NVIDIA Intros RTX A1000 and A400: Entry-Level ProViz Cards Get Ray Tracing

With NVIDIA’s Turing architecture turning six years old this year, the company has been retiring many of the remaining Turing products from its video card lineup. And today that spirit of spring cleaning is coming to the entry-level segment of NVIDIA’s professional visualization lineup, where NVIDIA is introducing a pair of new desktop cards based on their low-end Ampere hardware.

The new RTX A1000 and RTX A400 cards will be replacing the T1000/T600/T400 lineup, which was released three years ago in 2021. The new cards slot into the same entry-level category and finally finish fleshing out the RTX A series of proviz cards, offering NVIDIA’s Ampere-generation professional graphics technologies in the lowest-power, lowest-performance, lowest-cost configuration possible.

Notably, since the entry-level T-series were based on NVIDIA’s feature-limited TU11x silicon, which lacked ray tracing and tensor core support – the basis of NVIDIA’s RTX technologies and associated branding – this marks the first time these technologies will be available in NVIDIA’s entry-level desktop proviz cards. And accordingly, these are being promoted to RTX-branded video cards, ending the odd overlap with NVIDIA’s compute cards, which never carry RTX branding.

It goes without saying that as low-end cards, the ray tracing performance of either part is nothing to write home about, but it gives NVIDIA’s current proviz lineup a consistent set of graphics features from top to bottom.

NVIDIA Professional Visualization Card Specification Comparison

 
A1000
A400
T1000
T400

CUDA Cores
2304
768
896
384

Tensor Cores
72
24
N/A
N/A

Boost Clock
1460MHz
1755MHz
1395MHz
1425MHz

Memory Clock
12Gbps GDDR6
12Gbps GDDR6
10Gbps GDDR6
10Gbps
GDDR6

Memory Bus Width
128-bit
64-bit
128-bit
64-bit

VRAM
8GB
4GB
8GB
4GB

Single Precision
6.74 TFLOPS
2.7 TFLOPS
2.5 TFLOPS
1.09 TFLOPS

Tensor Performance
53.8 TFLOPS
21.7 TFLOPS
N/A
N/A

TDP
50W
50W
50W
30W

Cooling
Active, SS
Active, SS
Active, SS
Active, SS

Outputs
4x mDP 1.4a
4x mDP 1.4a
3x mDP 1.4a

GPU
GA107
TU117

Architecture
Ampere
Turing

Manufacturing Process
Samsung 8nm
TSMC 12nm

Launch Date
04/2024
05/2024
05/2021
05/2021

Both the A1000 and A400 are based on the same board design, with NVIDIA doing away with any pretense of physical feature differentiation this time around (T400 was missing its 4th Mini DisplayPort). This means both cards are based on the GA107 GPU, sporting different core and memory configurations.

RTX A1000 is a not-quite-complete configuration of GA107, with 2304 CUDA cores and 72 tensor cores. This is paired with 8GB of GDDR6, which runs at 12Gbps, for a total of 192GB/second of memory bandwidth. The TDP of the card is 50 Watts, matching its predecessor.

Meanwhile RTX A400 is far more cut down, offering about a third of the active hardware on the GPU itself, and half the memory bandwidth. On paper this gives it around 40% of T1000’s performance, and half the memory bandwidth – or 96GB/second. Notably, despite the hardware cut-down, the official TDP is still 50 Watts, versus the 30 Watts of its predecessor. So at this point NVIDIA will soon cease offering a desktop proviz card lower than 50 Watts.

As noted before, both cards otherwise feature the same physical design, with a half-height half-length (HHHL) board with active cooling. As you’d expect from such low-TDP cards, these are single-slot cooler designs. Both cards feature a quartet of Mini DisplayPorts, with the same DP 1.4a functionality that we’ve seen across all of NVIDIA’s products for the last several years.

Finally, video-focused users will want to make note that the A1000/A400 have slightly different video capabilities. While A1000 gets access to both of GA107’s NVDEC video decode blocks, A400 only gets access to a single block – one more cutback to differentiate the two cards. Otherwise, both video cards get access to the GPU’s sole NVENC block.

According to NVIDIA, the RTX A1000 will be available starting today through its distribution partners. Meanwhile the RTX A400 will hit distribution channels in May, and with OEMs expected to begin offering the cards as part of their pre-built systems this summer.

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