NVIDIA RTX 40 Series Graphics Cards: The Faster and More Efficient Password Recovery Accelerators

May 18th, 2023 by Oleg Afonin
Category: «Elcomsoft News», «GPU acceleration»

Every three years, NVIDIA releases a new architecture used in their GeForce series graphics cards. Powered by Ada Lovelace, the new generation of GPUs delivers 80% better performance in password recovery compared to Ampere. While the new generation of NVIDIA graphics is faster and more efficient than Ampere, it also received a price hike. Is the update worth it for the forensic experts? Let’s try to find out.

The 40 series of GeForce RTX graphics processors are based on the updated RTX architecture called Ada Lovelace, which gradually replaces three-year-old Ampere chips. In brute-force specific workloads the new generation delivers about an 80 per cent average performance uptick compared to Ampere. In our tests, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 Ti delivered a boost of approximately 80 per cent over the previous-generation NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti board at around the same TDP, while the more affordable NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 beat 3070 Ti performance by some 40 per cent while dissipating 30 per cent less heat. Now let us investigate this in detail using Elcomsoft Distributed Password Recovery that received Ada Lovelace support in the recent update.

First, let us check out the Microsoft Office format, comparing the performance of several generations of NVIDIA boards. Here we try breaking a password to a Word .docx document.


The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 Ti demonstrated the speed of some 30400 passwords per second, which beats the previous champion, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 (25700 passwords per second), by a significant margin. The NVIDIA RTX 4070 (non-Ti) delivers the performance of 22900 passwords per second, which is about par with the GeForce RTX 3080 board, which in previous tests demonstrated the speed of 22600 passwords per second. Both Ada Lovelace cards beat the Ampere-based NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, which only demonstrated the speed of 16400 passwords per second.

It is interesting to note how much more efficient the new architecture is. Let us check the performance per watt of Ada Lovelace boards vs similar graphics cards based on the older Ampere architecture.

As one can see, the new architecture is twice as efficient as the one it replaces, meaning that you’ll be able to try twice as many passwords per watt with an Ada Lovelace board compared to a similar Ampere-based graphics card. A higher TDP means you will need a more powerful power supply as well as more efficient cooling to dissipate all that heat. A lower TDP, on the other hand, means you’ll be able to build a significantly more powerful workstation using the same case, power supply, and cooling.

Other formats demonstrate similar results. A 88% performance gain on SHA256 hashes, 93% faster WPA attacks, 85% performance uptick when recovering encrypted RAR archives and 70% faster ZIP password recovery average to some 82% overall gain for the 4070 Ti vs. 3070 Ti.


Performance per dollar

So we figured that the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 Ti beats the older RTX 3090 while consuming less power and delivering greater performance-per-watt compared to yesterday’s champion. On the other end of the spectrum, the 4070 (non-Ti) delivers about the same performance as the RTX 3080. Should you fetch the wallet and upgrade your cards? This year, the answer is simple because we tested two boards with matching MSRP. The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 has the same MSRP as the RTX 3070 Ti, which allows for a straight performance-per-dollar comparison. The new RTX 4070 gets you about 40% higher performance and about 30% lower power consumption at the same time. Considering the two cards are similarly priced, the choice is really a no-brainer.

Our recommendation

In the current upgrade cycle, NVIDIA concentrated as much on sheer performance as on power efficiency. While graphics cards based on the Ada Lovelace architecture cost more than their respective Ampere counterparts, the extra money get you either significantly better performance or much lower power consumption, or a little bit of both. Ada Lovelace graphics cards offer higher performance per dollar along with better efficiency when crunching passwords compared to the Ampere generation.


Elcomsoft Distributed Password Recovery

Build high-performance clusters for breaking passwords faster. Elcomsoft Distributed Password Recovery offers zero-overhead scalability and supports GPU acceleration for faster recovery. Serving forensic experts and government agencies, data recovery services and corporations, Elcomsoft Distributed Password Recovery is here to break the most complex passwords and strong encryption keys within realistic timeframes.

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