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V-Ray GPU Rendering - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, 3080 & 3090 Performance

Written on October 29, 2020 by William George
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TL;DR: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Performance in V-Ray

The new GeForce RTX 30 Series video cards provide fantastic rendering speeds! The RTX 3070 and 3080 offer comparable performance for their respective prices, but the 3080's additional 25% of onboard VRAM makes it a better choice for most users. Those wanting the fastest rendering times, or working with complex scenes, will appreciate the GeForce RTX 3090's top performance, its massive 24GB of memory, and better support for multi-GPU configurations (via NVLink and variants with rear-exhaust coolers).

Excerpt from "Labs Open Office Hour: Labs Lads Discuss the New RTX 3070" live stream on 10/30/2020

Introduction

NVIDIA has launched their new GeForce RTX 30 Series video cards in a set of rolling releases during the fall of 2020, and has touted major advancements in performance and efficiency with this "Ampere" architecture. While gaming is almost always the media's focus during these kinds of launches, professional applications like Chaos Group's V-Ray should see significant per-card improvements as well. Now that all three of the initial cards - the GeForce RTX 3070, 3080, and 3090 - are available, we can test them against each other and a wide range of previous-gen models to see how they perform.

V-Ray GPU Rendering Performance Review for NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 8GB, 3080 10GB & 3090 24GB

If you want to see the full specs for the new GeForce RTX 3070, 3080, and 3090 cards, we recommend checking out NVIDIA's page for the new RTX 30 Series. But at a glance, here are what we consider to be the most important specs:

VRAM CUDA Cores Boost Clock Power MSRP
RTX 2070 Super 8GB 2,560 1.77 GHz 215W $499
RTX 3070 8GB 5,888 1.70 GHz 220W $499
RTX 2080 Super 8GB 3,072 1.65 GHz 250W $699
RTX 3080 10GB 8,704 1.71 GHz 320W $699
RTX 2080 Ti 11GB 4,352 1.55 GHz 250W $1,199
RTX 3090 24GB 10,496 1.73 GHz 350W $1,499
Titan RTX 24GB 4,608 1.77 GHz 280W $2,499

While specs don't always line up with real-world performance, it is a great sign that NVIDIA has roughly doubled the number of CUDA cores compared to the GeForce RTX 20 Series cards at similar price points. At the top-end of the new line, NVIDIA appears to have also combined the roles of the previous-gen RTX 2080 Ti and Titan RTX into the new RTX 3090. It has as much VRAM as the Titan did, but for $1,000 less - putting it in the same ballpark as the 2080 Ti, but with more than double the memory and CUDA cores.

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Test Setup

Listed below are the specifications of the system we used for our V-Ray testing:

To test each video card, we used two versions of Chaos Group's V-Ray benchmark: the older V-Ray Benchmark 1.0.8 and the newer V-Ray Next Benchmark 4.10.06. These tests were run twice on each GPU, with the best result being included in the graphs below.

If you wish to compare performance to your existing system, you can download the V-Ray Next Benchmark directly from Chaos Group (free account required). They also maintain a database of results that you can reference and contribute to.

Benchmark Results

Here are charts showing the performance of the new GeForce RTX 30 Series (in dark green) compared to the other cards we tested:

Performance Analysis

The raw performance of the new GeForce RTX 30 Series cards is amazing in V-Ray! Lets break it down for each card:

NVIDIA's RTX 3070 is faster than any RTX 20 Series card was, for a fantastic price. It handily beats cards that were two to five times more expensive from the previous generation. The 8GB of onboard memory and lack of NVLink are limiting factors, though.

NVIDIA's RTX 3080 is another 30%+ faster, and more than twice as fast as the RTX 2080 Super was for the same price. Combined with a 25% increase in VRAM over the 2080 Super (and the new RTX 3070), that increase in rendering speed makes it a fantastic value.

NVIDIA's RTX 3090 is twice as fast as the RTX Titan, which was the top consumer video card from last generation, while costing $1000 less and maintaining the same amount of VRAM. Moreover, the RTX Titan was only available from NVIDIA with their dual-fan cooling solution, meaning it could not be used effectively in multi-GPU configurations. The Founders Edition RTX 3090 that we tested for this article probably won't be ideal for that either, but Gigabyte has released a blower-style version of the 3090 which should work in that type of configuration. At 350W of draw per card, though, current power supplies may not be able to run a full set of four; I suspect that two in NVLink or a three individual cards will be the practical maximum in most systems.

When comparing these new cards to each other there are many trade-offs to consider. The RTX 3090 is about 20% faster for rendering in V-Ray than the 3080, which is not bad, but considering it also costs more than twice as much that isn't fantastic either. However, the 24GB of VRAM on the RTX 3090 is more than double what the 3080 offers (10GB) and the 3090 is also the only 30 Series card announced so far which supports NVLink. So for raw price:performance the RTX 3080 wins, but in terms of maximum performance, features, and support for rendering more complex scenes the GeForce RTX 3090 is clearly the way to go.

Are the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, 3080 & 3090 Good for V-Ray?

Yes, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 and 3090 are fantastic cards for GPU based rendering in V-Ray and V-Ray Next! Which one is right for you will depend on several factors:

  • RTX 3070 8GB - As a budget option this card is quite impressive, beating all previous-gen cards, but for the additional $200 the RTX 3080 is definitely more appealing with ~30% faster rendering and 20% more VRAM... unless it just doesn't fit in your budget.
  • RTX 3080 10GB - This card is more affordable and offers better rendering performance-per-dollar if you consider the card alone. However, its lower amount of VRAM (compared to the RTX 3090) may limit the complexity of scenes you can render and it lacks NVLink support as well.
  • RTX 3090 24GB - This card is about 20% faster for rendering than the RTX 3080, with 140% more onboard memory and support for NVLink. That means it will be much better suited to working with large scenes and detailed geometry. Moreover, Gigabyte has released a dual-slot, single-fan version of this card which allows multiple GPUs in a single system for even more performance.

