When most people talk about server power, it’s in relation to the processor (or processors) installed. However, there’s a different class of server that can dramatically increase performance, while reducing power usage: a GPU server. Switching to use graphics cards for certain tasks shows you how GPU servers can benefit your business.
How GPU servers can benefit your business – What is a GPU server?
CPUs are designed for general purpose computing, able to handle anything thrown at them. As such, for running a flexible array of applications, such as an email server, web client or word processing application, they’re ideal. Yet, if focused on a specific task, custom hardware designed to do that job will be faster than a CPU.
A good example of this is Graphics Processing Units (GPUs), which are built differently to CPUs. Designed specifically for generating realistic 3D graphics at speed, GPUs are built to process fast and accurate floating-point number arithmetic. GPUs typically have slower core speeds than CPUs, but they can have thousands of cores running in parallel. The result is that certain mathematical operations can run faster on a GPU than a CPU.
GPU servers, as the name suggests, are servers packed with graphics cards, designed to harness this raw processing power. Using an offloading process, the CPU can hand specific tasks to the GPUs, increasing performance.
Benchmarks using the TensorFlow machine learning framework, show that an Nvidia GeForce 1070 graphics card is around 16x faster than an Intel Core i7-7500U CPU. And, as well as being faster, the relative performance requires less energy, helping to reduce heat and power consumption.