New Quadros from Nvidia: expensive and powerful

Things are getting out of control in the 3D modeling business. Models for movies and games have gone from thousands to hundreds of thousands of triangles, and the lighting and shading necessary for them is getting so complicated as to require a whole separate video card. Imagine you’re an animator at Pixar — do you think they made WALL-E on netbooks? No, son. They probably used things we haven’t even heard of on this planet, and they probably had Quadro graphics cards in them. Nvidia’s new line of unbelievably expensive cards will block out the sun, and ray-trace its own shadow in real time.

I won’t get into the details here, mainly because if you’re in the graphics business you’re going to be doing a lengthy examination of these suckers on your own. But I think it’s good to note that the Quadro line (not meant for gaming, it should be noted) comes in flavors running from the $150 380 to the $3500 (!) 5800, and everything in-between. So if you’re not Pixar but you do need to do a lot of rendering for your Poser art gallery, there’s something for you in there.

More information is available at Nvidia’s site.

Here’s the full press release:


Most Advanced Visualization Solutions Maximize Productivity and Capability for All Professionals

SANTA CLARA, Calif.—March 25, 2009—Whether designing the next aircraft or delivering seven-day weather forecasts, today’s professionals seek a reliable, robust visualization platform designed to address their unique challenges and needs. Highlighting a decade of innovation that match the exact needs of professionals, NVIDIA today introduced its most powerful and advanced top-to-bottom line of Quadro® professional GPU solutions available to date.

“It’s been an incredible ride for Quadro over the last ten years,” said Dan Vivoli, vice president of professional marketing, NVIDIA. “When we started Quadro, it was just a single graphics board, now ten years later we’ve evolved to offer a complete line of top-to-bottom solutions and have delivered on some amazing world’s firsts, like the GPU blade server, and now our new SLI Multi-OS technology that lets two engineers share a single workstation. We work closely with our customers, to make sure we deliver solutions that have immediate impact, and that’s what sets us apart from the competition.”

Based on the company’s revolutionary CUDA™ parallel computing architecture, this new series provides high-performance visualization and new capabilities to solve highly complex challenges such as: real-time ray tracing, video encoding and interactive volume rendering. These new solutions also contain added graphics memory, double precision support and advanced display capabilities, giving professionals the right features to move beyond visualization barriers, reducing time-to-insight.

This line-up also brings the introduction of NVIDIA® SLI® Multi-OS, a ground-breaking technology that enables, for the first time, 3D workstation virtualization of the Quadro GPU. With SLI Multi-OS, applications and users are able to optimize productivity and costs through the use of multiple Quadro GPU technologies from a single workstation in a virtualized environment. Users can also enable native SLI technology support on key partner platforms to accelerate application performance, scaling and higher image quality. Spanning from sub $100 entry-level to standalone visual computing systems, this new series includes:

· NVIDIA Quadro FX 5800 – ultra high-end solution delivers the highest visualization performance and capabilities currently available in workstation graphics, giving professionals the ability to work with large-scale models and datasets with ease. MSRP of USD $3,499.

· NVIDIA Quadro FX 4800 – ultra high-end solution provides professionals with the right toolset to dramatically push the boundaries of realism, performance and quality. MSRP of USD $1,999.

· NVIDIA Quadro FX 3800 – high-end, single slot solution with a robust feature set and added capabilities such as SLI Multi-OS and SDI support (capabilities also available on Quadro FX 4800, and Quadro FX 5800) to enable a no-compromise, high-performance, interactive visualization experience. MSRP of USD $1,199.

· NVIDIA Quadro FX 1800 – mid-range solution offers the best price performance for workstation graphics, and provides the optimal blend of quality, precision, performance and programmability for all professional 3D applications. MSRP of USD $699.

· NVIDIA Quadro FX 580 – best-in-class entry-level solution boosts productivity for a variety of industry-leading volume CAD and digital content applications. MSRP of USD $199.

· NVIDIA Quadro FX 380 – an affordable professional-class graphics solution extends energy efficiency while delivering 50-percent faster performance. MSRP of USD $149.

· The Quadro NVS 295 – capable of supporting up to two 30-inch digital displays at resolutions of up to 2560 x 1600 to move business graphics to a new level of visual perfection. MSRP of USD $159.

“Once again, NVIDIA has set new graphics performance standards for professionals in the product design and development community,” said Laurent Laloy, Director, 3DVIA User Experience, Dassault Systèmes. “This latest generation of Quadro professional solutions will allow our customers to drive innovation and design with unprecedented 3D visual quality.”


NVIDIA Quadro solutions are widely available through leading system manufacturers such as Dell, Fujistu-Siemens, HP and Lenovo; leading workstation system integrators; and NVIDIA channel partners PNY Technologies (US and EMEA), Leadtek (APAC) and Elsa (Japan). For additional information about the complete lineup of NVIDIA Quadro professional solutions, please visit:


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