The Universal GPU Powerhouse: A First Look at the L40S Test Drive Program at Thinkmate

February 12, 2024

The HPC landscape is evolving faster than ever, and access to cutting-edge GPU technology has emerged as paramount not only for scientists and engineers pushing the boundaries of computational science, but also for enterprises across every industry looking to leverage AI. That means an ever-increasing set of diverse and complex workloads which need more compute resources, greater scale, and a broad set of capabilities. GPU vendors have responded by creating a growing variety of GPUs.

To help sift through a growing number of promising choices, Thinkmate is offering a “Test Drive Program.”  The latest program is focused on the NVIDIA L40S GPU. While NVIDIA Grace and Hopper products are widely recognized, the L40S has proven itself to be a versatile high-performance solution for a wide range of workloads, thanks to its fourth-generation Tensor Cores and third-generation RT Cores. Let’s dig in.

Technical Specifications and Performance Benchmarks

Fourth-Generation Tensor Cores: Hardware support for structural sparsity and optimized TF32 format provide out-of-the-box performance gains for faster AI and data science model training. It also improves performance on new AI algorithms such as Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) for enable AI-enhanced graphics.

Third-Generation RT Cores: Driven by advanced ray tracing algorithms, RT cores enhance throughput and support concurrent ray-tracing and shading capabilities. Ray tracing is one of the earlier methods to improve realism in computer graphics used for product design, architecture, engineering, and construction workflows and gaming. Doing it in real time is very compute intensive. The L40S does extremely well here, delivering lifelike designs with hardware-accelerated motion blur and stunning real-time animations.

Transformer Engine: Transformer models are called “foundation models” because they dramatically improve the usefulness of AI. They do that by expanding AI’s context, helping it to take into account the impact of one item in their output on other distant items, say, words in a paragraph. Transformers are memory hungry and computationally intensive. So much so that NVIDIA created their Transformer Engine, hardware and software that dramatically accelerates AI performance and improves memory utilization for both training and inference. Leveraging the power of fourth-generation Tensor Cores, the Transformer Engine scans the layers of transformer model neural networks, automatically recasting between FP8 and FP16 precisions to deliver faster AI performance and accelerate training and inference.

Performance Benchmarks

AI Training: The NVIDIA A100 GPU continues to be a powerhouse and in demand. The L40S achieves a very impressive performance advantage over the A100, up to 2x faster for training times, model development, and iteration.

Generative AI: With a 1.2x speedup for image generation, the L40S improves performance for generative AI. That means higher-quality images with greater efficiency.

Thinkmate: HPC and AI Systems Built Your Way

Building it your way has always been an important objective at Thinkmate. It translates into servers, workstations, and storage solutions with custom configurations, built to order, stress-tested in manufacturing and testing sites around the world, warrantied, and supported with “expert-included” service.

While Thinkmate’s industry-leading e-commerce platform simplifies the purchase and the ongoing fulfillment process, a popular aspect of working with Thinkmate is the technical advice that’s a phone call away: about system hardware and software components and configuration, and their impact on cost, performance, availability, and delivery times.

Try Before You Buy

Thinkmate is committed to providing exceptional support and services, from technical assistance to personalized consulting, with the objective of helping you optimize your systems and maximize their potential. The “Test Drive Program” is part of that model and the L40S GPU is a great reason to check it out.

Upon registering, qualified participants will gain exclusive access to a test drive of the L40S GPU, allowing them to explore its capabilities firsthand. Through a remote window, participants will have allotted time to thoroughly explore performance, scalability, and suitability for their specific workloads. This hands-on experience provides a unique opportunity for customers to evaluate the L40S and its potential impact on their projects. Sign up today and unlock a new era of innovation in HPC.

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