Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 Windforce OC review -
The graphics architecture that is Kepler
The graphics architecture that is Kepler
As you can understand, the massive memory partitions, bus-width and combination of GDDR5 memory (quad data rate) allow the GPU to work with a very high framebuffer bandwidth (effective). Let's again put most of the data in a chart to get an idea and better overview of changes:
|Graphics card||GeForce GTX
|GeForce GTX 680||GeForce GTX 690|
|Streaming Multiprocessors (SM)||5||7||7||8||16|
|Graphics Clock (Core)||980/1033 MHz||915 / 980MHz||915 / 980MHz||1006/1058MHz||915/1019MHz|
|Shader Processor Clock||980/1033 MHz||915 / 980MHz||915 / 980MHz||1006/1058MHz||915/1019MHz|
|Memory Clock / Data rate MHz||1502 / 6008 MHz||1502 / 6008 MHz||1502 / 6008 MHz||1502 / 6008 MHz||1502 / 6008 MHz|
|Graphics memory||2048 MB||2048 MB||2048 MB||2048 MB||4096 MB|
|Memory bandwidth||144 GB/s||144 GB/s||192 GB/s||192 GB/s||192 GB/s|
|Power connectors||1x6-pin PEG||2x6-pin PEG||2x6-pin PEG||2x6-pin PEG||2x8-pin PEG|
|Max board power (TDP)||140 Watts||150 Watts||170 Watts||170 Watts||300 Watts|
|Recommended Power supply||450 Watts||450 Watts||500 Watts||550 Watts||750 Watts|
|GPU Thermal Threshold||98 degrees C||98 degrees C||98 degrees C||98 degrees C||98 degrees C|
So we talked about the core clocks, specifications and memory partitions. Obviously there's a lot more to talk through the GPU architecture for example. To understand a graphics processor you simply need to break it down into pieces to better understand it.
Let's first look at the raw data that most of you can understand and grasp. This bit will be about the Kepler architecture, if you're not interested in g33k talk by all means please browse to the next page.
So above we see the GK106 block diagram that entails the Kepler architecture. Let's break it down into bits and pieces.
A fully operating GK106 will have:
- 960 CUDA processors (Shader cores)
- 192 CUDA core clusters (per SM).
- 5 geometry units
- 3 raster Units
- 80 Texture Units
- 24 ROP engines
- 192-bit GDDR5 memory bus
- DirectX 11.1
Above thus a fully operating GK106 as used on the GTX 660. So the more important thing to focus on are the SM (block of shader processors) clusters (or SMX as NVIDIA likes to call it for the GTX 660, which has 192 Shader processors. That's radically different from Fermi, the GeForce GTX 580 for example had 32 shader processors per SM cluster. 960 : 192 = 5 Shader clusters (SMs). Let's blow up one such cluster:
Above the block diagram for a single Shader processor cluster, aka SM or SMX as NVIDIA now calls it. The SMX has quite a bit more bite in terms of shader, texture and geometry processing. 192 CUDA cores, that's six times the number of cores per SM opposed to Fermi. Now, at the end of the pipeline we run into the ROP (Raster Operation) engine and the GTX 660 again has 24 engines for features like pixel blending and AA, the GTX 660 Ti has 24 of these activated.
There's a total of 80 texture filtering units available for the GK106. The math is simple here, each SM has 16 texture units tied to it.
- GeForce GTX 580 has 16 SMs X 4 Texture units = 64
- GeForce GTX 660 Ti has 5 SMs X 16 Texture units = 80
- GeForce GTX 660 Ti has 7 SMs X 16 Texture units = 112
- GeForce GTX 670 has 7 SMs X 16 Texture units = 112
- GeForce GTX 680 has 8 SMs X 16 Texture units = 128
Above the GK105 host interface - The Gigathread engine, three GPCs, three memory controllers, the ROP partitions, a 384 KB L2 cache. ROP partitions are nearby to the L2 cache, Each shader cluster then is tied to L1 and a shared L2 cache. Shading performance is going be increased quite bit, geometry performance will get a nice boost as well.
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