As many of you well know, China and its chip market have sort of been driven into a corner by US sanctions, and that in turn has greatly hampered innovation and development for the majority. For the company known as Moore Threads, however, the company has managed to get its own homegrown PCIe Gen5 graphics card to some benchmarkers outside the country.

If the name Moore Threads isn’t familiar to you, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Here’s a bit of background story: the company was founded back in 2020, making it a newcomer in the graphics card market. More specifically, it was founded by Zhang Jianzhong, a man who once formerly served as Global vice president and China general manager to NVIDIA.

Moore Threads’ PCIe Gen5 card is officially known as the MTT S80 and it is currently the only graphics card of its kind – both NVIDIA’s Ada Lovelace-powered GeForce RTX 40 Series and AMD’s RDNA3-based Radeon RX 7000 Series graphics cards are still using PCIe Gen4.

Specs-wise, the MTT S80 uses an MT Unified System Architecture (MUSA), based on a 12nm process node. Technically, it can support modern APIs, including CUDA, DirectX, OpenCL, OpenGL, and Vulkan. Interestingly, it also support the more modern AV1 encoding, along with older codec formats like H.264, H.265, and VP9. In addition, the GPU wields 4096 MUSA cores, that are able to run at 1.8GHz and offer up to 14.4 TFLOPs of FP32 performance. lastly, it comes with 16GB GDDR6 graphics memory running at a frequency of 14Gbps, running across a 256-bit memory bus.

(Image source: Videocardz.)

As for its performance, benchmarker Löschzwerg (@Loeschzwerg_3DC), who is also one of the first to get their hands on the MTT S80, fed the meme and found that the GPU could actually run Crysis, albeit at not-so-ideal framerates. On average, the card hovered between 16 and 31 fps, and that was on Full HD resolution with the graphics preset set to high. Meanwhile, the average framerate for another DirectX 9 title, F.E.A.R, saw its average framerate swing between 54 and 186 fps.

What was even more shocking about the MTT S80, however, was the amount of power it consume. The testbed Löschzwerg uses comprises a Core i5-10400, B560M motherboard, and 32GB DDR4-3200 RAM. Standalone, these components have an idle power draw of 22W. With the PCIe Gen5 card, that idle power spiked to 131W. Even worse, at peak power draw, the pulled 291W alone. For context, the GeForce RTX 4070 Ti has an independent TDP of 285W.

Löschzwerg says that the performance issues of the MTT S80 stems from driver issues. It’s also quite pricey at 2999 yuan (~RM1901). At that price, you may as well pick up and RTX 3060 Ti or if you’re lucky enough, and RTX 3070. Having said that, should trade restrictions against China continue to increase, the card may end up becoming an important alternative for the Chinese market.

(Source: Tom’s Hardware, Videocardz)

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