NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20 Series Review Ft. RTX 2080 Ti & RTX 2080 Founders Edition Graphics Cards – Turing Ray Traces The Gaming Industry
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti & GeForce RTX 208019th September, 2018
NVIDIA Turing GPU - Turing Display Engine, VirtualLink and NVLINK Interconnect
With each new generation of graphics cards, NVIDIA delivers a new range of display technologies. This generation is no different and we see some significant updates to not only the display engine but also the graphics interconnect. With the adoption of faster GDDR6 memory which provides higher bandwidth, faster compression, and more cache, Gaming applications can now run at higher resolutions, supporting more details on the display.
The Turing Display Engine supports two new display technologies, DisplayPort 1.4a and VirtualLink. DisplayPort 1.4a allows for upto 8K resolutions with 60Hz refresh rates and includes VESA’s display stream compression 1.2 technology with visually lossless compression. You can run up to two 8K displays at 60 Hz using two cables, one for each display. In addition to that, Turing also supports HDR processing natively with tone mapping added to the HDR pipeline.
Turing GPUs also ship with an enhanced NVENC encoder unit that adds support for H.265 (HEVC) 8K encode at 30 fps. The new NVENC encoder provides up to 25% bitrate savings for HEVC and up to 15% bitrate savings for H.264.
Turing’s new NVDEC decoder has also been updated to support decoding of HEVC YUV444 10/12b HDR at 30 fps, H.264 8K, and VP9 10/12b HDR.
Turing improves encoding quality compared to prior generation Pascal GPUs and compared to software encoders. Figure 11 shows that on common Twitch and YouTube streaming settings, Turing’s video encoder exceeds the quality of the x264 software-based encoder using the fast encode settings, with dramatically lower CPU utilization. 4K streaming is too heavy a workload for encoding on typical CPU setups, but Turing’s encoder makes 4K streaming possible.
VirtualLink and USB Type-C – First on GeForce RTX
NVIDIA is also moving to make Virtual Reality less of a hassle for many users. Their solution is the new VirtualLink connector that uses a USB Type-C interface to seamlessly connect Virtual Reality headsets to your PC.
VirtualLink is a new open industry standard that includes leading silicon, software, and headset manufacturers and is led by NVIDIA, Oculus, Valve, Microsoft, and AMD. VirtualLink has been developed to meet the connectivity requirements of current and next-generation VR headsets. VirtualLink employs a new alternate mode of USB-C, designed to deliver the power, display, and data required to power VR headsets through a single USB-C connector.
VirtualLink simultaneously supports four lanes of High Bit Rate 3 (HBR3) DisplayPort along with the SuperSpeed USB 3 link to the headset for motion tracking. In comparison, USB-C only supports four lanes of HBR3 DisplayPort OR two lanes of HBR3 DisplayPort + two lanes SuperSpeed USB 3.
In addition to easing the setup hassles present in today’s VR headsets, VirtualLink will bring VR to more devices.
A single connector solution brings VR to small form factor devices that can accommodate a single, small footprint USB-C connector (such as a thin and light notebook) rather than today’s VR infrastructure which requires a PC that can accommodate multiple connectors.
Say Hello To NVLINK, The Permanent SLI Replacement For Next-Gen NVIDIA Graphics Cards – Supports 2-Way GPU Configurations
NVIDIA has said farewell to their SLI (Scale Link Interface) interconnect for consumer graphics cards. They will now be using the NVLINK interconnect which has already been featured on their HPC GPUs. The reason is that SLI was simply not enough to feed higher bandwidth to Turing GPUs.
A single x8 NVLINK channel provides 25 GB/s peak bandwidth. There are two x8 links on the TU102 GPU and a single x8 link on the Turing TU104 GPU. The TU102 GPU features 50 GB/s of bandwidth in parallel and 100 GB/s bandwidth bi-directionally. Using NVLINK on high-end cards would be beneficial in high-resolution gaming but there’s a reason NVIDIA still restricts users from doing 3 and 4 way SLI.
Multi-GPU still isn’t optimized so you won’t see much benefits unless you are running the highest end graphics cards. That’s another reason why the RTX 2070 is deprived of NVLINK connectors. The NVLINK connectors cost $79 US each and is sold separately. Currently, only NVIDIA is selling them as the AIB cards don’t include any such connectors but that may change once the standard is adopted widely.