First look: Nvidia’s Quadro 5000 pro-grade graphics card

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DigitalArts UK by Bill O’Brien

Nvidia introduced four new versions of its upscale Quadro graphics card on July 27th: The Quadro 4000, successor to the Quadro FX 3800, and the Quadro 5000, which succeeds the Quadro FX 4800, are currently available. The Quadro 6000, which is replacing the Quadro FX 5800, and the QuadroPlex 7000 will be available this autumn.

For this review, I tested the Quadro 5000. It’s a professional card that’s designed for use in high-end multi-CPU workstations. The Quadro cards are based on the new Fermi platform (download PDF). Fermi is Nvidia’s attempt to produce a graphics-processing unit (GPU) that’s as powerful — if not a little more so in some areas — than Intel’s big-time multicore CPUs.

Fermi GPUs contain hundreds of CUDA cores. CUDA is a technique Nvidia created to allow software developers to access the computational power of its GPU. Essentially, CUDA provides a parallel processing path into the GPU rather than using the single thread approach typically offered by CPUs, even those with multiple cores or threads.

The Quadro 5000 that I reviewed contains 352 CUDA cores and 2.5GB of memory. It supports Shader Model 5, DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.0. read more…

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