After general public high end release it is now the turn of the professional ones with the release of 2 new Quadro FX.
The first one the Quadro FX 4500 is NVIDIA new high end product. It is based on a G70 chip with 4 pipelines and apparently one vertex unit shader deactivated. The vertex shader part is clocked at 470 MHz and the rest at 550 MHz. It is possible because the different functional blocks of the G70 can work with different frequencies. The calculation power compared to the Quadro FX 4400 is increased by 65% for the pixel part and 33% for geometry. The GPU comes with 512 MB of memory clocked at 525 MHz like the FX 4400. The cooling system is quite complex and doesn’t pass unnoticed. According to NVIDIA it is 50% more efficient and 33% less noisy than the previous version. Two DVI Dual-Link (it is possible to connect 2x30” Apple monitors for example) outputs are available from the graphic card and one connector for the optional G-Sync card which brings the Frame lock and Genlock.
The second one is an evolution of the FX 3400, the Quadro FX 3450. If the first one was based on a NV45GL with 4 pipelines deactivated, the FX 3450 uses an 110nm NV42GL GPU with 12 pipelines. Thanks to this new configuration, NVIDIA has increased frequencies and reduced power consumption. It also supports natively the PCI Express and WMV HD acceleration. The GPU is clocked at 425 MHz and has 20% higher calculation power than the Quadro FX 3400 for the pixel and geometry part. The 256 MB of memory are clocked at 500 MHz instead of 450 MHz. The bandwidth is then increased by 10%. The card is equipped with the same cooling system than the 6800GT. Two DVI outputs are available from the graphic card with one dual link compatible.
NVIDIA also mentioned the release soon of an SLI certified solution for Quadro. The SLI is already available for Quadro via beta drivers available here
. Current beta version supports frame rendering (like the GeForce) under Windows and the SLI Multi View under Linux. The 80 version will bring Multi View under Windows and frame rendering under Linux. The release date of the “final” driver is still unknown as the certification process is complex for professional products.
Something new is also happening for Gelato, NVIDIA render tool which uses the graphic card to accelerate rendering, with the release early August if a beta version of Gelato 2.0. It will include in the final version Amaretto, a plug-in for 3DSMax (the 1.2 and 2.0 beta version only include the plug-in for Maya). The beta version should be available this autumn, but we will have to wait early 2006 for the final version. NVIDIA will also reviewed Gelato price to $1500 instead of $2750 from august 1rst. A new tool to optimize lighting shaders, Sorbetto will also be available in option with Gelato for $3700. All these tools help professionals to gain some time mainly with previews as they can be rendered very fast. According to the quality level required it is possible to reach almost an “interactive” framerate. This is of course much handier than waiting hours for each images of the final result. Update 29/08 16h:
Nvidia's documents were not fully accurate. The Quadro FX 4500 has not 20 pixel pipelines and 7 vertex shader units but 24 and 8 of them. However the clock frequencies were accurate so computing power increases even more : by 100% for pixels computing and by 50% for vertices computing !