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TL;DR: NVIDIA RTX A6000 48GB performance in Redshift
The NVIDIA RTX A6000 has nearly 40% faster rendering performance of the previous generation Quadros. While that isn't as much as other rendering engines, it is still very impressive given its price, massive 48GB of VRAM, and NVLink support. There are less expensive options in the GeForce line with less VRAM, a trade-off that will be acceptable for many users.
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. Those were all consumer-grade video cards, however, now we are finally able to take a look at the first workstation card with this architecture, the RTX A6000. NVIDIA has decided to forgo the “Quadro” designation this generation, but the RTX A6000 is a direct successor to the Quadro RTX 6000/8000. Professional applications like Maxon's Redshift should see significant improvements with this card.
If you want to see the full specs for the latest GPUs from NVIDIA, we recommend checking out the NVIDIA Quadro product pages. But at a glance, here are what we consider to be the most important specs:
|Quadro RTX 4000
|Quadro RTX 5000
|Quadro RTX 6000
|Quadro RTX 8000
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 Quadro RTX Series cards. The RTX A6000 replaces both the Quadro RTX 6000 and 8000.
Listed below is the specifications of the system we will be using for our testing:
|AMD Ryzen 9 5900X12-Core
|Gigabyte X570 AORUS ULTRA
|4x Crucial DDR4-3200 16GB (64GB total)
|Samsung 960 Pro 1TB
|Windows 10 Pro 64-bit (Ver. 2009)
Redshift 3.0.33 Demo
*All the latest drivers, OS updates, BIOS, and firmware applied as of Jan 20th, 2020
To test each video card, we used the newer Redshift 3.0.33 Demo. These tests were run twice on each GPU, with the best result being included in the graphs below.
Here are charts showing the performance of the new RTX A6000 (in dark green) compared to the other cards we tested:
The raw performance of the new RTX A6000 has a respectible improvement from the previous generation. The new card 40% faster that the previous Quadro RTX 6000/8000. It also offers a massive 48GB VRAM, equaling the RTX 8000, while costing a few hundred dollars less. If you are looking for the top of the line video card with the highest amount of VRAM, this is as good as it gets.
We do not have results for multiple A6000s yet, but we will soon. We are hoping that we’ll see a similar scaling with multiple cards. It has a lower power draw than the GeForce RTX 3090, so we are cautiously hopeful that we will be able to have 4 cards in a system.
How well does the NVIDIA RTX A6000 48GB perform in Redshift?
The NVIDIA RTX A6000 is ideal for rendering large scenes with its 48GB of VRAM and NVLink support. While we aren't seeing as much of a performance improvement as we are in other GPU rendering engines, the near 40% speed improvement while costing less than the Quadro RTX 8000 is still very repectable. There are less expensive options in the GeForce line with less VRAM, a trade-off that will be acceptable for many users. We also do not know what NVIDIA has planned for lower-tiered Ampere cards. We are hoping they we reveal an RTX A5000 and A4000 at some point in the future, but so far they have been silent.
As always, please keep in mind that these results are strictly for GPU-based rendering in Redshift. 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.