[gmx-users] CUDA with QUADRO GPUs?

Szilárd Páll szilard.pall at cbr.su.se
Tue Jun 18 00:20:00 CEST 2013

Dear Ramon,

Compute capability does not reflect the performance of a card, but it
is an indicator of what functionalities does the GPU provide - more
like a generation number or feature set version.

Quadro cards are typically quite close in performance/$ to Teslas with
roughly 5-8x *lower* "GROMACS bang for the buck" compared to consumer
(GTX) cards. You can find a bit more detailed and more general
explanation here: http://goo.gl/80cQQ

More concretely, the K4000 is roughly as fast as a GTX 650 Ti, a
low-end consumer GPU (~120 Eur), for ~6x the price. For the price of
the K4000 one can get a high-end card, e.g the GTX780 which is among
the fastest NVIDIA GPUs to date (close to the Tesla K20 in single
precision). Hence, unless you really *need* the capabilities of a
Quadro card, that is if the visualization you are referring to means
CAD or similar *professional* graphics work, I suggest getting
consumer cards.

If you want to compare cards, from the point of view of GROMACS 4.6,
pretty much the only thing that matters is the number of cores (or
multiprocessors) times the GPU clock frequency. Note that comparing
cards between different generations (different "major" compute
capability) is not as straightforward.


On Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 6:38 PM, Ramon Crehuet <rcsqtc at iqac.csic.es> wrote:
> Dear all,
> I am considering buying a workstation with a Quadro K2000 or K4000 GPU.
> According to this NVIDIA site these GPU have more "compute capability" than
> most of the Tesla cards (except for the K20):
> https://developer.nvidia.com/cuda-gpus
> In particular, much more "compute capability" than the cards used for the
> Gromacs benchmark:
> http://www.nvidia.co.uk/page/gromacs_on_tesla.html
> Does that mean that I can perform efficient gromacs calculations on these
> K2000 or K4000 cards? Does anybody have experience with them?
> Thanks!
> Ramon
> PS. The reason why I want to buy a Quadro card is that these workstations
> will be used for visualization, but only during the summer period, where we
> have more students. If they could be used for running MD during the year, I
> would consider buying these high end cards, otherwise I'll probably but a
> cheaper card.
> --
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