Monday, October 4th, 2010 Posted by Jim Thacker

Nvidia releases affordable new Fermi Quadro GPUs

The Quadro 2000: one of Nvidia’s two entry-level additions to its range of professional Fermi GPUs.

Nvidia has announced two affordable additions to its range of Quadro GPUs based on the Fermi architecture.

The Quadro 2000 and Quadro 600 both sport 1GB RAM (GDDR5 in the case of the 2000; DDR3 for the 600) and more CUDA cores than Nvidia’s previous mid-range card, the 786MB Quadro FX 1800.

The company’s own SPECviewperf benchmark scores show the Quadro 600 approaching the FX 1800 – a card over twice its price – while overall, the Quadro 2000 outperforms the previous top-of-the-range FX 5800.

(Non-CAD users should note that the Quadro 2000’s published Maya benchmark score is comparatively lower than its overall performance would suggest; although its LightWave score is higher than any other card in the range – including the new Quadro 6000. It will be interesting to see if those differences become less extreme in third-party benchmark tests.)

The announcement should be welcome news for anyone tempted by the new Fermi architecture, but for whom the price of the existing Quadro 4000 and 5000 was an obstacle to purchase. More details below.

Press release (excerpts)

The Quadro 2000 delivers 1.5 times the geometry performance of the previous Quadro graphics processing unit (GPU) mid-range solution (1) and utilises the new NVIDIA Scalable Geometry Engine technology to deliver dramatically higher performance across leading CAD and DCC applications such as SolidWorks and Autodesk 3ds Max.

The new entry-level Quadro 600 is a flexible half height solution that features the industry’s best performance per watt (2) for applications such as Autodesk AutoCAD 2011, and empowers professional designers to interact with models that are twice the size and complexity compared to previous entry-level solutions.

Both the Quadro 2000 and Quadro 600 feature 1GB of graphics memory and are compatible with the new NVIDIA 3D Vision Pro active shutter-glasses solution, providing powerful visualisation and analysis in an immersive, high-quality stereoscopic 3D experience.

Quadro professional graphics cards are designed and built by NVIDIA to provide industry-leading performance, reliability, compatibility and stability when running professional applications. Software companies such as Adobe, Autodesk, Dassault Systemes and SolidWorks consistently certify Quadro professional graphics solutions for their users whose livelihoods depend on them.

The NVIDIA Quadro 2000 and Quadro 600 are built on industry standards, including OpenGL 4.1, DirectX 11, Shader Model 5.0, DirectCompute and OpenCL. They also leverage the NVIDIA CUDA parallel computing architecture that enables dramatic increases in computing performance. Featuring 30-bit colour fidelity (10-bits per colour), these Quadro solutions enable the display of billions of colour variations for rich, vivid image quality with the broadest dynamic range. Both the Quadro 2000 and Quadro 600 are PCI Express 2.0 compliant, and feature an ultra-quiet design, with tailored acoustics for an ultra-quiet desktop environment.

The newest line of Quadro GPUs leverages the CUDA parallel processing architecture and NVIDIA Application Acceleration Engines to enable the world’s fastest performance across a broad range of applications. Additionally, these new solutions feature NVIDIA Mosaic Technology (3), which will enable any application to utilise one or more Quadro professional graphics solutions to scale across up to eight high-resolution displays. Whether the application is CATIA, 3ds Max or PowerPoint or Google Earth, users just simply hit the Maximize button and the application will seamlessly span across all connected displays.

Availability and Pricing
The Quadro 2000 ($599/£369 MSRP) and Quadro 600 ($199/£139 MSRP) are available from leading global workstation manufacturers, including Dell, HP and Lenovo, as well as authorised distribution partners including: PNY Technologies in North America and Europe, ELSA in Japan, and Leadtek in Asia Pacific.

(1) Based on millions of triangles drawn per second compared with the Quadro FX 1800.

(2) Based on 40W maximum power consumption of Quadro 600 vs. 69W maximum power consumption of AMD FirePro V4800.

(3) Mosaic Technology will be available with upcoming NVIDIA Quadro driver releases in late Q4 2010.