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Leaked Radeon Instinct MI100 GPU and HBM clockspeeds disappoint: Arcturus slower than RTX 2080 Ti, crushed by Ampere?

The Arcturus-based MI100 will likely be dead on arrival (Image source: AMD)
The Arcturus-based MI100 will likely be dead on arrival (Image source: AMD)
Leaked GPU and HBM clocks for the Radeon Instinct MI100 paint a grim picture: AMD's upcoming HPC contender will likely be slower than Nvidia's existing HPC parts. With Ampere arriving in a few months, the MI100 may be dead on arrival.
Arjun Krishna Lal,

Earlier, tipster KOMACHI_ENSAKA revealed details about AMD's upcoming HPC card, the Radeon Instinct "Arcturus" MI100. The MI100, based on the Vega-derived Arcturus architecture, was set to feature 8192 shader cores and a mammoth 32 GB of HBM memory. However, the paltry 200W TDP raised eyebrows: For a part with 8192 shader cores, clock speeds would have to be compromised in order to hit this relatively low power limit.

Today, GPU and HBM clock speeds were confirmed for the Radeon Instinct MI100. The Arcturus-based GPU will have a 1090 MHz base clock, 1333 MHz boost clock, and HBM clocked at 1000 MHz. What does this mean for the Radeon Instinct MI100's performance?

In typical HPC workloads, we expect clocks to be closer to 1090 MHz. As a Vega derivative, Arcturus' IPC is a known quantity. Using this, the leaked clocks, and performance figures for Vega 64 CrossFire setups, we can easily extrapolate real-world performance figures for the MI100.

Running at the 1090 MHz base clock, the Radeon Instinct MI100 will perform in between an RTX 2080 Super and the RTX 2080 Ti. Even if the MI100 is running at its max rated 1333 MHz clock, performance will be more or less on par with Nvidia's Titan RTX and Tesla V100, GPUs that've been on the HPC market for over a year.

With Nvidia's Ampere-based 7nm GPUs arriving in just a matter of months, the Radeon Instinct MI100 appears to be dead on arrival: it's slower than the existing competition and will almost certainly be outclassed by the time it arrives.

At this point AMD appears to have just two options: price the MI100 to undercut competition or raise the board power like it did with the RX 5600 XT. In thermal and power-constrained HPC environments, the latter might not be a good idea, however. 

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 02 > Leaked Radeon Instinct MI100 GPU and HBM clockspeeds disappoint: Arcturus slower than RTX 2080 Ti, crushed by Ampere?
Arjun Krishna Lal, 2020-02- 9 (Update: 2020-02- 9)
Arjun Krishna Lal
Arjun Krishna Lal - News Editor
I've had a passion for PC gaming since 1996, when I watched my dad score frags in Quake as a 1 year-old. I've gone on to become a Penguin-published author and tech journalist. When I'm not traveling the world, gathering stories for my next book, you can find me tinkering with my PC.