70W NVIDIA Tesla T4 graphics could make Amazon Luna a poor fit for ninth-generation game streaming
Amazon recently announced Luna, its game streaming alternative to Google Stadia, Project xCloud, and PlayStation Now. Revelations about Luna’s hardware specifications, however, cast doubt on just how well the system will handle 4K gaming in the ninth-gen era.
Amazon announced that Luna will feature an Intel Cascade Lake CPU paired with an 8.1 TFLOP NVIDIA Tesla T4 graphics card. It’s unclear at the moment how much RAM will be allocated to each user. While Cascade Lake is a solid pick for CPU capabilities, we have serious doubts about the Tesla T4. Nominally, the T4 delivers 8.1 TFLOPs of compute power. With 2560 CUDA cores — as many as the GeForce RTX 2070 Super — theoretical performance shouldn’t be far off. In practice, though, a number of factors look to be potential dealbreakers.
For starters, the Tesla T4 features substantially slower 10 Gbps VRAM, delivering roughly 320 GB/s of bandwidth, a good chunk less than the 448 GB/s on the GeForce RTX 2070 and actually slightly less than the GeForce RTX 2060. Secondly, while the T4 has a 1590 MHz boost clock, the base clock is a measly 585 MHz. The GPU’s 70W TDP and passive cooling make it likely that actually in-game clockspeeds will be closer to the latter.
Turing cards like the GeForce RTX 2070 Super already struggle to deliver playable 4K experiences in eighth-generation games. With the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X raising the graphics bar substantially, we have trouble seeing how Luna can deliver great 4K experiences in the ninth-generation without a substantial hardware overhaul.