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TL;DR: NVIDIA RTX A6000 48GB performance in Redshift
The Nvidia RTX A6000 is ideal for rendering large scenes with its 48GB of VRAM and NVLink support. At 65% faster than the previous generation Quadros, it represents a major upgrade in every aspect. The RTX A5000 24GB also saw major improvements in performance as well as a bump from 16GB to 24GB of VRAM. The A4000 grew from 8GB to 16GB and can outperform the older RTX 6000, as long as VRAM isn’t an issue. There are less expensive options in the GeForce line with less VRAM, a trade-off that will be acceptable for many users.
NVIDIA had a slow release schedule with their professional-grade graphics cards. The flagship Nvidia RTX A6000 was released early-2021, followed a few months later by the A5000, and then the A4000 a while after that. We finally are able to get data for all of the new cards. Nvidia has decided to forgo the “Quadro” designation this generation, shortening the official name to NVIDIA RTX A6000 for example, instead of NVIDIA Quadro RTX 6000. The only other differentiator between the generations is adding an “A” in front of the model number, likely adding some confusion among users if they are talking about the RTX 6000 or RTX A6000. Rendering applications like Maxon's Redshift should see significant improvements with these cards.
One thing we always like to point out when testing workstation cards like the RTX A6000 is that in many cases, straight performance is not the primary reason why you would invest in one of these cards over an NVIDIA GeForce GPU. In fact, performance tends to be lower than a comparable "consumer" GPU since most of those cards are designed to push the boundaries of performance.
Workstation cards, on the other hand, are all about specialty features not necessary for most consumer workflows (higher VRAM capacity, ECC VRAM, vGPU support, Quadro Sync, etc.), and more importantly for many, have a strong focus on stability. Not only do workstation drivers get more validation for professional applications, but the hardware itself is also more reliable. In fact, over the last three years (Jan 2018 to Jan 2021), we have seen about 3x higher reliability in the field with Quadro cards over GeForce (.33% failure rate versus .91%).
In addition, another advantage for Workstation cards that can be a factor for DaVinci Resolve users is that they are designed with multi-GPU configurations in mind. While there are some blower-style NVIDIA GeForce cards, having more than one or two GeForce cards installed in a system is not something that NVIDIA specifically designs them for.
If you want to see the full specs for the NVIDIA RTX A6000 as well as the other NVIDIA and AMD workstation GPUs we will be testing, we recommend checking out the NVIDIA Quadro product page. But at a glance, here are what we consider to be the most important specs:
|Quadro RTX 4000||8GB||2,304||7.1 TFLOPS||160W||$449|
|RTX A4000||16GB||6,144||19.2 TFLOPS||140W||$1,000|
|Quadro RTX 5000||16GB||3,072||11.2 TFLOPS||265W||$2,300|
|RTX A5000||24GB||8,192||27.8 TFLOPS||230W||$2,500|
|Quadro RTX 6000||24GB||4,608||16.3 TFLOPS||295W||$4,000|
|RTX A6000||48GB||10,752||38.7 TFLOPS||300W||$4,650|
|Quadro RTX 8000||48GB||4,608||16.3 TFLOPS||295W||$5,500|
While specs rarely line up with real-world performance, the biggest thing to note is that the RTX A6000 includes 48GB of VRAM at a lower cost than the Quadro RTX 8000, and theoretically has more than twice the performance of any of the previous generation cards.
48GB of VRAM is not necessary for all Redshift users, but if you work with especially high-resolution renders and have scenes with a large amout of polygons, materials or effects, having 48GB of VRAM can be the difference between a smooth workflow and one plagued with "Your GPU memory is full" errors. Considering that the RTX A6000 48GB is $850 less than the RTX 8000 48GB (which adds up quickly if you want multiple GPUs), the A6000 is already attractive from a straight price perspective – not to mention any performance improvements there may also be.
Listed below are the specifications of the system we will be using for our testing:
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 12-Core|
|CPU Cooler||Noctua NH-U12AP|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte X570 AORUS ULTRA|
|RAM||4x Crucial DDR4-3200 16GB (64GB total)|
|Video Card||Quadro RTX 4000 8GB
Quadro RTX 5000 16GB
Quadro RTX 6000 24GB
RTX A4000 16GB
RTX A5000 24GB
RTX A6000 48GB
|Hard Drive||Samsung 980 Pro 2TB|
Windows 10 Pro 64-bit (Ver. 2009)
*All the latest drivers, OS updates, BIOS, and firmware applied as of Sept 28th, 2021
To test each video card, we used the newer Redshift 3.0.33. 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, A5000, and A4000 (in dark green) compared to the other cards we tested:
The raw performance of this generation is amazing in V-Ray! The new RTX A6000 is roughly 65% faster than the previous Quadro RTX 6000/8000. It also offers a massive 48GB VRAM, equalling 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 you can get right now.
Moving down the stack, the A5000 is more than double the performance of the previous RTX 5000. The discrepancy between the A5000 and A6000 is likely due to limitations in the benchmark, as we saw similar results with GeForce cards, as well as in Octane. However, V-Ray’s results had a bigger difference. Amazingly, while the lower tier A4000 didn’t manage to double its score over the previous generation, it still performed nearly identical to the RTX 6000, while at a significantly lower cost. Truly impressive showings all around.
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. Showing a 65% improvement in score over the previous generation Quadros, it represents a major upgrade in every aspect. The RTX A5000 24GB also saw major improvements in performance as well as a bump from 16GB to 24GB of VRAM. The A4000 grew from 8GB to 16GB and can outperform the older RTX 6000, as long as VRAM isn’t an issue. There are less expensive options in the GeForce line with less VRAM, a trade-off that will be acceptable for many users.
As always, keep in mind that these results are strictly for DaVinci Resolve. 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 range of applications perform with the new GPUs from AMD and NVIDIA, as well as with different CPUs and other hardware.