NVIDIA Quadro 5000 2.5GB Fermi-based Professional Graphics Review
The New Quadro Lineup
What Fermi was Built For
Since the introduction of the Fermi architecture nearly a year ago, we have known that NVIDIA really designed the GPU from the ground up for their Quadro and Tesla lines of products. The Tesla products are mostly server-based and aimed at the HPC (high performance computing) areas while the Quadro line is targeted at those people responsible for creating all the content we see in the world. Whether that is the latest PC gaming titles, the movie you saw last weekend or even the late night news, there is a good chance there is a Quadro at work somewhere in the pipeline.
The New Quadro Features and Lineup
As I mentioned above, the Quadro line of cards is used most commonly by professional developers in the world of CAD, video production and simulations as they create the products that we might eventually watch on TV or play on our PCs (NVIDIA powered of course if they have anything to say about it).
With a total addressable market estimated at more than $2.3 billion, getting as large a slice of the action as possible is one of the keys to keeping NVIDIA afloat financially and the stock holders and executives know it.
The performance claims that the Quadro 6000 is 12x faster than an Intel
Nehalem quad-core CPU are definitely impressive but we are still a
distance off from real-time ray tracing for complex scenes.
The new Pro version is very similar, requiring specific 120 Hz displays and active shutter glasses like the ones seen above, but there are a couple of key differences. First, these glasses use RF communication rather than infrared which means the coverage if larger (up to 100 ft) and there is no line of sight required for the transmitter box to the glasses. This allows for better multi-user environments that might see interference from surrounding IR blasters and easier setup of the 3D Vision features.
This will come at a cost though, as most professional hardware does, with the glasses going for $349 and the RF emitter selling for $399 starting in October. I wonder if these new options might filter down into the consumer space...?
Now to the products themselves - as you may have noticed above NVIDIA is going with a completely new naming scheme this time around. While the 4000-series might have already been started by the Quadro FX 4800, NVIDIA is dropping the FX moniker and is instead settling in on very basic numbering systems: 4000, 5000, 6000 and 7000.
The QuadroPlex 7000 is essentially an external system utilizing two Quadro 6000 cards in SLI with a custom connection to the workstation for access to the computing power.
Street prices are going to be set as follows:
- Quadro 4000: $1,199
- Quadro 5000: $2,249
- Quadro 6000: $4,999 (Fall)
- QuadroPlex 7000: $14,500 (Fall)
I marked both the 6000 and 7000 units as "Fall" because while the 4000/5000 set will be available immediately, the other two won't show up until later in the autumn season.