As always, please keep in mind that these results are strictly for GPU-based rendering in V-Ray. If you have performance concerns for other applications in your workflow, we highly recommend checking out our Hardware Articles (you can filter by "Video Card") for the latest information on how a wide range of programs perform with various GPUs, CPUs, and other hardware.

GPU Rendering Workstations

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Labs Consultation Service

Our Labs team is available to provide in-depth hardware recommendations based on your workflow.

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Tags: Hardware Acceleration, NVIDIA, RTX 2060 SUPER, RTX 2070 SUPER, RTX 2080 SUPER, RTX 2080 Ti, Titan RTX, RTX 3080, V-Ray, GPU Acceleration, GPU, Render, Rendering, Video Card, GTX 1080 Ti, Chaos, Group, RTX 3090, RTX 3070
Rod

Hi,
Just wondering if you have tried building a dual 3080 system yet? I'm keen to know if it's possible to stack two 3080's and keep them cool (and also what the power requirements are like!).

Posted on 2020-12-15 05:39:30

Yes, we have! In fact, we have an article with performance info about 30 Series GPU scaling:

https://www.pugetsystems.co...

As for cooling, I strongly recommend using NVIDIA's Founders Edition cards - since they exhaust at least some heat out the back. The more common triple-fan designs from other manufacturers dump all the heat back into the chassis, which is a lot harder to deal with. You'll also want plenty of powerful chassis fans to provide fresh air intake and help push the heat from the video cards out of the system. When we are building a dual RTX 3080 system, we upgrade the case fans to Noctua models that are thermally controlled by the motherboard to ensure plenty of cooling when needed and quieter operation when the GPUs are not under heavy load.

For power, I would expect that a ~1000W power supply should suffice. It depends a bit on what CPU and motherboard platform you select as well, of course, and the other components you have.

Posted on 2020-12-15 18:08:31
Rod

Thanks, that's super helpful, especially on the PSU front.

Have you tried stacking 'traditional' 3-fan cards? (I know it's a generally bad idea, but ask simply because FE cards are all but impossible to find.)

Haven't had time to test myself yet but also curious if you have experience on whether chassis fans are best blowing front-to-back across GPUs or mounted on the side-panel. (I have tried high static-pressure fans on the rear of the case to draw the heat out - it works but it's a real hack-job solution)

Posted on 2020-12-15 22:58:52

I have not done any testing on multiple 3-fan cards, personally. I think our product qualification team has looked into that, and rejected it as an option for systems we build, but that doesn't necessarily mean it is impossible to make it work.

Personally, if I were doing a dual GPU setup, I would mix front and side intake. Front intake is good for general fresh airflow into the system, and a side fan right over the video cards can help direct air down between them in case the front air isn't getting where it needs to go. Then, balance the total intake with a similar amount of exhaust (or a little less; positive air pressure is better than negative IMO) out the back and potentially top of the chassis.

Posted on 2020-12-16 19:05:57
Rod

Thanks for the info!

Posted on 2020-12-30 06:46:36
Demetris

Hi,
I was wondering what would be the best combo for a laptop when it comes to design in 2d (autocad) , build the 3d model, render it and then post production.All applications running at the same time. I have two in my mind:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900
GPU: RTX 2070 refresh
RAM: 32Gb samsung 3200
SSD: 500GB samsung evo 970

CPU: INTEL i7-10870H
GPU: RTX 3070
RAM: 32Gb
SSD: 500GB

Posted on 2021-02-02 05:54:03

Hmm, that is tricky for two reasons:

1 - The AMD Ryzen 9 3900 is a desktop class processor, while the Core i7 10870H is a laptop model that draws a lot less power and is not likely to sustain as high of clock speeds. However, in a laptop the Ryzen might not maintain the same speeds it would in a desktop anyway (thanks to more restrictive cooling and power availability, especially if running on the battery).

2 - The Intel based system has a newer generation of video card, which won't be a big deal in 2D design but could really have a big effect in rendering (if you use a GPU-accelerated rendering engine).

With those things in mind, I would recommend considering your expected workflow. Do you think you'll need to run the system on battery power? If so, the Intel based model will likely be better equipped for that (though there are many other factors at play as well, like the size of the battery and other system specs). Or, if you can keep searching for an AMD based system with a mobile processor (instead of a desktop-class model) that could be a good solution too. AMD has released a newer series of CPUs as well (both mobile and desktop) with 5000 series model numbers, and those offer a big improvement over the older 3000 series.

Posted on 2021-02-02 23:36:28
Demetris

Hi George, thank you for replying . I know about the new AMD processors and what am thinking is that in the future if i get a bios update i could actually upgrade the cpu into the new zen 3 ...thats why am thinking the desktop processor.

Posted on 2021-02-03 11:14:06

I would be very hesitant about that - most laptops are not built with things like user upgrades (especially of CPUs) in mind. And even if it does work, both physically and with regards to an updated BIOS, that does not guarantee that the cooling in a laptop will handle a desktop CPU under sustained load. There is a reason that CPUs in desktops have massive heatsinks and fans, which are far larger than anything that can fit inside a slim laptop frame :(

Posted on 2021-02-04 00:28:29