Academic Benchmarking of NVIDIA CG100 Reveals its Fast

Published by

At the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) and the State University of New York, specifically at their Stony Brook and Buffalo campuses, a deep dive was taken into NVIDIA's latest powerhouse, the CG100 "Grace" server processor. This wasn't just any review; it was an extensive comparison against a range of other high-flyers in the realms of high-performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI). Despite NVIDIA shining its spotlight mostly on the GH200 "Grace Hopper" combo, it was the nitty-gritty technical prowess of their first true server processor, based on the ARM architecture, that caught the academic world's eye. A piece by The Next Platform peeled back the layers on Grace, revealing a chip that's not only abundant in cores but also impressively eco-friendly with its low heat output and the innovative use of power-saving LPDDR5 memory, a kind usually spotted in laptops but here beefed up for the heavy lifting required in modern HPC systems.

The big reveal came at the HPC Asia 2024 conference in Nagoya, Japan, where BSC and the New York team laid out their findings for all to see, also making them available on the ACM Digital Library. BSC's setup was particularly eye-catching, with their MareNostrum 5 system showcasing an experimental cluster that teamed up two Grace CPUs into a superchip duo, dubbed Grace-Grace, and linked through NVLink. This setup didn't just talk the talk; it walked the walk with a whopping 144 Arm Neoverse "Demeter" V2 cores and a terabyte of memory, delivering top-notch performance that left the center's previous Intel Xeon-based MareNostrum 4 in the dust.

The State University of New York didn't stop there; they broadened the battlefield to include NVIDIA's Grace configurations and a host of rivals like Intel's Sapphire Rapids and Ice Lake, AMD's Milan, and ARM offerings from Amazon and Fujitsu. Tom's Hardware weighed in, tipping the scales in Grace's favor in many matchups, though Intel's Sapphire Rapids put up a good fight, particularly with its HBM mode. Despite that, Grace stood out for its efficiency, managing a lower TDP of 500 watts compared to Sapphire Rapids' 700 watts.

The Next Platform's take is that Grace's real edge comes into play when paired with Hopper GPUs, showcasing that even without the GPU boost, this CPU can go toe-to-toe with the best, including dual Xeon setups, in certain tasks. This underlines Grace's potential to redefine the landscape in HPC environments.

Share this content
Twitter Facebook Reddit WhatsApp Email Print