Stadia. But, at least Stadia has a platform! I want to compare this with the recently released Luna.
I’m a cloud gaming enthusiast; I've spent a long time with GeForce Now starting in the original NVIDIA Shield days. I’m generally excited to see new services in the cloud gaming space because it helps validate the entire ecosystem. I’ve got my invite request in for Luna (and particularly like that they have RTX!), but I’m not liking a lot of what I’m seeing and hearing about the overall service.
It looks to me like Amazon has put a bare-bones amount of work into this so far: To port to Luna it seems you 1. Download a generic copy of a PC game from a vendor site. 2. Launch it on AWS Windows server instance. 3. Slap a web interface on top to launch the games. I will, though, give them props for their search bar (good grief Google, where is that??) and being first out of the gate with a PWA on iOS on the front-end side of things.
While the above model certainly makes porting games to the service easy, it’s also bound to lead to a generally poor user experience. There seemingly isn’t anything at all to Luna. There is no platform. There is no foundation to the house!!
It seems closer to where Google was at with Project Stream than what they launched with Stadia, let alone where Stadia is at now. Luna’s ecosystem seems like playing on Windows before Steam came along to provide a proper platform and all the QOL/UX niceties.

As far as I can tell, there is nothing at all to Luna

  • There are no achievements (yet anyway). More importantly, there doesn’t appear to be any achievements API in place (at least they haven't mentioned anything, though not 100% sure it isn't secretly in place). It doesn’t appear there is any way to collect achievements and hope a UI comes later to view them like Stadia's launch. This is a huge deal for people like me who like to run an instrumented life. Apparently, an Amazon rep said something vague about achievements coming down the line in some sort of new and novel form. I worry (I of course could be wrong) that this is code for: “We don’t actually have platform requirements for games, so we’ll create “something that we call achievements.” Like maybe something based on time of play or another high level stat?? Ubisoft’s games will use UPlay's separate achievement system. That sounds like a wild west solution where every channel will have to implement their own system!
  • There is no Friends list and all that implies. Unless things change (or if the APIs are secretly already implemented), if multiplayer comes to games it looks like it will be up to each developer to roll some kind of sensible friends system on their own. This is probably OK for Ubisoft, but a mess in general. This is actually fairly important even in single-player games where you typically have leaderboards etc. that compare you to your friends so you can spur each-other on. There obviously isn't any friends messaging or party system since there aren't friends.
  • It doesn't look like there are any cloud centric platform APIs in place - all the things Stadia has (in admittedly a subset of their games).
  • It doesn’t seem like there is much in the way of ANY platform APIs that handle various small ways games interact with the platform. (e.g. the equivalent of the Platform SDK here - https://stadia.dev/about/). I assume Luna must have at least *something*, but it isn’t evident.
  • There isn’t any online multiplayer what-so-ever at this point based on early reports? Strange! I have to believe this one at least will be rectified soon. After all, you don’t really need a bunch of platform APIs to do basic multiplayer.

Can’t Luna just add a platform after the fact?

Yes. They probably can. But, they appear to be already releasing 100+ games without it. That is a big precedent to set! It will be real hard to start enforcing platform requirements/integration after the genie is already out of the bottle. Again, unless this all already secretly implemented.
It would be like Google’s Project Stream 3 years ago launching with 100 Linux games in their generic state. Come 2020, they’d be on their knees begging those developers to start playing by their platform rules and probably dropping a lot of cash to fix the mess they created by not doing things right from the start. It is a lot harder to add a foundation to a house after it is built!

Well, at least Luna uses Windows so that makes it easier to port right?

Let me begin by saying that there is indeed some truth to this. Not every game has both DirectX and OpenGL/Vulkan support. But, it probably isn’t nearly as important as people think.
20+ of the games that Luna has that haven’t (yet) come Stadia are actually already on Linux or OpenGL/Vulkan!! These include the following: Overcooked 2, Everspace, Shadow Tactics, Indivisible, Two Point Hospital, Atomik (Mac), Tacoma, Iconoclasts, Blasphemous, Yooka-Laylee, Tangledeep, Edna and Harvey (2 games in this series), Wonder Boy: The Dragon Trap, Deponia Doomsday, Obduction (Mac), Victor Vran: Overkill Edition, Aragami, CrossCode, Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth, Goodbye Deponia, Thimbleweed Park.
A bunch of Luna’s other games are already on Stadia.
I theorize that the reason it is quick to port to Luna is less about Windows vs Linux and more about the fact that Luna has seemingly no platform!! Again, unless platform APIs are all just secretly there and implemented in the games (which I find doubtful).
So, I think Amazon made a trade-off: its especially easy to port to Luna at the expense of a quality user experience.

Luna gets a pass for being “early access” though right?

I do think it was a strategic marketing mistake for Google not to release under a “beta” tag. That would have bought them some slack.
On the other hand, Luna is going to be out there with 100+ games soon (as I said above, it isn’t going to be easy to build a platform underneath them after the fact), they are charging real money for subscriptions, and they are actually showing early access players ads before games launch (a real puzzle of a thing to do during early access).
In some sense, a label is just a label, and when people put up real $s, they expect something in return. So, I think calling their service “early access” buys Amazon a little bit of spare rope, but it isn’t a get out of jail free card.

So, then Luna is garbage?

No! I’m still anxiously awaiting my invite. Probably if Amazon sees this, I’ll be moved to the back of the line. However, I have basically every streaming video service. I'll happily use multiple streaming game services - especially if they are complimentary in any way.
But, it pretty clearly isn’t going to replace Stadia as my #1 cloud service anytime soon. It'll probably slot into position #3 after GFN.


I can't find any evidence that there is any kind of platform integration or platform defining set of APIs for Luna that provide an experience near Stadia or Steam in place. I could be wrong, and an entire fleshed-out underlying platform is actually secretly in place and integrated into games just waiting for the UI to be built up. But... I doubt it.
Stadia will likely stay #1 in my books for quite a while. Stadia may be missing some platform features. But, at least it has one!
Edit - Been enjoying the conversation below and will try to respond more tomorrow! If you like the topic, u/one2escape and Rokk host "Luna Cast" on twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/thelunacast - I'm sure they'll also be entertaining lots more discussion about how the service will create a compelling platform or not.
submitted by jdeslip to Stadia