Nvidia unveils Quadro Fermi

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On the occasion of Siggraph, Nvidia decided to unveil the high end of its new Quadro family and launches of new models today. The Quadro represent a very important market for Nvidia, which has a more than comfortable position with market shares that revolve around 90%. With these new Quadro, NVIDIA account consolidate this position to face the threat of AMD FirePro offered with a much more aggressive pricing and a more advanced multi-screen support. So that since early 2001 the range of professional cards Nvidia is represented by brand Quadro FX, Nvidia has decided to change a little by removing the FX suffix. So this is not a Quadro FX 5900 will succeed the current Quadro FX 5800 but a Quadro 6000. It is the same with the Quadro 5000 successor to the Quadro FX 4800 and Quadro 4000 with the succeeding the Quadro FX 3800.

These 3 new Quadro are all based on the GF100, the same GPU as that which equips the GeForce GTX 480/470/465. The Quadro 6000 GPU embarks this version similar to that of the GeForce GTX 470, Quadro 5000 similar to the GeForce GTX 465 and a Quadro 4000 GF100 which more units were deactivated. Of course the frequencies are also lowered as is usually the case on business cards that do not derive their advantage over the GeForce a higher power but above all for further certification and optimized drivers for professional applications. the difference however is not only the level of optimizations and with the NVIDIA GF100 included more material functions dedicated to professionals in the GPU are disabled on GeForce but active versions of these new Quadro. This is for example the case of double precision calculations are limited to 25% of capacity on GeForce GPU or optional support ECC reserved for Quadro 5000 and 6000. It is the same for geometry processing which is clamped on GeForce. Unfortunately, Nvidia has tried not to answer questions about these differences and limited himself to submit triangles rates without wanting to tell us what they correspond (890, 950 and 1300 Mtriangles / s Quadro 4000/5000 / 6000). So they do not have in the state worth more than any number taken from a magic hat. Given the complex architecture of GF100 at this level, and the difficulty of reaching the theoretical maximum, we assume that Nvidia has somehow chosen a more practical case and used those numbers. Finally, another important difference lies in what surrounds the GPU. First memory of 2048 MB, 2560 MB and 6144 MB for these new Quadro, then the connections, each card is equipped with a DVI output, two DisplayPort outputs, a stereo connector (optional on Quadro 4000) and a connector for the G-Sync card (except for the Quadro 4000). Nvidia is also launching a Quadro 5000M is somehow a GeForce GTX 480M adapted to the pro market. To stay within the limit of 100 watts TDP, Nvidia has traded some computing units against more memory.

You will notice the relatively high pricing of these new cards. While the bulk of FirePro, the V8800, is proposed to slightly less than € 1,500, it will cost about 2000 € for a Quadro 5000 and just over € 4,000 for 6000. While the Quadro Quadro feature more memory, but especially for the brand and the richest software bundle that accompanies that Nvidia can afford this pricing. Meanwhile a complete dossier on business cards, we have already been able to make some tests on the Quadro 5000, the model will be available soon, the others being planned for the autumn. As you can see, the new Quadro is in pretty good draws in the recent SPECviewperf 11 tests were carried out with the 258.63 drivers for Quadro side and with the 8723 drivers on the side of FirePro. In the latter case it is drivers that date of April and therefore do not take fully into account new applications. AMD announced the imminent arrival of updated drivers, but in the meantime here are the results:

We also examined the behavior of these more convenient cards in 3ds Max 2011. For this we charge a model the complex geometry and measured fps in a viewport when rotated. Nvidia has provided a beta version of its performance driver for 3ds Max 2011, which completely changes the game by raising the CPU limit of 2 to 10 fps:

On the more theoretical side, we measured the speed triangles of these solutions. When it comes to display the triangles (without culling so that is limited by the number of blocks of processing units), the Quadro 5000 clearly shows faster than the GeForce GTX 465, similar in configuration but whose GPU is however clocked at a higher frequency. There is thus no doubt that the Quadro now have an advantage at this level compared to GeForce.

With this good level of performance, new features, a very broad software support, which we will cover in detail in our record to come, despite the lead taken by the competition in the multi-screen, these new Quadro have in hand interesting cards to repeat the success of their elders. to conclude this presentation include 3D Vision Pro, also unveiled today by Nvidia. Similar to the classic 3D Vision kit, based on revised slightly glasses and better but mainly uses a radio signal for synchronization instead of the infrared signal. It is no longer compulsory to face the transmitter for synchronization can be done and it is possible to change the frequency of the signal so as to develop more systems in the same room avoiding interference.

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