The GeForce RTX 4090 has a more powerful sibling with twice the memory that few people know — meet the fantastic L40S, the cheaper alternative to the uber-expensive Nvidia H100
Nvidia’s H100 GPU is among the most popular products the tech giant has launched in recent years, albeit with some notable pricing concerns and lengthy delays on orders.
Luckily, there are more cost effective alternatives that customers may not be aware of – namely the L40S series.
This powerful sibling GPU to the H100 offers twice the memory and is a cheaper option for those without the financial clout to invest in the more pricier range.
“Fascinating” H100 alternative
Just like its H100 and A100 counterparts, the L40S GPU is built specifically to power the next generation of data center workloads in the age of AI, capable of coping with the intense pressures of generative AI and LLM inferencing and hefty 3D graphics workloads.
Serve The Home managed to get its hands on an L40S and sang its praises, dubbing it a “fascinating” and cheaper alternative to the H100.
“The L40S is something quite different. Nvidia took the base L40, a data center visualization GPU using Nvidia’s newest Ada Lovelace architecture, and changed the tunings so that it was tuned more for AI rather than visualization,” the publication said.
The L40S still boasts typical features found in its predecessor, the L40, such as ray tracing cores, DisplayPort outputs, and NVENC/NVDEC with AV1 support.
However, in this instance, more power is allocated toward the AI portions of the GPU, making it a powerful piece of kit for training models on a budget.
The L40S has far less memory capacity than the A100, which is a notable downside to this series. However, what it lacks in size it makes up for in performance.
The GPU supports both the Nvidia Transformer Engine and FP8, meaning that it can significantly reduce the size of data and requires less memory bandwidth.
Metrics from Nvidia show the GPU offers tensor performance of up to 1,466 teraflops alongside an impressive RT core performance of 212 teraflops.
Nvidia L40S: A cost effective alternative
Cost, naturally, is a key selling point for the L40S. At current rates, the H100 is around 2.6x the price of the GPU, making it a far cheaper option.
Availability is also another notable advantage. H100 GPUs have proven immensely popular since launch, making them hard to get ahold of.
Being a more obscure and less well known GPU means the L40S is more easily accessible without lengthy waits.
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