Recently we published our NVIDIA Titan RTX review. As that was in the pipeline, we saw NVIDIA double down on RTX server offerings at GTC 2019. Our editor-in-chief, Patrick, at GTC 2019 decided to buy a second Titan RTX. He thought, as did Cliff, that the NVIDIA Titan RTX would often be deployed in pairs using NVLink. For those that need desktop compute power for deep learning or other professional applications, two Titan RTX cards can offer a lot of value for getting work done quickly. In this review, we are going to look at the compute performance of two NVIDIA Titan RTX cards connected via NVLink.
First, let us get our test system setup and find out how two NVIDIA Titan RTX’s with NVLink perform.
NVIDIA RTX NVLink Bridge Overview
To test two NVIDIA Titan RTX GPUs, we need two cards and an NVIDIA RTX NVLink Bridge.
For our needs, we ordered a Titan RTX NVLink Bridge from NVIDIA’s site. These come in two sizes, a 3-Slot or 4-Slot Bridge. The motherboard we use for our GPU benchmarking purposes is an ASUS WS C621E SAGE which has plenty of space for the 4-Slot Bridge. We could have used the 3-Slot Bridge but wanted to give the extra slot space to allow for better cooling of the two NVIDIA Titan RTX GPUs. They are hot cards.
This is a pricey bridge costs $79.99 before tax. Four days later we had our Titan RTX NVLink Bridge in hand. NVIDIA presents us with a very nice box for our bridge; its gold color matches our two NVIDIA Titan RTX keeping these high-end GPUs all on the same color scheme.
Sliding off the box cover we see the package contents. Over the bridge, is a black sleeve which contains the support guide. Not much of interest is in the guide, but we did find that the NVLink Bridge comes with a three-year warranty which we will most likely void by promptly taking it apart.
Taking the bridge out of the box we get a look at the NVIDIA Titan RTX NVLink Bridge.
We have to admit that the bridge is very classy looking and has a quality feel to it. In addition to looking good, the NVIDIA logo is backed by LEDs that light up when in use.
Let’s flip the bridge over and take a look at the connectors.
The connectors appearance remind us of a PCIe x8 slot.
Removing the five screws that hold the bridge together, we can flip the cover over and see the PCB board underneath.
As we have said, the NVIDIA Logo on the top has a LED underneath that lights up when in use. Here we can see the connector and wires that connect the LED to the motherboard. Other manufacturers with different bridges use this to control LEDs on their bridges.
Here we see a close up of the PCB board and the small number of surface mount chips present.
Next, let us take a look at the dual NVIDIA Titan RTX NVLink setup and continue on with our performance testing.