There is a common misconception that NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX GPUs are meant solely for gaming and some content creation workloads, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. While NVIDIA does offer an array of powerful, purpose-built enterprise products for specialized engineering, data science, economic, and AI / ML applications, GeForce RTX GPUs can accelerate many of these workloads as well – all GPUs are massively-parallel processors after all. . In fact, NVIDIA’s consumer, professional, and enterprise products often leverage similar GPU architectures. Many of the applications STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) students use in particular can benefit greatly from GPU acceleration, and it is with this in mind that NVIDIA recently launched an initiative to educate STEM students about the benefits of GPU acceleration with many. of the popular STEM applications out there.
A claim on NVIDIA’s website states, “NVIDIA GeForce RTX laptops do so much more than boost high-performance gaming applications—they also supercharge studies for STEM majors. Powerful Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) help students work faster, with acceleration for top student applications…”
NVIDIA’s STEM Laptops For Students Accelerate Many Key Applications
Purchasing a new laptop is often a top priority for students as they head off to college, change majors, or simply start a new school year. And high portability is typically a must have; most students want a thin and light laptop that’s easy to carry around from class to class. Unfortunately, many of the thinnest and lightest ultra-portable laptops are relatively under-powered, and rely on basic, integrated graphics solutions. That’s fine for tooling around on-line and editing Word documents, but it can significantly hamper the performance of many popular STEM applications.
NVIDIA’s STEM campaign not only highlights the many applications that receive a massive performance boost with GPU acceleration, but also a wide array of highly portable laptops that feature the latest GeForce RTX mobile GPUs. NVIDIA is effectively claiming that STEM students can have their cake and eat it too.
There is a multitude of GPU accelerated STEM applications, including PyTorch, Tensorflow, Matlab, Ansys Discovery, and Unreal Engine 5, to name just a few. Many burgeoning fields like Deep Learning, Data Analytics, and 3D modeling rely on applications that can receive big performance boosts from GPU acceleration. And that performance boost often translates to significant time savings, a superior user experience, or both, which means getting more classwork done faster.
NVIDIA lists and array of GeForce RTX-equipped laptops on its website ideally suited to STEM students, from companies like Dell, ASUS, and others. If you peruse the offerings, you’ll find a diverse set of options that are highly portable, yet offer the powerful GPU, CPU, memory and storage configurations to run STEM applications with excellent performance.
NVIDIA STEM Laptops Offer Huge Performance Boosts
To put NVIDIA’s claims to the test, we actually took an ASUS STEM laptop for a spin at HotHardware – the sub-$900 ASUS TUF Dash F15 with a GeForce RTX 3070 – with Matlab and a handful of AI/ML workloads – to see how it performed versus a CPU with integrated graphics alone, and the results were stark. In regards to a machine vision application, for example, author Ben Funk states, “The GeForce RTX 3070 cruised through about 415 images per second, while the Intel integrated graphics could only handle about 15 using the same set of images. That’s a performance increase of around 27.67x, or greater than 2,700% of the performance.” That is an absolutely massive performance improvement. And if you peruse the entire article, you’ll also note that the machine performs very well in general in a wide array of benchmarks, and its battery life is solid too.
Accelerating commonly used applications, improving the user experience, and ultimately giving time back to STEM students are very real, appreciable benefits that can help those students achieve their education goals, quicker and easier. As such, NVIDIA’s awareness efforts here are spot-on. And of course, having a GeForce in a laptop can also help STEM student blow off steam in their favorite games, which is an ancillary benefit that many of them will appreciate.